9 Week Old Puppy: Schedules And What To Expect

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9 week old puppy

Watching a puppy grow is one of the greatest pleasures for dog owners, and a 9 week old puppy is no exception. They are at that wonderful age where they are still clumsy and puppy-like, yet starting to develop their own unique personality.

For new owners, it can be an awkward age because they are starting to change their behaviors. Your nine-week-old puppy is developing new sleeping patterns and needs a different feeding routine.

At this age, they want to explore and often get themselves into trouble.

It all sounds daunting, doesn’t it!

But, don’t worry because we are here to help. In this article, we give you a useful guide to life with a 9 week old puppy. We’ll show you what to expect from your puppy at this age, and you can also check out our funny 9 week old Labrador puppy video.

You’ll also find a 9 week old puppy schedule and lots of great tips for your 9 week old Lab.

With this info, instead of worrying about what to do, you will see nine weeks as the next stage of your beautiful life journey as your little pup develops and grows.

Young Puppy Questions and Answers

9 week old puppy

At nine weeks old, most Labrador puppies are just settling in to their new homes. If you have a 9 week old pup, you’ve probably had her home for a week or so. If she had any initial reserve, this will have worn off and she will be getting into all sorts of trouble.

She’s so small and clumsy, yet curious and keen to play with her new family. Some owners are terrified that they will do the wrong thing and fail to give puppy everything she needs.

At this stage, it’s normal for your mind to be full of questions. Don’t worry, as all will become clear.

At this point, new owners often have lots of questions, so we’ll take a look at them one by one. Why don’t we start with sleeping patterns, especially because their puppy seems to do nothing but sleep all day!

How Much Should a 9 Week Old Puppy Sleep?

Some people worry that their puppy is not sleeping enough or, conversely, that she is sleeping too much! It can be quite a worry if she sleeps all day – is she ill? Do I need to take her to the vet?

Most puppies sleep a lot at this age, and eighteen to twenty hours a day is not unusual for a nine-week-old Lab. Being a puppy is a very tiring business, with plenty of things to do and people to see!

Generally, you don’t need to shut puppies away for their nap. Normally, they’ll drop off to sleep quite happily in a basket or crate while family life goes on all around them.

Helping Puppies Sleep

There are situations however, where you may need to help your puppy sleep.

If you have young children for example, or another young dog, you may have to step in from time to time to make sure your puppy can nap when she needs to. Kids and other puppies still want to play, even when your puppy can barely keep her eyes open.

She’ll welcome a bit of peace and quiet while she takes a well deserved nap after a hard day’s play!

At nine weeks old, puppies often start settling into a sleeping routine, so it is good to get them into the habit of sleeping through the night.

Puppies aren’t quite so adorable when they wake you up in the middle of the night because they want to play or need the toilet!

Don‘t worry, because we have a few useful tips that will help puppy (and you!) sleep through the night.

When Will My Puppy Sleep Through The Night?

Sleep is very precious and however adorable your little chap is, you probably don’t want to play with him at 3am.

Some puppies are starting to sleep through the night at 9 weeks, at least from midnight to around 6am, which I do appreciate is still night time to some of you!

However, some pups are not quite there yet.

Hang on in there, unbroken sleep will come, but you just have to be a little patient with your puppy.

At 9 weeks old, he will probably start sleeping through the night in the next few days.

You can help by keeping night time trips to the garden very brief and very businesslike. There should be no playing, no chatting, and keep the lights dimmed. Otherwise, your puppy will soon think it is great fun to wake you up because you are rewarding him.

If you have any problems, we have some useful advice here.

Otherwise, encouraging your little one to sleep soundly at night is all about establishing a daily routine. Once he gets the hang of it, everything will fall into place. Why don’t we start with meal times and create a 9 week old puppy schedule?

