|Barked: Tue Jun 18, '13 5:19pm PST |
|You will often hear people describe Smooths versus Roughs with Smoothies being more energetic, having more drive and Roughs having a more laid back disposition.
Honestly? I didn't find that to be true through the hoards of collies I met. Both coat types can happen in the same litter, so I found the greatest temperament difference was between breeders or parents, not between coat types. I found Smooths to be just as sensitive, people loving, and sweet as their longer-haired brethren. Overall though a Collie is a Collie, in spite of the hair. It's SUPER important to tell a breeder what YOU need and for them to pick the pup for you, which is what I did with Oberon. Even though he's supposed(By what you hear) to have more drive, more energy, and be "on" I really find him a medium-outside energy and a low-inside energy dog. More than anything he adapts to us and the situation we're in, very much like my standard poodle. Josie the poodle could be "on" or "off" based on what we were doing and how she was expected to behave. With the adults I met this on/off behavior between a chill, relaxed dog and a dog who was released for play/running around the yard/etc was even more pronounced. Overall they have a very merry, gentle attitude about them.
I would say that if you build a bond with them, they will work for you. It's less about they have to have a job and more about they love making you happy. Oberon has taken to training quickly and exuberantly. He'd rather be learning something with me or performing with me than making his own mischief elsewhere.
I initially just searched for Collie breeders online and went to dog shows in the SouthEast, meeting dogs and breeders. After awhile I got in the know about what a good temperament and good conformation looked like, who to stay away from, red flags, what titles meant what, and to use ColliesOnline. That last one is an online magazine and most really great breeders are affiliated with it. I built up a relationship with several breeders and sort've used them to cross check everyone's reputation. I had originally chosen to look at Cardigans and found out very quickly that if more than one person has reservations it was best to look elsewhere.
Oberon's breeder is Tasha Byerly of Byluc Collies in Florida. She has raised a mountain of champions, exposes all her pups to livestock to assess herding instinct, and has dogs doing herding work, agility, rally, and obedience. I knew what I needed an SD to do about a year beforehand and described this very specifically to Tasha. So far I have not been disappointed, Oberon is easily the most chill dog I've ever personally owned, approaching anything new with confidence and calm curiosity. I have no doubt with my trainer helping us that he has the best possible chance of reaching the goal of being my SD.
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