Hey Big Red welcome to the forum,
wow everyone seems to be giving it to you dont they? You come it here for help and they gunna scare you away lol
I dont realy have much to add, i guess coz im not what you would call an experienced dog owner. I got my first pup bout 5 months ago now.
Have you looked into getting a Kelpie at all? Thats what my dog is (a kelpie x). Medium/large breed (mines 7 1/2 months and already 23 kg). He never tires lol. When we take him to the beach he'll run around like crazy, have a sleep in the car back and be ready to go again not long after.
There also good watch dogs (let you know when someones coming) very very smart, learns tricks in one session. Short coat- easy to maintain. They'll want to go with you everywhere. Not sure if all kelpie are like this but mine also has a gentle side doesnt snatch his treats and loooooves tummy rubs
Hmmm can you tell i love my kelpie hehe
Anyway good luck with you search and dont be discouraged coz there's some good info on this site.
Oh and also want to say im so sorry to here about your dogs, thats just horrible that people can be that cruel, i dont know what i would do if that happened to me