You are visiting the "Home" page for the
Shepherds With Beardies website. The main sections for this site can be accessed by
clicking on any one of the above links. From there, sub-sections are
The idea of putting together a website for
the working Beardie-like dogs began in the year 2002. One woman in
America called a man living in Britain to ask questions about working
Beardies. That phone call led to further discussions; and eventually it
was discussed how little was known about the working Beardie-like dogs
outside of the farming community in Britain. Even among those
individuals, little was known beyond what had been collected, or handed
down verbally, by their ancestors. Some information had been published
about the working Beardie-like dogs, but there had never been an attempt
to collect and document all publications, images, and artwork to appear
all in one place on the internet.
It was not until nine years later (2011)
that the website materials were finally ready. It took years to collect
the information. Sifting through the documents often led to frustration
when it did not turn out to be reliable information. Three trips to
America were made by two individuals that worked their Beardies (one
individual came twice) in the farming community. Two trips were made to
Britain by the American to search for additional information in
libraries and art museums. As time passed, many people from different
locations around the world came forth with valuable information and
materials. Their names are listed on the "Contributors'" page under the
Obviously, more documents will surface as
time passes. But as of 2011, a recorded history will now be available
for future generations to read. One small inconvenience that some
viewers may encounter is the inconsistency regarding the spelling of
many words (example: honour vs. honor). Much of the final proofing of
pages was done by a husband and wife team in Lancashire, England. They
chose to ignore, rather than correct, the spelling of words by American
writers. Additional proofing was done by an American.
This site is dedicated to those individuals who put forth their written recollections
and recordings, and to the individuals from Britain who are using, or
once used, working Beardie-like dogs to assist in their management of
flocks of sheep or in the droving of cattle. Some individuals,
from both the 20th and 21st centuries, appear in the "Shepherds/Farmers"
Though this site has the word "shepherds" in its domain name, the
name was not selected to exclude sheep farmers, stockmen, herdsmen or
drovers. A Beardie-like dog working cattle is just as valued as any
Beardie-like dog tending its flock. In fact, in its history, the
Beardie-like shepherd's dog was highly regarded by individuals working
as drovers and butchers. Dogs being used as drovers no longer exist due
to the implementation of railroad cars, large transport trucks (called
lorries), or ferries. The term "drover" is often used interchangeably
for a person, or a dog, engaged in the driving of cattle, or other
livestock, to market.
If any shepherd/farmer participating in this website project
calls, or called, his
worker a Bearded Collie, no matter the appearance, then let it be
so. Keep in mind, that many of the rough-coated or shaggy sheepdogs
were similar in appearance. Some of the old photographs on this
website will make it difficult to distinguish a Beardie from an Old
English Sheepdog and other breeds as well.
Working dogs may not work in the same manner as a trial dog, but it
does not mean a working Beardie-like canine cannot succeed at trialing.
A few of them have been very successful at both working and trialing,
and some of them are presented herein.