Actually, life happens. Good breeders can be just steps away from becoming bad breeders. And if that happens, we as a site are sending folks to bad breeders.
Also, there really are not good short cuts. You as the buyer need to get on the phone and TALK to people, then you need to go and meet them if at all possible. You at least have to gauge their responsiveness, their knowledge, their ethics for yourself. This purchase is not like a car or a boat or even a house, though hopefully you have your house for 10-14 years or even more. The thing is, you are buying a bit of the breeder as well as the puppy, even if you never call them after the money changes hands. Your go-to resource for your dog's bloodline's health and temperament, ought to be be your breeder first.
This individual shouldn't be found by being one of the winners of a popularity contest on a website. The mod-squad is not commissioned to visit breeders and give ratings 1-star to 5-star. Just looking at web-sites will glean some information, BUT with just a little bit of effort, a website can look a WHOLE lot better than what is in real life. And how often should the squad visit someone's establishment/home (GSD puppies should be raised in your home)? Because, as I said, life happens.
A good breeder with half a dozen bitches, and a couple of dogs, and a husband and a few kids, could have a really good thing going in 2017. And then one of her kids could drown. Her husband can't take it and leaves. 3 dogs are returned and not found homes, and a litter is left to grow out because there just isn't the mental health to go through the process of finding homes. By 2018, you have half the people trying to manage twice as many dogs with a financial hardship, and serious emotional turmoil.
The next thing you know, someone has called AC on the people and their dogs are being removed. And this is someone everyone knew and is shocked to find this out (actually, it is totally fictitious, but it illustrates how quickly things can go from 5-star to both thumbs down). Paul Upton, did get his dogs back, but he fell behind when his son died. They should never have seized his dogs. But evenso, there are so many things that can happen that make having a list like this obsolete or even dangerous.
Bear Cub, Hepsi-Pepsi
Cujo2, Karma Chameleon
Ramona the Pest, Kojak -- who loves you baby?
Tiny Tinnie, Susie's Uzzi, Kaiah -- The Baby Monster.