HOW TO FIND A GOOD BREEDER
Look for someone who asks you LOTS of questions about your home, family, lifestyle and makes sure you know about the breed you're thinking of buying. Someone who encourages you to ask questions. Asking questions means the breeder is making sure their dog or puppy is going to the right home.
Look for someone who has dogs that are kept in clean, sanitary conditions and puppies (if present) are clean, warm and safely cared for.
Look for someone with dogs (and puppies) who are friendly and outgoing. If dogs (or puppies) are shy, nervous or unfriendly DO NOT BUY FROM THIS BREEDER. These traits do not change and are passed down through generations.
Look for someone who knows all the good and not so good things (including health stuff) about their breed. Someone who does any necessary testing which is appropriate in their breed.
Look for someone who shows in conformation (that's the doggy beauty contest you see at the Westminster dog show), obedience, agility, herding or some other kind of contest.
Look for someone who belongs to dog clubs because this membership helps keep breeders current on all that is going on in their own breed.
Look for someone who has puppies checked by a vet and gives a contract, which guarantees health and specifies what will happen if you are unable to keep the dog.
There are a lot of good, responsible breeders out there and it's up to you, the prospective buyer, to make sure you find one. Visit a breeder BEFORE they have puppies. That way those cute little fluffy bundles are not a distraction when you're trying to decide if you're going to like this breed.
If you approach getting either a first or second dog in the same way you'd approach buying a new car or other major appliance and you won't go too far wrong.