Questiong on getting another shepherd
I had to put my beautiful girl to sleep back in June, she was 13 years old. The bond between me and her were beyond words. She was a protector and a best friend to me.
I saw her health was going down hill, first started with her having problems jumping on the bed, then going up the steps. She always slept beside me and when she was having her hip problems, would wait at the bottom of the steps for me to follow her up so she wouldn't fall.
Then one night, she stood at the bottom of the steps but even with my encouragement she tried but couldn't get up the steps. Two days later I found she didn't eat her food, which she would always devour. She was at the vets earlier and the vet said it was a matter of time, her hips were just too bad and surgery wasn't an option at this point.
The vet said months prior I would know, she would give me a look..
Then one day she wouldn't move from her spot, I got her to go outside to goto the bathroom but it took 20 minutes of her struggling to walk. She wanted to go back in right away. I got her back in and let her sleep that night. The next morning I tried to get her to come to me, but she didn't even try. She gave me that look. So with a heavy heart I made the call to the vet. We got to the vet and she was already going into shock. I said my goodbyes and buried her ashes at my grandfather's grave. She was the type of dog to always be by your side, so at least she is with someone who also loved dogs.
This was back in June, I have another shepherd, a 7 year old male. He is lost without her, though he is slowly adjusting. I also think I am ready for another shepherd and have a few questions.
Since I have a male and my wife has a male (japanese-chin) would it be best to get another male? I heard that three dogs make a pack and that the socialization is different than just two dogs.
How soon can I start training him obiendence? What is the best way to get him to be unfearful of other dogs?
My shepherd went through basic and advanced training, with other dogs. However after the training he became dog agressive (my girl was the alpha and became dog agressive after an attack from another shepherd). My male seemed to have picked up on her bad habits. If I bring a dog he knows in the house, he is fine. Its just if I walk him and if he sees another dog he will bark, growl and the hackles go up. I have been working with him on this but its just frustrating.
I dont want this new pup to learn those habits, so whats the best way around it? Picking one from a litter what is the best way to tell if a pup will be a good fit for me, my wife and my four year old daughter?