need breeder recommendation for Washington, DC area (MD, VA, PA, DC)
This is a first post from a new member. I have done a bunch of research but it is starting to make my head spin so I thought I would ask the helpful members on this site.
I thought I would give some background information and a description of my "perfect dog" and see which breeders in the Washington DC area you suggest. I am willing to travel up to about 300 miles. A site visit and meeting the breeders are musts for me.
Background: dedicated GSD owner who recently lost his 16 year old GSD rescue. We love the breed and want to get the best GSD that is most suited to our lifestyle and needs. So, we are going the breeder route this time.
Rank order of priorities
4. trainability/drive (medium)
Relationship with new dog:
Perfect Dog: My wife and I are seeking a family companion. We had health issues with our GSD rescue so a very healthy dog is a top priority.
We socialize with other people and dogs on a daily basis in a variety of situations. If we can take the dog with us, we generally do so. Thus, a very even temperament is a top priority. While I can handle dominant dogs I prefer not to own them.
I do lots of obedience training and will go for Companion Dog title at minimum. If things go really well I might even shoot for Utility Dog title but frankly I need to up my own game to make it that far. We exercise with the dog (long walks, hikes, etc) at least twice per day. We interact and talk with our dogs all the time. Thus, we prize highly intelligent dogs.
For drive I think a medium level drive is best. I won't be competing at high levels, will not be doing protection work and we are generally laid back people in our mid 40s. So a highly driven dog doesn't seem right for us.
Our last GSD was very aloof--even with me who she favored--and we would prefer a more affectionate dog. Perhaps part of her issues was her rough start in life--she grew more affectionate over time after we rescued her. But part of that is likely genetics.
Conformation and gender are last on our list. From my research it seems the West German Show lines are the best choice in terms of temperament and drive. We like sables, black & tans, red and tans but dislike black or white. Coloration is way down the list of priorities. Nevertheless, a pretty, black-faced female dog would be our choice all other things being equal.
Timing: we would like to start with the new puppy in late May/June/early July time frame.
Which breeders would you recommend to me and why? Also, do you have any personal experience with the breeder(s) you are recommending? And does anyone know of any particular litters that look promising and consistent with my priorities.
Thanks in advance,