9 Week Old Puppy Schedule

Here’s a typical 9 week old puppy meal schedule that we use for our own Labs

  • 6 am: Wake up, outdoors for a pee
  • 7 am: Breakfast
  • 11 am: Lunch
  • 3 pm: Tea
  • 7 pm: Supper – last meal of the day
  • 10pm: Take water up
  • Midnight: Last pee and into the crate

Remember, some pups won’t quite manage six hours yet, so you might be better off going to bed a bit earlier and getting up at 2 or 3 am. That sounds difficult, but it’s not too bad once you get into the routine, and it shouldn’t be for too long once she grows up a bit.

Anyone with small children knows this all too well!

9 week old puppy LabradorNotice that we don’t feed our puppies as soon as we get up, because this may encourage earlier and earlier waking! Trust us – it’s a bad habit to get into.

We have some more information about avoiding early feeding times if you want to find out a bit more.

Also, notice that the last meal of the day is several hours before bedtime because it gives plenty of time for her food to go down and make sure she poops long before bedtime.

If you prefer to go to bed later and get up later or to go to bed earlier and get up during the night, that’s fine too. The principles are the same and its just a matter of setting a 9 week old puppy schedule that works for you and your puppy.

Puppy Crates and Feeding

A little crate time can give you a break from supervising your puddle maker while you are busy, but keep crate times short at this age because they only have small bladders and need to pee frequently. You’ll find a guide to crating times in our crate training article.

Next, why don’t we look at growth and development? How much should your 9 week old puppy weigh when she is growing normally? Most of us would simply put our puppy on the weighing scales and look at a chart.

However, as we will see, that’s not always the best way!

How Much Should My 9 Week Old Puppy Weigh?

Although it is very easy to find charts letting you know how much your puppy should weigh, they are not always accurate, especially if you have a mixed breed pup that doesn’t fit any category.

Even dogs within the same breed grow and develop at different rates, so while charts can give a rough guide, don’t rely on them.

Your best guide to whether or not your 9 week puppy is growing properly is to look at how he behaves and feels, rather than what the scales say.

As a rough guide, many 9 week old Lab puppies will weigh between 18-20lbs (8 – 9kg) or a couple of pounds either side of this. A few pounds either way should make little difference unless they look too plump or you can see their ribs.

Check out our puppy growth FAQ for more information

Puppy weights may also vary quite considerably between the two different types of Labrador (field and show) and even between individuals from the same litter. Try not to worry too much, but if you think that there may be a problem, get in touch with your vet.

Another problem many puppy owners ask is how to potty train their nine-week-old pups.

Potty Training A 9 Week Old Puppy

Nine weeks is often the point at which people start to worry about potty training progress, or rather, the lack of it. Surely, your puppy should be getting used to peeing in the right place by now.

Perhaps you are taking your Labrador puppy outside after every meal and every time he wakes up, but he is still making puddles all over the house. So, what is going on?

Nine week old pups have very poor bladder control and short memories. 9 week labrador faqHe is still very much a baby and will need your help in this department for some time to come.

You role is to restrict his access to areas where mistakes are most likely to happen with baby gates or some other kind of temporary barrier.

You will also need to take him outside before his bladder is over flowing, which might be every twenty minutes at certain times of the day. Overall, try to ensure that every wee goes in the right place.

Check out our complete guide to potty training for more information. It might give you a few useful pointers for how to avoid accidents.

For those of you who have to work, how can you find the time to potty train your puppy? Luckily, we have an article that might just help you! How To Raise A Puppy When You Work

One other question we get, especially from new owners, is about puppy biting. A 9 week puppy can have a painful bite, so why do they do it and how can you stop them?

9 Week Old Puppy Biting

Another common question at this age is about puppy aggression. This is such a common concern and often arises for the first time at about nine weeks.

The puppy is settled in his new home, his shyness has worn off, his confidence is back, and he is ready for some fun.

Concerns arise simply because most people do not realise just how ferocious Labrador puppies seem when they play.

Puppies bite hard and make a lot of noise. It can be a little frightening, especially for small children, but it’s usually quite normal.

Check out this article on puppy aggression to reassure yourself that you have not bought a vicious wild animal into your home.

