What I have learned the hard way...
Teddy, my BMD, was a 40th Birthday present. We purchased him at a pet store. We were new again to QC after being away for 12 years. We thought it was a good idea at the time as it looked like a really high end store with very healthy animals. Teddy died as many of you know during surgery at 6 months. What did I learn from this experience?
1) never ever support a petstore
2) never let your heart rule your brain
3) research, research, research
4) ask about genetic testing for both parents
5) ask about health guarantees
6) understand the breed, it's health risks etc
7) meet with the breeder
8) meet the parents
9) go to a show where the breeders dogs are competing
10) ask for references from previous purchasers
All I can add is please be sure before getting a purebred dog that you have looked at every angle and, if at all possible, try to rescue one instead of purchasing one from a breeder.
"For every animal that dies in a shelter, there is someone somewhere responsible for its death".