I have been reading posts, but it seems that private mailing is the best way to get the most accurate information, so I invite feedback from anyone who's had experience with the breeders they're commenting on.
I'm looking for a companion dog. I have some mobility challenges (can't walk far, can't spend a normal amount of time on my feet), and want a dog that has medium or lower drive. My last GSD was very loving, but he was extremely high drive and very difficult to train. Even experienced trainers told me he was "a handful," a "lot of dog," "extremely high prey drive," etc. That would be way too much for me now. That said, I do intend to exercise the dog well, and live in a great rural environment with easy access to trails that prohibit automobiles. My last dog ran alongside my small dirt bike and we both loved it. I do want high pack drive, a dog that wants to be with me. High intelligence and trainability are extremely important, too.
Physically, I love the black and reds, the WG lines with large black saddles, big heads and bones. From what I've read, it sounds like the show lines might be a better fit for me than the working ones. Am I correct in making that assessment?
Two breeders I'm considering are Mittelwest and Thinschmidt. Thinschmidt's extra puppy training program sounds like it would be so helpful. They believe that puppies shouldn't be released before 10 weeks of age (for several reasons), which may be an idea that has merit. Both kennels seem conscientious and pictures show beautiful dogs.
Feedback on these breeders and suggestions for other breeders would be most gratefully appreciated!