Collies For Mobility & Support service dog candidates are drawn primarily from the Kings Valley Collies breeding program which, for the last three decades, has consistently selected for pronounced working ability and physical and emotional stamina. Puppies and adolescents are exposed to herding, carting, agility, conformation events and temperament tests and, along with the adults, participate in family and farm activities.Collies are endowed with an intrinsic richness of character and a highly developed sense of appropriateness. Our training process builds on these inherent qualities which Collies unfailingly bring to their work as service dogs. Throughout their early schooling, they are rewarded with praise, touch, or treats for every affectionate gesture towards people. As they mature, we use every opportunity to reward initiative and good judgment.
As training progresses, the dogs’ repertoire of skills broadens. Almost imperceptibly, they assume a new, ‘professional’ demeanor. They are now in full swing of integrating all their newly honed skills with a growing awareness of human diversity and needs. They are ready and eager to bond with their new partners.
The changes that take place when our Collies become working service dogs reflect a maturing process – the transition from learning skills to a lifestyle which integrates their education into daily life. They have learned to use their skills in different contexts, and they are motivated by the love and respect for their new partners; to apply their knowledge, experience, and intuitive wisdom. Repeatedly, we see our Collies undergo a graceful transformation from Trainees to working Service Dogs.