First off, I'm so happy to have found this forum.
I'm looking into a german shepherd dog in the next two years or so and I'm beginning to research into the breed, breeders, breed culture, breed health, but most important to me, breeders who take into consideration breed temperament.
I am single, work in Washington DC in information technology. I have worked for the federal government for 23 years now, so I have a steady job. I am relatively healthy, except for carrying around a few extra pounds. I am active but not athletic, meaning I hike and go places as leisure activities but not as, say, a competitive runner. I own my own home, fenced.
I currently have a ten and a half year old border collie, Billy. We were active in sheepdog competitions in California, where I competed with my other two border collies who have now left me, Cassie and Dru. Billy is uncharacteristically mellow, so he takes things in stride.
I also currently have a two and a half year old golden retriever, Max. He is very much a companion, always in bed with me, on the couch curled up on my legs as I type this. He is a Velcro dog. I am pursuing initial training with a goal of getting into animal assisted therapy, since he has the perfect temperament for this activity.
I work at home one day a week, on Wednesdays. The rest of the week I go into the office and the dogs go to doggy day care at Greenbriar in Urbana, MD.
What I am looking for: all my life I have wanted two breeds of dogs....a golden retriever, whom I now have in Max. The other was always, ever since I was a little girl and first read and saw movies, a dog like RinTinTin. I didn't know about the german shepherd dog, I just knew I wanted RinTinTin. In my early adulthood I had a couple of mixed breeds who had german shepherd in them, but never a full german shepherd. I love the breed, from the dogs I've met and culminating in the dogs I met in sheepherding. My husband at the time didn't like german shepherds, so we got border collies. First was Cassie, then Dru and then Billy. When I became single I got my golden retriever, Max. Since Billy is now ten and a half and I know the inevitability of what is to come, I am researching the breed I've always wanted, the german shepherd.
In reading some of your materials here on the site, I came across several articles. The german shepherd of my dreams would be a dark or black male, of substance, with solid temperament and highly social, with no aggression issues toward humans or other dogs since he will go to doggy day care along with Max when my Billy leaves me.
Having bought Max from an AKC breeder of merit with a stringent contract, and who emphasized temperament, I am looking for a similar breeder. I will be prepared to travel to pick up a puppy anywhere in the U.S. and fly back with him in the cabin, but I will not have a puppy delivered in cargo.
My dogs are crate trained, are highly socialized both with humans and other dogs, routinely visit with family and kids, but are not engaged in competitive sports. I might consider activities suited for a german shepherd such as shutzhund, but many animal assisted therapy organizations that I have communicated with do not allow dogs who have done bite work. So that would be a consideration but not an assumption.
I am looking for companion dogs, not show quality dogs. Temperament and health are the most important considerations. I prefer a male dog, since I bond better with males.
Long story short....(too late)....I am introducing myself and beginning the search for a german shepherd dog breeder of merit, hopefully in the Delmarva region.
I suppose I should include pics of Billy and Max.
Thank you for reading!