8-Week-Old Puppy Schedule: The Ultimate Guide to Training Your New Puppy

So… you’re checking out my 8-week old puppy schedule!

First of all, let me congratulate you on bringing home a new puppy!

(I have a strong feeling you already have or will be welcoming a puppy in your home sometime soon.)

Ahhh, nothing is better than having a puppy in the family! The snuggles, the cuteness, the feeling of having a little angel at home.

But something else comes with owning a new puppy: THE CHALLENGES!

There’s the issue of how to correct your puppy’s eating habits, or how you can survive the daunting task of potty training!

I know from experience as I’ve brought many new puppies into my home over the years! And, just like bringing a new baby home, I know how quickly things can get confusing and overwhelming.

To help set up new puppy parents for success, I’ve created my very own 8-week-old puppy schedule to help you set yourself—and your new pup—up for success! And I’m going to share it with you today!

This 8-week-old puppy schedule aims to help puppy owners build great habits, know how to start training puppies and make puppy care much more in order.

Key Takeaways:

  • The 8-week-old puppy schedule emphasizes the critical role of a structured routine in addressing common challenges, such as eating habits and potty training, to create a solid foundation for a new puppy's growth.
  • Introducing the PEES structure (Potty, Exercise, Eat, Sleep), the schedule provides a simplified framework for organizing a puppy's day, offering practical insights and tips for effective training and care within each essential category.
  • Acknowledging the evolving needs of a growing puppy, the schedule recognizes the importance of flexibility and adaptability, encouraging new puppy parents to initiate the routine around 8 weeks while understanding that life commitments may require adjustments to the schedule.

Download Free Puppy Schedule

Table of Contents

  1. 8 Week Old Puppy Schedule: What Is It For?
  2. Why Your Puppy Needs the 8-Week-Old Puppy Schedule
    2.1 A Little Disclaimer…
  3. Doggy Dan’s 8-Week-Old Puppy Schedule: Simplifying The Puppy Parenting Process with the PEES Structure
  4. What You Will Learn from the PEES Structure
    4.1 A More Detailed Walk-Through of the 8-Week-Old Puppy Schedule
  5. Potty (P): Some Insight Into My Best Toilet Training Practices
  6. Important Points to Remember When Potty Training Puppies
  7. Exercise (E): Fun Activities to Keep Your Puppy Engaged and Moving During the Day
    7.1 Socialization
    7.2 Playtime
    7.3 Leash Training
  8. Eat (E): Setting Your Pup Up for Success at Mealtime
    8.1 #1: Setting Up a Designated Mealtime Area
    8.2 #2: Be Clear with Mealtime Commands
    8.3 #3: Interact with Your Puppy
    8.4 #4: Determine the Frequency of Meals
  9. What Are The Best Puppy Food Options?
  10. Sleep (S): Providing Your Puppy with a Safe Spot to Sleep and Relax
    10.1 Setting Up a Safe Sleep Space
    10.2 Making Your Puppy Feel Safe
    10.3 Overnight Crate Training
  11. Doggy Dan’s 8-Week-Puppy Schedule
  12. 8 Week Puppy Schedule By Hour
  13. Simplifying the 8-Week-Old Puppy Schedule – The Puppy Coach Program

8 Week Old Puppy Schedule: What Is It For?

The Doggy Dan 8-Week Old Puppy Schedule is created to solve common issues puppy owners face during the first few days. These challenges include:

  • The Explorative Taste Stage
  • Energetic Peaks
  • Puppy Worries
  • Eating Habits
  • Potty Training

and many more!

Bringing home a new puppy is similar to bringing home a new baby. And while a puppy might not be as big of a transition as a new human would, they both need a system or schedule to thrive in your home!


Why Your Puppy Needs the 8-Week-Old Puppy Schedule

If you’ve ever had a baby or have a friend or family member with kids, you know how important it is to have a schedule or chaos ensues.

The new baby must eat every 2-3 hours. It’s essential to ensure the baby has a certain number of dirty diapers throughout the day. And, of course, keeping your child on a sleep schedule is an absolute must if mom or dad plan on getting any sleep.

