I ended up getting a German Shepard mixed with an Aussie Shepard and he has been the best dog i have ever owned. He lets my daughter try to ride on his back, hook him up to her sled in the winter, step on him when he is sleeping, and a whole slew of other things and has never once shown any signs of aggression towards her or my family. He is also very protective but still friendly to other people.
The nice thing about getting a Shepard mix is you can get one that is likely to stay a bit smaller and have less likely a chance of having hip problems in older age. Mine is about 65 to 70 pounds and has shown no signs of the problem yet (knock on wood) but i also make sure he gets a lot of exorcise.