Not before 8 weeks because they learn so much from their litter mates about how to interact with other dogs, and from you (who has been their "person") on how to interact with people. You also need to properly wean them so that they aren't picky eaters as adults (if you do it too quickly it happens). And you shouldn't give the first vaccination until they have been weaned for about a week because the maternal antibodies in the milk can block the vaccination.
I prefer to keep my puppies until about 9 weeks old. 8 weeks is usually the puppy's "fear period" and any kind of trama or stress can stick with them if it happens at this time. The one week makes a big difference and usually it makes the transition to their new home much less stressful and much easier on the puppy - which is then easier on the family adopting the puppy.
You can't MAKE a wonderful dog in the first 8-12 weeks of it's life, but you can certainly RUIN one.
8 weeks IMHO is the best time! reason being you want them early enough to bond with the new owner (not with litter mates) and some of the most important early learning and socialation comes in that 8-12 weeks!
A puppy that goes home at 3 months bonds no less then a puppy that goes home at 8 weeks. In fact, the new owner normally has an easier time of it all. I just sent a pup off at 7 months and he was crawling into his new owners bed trying to sleep on her head within 12 hours and guarding the house and checking with her that he did the right thing. I would consider that bonded.
Most of my dogs come to me no younger then 5 months. I don't want them younger. I prefer to skip the baby puppy phase and work with young dogs. Not a single one of my dogs is any less bonded then the one I brought home at 7 weeks. In fact, my latest rescue is about 6 months old, and she decided that I was her person when I went to pick her up from the fire station she had run into. Anyone would think that I birthed and raised the dog.
Most of my pups did not leave till 3 and 4 months old and the ONLY thing I hear is that they are angelic and the owners wish the board them with me when they go out of town. No crying, no stress, no adjustments, no fear phases, no sickness, just happy well socilzied adjusted puppies because I took that 8-12 week period and put all the basics into them, and they left solid little dogs.
Having a litter of puppies till 12 weeks is hard, but it also has a fantastic end result for the majority of them going to single dog homes.
Ummm... 2-3 months IS 8-12 weeks old. Why are we arguing? Take a step back, a deep breath, and think for a moment.
I personally like to see my puppies head to their homes between 9 & 10 weeks. BUT I think some of it has to do with the breed. I know with my Aussie pups I think I'm going to hold on to them a little longer than I do the Shelties because the Aussies seem to do better with more time with their mother to help them understand what appropriate behavior is.
I don't know much about Afghans, so I don't doubt that Icy is doing what she feels is best for her breed.
I do know that I heavily frown on anyone who lets their pups go home before 8 weeks - and personally I think that is a sign that the breeder wants the pups out of their house - not that they want them to bond with their owner sooner.