When you look at an ad or website, please be aware of the following points which are illustrated above:
1) Does the kennel linebreed or specialize in one particular bloodline or do they "scatterbreed" several popular lines together? When a breeder uses multiple bloodlines, it is often a sign that they don't understand how to produce a "type". They are simply using "big names" to sell pups. Scatterbred pups rarely exhibit uniformity in appearance or temperament.
2) Are the dogs they are breeding worthy? A serious breeder won't expect you to just take their word for it - they will be able to produce proof that their breeding dogs have earned sport titles or conformation wins. As well, breeding stock MUST be health tested. This ad makes no mention of OFA hip, heart, elbow or patella checks or CERF eye certification. BEWARE anyone who makes excuses for why they don't health test their breeding stock - there IS no excuse.
3) What are the goals of this breeder? Is it to make money? The answer to that is - probably. Reputable breeders - those who put the dogs first - are few and far between. Ask questions like "How long have you been in the breed?" The average time that a person spends "in dogs" is less than five years - not even the lifetime of one dog. Beware the instant expert (and this applies to both breeders and rescuers) who feel they "know the breed" after a couple of years.
If you are looking for a pup for a specific reason, make sure you purchase it from someone knowledgeable about that activity. Someone who has gone hog hunting once or twice knows nothing about producing a dog with "what it takes" to be a hog dog. Someone who has never earned a schutzund title cannot possibly tell you which pup would excel at the sport. As well, please be aware that in order for a line of dog to be "bred for" some purpose, they would need to be bred for several generations for that specific purpose, and those who didn't meet the criteria culled. Very few people practice that kind of serious breeding.
4) Be sure and visit this site's SOUNDNESS PAGES before going to look at a breeder's dogs or litter. How physically sound their dogs are (not to mention whether or not they health test) will tell you a tremendous amount about their depth of knowledge of the breed (and their morals).
5) What is "Pick of the Litter"? There are many ways to determine this. First, it is very difficult to tell - for sure - much about a little pup. IF the litter is professionally evaluated by someone like Pat Hastings, then a breeder can tell you with a reasonable degree of certainty if a pup is worth a shot as a "show quality" or "working prospect".
Many breeders will allow buyers to make their pick based on getting their deposits in on a first come, first serve basis. Some will pick the pup they think fits best into a buyers lifestyle. One person's "pick" might be another's "cur". Consider though, if you are paying a lot of money for a pup, you should not be taking 3rd or 4th pick.
6) RUN! Don't walk away from anyone who advertises that they have "multiple colors" (they are breeding for color only, the worst type of backyard breeder) and that they have "litters available at all times". Aiy, yi yi. During this time of overpopulation crisis, hanging is too good for these types!