So, we actually used https://www.pets4homes.co.uk/ …which, as the most popular uk website, is probably rife with concerning situations such as puppy farms, so I’m not sure I should be recommending it! The trick is to read up on the signs of a good/bad breeder (easy enough to google, and you’ll find something like this: https://pethelpful.com/dogs/A-Breeders-Perspective-On-Finding-The-Right-Dog-Breeder-For-You).
The biggest thing for us was to be patient and not feel as though asking too many “blunt” questions would jeopardise our chance of getting the ideal dog. A breeder should actually be happy that you are concerned about details, as they want they’re dogs to be well-homed. I would definitely be wary if they are in any way defensive, personally. Of course…this is harder when the breed you’re after isn’t very common…but then spending an extra few months diligently searching is worth it when their lifespan are usually 10-15 years.
It sounds a bit vague the best thing is to try and go with your gut for how genuine somebody is, and to try and stay disciplined!
Unhelpful bit: Since getting Martha…I have also thought about how also those puppies with “bad breeders” (or even those runts of the litter) still need loving homes too…so sometimes I wonder if it’s essentially the “right” thing to do. Personal choice, I guess…in our case I tell myself that we’ve actually had a lot of trial/error with Martha…which has luckily not had a lasting impact because she has such a relaxed/happy nature. With a nervy dog it could’ve been different…so it probably is best to be particular at first. We’d feel ready to get a rescue next, having learned from our mistakes (hopefully!)