Then, head over to our article: How To Stop Your Puppy Biting

One further question is how much you should feed your puppy. Just like asking how much your puppy should weigh, there is no clear answer for this question. You will have to trust your judgment and experience.

How Much to Feed a 9 Week Old Puppy

Many puppies, especially Lab puppies, are very greedy and wolf down every morsel you provide for them.

Puppies like this will eat far more than they need and quickly become obese if you let them decide on quantities.

However, it can be quite difficult to know how much to feed a 9 week old puppy, especially with all the different brands and types of food.

Each 9 week puppy will need feeding according to his or her size and, as we’ve seen, sizes can vary widely even in the same breed.

You also need to bear in mind that every brand of puppy food is different. Some brands have more fillers and you’ll need to feed larger quantities in order to keep your puppy well nourished.

A Quick Feeding Guide

So, it’s important to start by following the instructions on the packet.

You can then add a little more to each meal if the puppy is not gaining weight steadily, or reduce the meals a tiny bit if he is getting too plump. Gradually, you’ll get the hang of it!

You’ll find our complete guide to feeding a Labrador puppy helpful over the next few weeks. The University of Missouri also has a useful guide for all dogs, including small puppies.

Feeding Picky Puppies

Some puppies are quite picky and won’t always finish a meal, but that’s fine. However, if your puppy normally eats heartily and suddenly goes off his food, all food, then he may be unwell.

Have a chat with your vet if you are concerned, especially if your puppy misses more than one meal.

On the other hand, if he is quite happy to eat an alternative menu, the chances are he is simply exercising his right to an opinion.

You can ignore this and simply take his bowl away. Later, you can offer the same meal  when the puppy is more hungry.

Just as a sidenote, if you are interested in feeding your puppy on a more natural diet, you may enjoy our guide to raw feeding: Raw feeding for dogs

At nine weeks old, you can actually start training your puppy. While it will be slow going at first, they will get better with time and habits you teach them now will stay with them into adulthood.

9 Week Old Puppy Training

It’s never too soon to start training your puppy provided that the training is age appropriate.

And, provided that you use modern methods, training is great fun for dogs of all ages.

You’ll find free guides to teaching all the basic puppy commands such as ‘here’ and ‘sit’, in our training section, and you’ll find some great tips to get you started with recall in the video below

Training Puppies To Walk

Puppies this age often object to wearing a collar and lead, so you need to be patient. They’ll try everything they can to take them off.

Fortunately this is not a problem at all, because a nine week old puppy does not need a walk. In fact, he won’t need a walk in any formal sense for several months. What he needs is space to trot about and play, and your yard or garden is probably suitable for this.

In addition, you can’t yet put your puppy down on the ground outside your home, because he is not fully immunized. As a result, you have all the time in the world to introduce your puppy to his collar and lead.

Let him wear a collar for a short while each day. Clip the lead on from time to time and let it trail. Don’t forget to distract him with food and cuddles.

Occasionally pick up the end and encourage him to follow you. Make it ‘no big deal’ and he will too. That, and a lot of patience, are all part of 9 week old puppy training!

You might also want to consider getting your puppy a body harness, because he’ll need one in any case once training starts in earnest.

In addition, it’s a good idea to have your puppy wear a harness once he starts being socialized from ground level. Check out our guide to when a puppy can go outside for more useful info.

Socializing Your 9 Week Old Puppy

We have known for several decades that puppies need to be exposed to different types of experiences before they are three months old, in order to become confident and fearless.

Yet, far too many puppies are kept at home, away from the world in those important first few weeks. Don’t let that happen to your puppy.

Socialization is all about raising a friendly confident dog, and proper socialization helps to avoid problems like fearfulness and aggression. If it hasn’t started already, that process needs to start right now, at 9 weeks old.

That means taking your puppy to lots of different places, and carrying them in your arms or in a carrier to avoid contact with potential sources of infection.

Enrolling your puppy in a well-supervised, modern force free training class can be a great way of building social confidence too.

Studies have shown that puppies enrolled in classes before 20 weeks of age are less likely to be fearful than puppies kept at home. Bear in mind that you can’t do this until she has been immunized.

