Please help with possible GSD adoption
Hello all, found this forum a few days ago while searching for training ideas for a dog my wife and I are thinking about rescuing. There seems to be a lot of very knowledgeable people here so hopefully some of you can offer us some advice.
First, our situation. I'm a stay at home dad with our toddler son, we have a cat who's pretty dog savvy and a rescue dog who is thought to be a border collie/golden retriever cross, but not big at all at 30 lbs. She is timid with human males as a result of her first year of life, and very shy/quiet at home with me. Her back leg was broken and never set so it's now even more "crooked than a dog's hind leg". She does well with other dogs after an initial barking greeting, and loves being in a doggy daycare setting with other dogs to play with. We're thinking another dog could help bring her out of her shell as a bonus to getting a new family member.
Now, the dog in question. He's a GSD mix, but he looks like pretty much a purebred. He's about a year old, has lots of energy, and everyone keeps referring to him as a big sweetheart who can be a teenager when he's not exercised. We met him twice so far, and this is where I'm looking for some insight. First time we met him was at a bbq the rescue was holding. He was there with his foster and was super calm. There were dogs barking around him that he didn't react to, a few of which I saw him greet and it looked friendly to me. Anybody could come up to him and he would happily yet calmly greet them and offer up some licks, as well as to a young boy of about 4 who received a gentle face wash. He's apparently very smart and is both play and food driven, loves to please his handler, and loves kids. So, great, he seemed to have an ideal temperament for what we were looking for.
About a week or so later he was arranged to come to our house to meet him again. We put our dog away to just have a meeting with him. As soon as he was out of his van he was yar yar yarring at a dog walking past and barking a bit. They came over and he continued to talk and be vocal, so we set off for a short walk down the street with the foster walking him. He seemed to pull a lot, and when other dogs came within eyesight he became very fixated and vocal(not so much barking but talking), and the fosters were sitting him while trying to block view of the other dog. He continued to be vocal and barked a few times as the other dog owners would decide the other side of the street is possibly a little friendlier. He had 3-4 moments similar to this. He didn't seem aggressive, and the fosters are confident this reaction comes from a playful attitude, as well as the trainer the rescue is associated with. I talked to her on the phone about it and she thinks he was just over excited, but he's apparently like this on most walks. Of note, we also walked by two people on the sidewalk and he strolled right by them without incident.
Both of the times I met him he had not been walked the day of, but seemed like two different personalities with other dogs.
Knowing that this dog has it in him to be calm around other people and dogs do you think his excitement on walks would be easier to rehabilitate? What would be the most effective way to correct him when he gets fixated with other dogs like that? Would a prong collar be recommended to help his pulling on walks, or even around the house to correct unfavorable behaviors? Any advice for introducing him into our home if we do adopt him?
We're looking to meet him again but don't have anything set up yet, I'm very impressed with the rescue that they're very patient about their adoptions and in favor of taking things slowly.
Thank you for any advice you can give.