After you have a few names and addresses take a drive and visit the breeders. If possible stay with local breeders within a few hours’ drive, so you can visit several over a weekend.
At the breeders, pay special attention to how healthy and friendly the parent dogs are. Then look over the litter of pups. Are the puppies in a clean environment? Do they appear playful and attentive? The answer to these questions is very important because they reveal a dog breeder who cares about his or her dogs.
If the breeder is hesitant about allowing you to visit the parent dogs or the mother “died”, and the environment is dirty, move on to another breeder. These are clear indications of a puppy mill, and you could well end up with a nasty tempered puppy full of health problems.
The best dog breeders will have questions for you as well, because they’re sizing you up. These men and women love the dogs they breed, and are going to ask questions of potential customers to ascertain the pups are going to the best new owners possible.
They will have guaranteed documentation that the parents and pups have been vaccinated, are free of any health problems, and the breeder will also be willing to take the pup back if you have a legitimate reason why you cannot keep the pup.
Avoid a puppy mill dog by dealing with a dog breeder who meets the above requirements. You will be glad you did!