Hmmmm - I have been debating bringing this up here as it may start a heated debate or worse yet, make some of you angry with me...but I value your input and friendship so here goes... Part 1: You guys know how many dogs I have fostered and rescued over just the time I have been a DTA member and hopefully you know I will always continue to do just that, but in all the fosters I have had I have been looking, for about 18-19 months for my next personal dog. I have some pretty great house/companion dogs but I am looking for a superstar - I want to try my hand at Rally and Obedience, maybe some Disc Dog work, and maybe train for TV and film work. I want a dog that loves to train as much as I do and that picks things up quickly. Over the last year I have put the word out on what I was looking for and have had calls from rescues, shelters and private owners all thinking their dog is the one. I go out - meet them and so far - none have been the right fit. All would be beautiful companion dogs for sure - but they all lack that forward thinking intelligence I am missing. So for the first time in my adult life - I am going to buy a purebred pup from a breeder. (POTENTIAL CONTROVERSY #1) Shade Tree Border Collies I met this breeder some time ago and temperament tested her litter she had then, and really liked her. She does a version of ENS that I like and we are on the same page as far as early social and physical development goes - plus she is just a really nice person. I know we have a ton of BCs here and I know other dogs could fill what I am looking for - but my heart has always been with the Borders since I was a kid and after Dakota (my BC mix in NZ) - I was sold! She has a litter on the ground now that I am going to meet on Monday and I am looking at these three little love muffins: FETA - Blue Merle Tri Male (Playful/Calm/Attentive) Without even meeting him, I am partial to him. During ENS exercises he has been calm and is showing early signs of attraction to people and focus - and I mean look at that face!! He is her first pick for me... BRIE - Blue Merle Tri Female (Calm/Quiet) Looks alot like Juni - will be a lighter merle with a large white broken ruff. She is calm and quiet - possibly too much - we'll see! BLEU - Blue Merle Tri Male (More Independent/Playful/Alert) He is already seeking her out when he hears her voice and although he is fussy during ENS exercises maybe a bit of spunk is good! She has said he is the first to do everything and is quite an independent little guy. LOL Part 2: This is the part I am worried about you guys not liking/understanding... Whichever pup I choose - I want to take him/her earlier than normal. I have discussed this with the breeder who would normally not ever consider it, but knows me well enough to allow it for me. When I go down on Monday to visit, they will be 4 weeks old...and if one of them works out - will be coming home then. (DEFINITE CONTROVERSY #2) Do remember that in the last year I have raised a litter of 8 pups from 10 days old, the J's were 4 weeks when they came home and Phoenix was 3 weeks. All are beautifully well adjusted, social creatures without a phobia among them. Why take a pup early? In my case, I know I can offer the level of socialization and early exposure they need, and I can control those interactions for the best possible outcome. I have all manner of dogs here to help with the dog/dog learning curve...Momma Ayla for gentle boundaries, puppies Phoenix (12 weeks) and Tracy's pup Micah (9 weeks) for littermate socialization, Uncle Luka for modelling that stoic calmness...so they are not missing out on anything. I can influence attitudes far before the fear imprint period and for selfish reasons I like to establish that early bond ( and start play training early.) I know this will upset some people and I am not saying that this is right, certainly not for the majority of people, but I also don't want to lie about why I have such a young pup. I hope you can keep an open mind and welcome me and my possible new babe if he/she comes. It has been a very long time since I have done anything other than foster, so this is something I am very excited about...hopefully you will be too. If not - please feel free to open a discussion about any concerns you have - I am happy to talk about any of it - and I guess if you just need to vent but don't want to discuss - just PM that and I will accept that too.