An Interview with COL
9. Are there any performance events for which you think more Collies should be participating? If so, what are the keys to attracting more participants to that activity?
Marilyn Clayton: Herding, because that is what they were bred to do. What is needed is availability of good instructors that understand the Collie, its temperament, work ethic and style(s) of herding, as well as, access to stock. It would also help if more breeders kept workability, soundness, temperament and herding instinct in mind when choosing breeding stock.
Noreen Bennett: Collies were the number one breed in all of the Herding Group for earning the most titles in herding last year. More people are getting involved in herding but the distance, expense and time can make it difficult to continue with the sport. I think we have an untapped resource of Collies that can herd. I would love to see breeders taking their puppies to a known herding instructor and put their puppies on ducks, for example, at a young age to see what lines have herding instinct and what lines do not.
Barbara Corriveau: Oh, yes, I think there could be more Collies in everything. I believe that over the years when most of the training methods were correction based, Collies did not have a good reputation as working dogs. Most Collies do not do well with that type of training. I definitely think that has changed with positive training methods predominating. But we still hear way too often that our dogs are good workers "for a Collie." That makes us wince. Collies can and do excel in many areas when trained positively.
I don't think many people who are interested in a particular sport and seek a dog for that sport tend to think of Collies. They are more likely to go for Border Collies. But people who have Collies, because we love the breed, are more likely to seek out things to do with them. I think that is why Collie people stick together, because we love our breed first of all, and also because we know how wonderful they are.