I had to put my golden retriever to sleep yesterday and it was heartbreaking to say the least. I've had terrible luck with labs and goldens (epilepsy and cancer) which is probably attributable to the fact that we bought them from backyard breeders that had little knowledge of how to breed purebred dogs. I'm looking to possibly switch breeds with the hope that if I go to a reputable breeder and choose a hearty breed I won't have to suffer the heartbreak again for a long time.
I've determined that a GSP might be a good fit for my family since I am an avid runner (my golden was my running buddy) and the fact that GSP's love to run is one of the reasons I'm interested in the breed. My questions for the forum are as follows:
1) Is the breed hearty? I really don't want to deal with major health issues. Although I know there are no guarantees can I expect that a GSP will be a healthy dog?
2) Are GSP's easy to train?
3) Do GSP's like to hang out? My last dog followed me everywhere and always wanted to be with me, which I loved. Are GSP's similar?
4) Do you know of reputable breeders in Utah?
Thanks in advance for any advice. I'm a huge dog lover and want to make sure I do my diligence before buying another dog. Happy Holidays!