Sorry can't help with CO breeders but I can help with question #3, it's great that you are asking and not drawing conclusions off the bat.
First regarding top lines/backs there have been lots of discussions regarding what 'roach' back is vs 'straight' vs angled top lines. You can use the search function on the forum to look up the threads that go into this in detail.
Second, yes, how they are stacked can greatly affect the appearance of their top line in photos. Personally I don't like the way the GSD breed is stacked, it's too extreme IMHO.
Third, in general, a dogs top line does not affect whether it's likely to have health problems or
genetic issues. Most importantly, you'll often hear and read on the net that 'straight backed working line dogs' do NOT get hip dysplasia. That is false, false and totally false.
lines American Show, West German Show, Working lines and the subsets within can end up with hip dysplasia.
Your best bet is finding a good breeder that knows his/her lines and carefully breeds to avoid health issues through testing and tracking progeny from his/her breeding program, even that's not always a guarantee but you can certainly stack the odds in your favor.
Good luck with your puppy search.
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.