Reliable Breeder in New England
This is my first post on this site. First off, great community...so glad I found this place. I am researcher by nature and will be getting a GSD puppy for our family sometime within the next 1.5 to 2 years. I have read it takes a long time to find a truly good breeder and so I wanted to start my research early with the hopes of following the breeder and their dogs and litters to make sure I like what I see health/temperament-wise.
My parents have owned 3 GSD, 2 of which were west german show dogs that were amazing. Beautiful black and dark red, great temperament, very protective. Absolutely perfect in every way except for one big one... health. The first died around age 4 and the second died around age 6. Both had genetic health problems and were bought from the same breeder.
What I am looking for is a healthy dog to be a long time companion to myself and my wife and two small kids. We are a young, active family and so I would like a dog that is able to go on runs, be protective of my wife and kids, and that likes to train. I am hoping to do schutzhund with him as I really enjoyed training my parents dogs and want to do some sports with him as a hobby as I get older. I want a best friend that will love to go everywhere with me. Because we are a young family I am not sure we can afford the price tag of a west german import like the ones my parents got (obviously from a different breeder) so I am open to either west german or east german working. Color is not a deal breaker obviously but if I could find the dog I want with some of that same red color in it that would be perfect (red/sable is beautiful).
I am looking for a reliable, well trusted breeder in New England so that I can meet the breeder and their dogs and build a relationship with them before I purchase a new friend. I am in New Hampshire so I am open to any breeder within a few hours drive. I refuse to buy a dog without meeting it and its parents in person beforehand so I am looking for some help and suggestions on all the great breeders you all have found, as well as any to definitely stay away from (PM for those negative reviews).
Thank you all very much for your time/sorry for the long post. I look forward to all of your insight.