We’re adding a new member to our family today!! Any tips for the first few nights/weeks?

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Hi, everyone! Exciting day! My husband and I are going to pick up our puppy this afternoon. She's a 9 week old golden retriever/aussie mix.

Both of us grew up with dogs, but we've never had a puppy before, so it's a little intimidating! We picked up a few different types of toys (soft plushie with some crinklies in it, rope toy, and a rubber kong), have a crate and bed and water bowl ready to go, some baby gates to block off areas of the house… and are eager to get started with training! One thing we're going to try is hand-feeding and using the kong as her main food sources in the beginning. No food bowl at all in the beginning so hopefully she can learn to settle and keep herself busy with the Kong and other toys. We like the idea of using her regular kibble as treats/for training also so hand-feeding should help with that. Anyone tried that before? How did it go?

As far as house training goes, she's been outside her whole life so I'm sure it will be challenging. Luckily I work from home so she'll have a lot of attention and supervision the first little while and I plan on taking her out to the backyard every hour or two in the beginning.

Basically anything you can tell us about the first few nights with the puppy would be great! How often should I get up with her to let her outside at night? If she freaks out and cries in her crate when we put her to bed, should we ignore it? Also, should we wait until she's had her second round of shots before introducing her to other dogs, even if we know they are up to date on their vaccinations?

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