Anyone care to tell me the difference between an un-reputable BYB and a reputable one? My family is looking into getting a pup, but I'd really like to know what to look for in BYB area.
Good breeders have clean kennels, will allow you to see both parents if requested, and will have vet records on everyone including mom and dad. They test for genetic disorders inherent in their breed, and will not breed a pair that have shown ANY genetic issue in the offspring. For instance, we had a GSD breeder at the vet clinic I work at whom had a lot of pups out of one pair with megaesophagus. They no longer bred that pair after that litter.
If you're looking at a larger breed, like GSD, Lab, etc, you'll want to ask about hip dysplasia in the line. Good breeders will have had their animals checked and submitted x-rays to the OFA.
BYBers don't always do the genetic testing. They should still have had their animals vaccinated and treated if they were ill (some pups get kennel cough in a high-number environment), gotten their first deworming, and should still allow you to meet mom and dad if both are available. The litter should be clean; if they're kept in a home, ask to see where they've been kept; if they're outside, make sure the pen is clean and there's fresh water available. If they have more animals than a person can reasonably handle or will not allow you to see kennels/pens/conditions, be cautious.
Anyway, hope that helps a little.
And Teeney, he is adorable! I agree with adoption first, but I can see why you love him! That face... And it looks like he gets along with your other pup already.