Looking for a breeder for an assistance dog pup
My beautiful rescue shepherd-mix boy passed away a few months ago at the grand old age of fourteen and a half, and it's time for me to look for a breeder.
I'm not going the rescue route this time because I need something pretty specific. I have a physical disability, and I'd like to train my next dog help me out with some assistance dog tasks when it's grown. Fetch my cane or brace, help me out of my chairs, bring my phone if I fall. That kind of thing.
Here's the problem. I haven't been actively been involved in dog sports in years, and the breeders I knew are mostly retired or not my breed.
My personal preference is for working lines, because that's what my last boy was. The intensity of focus, the intelligence, the seriousness, I love it.
I'm concerned that if I go for the serious police K9s, I'll end up with too much aggression. Protective is OK, but I want a dog who can accept friendly strangers, you know?
I also want to make sure I don't get an endless ball of nervous energy. I'll be exercising the pup by playing in our back yard (plenty big) and slow walks.
Ideally, I want a line of dogs who have some success at being assistance dogs, but my searches are primarily pulling up K9, SAR, and agility-types. Which is fine, and may translate to my needs well, but I thought I might ask around.
I live in the midwest, but I'm happy to look at GSDs from any part of the country. Lots of health checks mandatory. So--anyone know of a proven track record in assistance work?
So far, the only one I've found has been Sapphire Shepherds in Montana. They breed Czech lines, and according to their website, a few of her dogs have done assistance work.
Does anyone with Czech line dogs would like to comment on my concern that Czech lines might be too protective to be an effective assistance dog for me? (Or police lines in general?)
Any other recommended breeders?