The toy thing is a really good idea. We haven't seen the puppy yet as we live pretty far from the breeder, and they have been very new and small. (We met the mother when we went to meet the breeder and see the dogs). We might be going over there next weekend, so I will take a cuddly toy with us when we go. Although as all the puppies look the same I don't know how we will know which is ours... I am used to breeds where recall is their weakest point (grew up with a beagle cross, and have had two terriers) So I might get the recall book to at least give it our best shot!
Life Skills for Puppies would seem to be recommended on here, based more on puppies learning the correct social skills than 'commands' I think.
Crates are great, as is clicker training, if you Google Kikopup, that will give you a great base.
Crates give your puppy a 'safe area' to turn to, a den. With the added bonus of usually advancing toilet training, as the don't like to soil their own area. An the advantage for you of somewhere to pop your puppy if you do go out, where they will be safe and out of mischief.
Perhaps you could take a small toy or some such item with you when you next visit, then the breeder can give this to you when you take the puppy, it will smell of the litter and Mum, and be comforting.
The biting and nipping can be a pain, but it does pass quickly!
What breed is your pup and colour? Very important for names. Mine is a border collie called Finn. Length of house training seems to depend on the dog, I had my last pup at 12 weeks and it took at least 6 months before she was reliable especially at night but I didn't use a crate for her. I would say this time my crate has been the single most important bit of kit I bought, it's reduced the chewing and made nights easy. Finn is mostly reliable now, he has accidents when we miss cues and as the back door is not off the room we sit in that sometime happens. I would recommend 'Total Recall' as a good book for teaching recall. Can't remember the author. Also come and join the new Puppies thread, there's a wealth of experience there.
LEMis I will post pics when she is here. I think my darling old dog's pic is on my profile. So a crate is a good idea then? Is it somehow better than just a bed? This Puppy will also be a bit younger than I have ever had. Melly Dog 2 was 14 weeks old, and Mellydog 1 before him was about 12 weeks. This one can be picked up from 8 weeks. That seems incredibly weeny to me, and also means that maybe house training will be a longer process (with my previous pups it took a few days). The dog i grew up with came from rescue at 7m, so I have no experience at all of such a young puppy. Will she be upset at leaving her Mum? Any good books I should read? I will look into puppy training classes, i am not sure if there is one locally, I live in the back of beyond. I didn't take my previous dogs to training classes, although my last one did go to a puppy social group at my lovely London vet's. I lived near big London parks with my old dogs, and they were very well socialised as I had a friend who was a dog walker, so we walked with lots of other older dogs. This time it will be a bit harder as I am in the countryside, although I am quite near the beach, so hopefully puppy will meet friends there. I need name ideas too!
Like you my current puppy is my first for 15 years and everything's changed! I've used a crate for mine (now 4.5 months old) and it has been a godsend. He is fed in it with the door shut and then has a post meal nap in it. I put him in there at night and from the first night home we had no whining/barking and no over night accidents! I know that this is unusual but has been an unexpected pleasure. He retreats to it when I hoover or when something scares him. I've put a dog bed stuffed with an old duvet in it and covered it with an old throw so it's dark and snug.
I have had puppies before, but melly dog died last year, and so this new one will be my first pup in 15 years. A lot seems to have changed, crating? Pack theory? I've not used a crate in the past, should I? I am getting a bitch, and that is a first for me, so is there anything about bitches that I need to know or read up on? She is only a couple of weeks old, we will be getting her in January, so I want to be prepared!