Currently my wife and I are in the process of replacing our 9 year old German Shepherd, Chelsey, which we recently had to put down due to cancer. We have two children, a 14 year old daughter and an 11 year old son. Or son suffers from a rare genetic disorder in addition to suffering from Autism and Epilepsy. We are in the process of trying to acquire a new pup, but my wife is concerned whether a lab would be a better choice then another shepherd. Needless to say all of our family loved our previous German Shepherd, but my son established a relationship with her which was inseparable. My biggest concern in acquiring a new shepherd would be health and temperament of the dog because of our son. I have always loved the shepherds because of their intelligence and protective nature but am not sure where to look with regard to breeders or what particular line to look for. Our previous breeder is not an option. My wife and I reside in Northwest Illinois, so I was curious on any recommendations on breeder or even whether another German Shepherd is the breed for us? We have a little over 1 1/2 acres of property with an underground fence surrounding the whole property. We are active individuals, but both my wife an I work away from the home, so the pup would be unattended for part of the day. I have been looking at a DDR German Lines and have found a breeder within the area, Vom Gildaf German Shepherds. Is this a good fit in line of dog or breeder; or should we be looking somewhere else? All help would be appreciated. Chelsey was not just a pet, it was a member of the family; thus the importance of finding a new member to add to the family!