8 weeks. The pups need the time from 5 weeks to 8 weeks to help them learn bite inhibition and also the mom starts correcting pups at 5 or so weks and that is also needed. some pups that go home at 6 weeks or so can require a bit more firm training early on because of this. Older pups say 10 weeks or older will have lost important bonding time with you and the family in my opinion plus the breeder isn't mindful, the pups can start to learn bad habits and then you have to correct and retrain the pup if you get them at say 12 weeks.
Rukie was just a couple days short of 8 weeks and it seems to have all gone well. His breeder felt like puppies in a really large litter (his was 12 surviving) mature a little faster because they start on food a little earlier. Plus because of when the weekend fell it was either get him a couple days earlier or wait another week.
This falls in line with what I'd been hearing, either 8 weeks (as close to exactly at 8 weeks as possible, as in my state, that's the minimum age allowed), or to hope for a puppy to be well-socialized by his or her breeder & wait until about 11-12 weeks.
But, by far, the vast majority of people have recommended 8 weeks and I believe I'm learning why. Thank you all so much! :smile2: