9 Week Old Puppy: Tips, Video, Schedules & What To Expect

9 week old puppy

Your puppy is probably biting your fingers, chewing the furniture and leaving the occasional puddle on the floor. Not to mention making a seriously impressive noise every time you leave the room. Living with a 9 week old puppy can be great fun, but it can also be a bit overwhelming!

In this puppy guide I’ll answer your questions about puppy sleep, feeding and potty training. I’ll also share my tried and tested puppy schedule, lots of great tips to help you care for your puppy, and an adorable Labrador puppy video. And I’ll give you tips for getting started with basic commands, house manners and keeping your baby dog safe.


At nine weeks old, you’ve probably had your little puppy for a week or so now. And their initial reserve, if they had any, will have worn off. This a point at which new owners often have a lot of questions. We’ll take a look at them one by one.

How much should a 9 week old puppy sleep?

Some people worry that their puppy is not sleeping enough – or that he is sleeping too much! Most puppies are still sleeping a lot at this age. Eighteen to twenty hours a day is not unusual. Puppies don’t normally need to be shut away to have a nap, they’ll drop off to sleep quite happily in a basket or crate while family life goes on all around them.

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 he needs to.

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, it will come. Probably in the next few days. You can help by keeping night time trips to the garden very brief, and very businesslike. No playing, no chatting, keep the lights dimmed. Out, wee, back to bed.

9 week old puppy schedule

Feeding a 9 week old puppy should take place four times a day, but it’s also a good idea to use some of each of those daily meals in their training as treats. Divide out the four bowls at the start of the day, and when training take a handful of kibble from the next meal to use as treats. Here’s a typical 9 week old puppy routine, 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. Notice that we don’t feed puppies as soon as we get up, as may encourage earlier and earlier waking! Also the last meal of the day is several hours before bed time. 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.

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 – you’ll find a guide to crating times in our crate training article.

How much should my 9 week old puppy weigh?

Your best guide to whether or not your puppy is growing properly is 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 or a couple of pounds either side of this.

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.

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, lack of it. 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.

He is still very much a baby and will need your help in this department for some time to come. Your role is to restrict his access to areas where mistakes are most likely to happen, through the use of 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) and to generally ensure that every wee goes in the right place. Check out our complete guide to potty training for more information.

You might also find this guide helpful: How To Raise A Puppy When You Work

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 and this is 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.

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. Each 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. So it’s important that you 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. You’ll find our complete guide to feeding a Labrador puppy helpful over the next few weeks.

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

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, which are 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:

Puppies this age often object to wearing a collar and lead, so you need to be patient. 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. So, you have all the time in the world, in which 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.

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. You might also want to consider getting your puppy a body harness, he’ll need one in any case once training starts in earnest. And it’s a good idea to have your puppy wear a harness once he starts being socialized from ground level.
If you’d like some extra help with training, you can have my Training Tips delivered by email. Just drop your email address into the box below:

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. And 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, carrying them in your arms or 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.

Can My 9 Week Old Puppy Be Around Other Dogs

The issue with meeting other dogs surrounds vaccination and risk of disease. If you have other dogs at home it’s fine for your puppy to be carefully introduced to them. The same goes for houses you regularly visit with only dogs that you are confident have been recently vaccinated. However, it’s best avoiding meeting other dogs in general until your puppy has been fully vaccinated. Don’t worry, it won’t do them any harm at all.

Can I Leave My 9 Week Old Puppy Alone?

Leaving a 9 week old puppy alone during the day is not a good idea. At this stage of their life they have only been in your home for a short time, and are still settling in. They need constant supervision for toilet training, and are probably still learning to be happy in their crate.

The Labrador Handbook by Pippa Mattinson(paid link)

If you need to go out for a few hours when your puppy is this young, it’s best to get someone to come and stay with them. Give them a copy of the puppy’s routine and some clear, simple instructions for their care. If you need to go back to work soon, you’ll need a really good plan in place for them during the day and you can find that here.

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.

The Labrador Site Founder

Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.

She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program 

Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website


  1. I just got a new puppy. It’s. Teddy bear and is adorable but he seems to be really destructive. Is always chewing on furniture etc and doesn’t really listen. I’m feeling a little frustrated. Is it me

  2. I have a 9 week old Labrador puppy and while I appreciate the puppy schedule you have shown it does not say what is happening in the hours between the activities. For example you say 7am breakfast and 11am lunch. What is happening for the 4 hours in between? I don’t mean literally but is there hours of sleep? Is the puppy in his crate? And how much is playtime as I know exercise is important but it should be limited for a 9 week old puppy.

    Thank You

  3. Hi there, I have a retriever who is 9 weeks old and he is so low energy! He eats good, goes to the bathroom and has spurts of energy he will play with our other small dogs, and some tug of war, but he doesnt spend much time running after the kids, or even running to me when I excitedly praise him. We’ve had him for a week now. Thoughts?

    • Ours was the same way and funny enough he was born March 2020 which yours seems close in age. I’m sure that by now you’ve learned that your puppy is just a chill pup. Our boy is now 18 mths old and the most laid bag lazy dog ever. We LOVE HIM!

  4. We have 9 week old Albert, who is a happy, healthy, sturdy little chap.
    Because of isolation we are very nervous that we can’t get him out and about at a crucial time in his development with normal socialising. We do have two other dogs luckily, but we can’t take him anywhere at the moment. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. We have been told to sit with the boot up in a public place?

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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.

  9. 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?

  10. 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

  11. 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?

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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..

  16. 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??

  17. 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. 🙂

  18. 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.

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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. 🙂

  23. 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.

  24. 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?

  25. 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?


  26. 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.