I am often asked to help owners who are struggling with their dog because they have simply made the wrong choice of breed for them or their circumstances. My advice to anyone considering getting a puppy or older dog is never choose a breed just for its looks alone and ALWAYS consider the breed specific behaviours and traits of the adult dog (Guarding, Territorial, Stubbornness, Hunting, High exercise needs, Power/strength etc.) Many "problem" behaviours are actually naturally occurring behaviours for some breeds so do your homework FIRST.
Choosing the right breed is crucial so do your research and be honest with yourself as to your ability, experience and commitment to meeting the exercise and training needs and specific behaviours/traits of the breed you are considering.
How the puppy is raised and managed in it's first few months will have a huge impact on it for the rest of it's life so providing a solid obedience training, environmental and socialisation programme is essential
If you are thinking of taking your puppy to a dedicated puppy class, consideration MUST be given to how the classes are run. I have come across too many adult dogs that were not dealt with correctly at these types of puppy classes. Providing socialisation opportunities by simply letting all the puppies off lead together is not good practise as any 'bully' or over dominant puppy will pick on any weaker individuals. This only serves to empower the bully puppy and weaken and frighten the already nervous puppy so beware of trainers who advocate a "free for all" approach to 'socialisation' as it will only create bigger problems for you in the future.
Advice On Buying A Puppy Or Acquiring An Older Dog
I can advise you on all aspects of acquiring a new puppy. This will include choosing the right breed for you, gender, settling in the new dog and establishing rules and training plans, socialising and how to avoid behavioural problems in the future. I would urge anyone considering acquiring a new dog to consider the reasons why they want to own a pet and the breed specifics of the various breeds of dogs they may be considering.