As a lifelong advocate of pet rescue I have always scoffed at the idea of buying a dog from a breeder. But working livestock guardians are scarce at the local SPCA, and the risk of our goats being munched is inversely proportional to the now-dwindling daylight hours. So we're out more than $1000, but it seems that we got exactly what we paid for.
Titan (aka Ty) is a nice pup by my exacting standards. He is sensitive to correction, but not shattered by it. He barks at things he finds suspicious or unfair, but he doesn't join our neighbor's dog in her non-stop conversation with nothing. He's pretty happy to see me when I'm around, but he's also pretty happy to relax alone with the goats. What makes Ty VERY unhappy is being kept separate from his goats, which is a good sign. So far he has learned (1) to follow me on a lead; (2) the "sit" command; (3) that complaining gets him nowhere; (4) who the neighbors are and not to bark at them; and (5) a healthy respect for the horses.
He still needs to learn that (1) playing with the goats is unacceptable; (2) jumping on me is unacceptable (3) meals last for 10 minutes -- hoover it or lose it; (4) Tilley and/or Willow will not play with him; and (5) I am serious when I say "unacceptable".
What's most remarkable is the fierceness with which this 13-week-old pup meets perceived threats to his small flock. His voice and body language clearly communicate that it would be best for such threats to move along, though I suspect his bark is worse than his milk-toothed bite. Still, it's always a treat to watch a carefully bred dog fill its niche.