What about bathing? Can I bathe my 9 week old pup?

Can I Bathe My 9 Week Old Puppy?

Most puppies don’t need to be bathed unless they roll in something unpleasant or get themselves covered in food.

But, Labradors being Labradors, there is bound to come a point when you have a sticky or messy pup on your hands!

Fortunately, it’s fine to give a 9 week old puppy a bath occasionally. Just use a gentle shampoo designed for puppies, and try to make the process fun for your little one.

You might find the kitchen sink or a large plastic bowl is a lot less scary than the great big family bathtub.

9 week old lab
Caring for your 9 week old puppy – A guide to looking after your puppy from The Labrador Site.

Week Old Puppy Summary

In this article, updated in June 2019, we have shared some of our experiences with 9 week old dogs. This age can be scary for new owners as the bundle of joy starts to explore the world around her.

As you can see, there isn’t anything too difficult, and setting a routine and a puppy feeding schedule can bring order to her life and help her settle down. At this age, with a bit of patience, you can start training your new family member and begin socializing her.

Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun because this stage passes all too quickly. Soon, she will be too big to sit on your lap and carry around in your arms!

The Labrador Handbook by Pippa Mattinson

Perhaps you have some tips and stories to share about your 9 week old puppy. Why don’t you share it in the comments and join in with our lively, growing community?

More Information On Puppies

The Happy Puppy HandbookCheck out our Labrador Puppies section for more help and advice on surviving the early days of puppyhood.

For a complete guide to raising a healthy and happy puppy don’t miss The Happy Puppy Handbook.

The Happy Puppy Handbook covers every aspect of life with a small puppy.

The book will help you prepare your home for the new arrival, and get your puppy off to a great start with potty training, socialisation and early obedience.

The Happy Puppy Handbook is available worldwide.

References and further reading

Cutler et al 2017 Puppy socialization practices of a sample of dog owners from across Canada and the United States. Journal American Veterinary Medical Association

Scott J & Marston M 1950 Critical Periods Affecting the Development of Normal and Mal-Adjustive Social Behavior of Puppies. The Pedagogical Seminary and Journal of Genetic Psychology

Duxbury M et al, 2003. Evaluation of association between retention in the home and attendance at puppy socialization classes. Journal American Veterinary Medical Association

Covert, S.J. 1993. Feeding the Dog. University of Missouri.

Fiszdon, K. and Kowalczyk, I. 2009. Litter size, puppy weight at birth and growth rates in different breeds of dogs

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Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of several books on dogs. She is the founder of the Labrador Site and a regular contributor. She is passionate about helping people enjoy their Labradors and lives in Hampshire with her husband and four dogs.

37 COMMENTS

  1. just got my puppy when he was 8 1/2 week old. Trying to house train him, its a slow process! he does not like to be left on his own, usually cries and pees himself. how can I stop this. A friend is lending me a crate and I have ordered a dog pen to try getting him used to his own space. he cried that much last night (3rd night) I let him sleep on my bed so everyone could get a night sleep!

  2. Hi everyone!

    I am a little concerned about my 9 week old lab! She does not weigh what she should (she only weighs 5kg), you cant see her ribs, and shes a very fussy eater. We feed her 3x a day on Arden Graange kibble. She eats a little and then is not interested. But she will eat a little more from the hand but it takes a long time.
    I have tried adding scrambled egg, water + gravy and she eats a little more by herself but then leaves it.
    I’m not sure what to do???? I don’t want to hand feed much linger because that could cause all sorts of issues.
    She does not get a lot of treats and if she does its her kibble for training.

  3. Hi all! I have a 10 week old chocolate lab pup that HATES being in his crate. Anytime he is in his crate he constantly barks/whines and poops in his crate on occasion. When we first got him we attempted to crate him at night, and we did so for over a week. Recently we’ve given in to crating him at night due to the constant whining and barking (when I say constant, I mean 6+ straight hours) any pointers to help with the anxiety he’s having while in his crate?

