The Stuff You HAVE to Know
About How This Breeder
Chooses the Parents of Their Puppies
How do you select your breeding stock and choose a specific breeding pair?
This question is very broad. The ideal breeder will be offering an answer that includes performance (obedience, agility, rally, flyball and other breed specific endeavors like retrieving, herding, lurecoursing or earthdog, etc.) titles, conformation titles (Champion) and the health clearances that their dogs must have prior to being bred as well as explanations of temperament (or even certifications like temperament testing or therapy dog) and age requirements (most good breeders won't breed a bitch over 8 years of age for example).
While this must be taken as a whole picture, the obvious worst case scenario is the breeder who cannot offer any such criteria or whose answer would include only minimal reference to health clearances, titling or other documented aspects. Do not hesitate to research what the breeder tells you. Having the registered names of the parents of your prospective puppy would be among the first pieces of information you'd receive (in the pedigree). All responsible registries (health and titling) maintain a record of titles/clearances received by individual dogs so there would be little difficulty in verifying titles and health clearances in most cases. This is something you should immediately do. It is not to say that everyone falsifies such things (in fact, most irresponsible breeders would be so surprised to be asked that they probably wouldn't lie) but it is the closest thing to "CarFax" for breeders that could be available at present.
Be willing to research and confirm all information you can including titles, health clearances, etc. Of course other references, like prior puppy buyers can help fill you in as well.
Of course any additional questions you might have on this topic will be enthusiastically fielded at DigitalDog's Forum .