This can be a very touchy subject! There are people that feel that rescue is the only way to go. Three of my four dogs are rescues. My personal opinion is that there are so many dogs in the shelters and rescues that need forever homes. I do not, however, discount breeders. If you are using a legitimate breeder that is. You need to do your research and visit the facility where the dogs are kept. Do not just listen the the breeder describe the living conditions, you need to see them for yourself. There are many puppy mills and backyard “breeders” who are disguising themselves as legitimate breeders. Ask to see the breeders license. You want to look for AKC (American Kennel Club) breeders. You want to see proof of vaccinations and deworming and other necessary vet care for the pup of your choosing. Also, ask to see the parents (at minimum the mother). Look at their coat closely, look at the underside of their paws, look over them thoroughly. If they are not being properly housed, for example, the “breeder” will not be able to hide all the injuries. Also, if your breeder is taking the dogs away from their mother before 8 weeks DO NOT use that “breeder”. It is crucial that the pups stay with their mom for a minimum of 8 weeks. Not only does the pup get antibodies from the mothers milk, but the mother teaches her pups what is appropriate and what is inappropriate during some critical stages. Pups do not need to be taken from their mothers to be weened and you can socialize pups with people without taking them from their mom. So if you are given excuses as to why the pups are being taken early, then it is best to walk away and find another breeder. If there is anything that you are not comfortable with when it comes to your breeder, please listen to your gut and find another one. That puppy is going to be your baby, so you want to make sure they had the best care and start to life before joining your household.