Look for Warning Signs
Puppy mills, neglected and abused animals, and unscrupulous breeders are, unfortunately, a part of the industry. To avoid being taken advantage of, there are several warning signs to look for that indicate the breeder or the dog is not what he or she appears to be.
No access to living space – The best way to determine if a breeder is not running a puppy mill and is treating the dogs well is to inspect their living space. If the breeder refuses to allow you to visit the living space or insists on meeting you someplace else, do not buy a puppy from that breeder. The dog has no marking or identifiers – Reputable breeders mark the dogs with clear identifiers that separate them from each other.
If the dogs are not clearly marked, it is too easy for the breeder to perform a bait and switch; show you one puppy but give you another when you come back to get him or her. One female surrounded by multiple males – Male dogs are built to know when a female is in heat, and it is long before a human realizes it.
If multiple male dogs have unrestricted access to the female, the puppy’s parentage will always be under question. Chances are pretty good that you are buying a dog because you want to be certain of its pedigree, so this should be a deal breaker for you.