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Discussion Starter #1
Hi:

I recently was diagnosed with a neurological condition and currently experience periodic mild postural stability issues. I don't require a service dog, but I am looking for a quality GSD with intermediate drive that will not pull or be reactive. I would prefer a young adult dog with an established mild temperament with some obedience training. I would imagine show lines might fit the bill but I don't want to be concerned with hip and elbow etc. health issues.

Can anyone suggest any breeders
 

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Maybe look to a GSD specific rescue that has dogs that are fostered in homes by breed knowledgeable people. They can accurately tell you about a dog's leash and house manners etc. What you wont get there is a window into the dog's genetic health. Odds are the parentage will be unknown so you wont be able to see HD clear lineage, etc. I mention this because you mentioned quality.

You're kind of asking for a lot of variables that don't always go hand in hand. If you want a "quality" GSD with health testing and such...you're going to get a quality GSD and a quality GSD can be a handful. Showlines does not automatically mean low drive. Ostensibly, they are suppose to be able to work as well as show. So a quality bred Showline will have drive. I am talking German Showlines. I do not know anything about American Showlines, some here do though, perhaps they will chime in.

If the budget allows for it, probably your best bet to get the package you are describing is to look to breeders who are selling adult or young adult well started dogs (you asked for recommendations- is location a factor? If so list your approximate location). Or- I do know people (including my vet) who bought a washed seeing eye dog. Low drive, steady eddy, very nice temperament. When a dog washes from those programs it is often for an inability to master specific tasks even though their obedience is impeccable.

Good luck, sorry to hear you are having health issues. There is nothing like a good dog to give comfort and security. I am sure if you do your research and communicate well with a breeder or facility you are getting a dog from, you will find yours.
 

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Keep in mind, some (most?) rescues will allow you to have a dog x rayed at your arrangement and expense if it can be done conveniently. i don’t often hear of people exercising or even inquiring about this being an option, but with all the concern over hips when rescuing - $200 isn’t much for peace of mind.

i suppose for some, the hesitancy might lie in hip dysphasia being found, the potential adopter decides not to take the dog and (ethically) the rescue would now have to share that info which may make the dog harder to adopt.

anyway, it’s worth asking.... both rescues that i have experience with have allowed this.
 

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There was a GSD I was trying to help adopt out. SUPER nice dog it seemed. Anyway a potential adopter asked his hips be xrayed while under for neutering. The xray showed not great socket seating and the adopter passed on him. It upset me because the dog was an adult and his gait looked fantastic. Some dogs have HD and just never suffer from in. That in combination with the fact I am certain the county shelter has not a great handle on proper positioning for HD screens..let's just say there is a perfectly good dog still wasting in a county shelter due to it.

But yeah, I agree with Fodder. If a good breed rescue that has a good dog in a foster home (not just in a shelter-you want your potential dog to have already gone through shelter shut down period and is showing his true colors in a home) will allow you to pay for OFA type xrays, that may be a good option for you.
 

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Thanks for the info. I’m in Houston, but willing to travel. Does anyone know where to find washed out seeing eye dogs?
 

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Thanks for the info. I’m in Houston, but willing to travel. Does anyone know where to find washed out seeing eye dogs?
There is a school in Texas but I don’t know that they have GSDs... many schools are phasing them out in favor of labs or Golden’s. Fidelco in CT, The Seeing Eye in NJ and I believe Guiding eyes in NY all use GSD (Fidelco exclusively). I don’t know their procedures, wait time or adoption fees.

Also, some industry pet peeves :p
“Seeing eye dogs” = “Guide dogs”, unless they actually came from The Seeing Eye (oldest school in the US)
“Wash outs” = “Career Changed”

Edit: oh, I forgot Guide dogs of America & Guide dogs of the desert, both in southern ca... both use GSD, but not many.
 

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I am about 20 minutes from the Seeing Eye in NJ. That is where my veterinarian got one. I always see them getting walked as I also have a lot of clients on the same main road. Fodder- thanks for the insight ;)

OP-will keep my fingers crossed for you.
 

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I have an American Showlines that's from champion lines and frankly she is a nut - no way would you want a dog like her for your needs. I also have a W. German that's much more sensible. Do you have to have a GSD? A Golden might be a good choice otherwise. Sorry for your troubles.
 

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I have an American Showlines that's from champion lines and frankly she is a nut - no way would you want a dog like her for your needs. I also have a W. German that's much more sensible. Do you have to have a GSD? A Golden might be a good choice otherwise. Sorry for your troubles.


I have American showlines from champion lines (actually one of mine is an AKC champion) and have the opposite experience. They are solid, stable dogs.
 

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Bobby, when I worked in a hospital, a man with parkinsons disease came into the DR with his wife. He had a good size Great Dane to help him with his balance while walking. Just throwing this out there.
 
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