You are visiting the "History" page.
The other main sections for this site can be accessed by clicking on any
one of the above links. The links in the box to the right will take you to other pages
within the "History" section.
This image was taken by Lynne Sharpe, outside the Shepherd & Dog
pub. The building dates back to the 17th Century and is located at the
foot of the South Downs in the Village of Fulking, West Sussex.
The intent of the creators for the "History" section of this website
was to demonstrate how far back Beardie-like canines, assisting
shepherds in the management of stock, could be traced.
We know there were shepherds' dogs on the European continent dating
back to 116 BC – 27 (according to the writings of Varro). When shepherds' dogs
began to be used in Britain will likely never be known. What we do
know is that shepherds' dogs were recorded, through writings and
drawings, as far back as the 1500s.
The shepherds' dogs eventually moved forward into an era where they
became known as "collie" dogs (multiple spellings of the word
"collie" existed) within the northern areas of Britain (primarily
Scotland) whereas in the southern areas of Britain (primarily
England) they became generally known as "sheepdogs."
Once "breed" names were attached to dogs performing certain types of
tasks, it would be inaccurate to associate a "breed" name with the
type of work performed. Example: the word "sheepdog" implies
that the dog worked sheep. However, many sheepdogs worked cattle and
other types of stock. Also, the Old English Sheepdog worked cattle,
Also, it is important to understand that breed names did exist
before the Kennel Club formed though no "standard" would have
existed beyond the animals' abilities to work. After the Kennel Club
formed, standards began to be introduced by breed clubs, but were
not adopted by the working shepherds and farmers.
It almost borders on the "ridiculous" to try and prove one modern
breed type of sheepdog is older than another. What is known is that
certain breeds can trace their roots back to many centuries ago.
What we learned is how even in the early 2000s many working
Beardies closely resemble the Beardie-like sheepdogs of long ago
If you are short on time, we recommend you visit Col. David
Hancock's section and the History Parts I and II. However, for those of you who wish to explore
this subject in more detail, a lengthy collection of
information regarding the evolution and development of the Beardie-like
canine can be found in the "Timeline" section.
One of the most famous working Beardies that ever trialed lived from the
end of the 19th Century into the 20th Century. He was handled by both a
father and his son. Not only will the viewer learn about this dog named
"White Bob," but they may find the entire section entitled "Barcrofts"
quite interesting reading. Numerous articles about trials of that era
Finding information about Beardies used by drovers was difficult.
The term "drover" is often used interchangeably
for a person, or a dog, engaged in the driving of cattle, or other
livestock, to market. A wonderfully illustrated map of the drove roads
will be included within the "Drovers" section.
The "Similar Breeds" section presents how much similarity existed between
some of the breeds.