I have been emailing back and forth with laurie from hillborough and she is amazing! She has replied to all my emails/questions about everything very fast and thorough. She takes her time explaining everything and so far i think she is perfect. I will eventually go visit her as well since i think the few she is expecting next year are spoken for but i think she will be my future breeder if all else seems good once i visit. I dont think she shows her dogs but is that really that important? I honestly dont care about that as much compared to the dogs being tested and having a good history or should i care? Not sure but for now she is amazing and perfect in my opinion. I want someone who can not just be my breeder but also communicate well and not seem bothered when i ask questions.
I have mixed feelings about the importance of showing. With less experienced breeders, it DOES give them feedback on structure that they can't learn in a vacuum. And structure is VERY important, because it is the basis of soundness. OTOH, I have seen some dogs finish that I would NEVER want a puppy from, and I've seen some very nice dogs never finish, either because the breeder just didn't have the time or energy or because "life happens". For instance, a very nice bitch I know lost a big piece of her tail (bone, not just hair) in an accident... end of her show career, but there was NO reason not to breed her.
As I've told you before, I know that there are several people on the forum with her dogs, and they seem happy with them. I haven't heard any complaints. (which is good) HOWEVER, if it were me, I'd want to have a good long talk with her about why she doesn't show, and how she evaluates her dogs for structure and chooses breeding stock and plans matings. Don't do it in an accusatory way (as some people do when grilling breeders) tell her you just want to understand. She may have solid reasons for doing as she does.
I may go farther than many people, but soundness is SO important to me because of the sports I do. I would not buy a dog if I couldn't see soaps of the parents AND the puppy. I NEED straight legs, and this breed is rife with crooked legs. Some of these crooked front dogs do just fine in low impact pet homes, but a large number of them do end up with arthritic problems as they age. And this is someplace that a dog being shown tells you nothing. All too many judges will put up a dog with crooked legs.