So, on to your question. I do not know any breeders in your area, as I am not from there, but I can tell you what to look for. A good breeder, in the very least, will have titles (weight pulling, AKC, agility, etc..), both parents will be at least 2 years old, they will be health tested (meaning hips, elbows, heart, probably more, I'm not a breeder so I'm not up to date on all of that, others can fill in the blanks), they will have caniine good citizen type certificates that prove their good temperment. I know it's a lot to ask from a breeder. The real kicker is that a good breeder will not breed until there is a home for EVERY potential puppy. This means first you get on a list, then you wait for it to fill up, then you wait for the bitch to come into heat, then hope the studding takes, then wait for the pups, then wait until they are old enough to come home with you. That is a disadvantage to buying from a good breeder. There a more things to look for, but I can't remember them all (my dog came from a shelter). I'm sure others will fill you in.
You may choose to buy from what's known as a back yard breeder. These would be people who advertise in the paper, pups already born etc... For the most part, they have papers (worthless pieces of paper unless you show) and offer a health certificate. This states that the puppy is healthy RIGHT NOW. It does not say that the parent do not have genetic defects, or that the pup will not develop some nasty problems like hip dysplasia (sp?) or heart murmurs. The dogs may or may not have temperment issues, you will not know until the pup is 2-3 years old and fully matured. This is a risk with any breeder, but breeders who show good canine citizen cert.s etc... will have a much lower chance of having problems. These dogs are often cheap, easy to find, and look cute. They are the ones who are contributing the the overpopulation problem, and by buying from them, you too would contribute to the problem.
If you must buy from a breeder, please take the time and money to find one who cares about the breed, not just somebody who has "an awesome dog" and "papers". If you have any more questions, please ask. This forum is an amazing source and will help you in your quest. Good luck.
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