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Hi guys,

First time dog owner here. I got an 8wk Airedale pup on Saturday, and it's been quite a few days of adjustment for both of us. Dales probably aren't the easiest dogs for first time owners, but I am a terrier guy. I've got a friend with a Wheaten, and I just love their goofy clownish nature, even though they are little scoundrels for sure.

He seems to be fairly comfortable with his crate, he usually whines for 5 - 10 minutes but then settles down for a nap. He whines less at night when I put him back in after taking him out. He is somewhat hesitant to go in on his own; he thinks he's super slick by keeping his back legs out when I toss a treat in there. I am being very consistent in not reacting at all to his whines. I do not even look at him. If he's being quiet in there I occasionally will come by and hook my boy up with half a treat.

No accidents yet in the house, but I'm also not really giving him the chance to. Whenever he wakes up from his nap, I either carry him (it's kind of far) or let him walk (if a short nap) outside to go. He almost always goes right away, and then once again I hook my boy up with a treat and say "good potty". Then it's back inside for 20 mins or so of interactive play before I take him out once more just in case, and then back into the crate.

It's only been two nights with him, but he's been pretty good about sleeping. The first night he woke me up 4 times, but last night only twice.

Sorry for the long intro, here are my concerns:

1.) He doesn't eat very much. I'm using the diet recommended by the breeder (K9 Kraving raw alternated with Orijen puppy food). On the first day he ate almost the whole patty of raw, but since then he has only picked a little bit at the food. I always take it away after about 20 minutes of offering it to him. Should I just chalk this up to nerves on his part?

2.) Is 20 minutes of play enough? I work from home, so I'm here all day. A schedule is evolving, and it looks something like this:
7:00 - Wake puppy and bring him out immediately. Feed, then back out. Short play session (20 mins) and then back into the crate
9:00/9:30 - Depends on when Mr. Pup wakes up. Bring him out, back in for a short play session. Then back into the crate for another nap.
12:00 - Lunchtime, out, back into crate
3:00 - Depends on when Mr pup wakes up. Bring him out, back in for a short play session, then back to the create.
5:00 - Dinner! Out, back into crate.
7:00/8:00 - Depends when pup wakes up. Out, then an extended playtime. I try to take him out every 20 minutes or so during this playtime, just in case. My fiancee is home by now, so this is a good time for both of us to just hang out and play with him.
9:00 - Last feeding. I take the water away at this time. Out, then it's his bedtime.
10:45/11:00 - Our bedtime, so I wake him and take him out real quick to maximize our sleep potential.

Does this sound like a reasonable schedule to you guys?

Thanks!
-Nick
 

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It sounds reasonable to me except why put the pup into the crate for naps? I’m not saying it’s wrong, just asking. I typically used the crate for meals/night sleeping/when I couldn’t watch him and let him nap on a dog bed (as long as I could see him).
 

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I prefer to crate him if I can't watch him 110%. He is very sneaky and quiet, and I'm sure he will get into something or have an accident if I just let him sleep on a dog bed in the open. Plus, I need to focus on some work throughout the day, and it's hard to do that keeping one eye turned towards the pupper all the time.
 

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Personally I wouldn't feed 4 meals a day (though I'm not sure if that's recommended for the breed). I feed my 8 week old lab pup at 7am, noon, and 5pm. Water is up by 8pm and bedtime is around 10pm. Also, if you do want to keep your pup out during the day while you don't have to focus 100% on work I use a dragline/leash. That way you can feel them get up.

Lastly, remember that the pup will be awake more by next week, so this schedule is a good start, but it will constantly be changing as they grow. Hope that helps some!
 
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