I got my little guy a few days ago. I've been reading some blog post on here that have really made me feel better because this is my 1st time being a puppy owner solely. To the founder(s)/contributors of this website THANK YOU! I wanted to double check a few things with posters on here with more experience.

Here is my routine with Tucker so far:
6am - Wakes up in his crate; I greet him in the morning and then take him outside. I use the command words "Go Potty" and he goes poop and pee. This can take up to 5min or 15min depending.
6:30-7:00am - I put his food and water out for him to eat. I feed him in my kitchen that I have blocked off from the rest of the apartment. I wait for about 30min to 45min to let him digest his food and just hang out in the kitchen. There are a few toys in the kitchen also. Food and water are put away until lunch time
8am - I take him outside to potty using treats as positive reinforcements.
8:30am - I leave him in the kitchen/play area while I study/work
10:30-11:30 - if he is napping I let him nap if not I let him leave the kitchen to come out into the living room to play tug-o-war or fetch. After play potty again
12-1pm - Lunch time
2pm- Potty
2:30pm-6pm - He's back in the kitchen/play area...sometimes I'll let him between these hours for 30min to play (he tires out after 10 to 15min sometime)
6:30 - Dinner
7:30 - potty
10pm or 11pm - bed is around 10 or 11pm, but I put up his water 2 hours before bed so usually 8pm no more water.
Bedtime he cries in his crate for about 15 min then passes out. He wakes around 2am and 4am to potty which I don't mind yet :P. He falls back to sleep once I place back in the crate luckily.
Sometimes I feel like a complete jerk because I can't entertain him 24/7;he lays down on the kitchen floor with the puppy eyes. If I;m missing something out of this routine let me know :)

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Comment by Pamela on September 15, 2012 at 10:44pm

Trucker looks so cute  with one ear down and one up ! I appreciate your routine so much that it helps. I will print out and give to Mordy my son as he is the one to take care of Thor. I will help when I can as I work . Im a worry wart mom and Mordy , 19 years old, keeps telling me to not to worry so much etc. The routine helps me understand what to expect. I expect with Thor it might be different.  I cant wait til in Oct to pick up Thor. I found out that its best to wait before neuter like almost a year, or when male dog lifts to pee. That means I pay more for license.  Still learning   : )

Comment by Jennifer on July 9, 2012 at 12:41am

I've read that puppies can usually "hold it" one hour for each month of age.  If Tucker is making it from 10 or 11 pm to 2 in the morning already, I'd be by the time you need him to, and you crate him, he'll be able to make that 4-5 hours just fine, as long as getting him outside is the first thing you do when you get home. 

I have a 3 month old border collie pup that can go from 11pm to 6am just fine in his crate.  I've been crating him since he came home at 8 weeks.  He's also learned, already, to "kennel up" and go into his crate and wait for his treat.  Eventually, the treat will go away and I hope to be able to "kennel up" when it's time for bed. 

If it were me, and I were concerned, the last month before you have to leave for that long, start working on having him crated that long, even if you're around, so that you'll know if he can do it.  I'd bet he can and will do just fine.

Comment by Sebastian on July 8, 2012 at 10:44pm

Ok thanks Ludi :)

Comment by Ludi on July 8, 2012 at 8:14pm

Don't wait until he is 16 weeks old to THOROUGHLY socialize him. That's actually when the window more or less closes for good! I got Ace at 16 weeks, and every day I pay the price for his growing up on a farm, largely away from people, before that. I do not want to scare you; but it is definitely possible to socialize your pup before he's completely vaccinated. Mostly, you want to avoid setting him down on pathways and grass where dogs have defecated or peed. If you have ANY dogs of friends or acquaintances that are vaccinated, get him socializing with them ASAP. But most importantly, bring in tons of people. By his third month, you want him to have met 100 unique people.

A great way for him to get used to folks is to go to a shopping mall entrance, or any area with a lot of foot traffic, and ask strangers if they'd like to give him a treat. Try to make him seem as cute as possible - but you won't need help for that! :) Bring people over to your apartment/house all the time. Have them wear funny hats, or large pieces of clothing. No one should directly approach your pup for petting, but you should encourage Tuck to go and sniff, then accept slow pets.

As for using an ex-pen - it's a great idea! I would suggest it over a crate simply for the increased space to play.

Anyway, if you want to read up more on this subject to help Tuck become the greatest dog he can be, give this link a read: http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/puppys-first-month-home-8-12-w.... There are so many VITAL things that occur in this time frame in a dog's life. If he is properly people and animal-socialized by the time that window closes, he is going to be a very well adjusted dog for the rest of his life. He'll also have learned so many key behaviors that will make future training a breeze. :)

Best of luck!

Comment by Sebastian on July 8, 2012 at 7:48pm

'm so happy you asked!!! Accidents happened on the first day about 4 or 5 of them. I would just say "No" in a stern voice whilst scooping him up and out the door. This has worked really well. There has been only 1 accident in 3 days otherwise it been controlled. Also I learned to stop hesitating to "see" if he's going to actually potty on the carpet; I now just assume. 

Socialization is iffy since I have only had him since July 5th. He met the neighbors across the hall and loved them, but got scared of the Hulk-Hogan Guy from upstairs when he came down. When he gets his 16 week shots I'm going to socialize him more with my mom's dogs and have a few friends over to get him better acquainted with people.

Here is an inquiry. I start school in about 2 months and there are going to be times when he may need to be alone for 4 or 5 hrs 2days a week. I'm potty training him now for outside, but he may need to learn how to utilize a pee pad 2 days a week when I'm at school. I was wondering if I should buy one of those big metal play pens? I could use it to section off a part of the living room; I could place his toys and pee pad in it or should I just crate him the whole time?

Comment by Ludi on July 8, 2012 at 7:31pm

It looks like you are doing an awesome job! Dogs are creatures of routine, and it can be comforting to have one established from so young. Don't mind that you aren't available to play 24/7. At this young and tender age, puppies have a lot of growing to do. They are sleeping, a LOT!

Is there any question you had aside from that? No accidents? How is his socialization going?

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