Hello, Our lovely blue merle Border Collie had 5 puppies at the end of November. They are ready to go to their forever homes now and 1 is sent to go to a forever home. We were so lucky with it, as the vet referred the buyer to us and lo and behold - the trainer I use, coincidentally is their neighbour - so I got a recommendation too! They lost their collie a few months ago, and was finally ready to find another after some months had passed. So we were so very lucky that our 1st sale was to such a great home! That is what I want for all of them of course. We are doing a buy back option on all of them. This is in no way to encourage - temporary homes or 'buy and try' puppies. It is more that things happen in people's lives - allergies, divorce, illness, etc, and my main point is to make sure that the puppies I bred do not go to a shelter, or ill-fitted home...ever. I love them all too much and as far as I am concerned, bias noted, they are the best pups in the world. So the male we are trying to select...For several weeks, the puppies don't necessarily display a character, as they are suckling, discovering, etc. Most say that 7 weeks is generally a minimum to character development. So we, at first, decided a male just sort of on looks and within the reason of no major 'character flaw'. So we had one selected, but are debating another now. I am no behaviour expert and this is sort of a 1st puppy experience. We got our girl at 2 yrs old, so didn't have the puppy experience there. Since then, another contends for my love. My concern is to pick one best suited for us, and also which are the best homes for them. So as these two are neck in neck with love, I am trying to now think - who can I give the best home to, and which one would be better suited elsewhere - and if elsewhere, where is that? So with the 2 competing males, they are wonderful. One (we'll call him P) is a just a bit of a baby really. He is boisterous enough, and likes to play with the others and us. But he has a stopping point earlier than the others, and likes to get away by a certain point. There is a very boisterous girl in there, and she takes his walking away or that he gives these doe eyed looks as incentive to play again, so jumps on him and tries to tug. He just doesn't fight, and will walk with her trying to play with him, pull him, etc. It is heartbreaking for me, so I tried to give him - and any others who want a reprieve - a section of their pen as 'alone time'. So I wouldn't categorise him as 'shy' but he is a little different than the others. We do lots of social things with them all - we've had a pram & a rucksack to take them out in at times (safely since they haven't been able to be vaccinated). They've gone to pubs, stores, christmas markets, pet stores, plus we have chickens, goats, birds and cats - so they have all had experiences, and none any more than another. When we feed the goats, I'll have one on my chest in the puppy rucksack so they are around large animals. But he is shier than the rest. So will be the one to go to the side of the pen, doesn't much like strangers holding him as much. He isn't bad with them but just seems a bit more uncomfortable and will look back at us. But his eyes are so amazing, I can't put an exact word on it. He has very soulful eyes, and he'll sometimes just stare at you. Maybe people think all dogs have soulful eyes, and I'd agree, but he is a little different. Maybe that is me anthropomorphising them! The other (We'll cal him C) is a little more people oriented and boisterous, still very sweet natured, but can give a little more in terms of play and standing up for himself. That's sounds too harsh on the other, as he does play and stand up for himself - he just gets to a moment, where almost like a parent dog just sort of tolerates it a bit? So anyway, with dog number 2. He is lovely, boisterous, playful. He seems to like when people pick him up, well as much as they do considering most of the time all the puppies want is to be down playing! In truth, he and the other contender play a lot together - I swear they have a competition and know this! So there are reasons to keep either one in my book, and I have struggled with which for the last week as I need to decide which to sell! So since I cannot figure out who is best for me, I thought - where is best for them? That's why I am writing! There is something nice about P that he has a laid back character, he connects with us with his eyes - and the fact that he needs protecting, well it calls to me. But are we the best home for him? I've read, and granted I am not an animal expert, that the shier dogs need more confidence - so would a single dog home be better for him with someone dedicated to his confidence, no other dogs to bully him when he gets tired of play. Is C the right match? He is more independent, but that has a counter in that there is less of that connection of the eyes for us with him (but understand that can change) but our dogs aren't working dogs, they are loved pets which go and do 'hobby' farming. So what is the best home for him? Will it be somewhere more active and taxing? We obviously like that P has this connection to us - he is making eye contact, he is asking us to pick him up when he is tired of playing with the others - this is nice for us as the type of dog people we are...but that can be misplaced if he needs more than that, and as we are a home of more than one dog now, it may not be right for him. C may seem like he is a better fit for a home of dogs, cats, chickens, goats, etc but is he the better one suited to another home because he is more independent? So I guess, as I am saying it, the question is - I want to care for P, but not sure if I am doing right for him? Am I seeing proclivities that are bound to change in either of them so to assess their being right now could be very temporary and not good logic for how to home them here or elsewhere? Would love to hear from experienced Border Collie people, or those with some experience in puppy character development - best homing practices. Many thanks!