Congratulations! You're about to welcome a new puppy into your household. I'm so excited for you, I wanted to write a post about my common recommendations for new puppy owners.
If your puppy came from a breeder or a foster home, they likely already have a head-start on socialization, separation anxiety, crate training, and house training. If your puppy is from a shelter kennel, then you'll have to be extra diligent to avoid accidents and destruction in the house, as well as ramp up your socialization efforts with items they couldn't be exposed to in a shelter environment. Whether you did or didn't rescue isn't the point -- I don't judge! This is just information you need to set yourself and your new puppy up for success.
First off, your new puppy is disoriented being in their new home. Please be patient, and the first order of business is to teach your puppy their name and come so that they will come back to you if they get away for any reason. After that, house proof your home. Remove excessive hazards from puppy reach: cables, laundry, remotes, shoes, decor that is purely decorative, etc. This protects your home, belongings, and the puppy! If you are unable to remove or hide cables, consider blocking off that area of your home so your puppy doesn't electrocute themselves chewing on what looks like a fun chew stick that turns out to be extra chewy and bendy. Oh so satisfying! Decide if you want your puppy to be allowed on the furniture, and stick to it unanimously throughout the household. All my dogs are allowed on my furniture, and all my dogs sleep with me if they want to.
Next, house training. My regimen looks something like this:
Once house training is squared away, it's time to plan some activities to fulfill your puppy's drives! Many dogs and puppies are food motivated, so scent games where they have to find a treat in a box and use their nose to tell where the box is and which box has a treat is a must. After that, is your dog a terrier? They'll love to chase a toy, catch it, and "kill" it! If your dog is a retriever, fetch is the obvious game. If your dog is a sighthound, have them practice stay, walk away as far as you're able, then have them launch to chase a flirt pole. If your dog is a scenthound, the above nose work game is a good start, but tracking a trail (hot dog juice?) outside in the yard would be way more fun, especially if they found a prize at the end! If your dog is a herder, I find a flirt pole and/or the sport of treibball are excellent substitutes for sheep or cattle in urban environments. If your dog is a brainiac in need of constant stimulation, trick training can be a wonderful outlet. If your dog loves the water, consider getting them a kiddie pool if you don't have a full-size pool for them to use. If your dog loves to dig, build or purchase them their very own sandbox to save your yard and give them an outlet for that drive. Never consider a "naughty" behavior something "bad" about your dog, it's just a drive waiting to be given an appropriate purpose!
If you're having any trouble with your new dog or puppy, I'd be happy to do what I can to help! Some things I can answer with a quick email, other things we'll need to schedule a consultation for. I do remote consults via Skype for those out of my service area.
Separation anxiety will be addressed in a separate post soon. I'll link it here when I've written it. Stay tuned!