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?
I currently have a one year old Service Dog in training from a great breeder, Jean Schrader from Schraderhaus K9 in Roy, Wa. I have come in contact with at least 10 Service Dogs that have come from her kennel as well as several Therapy Dogs. I know she tests elbows, hips, and for DM.
My girl Qiva just turned a year as I said earlier. She is a very outgoing pup with moderate drives and energy. She is friendly with strangers but doesn't go out to seek attention. She already alerts naturally to my medical condition and is picking up training easily. She can be a stubborn and unfocused at times, but she is still a pup and as she matures I am seeing that less and less.
I would definitely suggest contacting Jean. She let me come visit 3 times as well as letting me temperament test the litter to help select the right puppy. She has been quick to answer all my emails with questions and is very knowledgeable. I have attached a picture of my girl with her friend Hugo, another SDIT.
Thank you so much, mjta! Your girl is just lovely. It's great to hear details of how your pup is progressing and that she's maturing well. (Gotta love the puppy stage. I missed that with my last boy, but it's amazing to see their minds get clearer and more focused as they grow.) I will definitely check out Jean's kennel.
All of my working line GSDs have been very social & loved people. My current WL pup is very social-- he's more outgoing than you would want for a pup, but I just wanted to point out that WL is not synonymous with aggression.
I happen to like my IPO dogs to be friendly.
I would happily trade the puppy stage for the teenage stage! I wish you luck in your search! It took me a bit to settle on a breeder.
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