I love to see all the puppy mills and BYB on this site and others. They throw up so many red flags it just amazes me how many people aren't picking up the signs.
AKC site and magazines aren't any better at filtering out BYB and puppy mills. A one or two line ad doesn't give much info.
You really do need to go to the place where the puppies are born and raised if you can get past their website. When my boys were young we were looking for a bordering location because they were too much for our dog sitter (a couple hours was enough time for her to say no way to an overnight. So I went to about six places. One was run by this old show lady and the place was a dump. I laugh (in frustration) now when I go to local shows and see her. At the shows her dogs look so nice, but back home the place wasn't good enough to leave my dogs for one minute and her dogs were so dirty.
There are a lot of bad apples out there. Even word of mouth isn't good enough without doing your home work. I was given a name of a show/agility person who had puppies for sell. I saw her pictures, house was clean were the puppies were kept, both sire and dam are champions, the dam does agility, and her name came from a trusted source. The problem was she claimed the dogs are both OFA cleared. They are cleared, but the dam was only given a fair. IMO you shouldn't breed a dog rated fair, and if I wouldn't of looked up the test score I might of thought about getting one of her puppies. Not a good idea to have a dog with bad hips and a high drive to work.
Read all you can and ask a lot of questions. Some people on here got upset with me because I once posted "read the contract". I still think it is a good idea to read the contract and everything else you can find out about a breeder.
With the AKC lists can't anyone with AKC dog's pay for an ad? Same with the breed mags, you just have to pay for the ad and have that breed of dog. Granted many many more reputable breeders place ads in thier breed mag and on the AKC site but still technically you do not have to be a good breeder to do those things, so you could still end up being mixed in with some nasty breeders.
Trouble is backyard breeders out number good breeders. So they're everywhere. The only way to truely keep yourself from being associated with any of them is to stick to just your own website listed on a search engine.
And no i'm not trying to pick on the person that brought up the AKC lists and such. I'm just pointing it out that we run into the bad breeders no matter where we go.