Dear Aspiring sheepdoggers,
There are a few quite ordinary things one can do to improve one's chances of getting a sheepdog litter 95% of which will work stock adequately (chore dogs) and one might be so good that properly nutured, reared, trained and handled he or she might reach the top 17 of the National Finals. The ordinary things include breeding to a prepotent stud or picking a pup from a litter whose prior mating has produced some pups of the quality you seek.
Most sheepdog pups from such matings will work adequately to outstandingly.
Beyond that, breeding sheepdogs is a gift or a crapshoot and while there are dozens of theorists and a few theoretical books, I can think of no more than a handful of NA sheepdog breeders who frequently produce litters of exceptional puppies. (Frequently: once a year).
According to Ms. CurlyQ, Mr. Tully "later quotes James Moore, "Above all things, never breed from a soft-tempered ['weak'] dog."
After Wilson's Cap, Wiston Cap was the most prominent sire in ISDS history. When I asked John Templeton what sort of dog Wiston Cap was Templeton said, "Oh he was soft. Sort of sulky."
Which terms I'd use to describe Wilson's Roy - the finest sheepdog I ever saw and bred to three times - and Roy was one of the top sires on the east coast.
"Weak" and "Soft" and "Cowardly" and "Sensitive" and "Biddable" are terms we could argue about all day. Would I breed a very "timid" bitch? Probably not. But then, I am not among that handful of gifted breeders.