I'm really glad you did the breed research before sinking your heart into a new family member. You did the kindest thing for this fella too since he won't be left at home while everyone else has fun. I don't know anything about Saints except that giant breeds tend to all have shorter life spans. My Brother in Law loves the idea of a Mastiff but won't get one due to the life span.
We've always had a GSD or two but the health and temperment issues with GSDs seem to get worse (finding a suitable one) as time marches on. I think that is a problem with many breeds unfortunately.
I was going to suggest Wyot meet the pup to see how the chemistry is.
We thought we could handle a Belgian and we did read up on the breed. We actually tried a "mellow" Belgian Malinois that was 14 months (past the worst puppy destructo poc period) and professionally extensively trained. We visited him with the little dogs 3 times before taking the plunge, but we found he had no "off" switch. He was too high energy for us in that I don't want a career as a K9 handler, I want to work in my glass studio. He needed to put his pants on and work 8 hours at a real job - like Airport security - every day. He has a day job now and I'm sure he's happier than he would have been with us. He's literally completed training appropriate for any type of professional work and his day job is teaching other large breed dogs with dog aggression issues to be good K9 citizens. I actually think he would have been wasted on us.
I think if you have experience with a breed and know it fits your life style then it's easier to find a good fit and a good dog. How are Bernese Mountain dogs? Are they fit? Why not get another AID (some of them are really big - you could ask for a big one)? You might be able to find organizations that works with the breed to talk to about who breeds sound pups (if that's an issue) and or testing - how to test a pup. We used a service to find a GSD. They know breeders that consistently produce sound dogs and they know testing methods for intelligence and temperament. Finding a quality GSD is difficult. They looked at 17 dogs before procuring one for us. That's not to say you can't find an awesome dog at the pet shop - one of our best GSDs ever came from a pet shop (I'm betting he got super socialized there) - but it helps to know some basic puppy tests and it's really hard to walk away if the fit isn't there. Also consider talking to your Vet about breeds. They see the best and the worst, including those that have to be put down early for health or temperment issues.
IMO 2 is a great and healthy number. Chances are you can't take Wyot everywhere with you and even if you could, it helps to have someone on his wavelength. 14 mo is a reasonable age for adding a second pup. They will have similar energy and interests. Wyot will likely take the brunt of teething. Sometimes the 2 might be double trouble but on average Wyot will likely be more help than you will ever know. Cake is 4 now and neither she nor Waki are interested in being puppies with our puppy. They are parents to him and translators. For example Fenris was squirming and refusing to put his pants on so Waki growled at him and Fen held still for me after that. I was scolding Fen for trying to eat the electrical wires and he was just doubling down so Cake came over and put her body between Fen and the wires and snarled. AIDs are very subtile and quiet dogs. GSDs are often at 11 so the AIDs spent the first 3 weeks teaching Fen to be calm and well behaved in the house but Hair on Fire at the barn/fenced area.
(Waki sitting on Fen).
Good luck in your search!
Edited by Sherab, 06 December 2017 - 06:09 AM.