New 7 month old Dobermann Sheba
We've just got a new puppy and I'd like advice on some concerns I have about making her a member of our pack.
We have an 11 year old female German Sheppard which, quite honestly, doesn't want anything to do with other dogs. We have 2 cats and its my retired mom and I in the house. My dad was training the dog for a friend when they asked him if he'd take her otherwise they'd take her to the pound or put her down. We saw her before and we like her so we are happy to accept her into our home but she's a bit too much for my father and mother to handle. She is a calm, submissive dog who needs more exercise (I'm walking with her but can't go at the pace she really wants to go at, I'm a bit out of shape) and gets frisky because she's a pup still.
Separation anxiety(?) - She hasn't really been left alone home yet but when my father leaves she gets restless and she seems to need to be with people. She was leaning against me and I was petting her and thinking that she seems most calm with a human presence. I don't want to nurture a need to be with people to be calm. I want her to be able to be in the same room and lie on the bed or floor while I work on the computer. I can't pay 100% attention to her because I need to bathe and work on a website. How much attention should a 7 1/2 month old pup need to be balanced?
Cats - Sheba came from a home with dogs, kids, snakes but no cats. I'm pretty happy with her initial reaction. She was watching Dustin and would get within a few inches (once I saw she didn't bark, growl or seem to want to chase him) and he'd hiss when she got too close and she'd back away but keep watching sometimes and sniffing the air to catch his scent. Then this morning she did growl once at him and if he runs away from her or past her she wants to chase him, though it doesn't seem aggressively. Muffin won't come out but I pulled her out from under the bed to move her to the basement where she could hide while still being able to eat, drink and potty. Sheba was pretty much asleep in the living room so I brought Muffin close then let her downstairs. Sheba didn't even budge. Muffin stopped at the bottom and looked back then went down the rest of the way, so I don't think she was threatened by Sheba (if she was she'd bolt and just never come into view). Any thoughts on dog/cat relations?
Breeding - She hasn't been fixed yet because the guy wanted to breed her and now my parents are talking about it thinking they might make some money off one litter before fixing her. They didn't have success with the Sheppard and their old Sheppard who passed away and they love puppies but I feel they aren't realistic about the cost and care of puppies. Personally I don't think their reasons to want to breed her are right, but I've convinced my mom we should discuss it with the vet. I feel fixing her before she goes into her first heat eliminates any behaviour we might not like that are created by hormones. Plus even if she becomes physically ready to mate around 8 months I think its too young an age to mate her. She's still a puppy but my dad says she'll mature from the experience of being a mother. If anyone here has breed dogs can you shed some light on the subject?