I lucked out with my breeder, and didn't have to wait too long. she was a hobby breeder, and the sire was her champion (his last litter as he was 16...must be in the genes!) and she borrowed the dam. It is kinda like a date/interview because you have to convince them you are worthy of one of their dogs (sheltie breeders usually have lists of people wanting a dog). I was really flexible and even brought a friend and made a day of it. No preference on size,color,sex, etc. All I wanted was the calm one Lucky me, Gavin was a bit oversized even at 5 weeks because his markings were perfect (If he was in size she would have at least grown him out). I think his litter was 4 girls and 2 boys (gavin and one smaller boy). I think I picked him at 2 or 3 weeks; my breeder didn't let you visit or pick until then. I visited again at 5 weeks to drop off a crate and such. I played with all the dogs both times, and Gavin ignored me both times btw, he was more interested in other things. The pickier you are, especially at the outset, the harder it will be. Breeders won't know until after they are born how many, sex, coloring. and even longer for some temperment determination and which ones they want to keep for show (or which one they owe back to the owner of the other dog if that was the agreement). And then there are dogs they grow out for show that develop a fault. I got a 6 month puppy that way once (ears wouldn't tip). There are places out there that have multiple litters and run a more professional business of breeding (I ran into a few websites) and they are more likely to be able to fit exacting requirements more quickly. Not sure I would call them puppy mills (at least some of them look to be reputable), but it is a different thing than a hobby breeder doing 1-2 litters a year.