That Elusive Sire
If you read some articles that tell you how to pick a puppy, they will tell you how important it is to meet both parents of a litter. Wrong!! This isn’t necessary, or even possible at times. A good breeder may send their bitch across the country, or even to another country, to find the perfect male to breed to. Nowadays, semen can be shipped thousands of miles, or saved for decades, to produce puppies. Many breeders will have photos or videotape of the sire of a litter. If a potential buyer asks, it should be possible for them to talk to the owner of the stud dog.
If a breeder has a long established breeding program, some matings will occur between dogs that they keep in their home, but beware the breeder who produces litter after litter from dogs and bitches on their property. It may be that no one else will breed with them, or that they are simply producing puppies to make money. They may have little or no concern for improving the breed, or maintaining healthy lines. A willingness to look for the best male possible, even across the country, can be the mark of a breeder who cares.
If you are told you can't meet the dam, run in the opposite direction! You may not be able to meet her with the puppies, if she is protective, but you should be able to meet her separately.
Many people want to know that their puppy comes from championship lines. However, not every dog that is bred will have an AKC Championship, although all should be of a quality to get that championship. The Briard may not have finished its championship yet, or hate showing, or have been injured in a way that prevents showing (such as an injured ear). If there are generations in a pedigree without a champion, that can be a warning sign of a breeder not paying attention to the quality of their dogs.