Your puppy needs the same routine every day, or I guarantee you puppy parenthood will become much more difficult than needed.

That’s why I’ve created my 8-Week-Old Puppy Schedule: The Ultimate Guide to Training Your New Puppy.

(BTW this is an update of my older post: Puppy Schedule for 8-10 Weeks Old)

Download Your Free Puppy Schedule

Having a puppy schedule in place from the day you bring your puppy home IS THE KEY to helping create a solid foundation for your pup as it grows into a mature dog.

Remember, the ideal time to start a schedule is when your puppy is around 8 weeks. Habits MUST be formed around this time.

And I’m so excited to share my puppy schedule with you, including videos from my very own Project Moses Video Diary!

What’s the optimal schedule for your new pup? Keep reading to find out.

A Little Disclaimer…

To provide you with the most comprehensive puppy schedule possible, I’ve packed a lot of information into an hour-by-hour puppy schedule.

I know it might look a little overwhelming.

The schedule might even make you think…

“How is it humanly possible to stick to such a routine week after week?”

I want you to know one thing before you scroll any further.

I 100% understand that you have a life outside of your puppy. Between kids, jobs, and other activities, it’s not always possible to provide your puppy with 100% of your attention weekly, month after month.

The goal of this schedule isn’t to overwhelm you. It’s to give you a solid framework that you can work off of.

I designed this schedule to help educate you on how to best set up your puppy’s day, from feeding schedules to potty training.

I advise you to do as best as possible to stick to the schedule when you first bring your new puppy home.

As your puppy ages, understand that they WILL become more independent and require a less structured schedule.

You may need help to follow this schedule completely, but I guarantee it will be an incredibly helpful resource that will enable you to set your puppy up for success as you make the transition into puppy parenthood!


Doggy Dan’s 8-Week-Old Puppy Schedule: Simplifying The Puppy Parenting Process with the PEES Structure

Here’s why this 8-week-puppy schedule works.

If you look online for puppy schedules, you can quickly become overwhelmed by the information available. Not to mention the complexity of some of the plans put out there!

No wonder people give up on routines after only a few days of putting them into practice.

Here’s the good news…this ultimate puppy schedule can be broken down into 4 main needs….

  • Potty
  • Exercise
  • Eat
  • Sleep

…otherwise known as the PEES structure!

As you’ll find out, a lot of your puppy’s schedule will revolve around potty breaks, so it’s my hope that you will find this acronym easy to remember!

What You Will Learn from the PEES Structure

The PEES structure breaks down the four most important parts of your puppy’s day, and the order in which these activities should occur to set the puppy up for success.

Down at the bottom of this article, you’ll find my hour-by-hour schedule that clearly outlines when these activities should take place!

But, before I share the schedule with you, I wanted to provide some really important schedule and training information that correlates with each letter (PEES) of the schedule.

Download Free Puppy Schedule

It’s my hope that you can “plug and play” with these activities in correlation with the schedule to keep your puppy focused, engaged, and on a well-rounded system. Check it out now…

A More Detailed Walk-Through of the 8-Week-Old Puppy Schedule

Looking at the 8-week-puppy schedule above, it’s easy to piece together what your puppy should be doing throughout the day.

That being said, there are a bunch of important subcategories within each of the main topics. For example, “How do I safely leave my puppy alone to rest during Sleep time?” or “What do I need to know about feeding my new puppy meals during Eating time?”

Let’s break down the four main categories so I can provide you with some incredibly important information on each topic that will help set your puppy up for success.

Potty (P): Some Insight Into My Best Toilet Training Practices

Potty training a puppy is something many puppy parents struggle with. However, when you make going potty a regular part of your daily routine, it becomes much easier for your pup to get a hold of using the bathroom in appropriate places.

Remember this: puppies will follow what’s natural to them. If they have become used to peeing everywhere, there’s a high chance you will have a hard time correcting that. Training them early and consistently IS THE KEY.

