Q} How can you really tell if a breeder is a “good one” ?

A} There is no single quality or sign of a good breeder. There are however, signs that will help you to weed out the bad ones.

—Proud to say they have any color/sex/type of puppy you could want.—
This is a big red flag. There is absolutely NO WAY that any decent person could breed that many litters all the time and still provide any real care, love, or time to their adults or the puppies.

—Suggests in anyway that you should just breed your puppy to make your money back.—
There are many, many things wrong with this statement. I’ll make this easy – you do not want to deal with anyone who views a bulldog as a financial investment.

—Charges extra for registration papers.—
This is against AKC policy and they should be reported. www.akc.org

—Has a half dozen or more different breeds.—
This is the same as having any type of puppy you want.(see above)

—Has a ton of questions for you.—
This is a very good sign. It might feel a little weird having someone asking you a lot of intrusive questions but try to remember, this shows they care about their puppies’ future.

—Charges different amounts for various colors/traits.—
They’re trying to rip off the less informed buyer. Plain and simple. The exception to this rule is show prospect/potential breeder puppies vs. pet bulldogs. In this case prices may vary but for a very different reason. We (and many other breeders) charge less for “pet” puppies to encourage spaying/neutering.(We require by written contract that “pet” puppies be spayed/neutered.) If you are interested in a bulldog to breed expect even more questions.

—Health Guarantees–
A lack of any guarantee is a very bad sign. Keep looking.
Unfortunately, having one doesn’t prove much at all. You have to inspect it very closely. I have seen 6 month guarantees on hip dysplasia. That is like driving a brand new car off the lot with a 1 week warranty on all engine explosions. As a general rule you should expect a bare minimum of 1 year on any genetic defaults. 2 years or more is obviously better.
But…
Let’s say you buy a beautiful puppy with a lifetime guarantee. 2 years later little Buddy starts showing some genetic health disorders. Are you really going to bring him back and just exchange him for another dog? I don’t think so, and most breeders and pet industry people know it too. That’s why many pet stores with very inferior bred, sickly puppymill dogs can proudly offer a nice health guarantee. These people are not stupid. 10% of buyers might return a puppy, but they know they will sell 30% more pets with some kind of guarantee.
So the bottom line… Expect one, but just offering one does not prove anything about the quality of the breeding program, or the future health of the puppies.

—Offers references—
It is very easy for any breeder (good or bad) to offer a list of very satisfied “customers.” I don’t care what kind of person you are – if you sell 100 bulldog puppies, you can count on at least a few, probably dozens, of good references from happy buyers.
It’s a little tougher to convince a veterinarian or another responsible breeder of the quality of your breeding program.
Ask your potential breeder for some real references. If they can’t produce’em then keep on lookin’.