Trying to determine what I am looking for...
We have not had a puppy puppy since Old Bitch came along in 1999. After her arrival we solely adopted from rescue, usually seniors or issue dogs. With the unexpected death of Beast we adopted our current boy Mace at about a year old. He is a lovely dog, just about the easiest GSD I have ever had in my family. I often have to remind him he IS a GSD and not some lap dog or pretty blond woman. When Old White died not long ago I was sure Mace would be our last dog for a very long time. His twilight years will coincide with Boy and Girl heading off to college. I fantasize about world travel again at that time and see a break from dogs during that time period. Yet....I know I want another dog now...and think *maybe* a puppy. I am not sure though what I want to look for so cannot decide where to even begin to research.
I don't care about color, sex, anticipated size, etc I want a healthy dog as much as possible (ie I'd like to stack the deck in its favor- I have no misconceptions about all the problems that might occur even in the best breeding program). I'd like a solid temperament as much as possible (again stack in the favor, blah, blah). The usual base of a wish list I think...but then beyond that I am not sure!
I miss Beast terribly. I don't think it was just his wonderful being that I miss (though he is missed), but it is something about his characteristics that I miss living with and *think* I would like to recreate. He was incredibly intelligent. He was an intense personality. He was a challenge. I remember the first trainer we took him to, when I mentioned how everything I'd learned from the previous 5 shepherds seemed not to be transferable to this one, telling me that I may have had Cadillacs before but now I had a Ferrari. I did not know just how right he was. Beast was a lifestyle. He was a sweet dog and a danger all rolled into one. Every moment was work and you could never never stop or you would lose. He was low energy and high at the same time. He was unpredictable (you never knew what next thing his intelligence would bring your way) yet the most reliable dog at the same time. I miss all of that....yet, I don't (boy is Mace a whole lot less work!!!). I think I want this type again...but maybe I am spoiled and lazy now, and maybe another like Mace would be so much easier...
I want the dog for me, for Boy and also for Mace who would thrive with a companion with whom he could play, wrestle, etc. Since Mace is an important part of the equation, I wonder if a Beast type would be too much for our eternal puppy, not the brightest match in the book boy?
So...help! What sort of dog personalities do you have living together? Any thoughts on how the current boy should influence my search? Any feedback on the type I should be investigating? Anything I should consider that maybe I am not/forgetting?