Breeders in IL/IN (10 hour radius from central IL) area?
My partner and I are starting our search for a GSD. I am a former Manchester terrier breeder (involved in earth dog, obedience, conformation, and was active as a junior handler), but I have no contacts nor know who is a good breeder of GSDs. We just recently got our first dog together (a pembroke corgi), and we would like to add a second before he is past the age where he will enjoy having an overactive puppy bouncing all over him. He is currently 6 months old, and he loves playing with bigger dogs because he is far too rough a player for small dogs. (His usual playmates are a husky, a GSD, and an oversize aussie). He would really benefit from a playmate at home, too!
I do basic obedience training myself because of my background with dogs. We do plan on doing performance sports with him. I am pegging him for agility, but we plan to pick whichever is the best fit for him. We would like to do the same for a GSD, if we get one. There is a local training club which does agility, flyball, and rally, as well as competition obedience. I don't necessarily care that a dog I get be the best at performance sports. I just want to have fun and be able to give my dogs a good time and a good energy outlet with us.
Colour, sex, and coat is not important. I can handle grooming a long coat if an oops pops in a litter. Show line or working are both fine. I prefer ones that are not overly huge, preferably parents on the lower side of the standard, but that is hardly a deal breaker as long as the dog is well-bred. Puppy to young adult are all fine, though I know adults they might be more expensive rather than less.
What IS important is that the dog be healthy, well-bred, and have an excellent temperament. My husband has an animal-assisted psychotherapy business which our corgi is currently in training for, and we would like our GSD to also be involved. They must be stable and calm temperament, not anxious, friendly with people and other dogs, etc. Obviously early socialization is very important from the breeder, as well as parents' temperaments, and we would do the rest from when we got the pup.
We rent in a pet-friendly house, and of course we will discuss fully with our landlord prior to even going on a wait list. This is mostly a preliminary search for breeders to begin communication with while we talk to our landlord (he likes to know what breed, age, etc. are most likely before making final approval). We have no intention of moving from here until we are ready to purchase a house of our own. Our house is large (two story) with a very large yard, but we don't let our dog out without supervision anyway. We have a pretty decent amount of time at home between the two of us, as my partner sets her schedule and I can do some work from home. At least one hour long walk/jog a day is normal, and a second walk if needed. Plus regular playing, and of course quality snuggling time. Our pets are most certainly our family.
Price is a factor. $2000 is likely our limit. If this is not doable with our needs, please let me know, and we will look at other breeds which may be a good match. I am especially partial to GSDs due to their intelligence, loyalty, and temperaments (plus past experience with GSDs!), but obviously we need to find the right dog for our fit AND our price range. We can travel up to probably around 10 hours for the right breeder, but we would prefer closer, of course. We are located in Central Illinois. We would be looking no sooner than summer most likely, as that will give us time to save up for purchase price, a second crate, money for vaccines and emergency fund, etc.