Important Points to Remember When Potty Training Puppies

  • Taking your new puppy out to use the bathroom MUST be the first thing you do every morning, as your little pal simply isn’t capable yet of holding their urine for really long periods.
  • It’s not okay to sleep in and wait until 10 AM to give your pup a potty break. If you do so, I guarantee you’ll become frustrated as you wake up to potty accidents. Before you get your coffee, watch the news, get showered for the day, etc. get your puppy outside immediately.
  • Bring your puppy to the area you want them to potty in, and give your pup ample time to do their business. Your pup will likely use the restroom pretty quickly, but if they don’t (as some puppies are easily distracted) give your puppy enough time (at least 15 minutes) and some encouragement (perhaps the command “Go Potty”) while you wait.
  • After your pup does their business, reward them with a pat or a treat, as your new pal might need a little extra reward at this young age.

For the most part, potty training isn’t difficult. It’s all about being proactive and setting your puppy up to win.

If you need extra guidance on toilet training, I encourage you to sign up for my FREE toilet training video course here!

To ensure you’re providing your pup with enough potty breaks throughout the day, please download a copy of my Puppy Potty Time Chart, where you can log the times you’re taking your pup out for a bathroom break.

Download Free Puppy Schedule

Exercise (E): Fun Activities to Keep Your Puppy Engaged and Moving During the Day

Like toddlers, puppies are full of energy and must be kept active during the day so they don't go crazy or become destructive.

Thankfully, there are many ways you can keep your puppy active and engaged and many of the activities I'm about to share also contain various training principles.

Check out the following activities you can plug into your puppy schedule “E” hours.



All dogs have social needs. And most dogs have a desire to play and interact with other dogs.

Socializing a dog with other dogs early is an important part of ensuring your pup knows how to play and interact with other canines appropriately.

If a puppy doesn't get the chance to meet lots of different people and animals or doesn't get to experience various places when they're young, they might grow up to be dogs that have trouble behaving. They could become either really scared or aggressive, which can be a problem.

Knowing how important socialization is, I recommend you start finding opportunities to socialize your pup as soon as possible! The best part… it's a fun activity that's good for your puppy's training and can also help tire your pup out as he/she is full of all that puppy energy.

Of course, there are a few things you need to think about before exposing your puppy to other dogs. For example:

  • Is your puppy properly vaccinated so he/she doesn't pick up any dangerous illnesses while playing with another dog?
  • Do you personally know the dog you're introducing your puppy to/know that the dog is friendly and safe?
  • Have you put safety measures in place to ensure both dogs can remain calm and happy during their playdate?

A lot goes into socializing a puppy to prevent behavioral issues with other dogs down the road.

Because this is such an important topic, I want to share with you 3 videos from my Project Moses Video Diary so you can see first hand how I handled socialization with Moses during three different stages of his early life (I filmed the raising of my puppy, Moses, from 8 weeks to 1 year and created a video-diary course — these are just a few of the 70+ videos covering the important stages of his first year that you can access in my Puppy Coach program).


Watch the progress of Moses and socialization in these 3 videos below, as he grows from 10 weeks to 8 months (in the Puppy Coach Video Diary, there are so many more videos in between these stages that show vital nuances in his training and development).


Socializing Moses – 10 Weeks Old

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Socializing Moses – Results at 8 Months Old


Having a handful of puppy toys on hand makes it easy to keep your pup entertained throughout the day.

Whether you decide to take your puppy outside for a game of fetch or monitor him indoors with a puzzle toy, there are many ways you can keep your puppy both mentally and physically stimulated.

Here are a few of my favorite toys to have on hand…

  • A ball/frisbee for a game of fetch.
  • An antler bone which provides a constructive and natural chewing source.
  • A puzzle toy for mental stimulation.
  • A kong you can fill with a treat to keep your pup busy.
  • A soft, plush toy…some puppies love carrying around a cuddly toy!