  4. Hallo! I have a 9 weeks puppy who weights now 8 kg. Is that too much? She never eat 4 times a day. The fourth meal she never wanted. How much food I should give her? I have been told to give her 350 g a day. Then I have another question which is not related to the eating habits. What should I do if my dog refuses to walk? Sometimes she just lying on the ground and she is not coming to me no matter what I do.

  5. Is this website still active? As I see no response from you to questions and concerns from people that have left messages to you in 2015??

    • Hi Beth

      If by active you mean do we look after the website, publish new articles, and update old ones, then yes – the website is very active indeed.

      We don’t answer every comment posted, though we would love to, simply because there are over a thousand pages on this site, and it isn’t physically possible for us to look at all the pages each day and answer all the new comments.

      We do our best though, but if you need help with your dog or puppy and your comment does not get a response, the best thing to do, is to join the forum where there is help, and support given freely, just as it is here.

      Do you have a problem with your 9 week old puppy?

  6. I HV bought 35 days old Labrador puppy he was very week at t time and very naughtorious and hungry but now Alex is 9 weeks old n his degestuve system I think is not good he is having jelly type loosepotty 1 a week n today he is not eating anything and his stomach is creating different noises and he is not happy also what do i do for him to grow healthy fit and happy
    Thnkq

  7. i have a 9 week old lab puppy i was curious how much i should be feeding him. I want to feed him twice a day how much should a serving be?

  8. Is it normal for my black lab to not really want to play much? Hes 8 1/2 weeks old and he just sleeps alot amd cuddles with me on the couch. He plays with my little ones very little.

  9. I got my pup when he was six weeks old. After a rough few first nights of crate training he is sleeping through the night! He has been sleeping through the night since the first week. DO NOT give in to the whining unless it lasts more than 30 min. He is going in the crate when I’m at work and at the gym as well. Sometimes when I open the door he just looks at me. He doesn’t want to come out. He loves it and is already spoiled rotten. He has been a dream!

  10. Will letting my puppy take less and shorter naps help him sleep better at night instead of wanting to play after every late night potty break or will it be bad for him to get less daytime sleep? He thinks he’s nocturnal right now, happy to sleep all day and wanting to play all night.

  11. I got my puppy when he was 8 weeks. He was taken away from his mother around 6 weeks to be weaned. So I’m guessing, my puppy never learned to play nicely or even “bite inhibition”. I’ve had him for three weeks and he’s quite mouthy. His main target is definitely our fingers and hand. I don’t know if he’s purposely being mean or so, but let’s just say his bites aren’t too nice. What can I do to stop him from biting? We’ve tried doing the yelping and loud screams to startle him and ignore him, but it doesn’t help.

    • Hi. I love all the comments. We are not alone with the puppy concerns. Our lil guy is 8 weeks and he’s getting pretty wild. Every day he gets a bit more wild and nips a little harder. It will get worse before better. I am on my second Lab. It does seem like a lot of work but will get better eventually. We are starting puppy classes to socialize him and to teach him how to walk with a leash. It’s a 4 week class and I rec doing it. Once you are around all the other pups you won’t feel alone. Lol.

    • Did your pup grow out of this? Cause I’m having the same problem with my 9 week old lab and the yelping and ignoring don’t seem to be making any difference..

  12. Trying to train my 9 weeks old pup to go to the toilet outside and not in the house or crate but she’s refusing in the cold weather.what should I do??

  13. We have a 9 week old puppy who is doing great with potty training and is starting to sleep better at night (about 6 hours). The issues we are having (which may be connected) are that she nips a lot, especially with my children (age 20 months-9 year, and there are 5 of them). Because of how active our kids are, Lucy (the 9 wk old black lab) is struggling to take naps. How often and for how long should she nap, and should they be in her crate or can we have her out on her blanket in the living room? I am wondering if her not getting enough sleep is making the nipping more of an issue than it should be.

