* Make an appointment to talk to the breeder and see his or her facility. Many breeders do so part-time, so it may take some time to receive a call back. Do not be discouraged.
* Find out when litters will be available so that you can visit. You also will want to visit the breeder prior and ask to see the parents and check the condition of the home or kennel.
* Ask questions of the breeder, including how long he or she has been in business as well as how often litters are bred. This will help you determine if the breeder is overtaxing dogs or simply in it for the money.
* A knowledgeable breeder will know a lot of information about the breed and should be able to tell you the science behind breeding one particular dog versus another. The breeder should be able to explain the good and bad points of a particular breed, including the breed standards. It should be their goal to educate you about the breed, not simply sell you a dog.
* A quality breeder should be able to provide you with a pedigree of the puppies, not just registration papers. The pedigree will list several generations of the puppy's ancestors. He or she should also be willing to share proof of health screenings, such as OFA and CERF certificates.
* Pay attention to the way the dogs interact with the breeder. Does he or she seem to genuinely care for the adult dogs and puppies? The dogs should not shy away or be shy around strangers, either.
* Most breeders breed dogs with the intention of furthering their breeding programs to advance their purebred dogs. Therefore, a good breeder usually keeps one or two of the puppies. If the breeder offers to sell you all of them, it could be a red flag.