The most important factor is the temperament of the dog since my children are still relatively young (the oldest is 12). Because of recent numerous bear sightings in this area, I would want some protection for my wife when she goes on walking trails (we live in a rural area). We are looking to buy some property with land and would want the dog to be a good guard dog for the property. I am thinking a puppy from a working line would be a good fit.
I've been searching for a good breeder, but most breeders seem to be too far from where we live. (we live about 30 miles south of Erie, PA.) and the breeder web sites don't tell me too much beyond their advertisement. Any recommendation from experienced members would really be helpful.