RFR, just for curiosity's sake, I checked out our local animal shelter for small dogs. Out of roughly 20 dogs up for adoption right now, four were little dogs. Most were herding breed mixes, pit bull crosses, and various hunting dogs. But, if you'd like a little dog, you have a choice between two yorkie mixes, a Jack Russel mix, and a min pin mix.
So yes, when I get a puppy he/she will be from a breeder who knows their dogs, titles, and health tests. If I ever want a mixed breed, animal shelter it is, because there's a great variety of mutts you can adopt. Of course, there's deliberate crosses done for specific purposes (herding/hunting etc.) and that's a different ball game, although any responsible breeder will do all health testing, titling or other proof that the dogs can work, etc. Just not charge $3,000 for throwing two dogs together and hanging a cutesy-sounding name on the pups. If I want a mutt with no health testing and the rest of it, I'll head down to the pound or a local dog/cat rescue. Otherwise, a good breeder for sure.
Edited to add- about rescue adoption fees? Yeah, $250 would not have covered all of Griffin's vet care and food bills while he was in the rescue. He was dumped in the shelter with no records, so they had to assume he hadn't had any vaccinations. So, his SPCA adoption fee, a full vet exam, plus vaccines, plus three months of food (he was underweight according to the shelter paperwork, so he needed some groceries), plus the rescue and foster home's time and gas. $250 might cover part of that, but certainly not all. And then there's the costs the rescue has for dogs who are in worse shape than Griffin- the ones who are injured, need surgeries, months of care to get them healthy again.
I adopted Griffin from these guys, btw, if anyone in the DC area is looking for a Dobe. Shameless plug for Doberman Assistance, Rescue, and Education.
Thanks for hauling Griff out of a kill shelter 6 years ago. He's a good dog.