Is a GSD right for me? Which lines?
I'm hoping you can help me know if a GSD is the right choice for my next dog, and if so, what lines i should be looking for. I'm looking to get another dog in 2019 at some point, and want to start researching now. I'm a stay at home mom of 4 kids ages 18 months to 19 years. Previously, until about 6 yrs ago, I was a Certified Veterinary Technician, and also did private and group dog training. I've owned a variety of breeds and mixed breeds, with my favorite dog - my soul mate if that isn't too out there - being a high drive, field bred weimaraner. She was absolutely the wrong choice for a novice owner living in an apartment but she forced me to learn a lot about dog training!!! To give you an idea of her drive she only would lay down to rest/sleep if you put her in a crate with NOTHING in it. If there was even a single toy or chew bone she'd chew or play rather than rest. The first time I saw her lay down and rest of her own accord she was 7 months old, and it lasted only a minute, lol! A SAR group sent me a questionnaire to fill out on her drive levels, to evaluate her as a potential prospect, and she basically at the highest levels for everything - they wanted me to train with them but I ended up moving and was unable to do so. Since then I've had another weimaraner - a rescue from show lines that was much more laid back, a shepherd/pit/lab mix that was probably medium level drive but had some fear/skittishness that we worked through but I'd like to avoid in the future (I found out after adopting her from the shelter that her dam had to be put down for aggression), a brain damaged border collie that was brought into the clinic I worked at at 6 weeks old with head trauma, and now a bloodhound/coonhound mix with VERY low drive but very sweet. I MISS having a german dog, and am looking at either another weimaraner or a german shepherd. I do feel confident I can handle a high drive german dog, but in fairness I homeschool my kids and can't spend 3 hours a day training. And my attention will be divided between kids and dogs unlike when I had my last high drive puppy as a single adult. I CAN and WILL spend time in spurts throughout the day working on training, and will do long walks, and I have a decent sized fenced yard (6 ft privacy fence) to play fetch/tug/etc in as well as a pool for swimming. I'd also be interested in getting back into tracking (current hound turns out not to care one wit about tracking), or nose work. But most importantly, I want a dog that is safe around visitors, can go places with me, can be good with children. From what I can tell a GOOD GSD fits this profile, but there are so man BAD GSD breeders out there I don't know where to start. I'd prefer a female, on the smaller side rather than the huge overgrown ones I often see, and I’m in Florida so less coat might be better in the heat. I know I do not like the crouching/slanted gait of the American Show lines. Any thoughts?