Creating a daily routine for your pup will make them more disciplined and teach them how to be a well-behaved member of the family. It’s essential that you give each part of the day its own purpose and include space for playtime, relaxation, and training sessions. From which dog supplies you’ll need to the behaviors you’re trying to encourage, every little bit matters during this process. If you want to know why a solid routine is beneficial, we’ve got the answers for you.
Tips for Creating a Great Puppy Routine
Before we dive into the benefits, we wanted to cover some quick tips regarding how you can make a puppy routine successfully happen.
- Be Consistent – First, you have to be consistent with your training and how you spend each day. You can’t wake up one morning and decide that it’s time your pup sleeps in their bed instead of with you when that’s never been the arrangement before and expect them to conform immediately, only to change back a week later. Keep things simple, repeat day after day, and remember why you are creating the routine in the first place.
- Don’t Forget Your Puppy’s Needs – Your puppy has physical, mental, and emotional needs that all require effort from you. For example, your puppy needs to be fed on a schedule, just like you do, so try to plan around that. Also, think about how much exercise they need throughout the day and what playtime should look like before it gets too late.
Throughout their life, they will also likely require some help with their personal grooming. How often you should wash your dog will vary a little by breed and age, but a wipe of paws and mouth here and there can go a long way. These are the sorts of things to consider and build into a routine that goes beyond your day-to-day life and spans weeks or months.
- Use the Right Training Techniques – When it comes to training, don’t forget why you are doing this in the first place. A daily routine should be done with discipline and consist of commands that your puppy needs to learn for their safety and yours. In addition, we recommend using positive reinforcement, as aversive-based training methods have been researched and shown to negatively affect the psychological welfare of companion dogs.
- Don’t Forget to Relax – Most people are so busy being stressed about how much work needs to get done to create the perfect model citizen of a dog. If you want to relax and enjoy more time with your puppy while maintaining consistent routines, think about ways to give them the attention they deserve that adds meaningfully to their quality of life. You can play with them or snuggle up on the couch to watch your favorite show. Whatever it is, not everything has to be intense and conform rigidly to a schedule.
Eleven Benefits of a Daily Routine for Your Puppy
1) Provides Structure
Structure is key. For example, the day can start with a walk or playtime before breakfast. This routine teaches pups to expect exercise, attention, and meals in certain stages, and it signals when one is finished and it is now time to transition to another.
2) Gives You More Time
With a predefined schedule, you’ll know what your puppy needs and when so you can best schedule it or ask for help when necessary. Just think about how much time you could save by knowing exactly when the next feeding, training session, or playtime will be.
3) Teaches Discipline
Puppies will learn that there is no food available at certain times or without certain behaviors — for example, after a walk and when they sit and wait for it to be served. This simple act of routine and patience can put them on the track to become well-behaved household members in the future.
4) Promotes Good Behavior
Puppies will learn to take cues from you when it is time to play, go for a walk, or even wind down for sleep. This can make living together a lot more fun for everyone in the household, human and dog alike.
5) Keeps Your Dog Healthy
Puppies are still developing and growing. Routines give them what they need when they need it. That could be food, exercise, mental stimulation, and sometimes all three at the same time. This helps them grow appropriately to their full potential and develop a robust immune system.
6) Provides a Chance to Relax
Not having a schedule can cause your pup to turn into a very bouncy ball of fur with an endless list of demands for attention. Suppose you want some quiet time for yourself. In that case, creating a routine is the most efficient way to ensure that they use their energy when appropriate and know when it’s time to relax.
7) Gives You a Chance to Play
Creating a routine that includes playtime with family members will give your puppy the companionship it needs and the opportunity to expend some of that exuberant energy. It’s also lots of fun for us humans to interact and bond with our new dogs this way. Just be sure to always appropriately supervise kids whenever they’re involved and to be sure to teach your children the appropriate behaviors with the same rigorousness as you are your pup.
8) Gives Self-Management a Chance
If you’re always available to your pup, then they might be less likely to control themselves in the future when you aren’t around. Without a schedule, it’s very easy for them to become destructive or play with things they shouldn’t. Creating an effective routine makes this problem a thing of the past.
9) Promotes Great Habits
No dog will learn what is expected of them by doing it just once. It takes time and patience to create good habits and know what is expected of them at various times and in different situations. Consistent routines make this possible through repetition.
10) Gives You Peace of Mind
If your pup knows what to expect every day, then you can rest easy that they’ll be less likely to misbehave during certain times. For example, suppose they consistently get a walk each night before you yourself go to bed. In that case, they’ll likely learn this cue and be more prepared for sleeping the night through without a fuss as they’ve expended excess energy and know what’s coming.
11) Saves Money
Yes, routines save money! Being consistent and deliberate in your routine creates a happier and more content puppy that will grow into a well-mannered adult dog. They’ll be less destructive, have fewer accidents, and will generally be better household members. This means no replacing shoes or carpets. The time you invest in creating and sticking to a good routine will pay dividends in the long run.
Slowly But Surely
Remember that no puppy will learn everything expected of them overnight. Changes in their behavior or habits may happen slowly or gradually. This is why it’s important to maintain patience and create flexibility within your schedule. Your puppy is relying on you to provide not just food and water but also love and guidance. A solid routine is a part of showing them this love.