Puppies are incredibly smart! When you provide them with toys, they quickly learn what they are/are not allowed to play with in your home. For example, giving your dog a bone to chew on should help keep your pup from chewing up your favorite pair of slippers.

If you’re struggling with chewing, I encourage you to take a look at an article I wrote on how to get your dog from chewing on and destroying your stuff… Read it now!

Leash Training

At 8-weeks-old, it’s likely that your puppy will struggle to walk on a leash–let alone be able to walk very far before they decide to take a nap on the grass!

That being said, leash training is something you should start right away with your puppy in order to teach him/her proper outdoor walking manners.

You can simply start in your backyard getting your puppy accustomed to using a leash with a little stroll around the grass. As your puppy gets older and a little more aware of what going on a walk means, I encourage you to use the resources below…

View my Ultimate Guide to Leash Training here!

Listen to My Podcast on Overexcited Behaviors While on a Walk!

Eat (E): Setting Your Pup Up for Success at Mealtime

Feeding your puppy might seem like a simple, straightforward part of owning a dog. However, most people don’t realize how big of an impact food can have on various aspects of your puppies training.

Not having a concrete mealtime routine or structure can cause more behavioral issues down the road including aggression, resource guarding, and disobedience.

Download Free Puppy Schedule

Here are some things you can establish for mealtimes.

#1: Setting Up a Designated Mealtime Area

Always make sure to change your puppy’s water so it’s fresh and clean. Serve his/her breakfast in a designated dog bowl.

Routine and familiarity on mealtimes can help dogs stick to the behavior expected of them.

#2: Be Clear with Mealtime Commands

You can help your puppy remain calm around food by asking them to sit and wait until they’ve been given the command to go ahead and eat.

Of course, this is more difficult with an 8-week-old puppy, but it’s not impossible to set boundaries so your pup isn’t jumping all over you.


#3: Interact with Your Puppy

Once you’ve given your pup their food, you can practice gently giving your pup a pet while they eat or even picking up the food bowl once in the middle of their meal time. Of course, you don’t want to be a pest to your pup.

But, interacting with a puppy while they eat can help negate aggressive food behaviors down the road while gently reminding your pup that you are the provider.

Like I said, don’t be an annoyance as it’s not fair to pester your puppy while they enjoy a meal. But a little interaction is very helpful when it comes to teaching your puppy to be gentle with food.

Setting your puppy up for success with food is so important I’m going to share an exclusive video with you from my Project Moses Video Diary—one of many videos within a paid program that show you step-by-step how to work with your new puppy as I train my puppy, Moses.

Moses is 5 months old in this video. However, the principals are the same regardless of whether your puppy is 8 weeks or 8 months.

Watch the video now…

#4: Determine the Frequency of Meals

Transitioning from mother’s milk to puppy food is a big change for your little puppy’s stomach. This transition is often made easier when you feed your puppy multiple smaller meals throughout the day.

That’s why you’ll notice 4 distinct feeding times on my puppy schedule! Of course, as your puppy grows, their feeding needs will change and become less frequent.

I recommend you talk to your vet to get their advice on what’s best for your individual puppy. But, you’ll likely find that most professionals stick to a feeding chart similar to the one I recommend.

For reference, take a look at my recommendations of how much your puppy should be eating as they grow.


What Are The Best Puppy Food Options?

It’s likely your vet has already advised you on the best food options for your new puppy. However, if you’re looking for some homemade options, I encourage you to check my resources below…

Learn more about healthy homemade dog food recipes here!

Discover 7 special treats that canines crave!

Sleep (S): Providing Your Puppy with a Safe Spot to Sleep and Relax

Just like a new baby, your puppy is going to require a lot of sleep during their first year of life. Therefore, it’s important to schedule time to let your puppy sleep or rest without being bothered by anyone…including other animals in your home.

Setting Up a Safe Sleep Space

It’s essential that you set up a safe space where you can leave your puppy without worrying about them getting into trouble while not being supervised.

I have a video that I want to share with you that I’ve pulled directly from my Project Moses Video Diary. In this video I will show you how I set up a safe space for my puppy Moses so you can set up a similar space in your home.

