I've got several questions and hope someone has some answers. Forgive me if I sound ignorant of breed standards, but I've always had GSDs as pets, and not conformation or schutzhund dogs.
1) Can anyone give advice on a reliable breeder in Colorado? I'm NOT interested in showing or working with high-drive dogs. I'm looking for another social family pet.
2) I've viewed various Colorado websites and find that most breeders know something about the hip status of the parents, quite a few list elbow status, and a lesser number know about DM status. My 10 year old is struggling with DM and we are very close to the end, I'm afraid
. What information would you want to see for the parents, as far as OFA ratings, genetic testing and so forth?
3) Here's the silly bit. Neither of my shepherds has/had a roached back, but I'm seeing a lot of that in the pictures. Do the backs look roached because of the way they are stood up for the photos? Or is this the way they are actually conformed? I've seen some pictures of GSDs with straight backs, even when posed, but they are few and far between. Is the roach back something that predisposes for later problems? Is a straight back preferable or indicative of other issues?
TIA for any assistance with these matters.