I’ve written a lot of blog posts about puppies, but I’ve never posted about a typical day for a puppy who lives with me, so that’s what we’re going to look at today. There are four puppies here right now, and one will be with me permanently, so it’s a good time to cover what a day might look like for a puppy.
When My Pup Comes Home … Waking Up and Early Morning
We’ll start with waking up. My new puppy sleeps in a crate by my bed. The puppy can see and hear me throughout the night. I can watch and hear them as well. My face is near theirs so they can feel my breath and not be worried. I’ve got all the details on this in my post “All About Dogs Sleeping in the Bedroom”.
In the morning, puppy waits in the crate while the other dogs go outside. Now it’s the puppy’s turn for my full attention to morning potty routines. When Crate Games foundations are in place my hand on the crate door = sit for the puppy, then it’s door open, leash on, and I carry the puppy outdoors to the established potty spot on leash. Our morning begins!
One thing I set the stage for early on is “Don’t Wake Da Mamma” and recently covered this in a podcast, so check out Episode 26: Pro Dog Training Tips to Get Your Puppy to Sleep All Night.
After our potty ritual, we spend a few minutes of playing tug or any one of my games outlined in my book Ruff Love or my Recallers, Home School the Dog, Handling360 or Agility Nation online programs that are age-appropriate, and then puppy goes into an ex-pen near me during my breakfast time. If I am not fully supervising my puppy, I will use the ex-pen for safety.
I have more than one ex-pen and am strategic about placement; this is not about isolation, it’s about setting my puppy up for success and keeping puppy safe and out of trouble when I cannot directly supervise. Below is the set up while we have Momentum’s four puppies growing up (and they are growing quickly, one month old already!).
Back to breakfast and puppy being near me in the ex-pen. Any time puppy chooses to lay in his bed, I quietly praise and throw him treats (that he can get without leaving the bed!). This way, the puppy learns at an early age what a good thing it is to relax in his bed while I am eating a meal.
Then after my breakfast, we’ll do fast and fun training sessions, and often puppy will be earning breakfast while playing games that build skills and contribute to a strong understanding of my top foundation skills. And I’ll share with you what those are coming up in another blog post.
After having breakfast puppy will go back into his crate for 30 minutes then out for a potty break. He will then enjoy some supervised free time around the house and then into an ex-pen that has been placed strategically, depending on where we are and what we are doing.
Mid Morning and Lunchtime
Around mid-morning puppy will get a 5 minute training session, and a short walk around the field then back to his crate or ex-pen near me.
Lunchtime has us out for a potty break then some games of action to burn off energy, then another 5 minute training session for puppy’s midday meal. There will possibly be some playtime with one of my older dogs. A second supervised romp in the room I am in for 10 – 15 minutes then back into his ex-pen.
Afternoon and Evening
Before you know it, we are at supper time. Another short training session, potty break then free time with me while I prepare for dinner time. Puppy goes into the ex-pen again while we eat and earns rewards any time he chooses to go on his bed.
We’ll have an after supper fun session focusing on priority foundation skills. Through the day we’ve worked on duration on a bed, and there are many future uses for this skill, including being able to relax in the evening with a chew bone when the TV is on… can’t miss any Raptors games.
After supper, the priority is a bit of exercise for the puppy. That is usually accomplished with some foundation skills; recalls or tugging most likely. In the evening the puppy will have supervised access to the adult dogs in my home (those that tolerate puppies well), and possibly some informal training with me as I play with the puppy and one last trip outside before bed.
So, there we have it, a typical day, and of course, there will be puppy adventures to fit in.
Talking about adventures, the Adventure Box has been set up and everyone approves. You can click here for a video, it’s on Facebook but is public so everyone can watch.
Let me know in the comments what a typical day looks like for a puppy in your life.
Today I am grateful for starting outdoor fun with Alexis, David, Stevie and Moira. There’s a video on Facebook of the first attempt at a puppy recall (there’s always that one puppy!).