How long do you have to watch a puppy for? Tips and Tricks

Your life will consist of non-stop supervising.

New puppies need a ton of supervision during the first few months, which means that first-time puppy owners must be on duty 24-7 until your puppy understands where to potty and what to chew (and not to chew). This can be incredibly taxing, particularly if you have young children who also need supervision in order to get through the day.

How to handle it: You can ease the stress of the transition by getting cooperation from everyone in the household and assigning responsibilities like walks and play time to various family members to get them actively involved in the puppy’s care from the very beginning. If you need help watching your puppy, consider doggie daycare or bringing a qualified pet sitter into your home, so you can have a break.

How Much Time Do You Need for a Puppy?

Plan to spend at least 2-3 hours on average engaging with your puppy in training and play throughout the day. When getting a puppy, you should consider the impact they will have on you over the next 10-15 years, and whether they will fit into your lifestyle.

There are breeds that require less attention than others, however individual personality is also a factor. Your training goals and their energy level will also factor into their attention requirements.

It’s vital to spend the adequate time your puppy needs in order to avoid behavioral issues, such as separation anxiety, which can make dog ownership much harder.

You’ll need to dedicate time to the following activities, at a minimum:

  • Socialization
  • Potty training
  • Teaching basic manners/obedience
  • Play time and enrichment
  • Walks and potty breaks
  • Vet visits and medical care
  • How much time each of these categories takes up during your day depends very heavily on your individual puppy.

    Puppies that have been raised by a breeder or foster parent who starts potty training at 3-4 weeks-old will help. Potty training a puppy from a mill rescue that has had to use the bathroom in their kennel their whole life will take more attention.

    Puppies that come from a place that ensured they were healthy before going home will require less veterinary time and attention than a puppy that comes to you with parvovirus, parasitic worms, or another preventable condition.

    Breeds (and mixes of breeds) that are considered low energy companion dogs will have much lower playtime and enrichment requirements than a working dog, such as a Malinois or Border Collie.

    These are just some of the many reasons it’s important to pay attention to where your puppy comes from, in order to set you and your puppy up for success. It’s better to wait a little longer for the right puppy than to end up with one that doesn’t fit your lifestyle, and will make you miserable for the next decade.

    How much attention does a 3-month-old puppy need?

    At 3-months-old, your puppy will still be in their socialization period, and will be continuing to learn good potty training habits. Until your puppy is 4-months-old, your focus should be on good socialization, potty training, and household manners. All of which require considerable attention.

    You have plenty of time to work on teaching tricks and obedience later. Right now, you’ll need to spend time creating a well-rounded dog and ensuring you don’t let bad habits develop.

    For socialization, you’ll want to spend time every day exposing your puppy to something new, while making sure they aren’t overwhelmed or scared.

    Good socialization activities should leave your puppy happy and content with the experience, instead of scaring your puppy or making them uncomfortable.

    When I raise puppies, I often spend at least 2-4 hours a day just focusing on new socialization opportunities.

    This includes things like:

  • Walking in a new place, such as through a secluded, wooded trail on dirt instead of on a sidewalk in a bustling town
  • Playing sounds to get my puppy used to thunderstorms, a falling pot or pan, fireworks, sirens, and more
  • Providing opportunities for enrichment and exploration through new puzzle toys and games
  • Dressing up in a variety of outfits, so that my puppy born in the summer doesn’t panic when people wear snowsuits, hats, and scarves in the harsh Midwest winters
  • Visiting friend’s dogs, or a puppy socialization class, to meet a variety of dogs and playmates
  • Experiencing an elevator, vehicles, hair dryers, grooming procedures, and any other activity they may experience in their life
  • Socialization is much more than just attending a puppy class. You should expose your puppy to all the things they might encounter in their life!

    While puppies won’t have full bladder control until 4-6 months old, you should still be seeing very few accidents by 3-months-old if you’ve been setting your puppy up for success. If not, it’s time to reach out to both the veterinarian and a trainer to make a plan moving forward.

    Potty training and socialization can be spread throughout the day, but you should expect a 3 month old puppy to be taking up most of your time outside of work.

    There’s plenty to be done at this age!

    It’s also vital that your pup has things to do when you can’t give them your attention. A good range of toys is vital for this reason, and make sure you change them up regularly. We recommend Bark Box for this, as your pup will get a new box of toys every month, and it makes for a fun experience for all!

    You might also like to read our post, Why Is My Puppy So Naughty? (Explained)

    How Long Is It Safe To Walk Your Puppy?

    Bringing a new puppy into your home will change your life forever. Puppies are definitely a lot of work, but they also bring plenty of joy to your world. Whether you are ​getting your first puppy or just need a refresher course, heres what youll need to know to get your puppy on the right track to adulthood. 1:34