An Interview with COL
2. How has temperament been a factor in any successes and or challenges during that time?
Carol Lariviere: I am very lucky that both dogs are extremely biddable. "Soleil" can be a bit "soft" at times which was particularly true in herding. This made it difficult to correct her without causing her to shut down. "Splash" is always happy to work. It doesn't matter which game we play, he tries to please me. Splash will accept a correction and come right back to play.
Athleen Zimmermann: "Darry" has a wonderful temperament — he gets excited and loves to do agility, but he's able to concentrate and focus on his job, which has enabled us to be successful. In addition to his agility championship, he has qualified to compete in the AKC 2014 National Agility Trial.
Sue Larson: In my book, temperament is the most important quality in a performance dog. I've worked with dogs in the past who have had even just slight problems with people or new situations, and it's tough. It's hard for a dog to learn if he/she is always worried. And I've also had two over the years who really didn't care if they pleased me. And those qualities are something I don't ever want to deal with again. Both Jif and Thrill have "solid as a rock" temperaments. They're bright and willing and love to do things with me. If you've got that, you can do most anything with them.
Kim Parker: Harvey has a lovely work ethic and a desire to please. He is not too soft that an error shuts him down and he does not take on the responsibility of the error being mine. For me he is the perfect balance of a good worker and thinker with drive and ability. He is a sensible dog.
Just as important he has the right body to do the work. The reason he is still performing beautifully at 11-plus is because he does not struggle with any of the equipment. That is a testament to his structure as well as his temperament. I am so blessed to share the fun with a dog like him. I cannot think of any challenges with him -- only success and joy.
Terry Thistlethwaite: Back in the day, the term "true Collie temperament" was something we all used, and among breeders, as well as among the fancy on the whole, it needed no explanation. It was bred for, sought after, and considered just as much a mark of a "genuine Collie" as an endearing expression or a white tipped tail. True Collie temperament makes training a Service Dog an almost effortless endeavor. The combination of an innate desire to help and the intelligence to get it right are fostered by the sweet and caring nature that puts the properly endowed Collie in a class above all others as a working dog.