Take a look at Moses’s living arrangements at 8-weeks old!


Making Your Puppy Feel Safe

It’s important to understand that your tiny little puppy probably won’t like being left by themself. After all, a puppy is just a baby who wants his/her “mommy.”

However, the more you practice spending time away from your pup, the easier it will become for both of you! The key is to ensure your puppy feels safe, and not to give into those sad little squeaks every time you leave the room.

This is such an important part of your puppy’s schedule that I filmed the steps I took on leaving Moses alone when he was just 8 weeks old. I’m sharing this exclusive video from my Project Moses Video Diary in hopes that it will help you avoid any problems or serious behavioral issues (like separation anxiety) in the future!

Watch now!

Bonus Video from inside the puppy coach video diary:

How To Leave Your Puppy At Home Alone (add the video here from the original vlog)

Overnight Crate Training

The long overnight bedtime haul can be challenging for puppies…especially when they are left alone in the dark and can’t see where you are.

One tip I have—if you have a puppy that howls and whines at night—is to slowly move your puppy’s crate out of your room night after night. Each evening, move your puppy another foot or two away from your bed, until your puppy is eventually in a different room.

Your puppy won’t notice the gradual movement and it’s a great way to transition your puppy to being more independent!

Download the 8-Week-Old-Puppy Schedule By Hour

Doggy Dan’s 8-Week-Puppy Schedule

Now that we’ve covered everything that goes into my 8-week-old puppy schedule, I want to share with you an hour-by-hour outline you can use to structure your day!

Be sure to print off the outline and hang it somewhere you can see it in your home so you can use it as a daily reminder of how to structure your new puppy’s day!

8 Week Puppy Schedule By Hour

Note for John: Please add the hour by hour schedule here.

Simplifying the 8-Week-Old Puppy Schedule – The Puppy Coach Program

I just threw a lot of information at you regarding my 8-week-old puppy schedule. It’s possible it may all even seem a little overwhelming! That’s because there’s a lot that goes into responsibility bringing a new puppy into your home.

But, if you break it down into your puppy’s 4 main need categories (Potty, Eat, Exercise, Sleep) you can ensure your new puppy gets everything they need to thrive during their first few weeks in your home.

The harder piece of the puzzle is adapting your schedule as your puppy grows. After all, an 8-month-old puppy has vastly different needs than an 8-week-old puppy.

So then, what resource do you use once your puppy hits 4 months, 6 months, or 8 months old?

The best way to keep up with your puppy’s ever-changing needs…my comprehensive Puppy Coach training program.


The Puppy Coach training program is a step-by-step instruction manual that provides EVERYTHING you need to know about taking care of your puppy during his/her entire puppyhood.

It’s a roadmap that covers everything from lessons on basic obedience training to how to manage serious dog behavioral issues, and contains 70+ videos on how to set your puppy up for success as they age into adulthood.

And I can guarantee that it’s the only resource any new puppy parent needs because it contains 2 of my most powerful puppy training resources—my Project Moses Video Diary AND The Perfect Puppy Program.

So what’s your next step as a puppy parent? I encourage you to at least take a look at the program below…

Find out more about the Puppy Coach training program here!


I wish you the best with your new canine companion. Here’s to many years of happiness and good health!

~ Doggy Dan 😄

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Doggy Dan

Doggy Dan is the founder of The Online Dog Trainer, a wildly successful online training program for dog owners. His goal is to continue to share his unique approach to dog training with like-minded people who wish to make a difference in the world of dogs. His training methods focus on creating and building the connection between dogs and dog owners, and are shared and used around the world.

3 Responses

  1. I won’t get my puppy until 7/30 but I have started to prepare myself. I’ve learned so much just reading this but haven’t watched any videos yet. I will be saving this & constantly refer to it. I have had kittens & cats for 35 years so this will be quite the change for me.

    1. I’m really glad you found my Blog helpful Maria! Wishing you and your puppy a wonderful life together! Doggy Dan

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