Service dog: GSD vs Collie?
In the next year, I'm going to be getting a new puppy who will be trained as my new service dog for my mobility needs. My current dog has had to retire, and was just diagnosed with the beginnings stages of dementia due to his old age. I've had a service dog next to me for 20yrs and got my first when I was 9, and this will be my 4th dog I will be having trained.
The breeder I got my current dog from has retired, and is no longer breeding dogs. So I've had to consider a new breed, and have narrowed down my new breed prospects as either rough collie or german shepherd. I have experience with both breeds working with them on friends farms and by training them, but have never owned either- my husband however is a german shepherd fanboy.
I do have a collie breeder in line who is excellent, but not a german shepherd breeder in my area that produces good dogs- Iowa is a bit of a wasteland for well bred dogs.
I am considering getting a shepherd instead of a collie as I know they are more of a one person dog, highly trainable, and I have some concern that a collie will be too people friendly and seek out others attentions, which I can tell you is not good for a service animal. My current dog is a redbone, and they are totally one person dogs and he gives zero concern for anyone else but me LOL and wont listen to commands given by anyone but myself. I had a golden and a lab that both failed their training due to being too people friendly; a more reserved dog is actually better for service work.
Am I being overly anxious that a collie would be an attention seeking nutcase like the golden and lab I was going to have trained? The collies I worked with were fairly friendly dogs even to strangers. Even though they were very focused when working- they were not in a public situation with lots of people to tempt them.
Also, my concern is, do you think a shepherd would be too high risk for developing health issues compared to a collie. I'm sure many of you could recommend some good breeders in or near Southeast Iowa. My husbands shepherds all had health issues ranging from seizures, chronic UTI's, to hip dysplasia.
I know I'm probably rambling (it's a curse), so maybe some owners on here could give me some assistance with my concerns.
Sidenote: I have a doctors prescription for my service animal, and a trainer who does the work for me. I just have to find my own dog, this reduces the cost I have to pay. The socialization however will be my job, and I live in a great city for that.