    • Crates are ideal for puppy naps when there are small children about. It means the pup can sleep undisturbed. The nipping is normal and will probably get worse before it gets better. All puppies are different in how much they need to sleep, but cuddles with very small children need to be brief and supervised to keep everyone calm. You might find it helpful to join the forum for support from the other new puppy owners. 🙂

  14. Brendan you’re going to have to either have a dog walker come to take him out at lunch time, or consider doggie daycare. 10 hours a day is a very, very long time for a dog to be alone. I’d even be inclined to suggest you get a cat instead.

  15. The agreessivess and won’t walk on lead is true for our puppy. He was very gentle the first week we got him but is now wanting to everyone and everything. Thankfully, he likes his crate so leaving him in there with lots of chew toys gets a bit of the aggression out and he is ready to play normally. The lead – he hates it. The first week we had left him in the fenced backyard, so now not having a free rein to run around wasn’t to his liking. We have let it go for now. He starts puppy socialisation classes next week, we are hoping we will get some pointers there on how to walk him. Our problem is actually that he is underweight. Our vet thinks he is healthy. He likes his food, he eats it as much as he wants which is about half a cup 3 times a day, sometimes a bit less, sometimes a bit more. But he just weighs 3 kgs! I heard that the average for a 8-9 week lab puppy is somewhere between 10-17 lbs, he is just 6 lbs!

  16. I forgot to ask, how much water should I place with the Lab and Jack Russell while I’m at work? I can come home at lunch time each day which will be about 5 hours after I first get to work.
    Thanks again, it’s great to have you guys around to get answers from.

  17. I will be picking up my new lab at 6 weeks old and also a Jack Russell terrier at 7 months old to be companions this coming Sunday. I have been visiting with both dogs twice a week for some time now. They both have great dispositions. My questtion is this, I plan on putting them both tegether in the hallway of my house, (blocked off of course), while I’m at work. I know there will be messes when I get home, but when I get home, I will crate train and train them to go outside. Do you think they will both be ok? At 7 months old, will the Jack Russell have tendencies to harm the younger lab? Thanks very much.

  18. Hi I was wondering when can I put my 9 week old yellow lab in the water how old should they be when they are introduced to it? Also my lab usually gobbled down his entire bowl the first few days yet now he only eats half of his bowl or even a quarter, Should i be concerned?

    • Your puppy can swim naturally. The best time to introduce your puppy to water is in warm weather. Start with shallow water and let the puppy follow you in. Don’t make a big deal of it and he won’t either. 🙂

  19. Hi, We have had our black baby a week and are totally in love with her. We need to secure her when she outgrows the puppy pen, on the 2 days I work. We had thought of over head wire between two posts and a thing like they have on flying foxes, attached to a chain on her harness. But is this safe for labs? I don’t want her hurt. We thought of an enclosed pen, but what to do for a floor? We are in Australia and the cement might get hot.

    • Hi Anne-Marie, what you describe is a ‘running tether’ and is not suitable for dogs that are not under supervision, or for use over an extended period of time. It is sometimes used by trainers that have multiple young dogs out on a training session, simply to restrain those not under instruction.
      Please don’t do this to your puppy. The best way to keep a young dog safe whilst you are out of the house, is with a dog crate. This should be located indoors, not outside where temperature changes may be extreme. You will need to arrange for someone to let her out every two to three hours. The alternative is to build a proper outdoor kennel and run. In hot climates, the sleeping compartment must be suitably insulated so that the dog can keep cool, and the run must be shaded.

  20. How much training should I be concerned with at 8/9 weeks? Crate and toilet training are obviously the priority but what is best advice for when to start obedience training?

  21. Hi! We are just over a week of having a new Christmas lab puppy – he’s right at 9 weeks. He’s adjusting very well and your web site has been very helpful. Question – he’s eating rocks. And leaves. And sticks. And grass. And weeds. How can I let him romp around my backyard if he’s ingesting non-food items? How do I get him to stop?

    Thanks!

  22. We just got a female puppy which is 9 wks old now. We also have an almost 5 year old female lab. What information is there about incorporating a puppy into a home with an older established lab. I know they will assume their individual roles but I don’t want the puppy to dominate my older dog. We’ve had her since she was a puppy also.

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