I am new to the forum, and would love some advice from wise and experienced "doggers".
I already have four dogs (more on them below) and am mulling over the idea of adding a fifth member to our doggie family (by way of adopting a rescue). My husband has a new job which requires him to be away for work for weeks at a time and we have recently moved to a large (120 acre) rural property with no close neighbours. I'd really like to add another large breed dog to our family, one just because I love dogs and now have the space to have as many critters as my little heart desires and two because another large breed dog would just have me feeling that little bit more secure when hubs is away at work and I am alone in the middle of nowhere.
To give you some background info. on our family:
Besides four cats, we have an 11 year old Chihuahua (female), a 10 year old Pomeranian (female), a seven year old German Shepherd (male) and a seven year old Cattle Dog Cross (male - medium size). All desexed, all inside dogs. So I have a wonderful guard boy in my shepherd (he would be telling an intruder to call an ambulance in advance), the cattle dog would -probably- have a go if it came down to brass tacks and the two little girls would be hiding under the bed!
Our dogs all get on very well together as a "pack", but don't really appreciate other dogs. The two little girls aren't that worried about other dogs (can take 'em or leave 'em, will play with other little dogs), but unfortunately my two boys are not very friendly towards other dogs.
So I am well aware that if I do adopt another dog I will have my work cut out for me with the adjustment period getting everyone settled into the new pack hierachy.
After all this rambling I am seeking considered opinions and any stories of previous experiences; would it be better to get a female or male dog - bearing in mind the two most unsociable dogs are males. I would prefer to get an older juvenile dog (1-3 years) than a pup, but would a pup fit better into the pack? It was my assumption that a female would present less of a dominance threat to my male dogs, but after doing a bit of reading online, it may appear this isn't necessarily so. Or am I quite simply mad and should just keep our well-balanced pack as-is and forget about adding a fifth member? (A fifth doggie would be the final doggie until this lot pass over the rainbow bridge).
Thanks in advance, looking forward to hearing your replies!