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Peter Wood was born in 1942 in Eastbourne, Sussex, England.
His father came from a family of fishermen.
His mother's side of the family were farming people. Peter
was the eldest of four children; he had a sister, then two brothers.
From as far back as Peter can
remember, he was taking after his mother's side of the family; he
always had an interest in animals of any sort. Whilst growing up, he
was given the chore of tending to the hens and rabbits (kept for
meat). By age 14, Peter was regularly visited by neighbours who were
bringing their birds with broken wings, or small animals with broken
legs, for him to repair. He recalled how often birds were suspended
in an old pair of his mother's stockings in order to hold a broken
wing in place; sometimes matchsticks were used as splints for a
broken leg. Reflecting back, he thinks perhaps those
experiences led to a gradual buildup of an understanding of animals.
"Perhaps some people are just born with a sense of stockmanship." Peter, upon
reflection, recalls how an old man once watched him working cattle.
The old man remarked to Peter: "Son, you are gifted; stockmen are
born not made." Peter's opinion is that stockmen mostly have stock
sense (ability to read their stock); this enables them to do their
work more easily.
Peter was associated with dogs nearly all of his life. He worked both sheep
and cattle. His earlier dogs were Border Collies, which he also ran
in sheepdog trials. Later, in 1994, he changed his breed to the
working Bearded Collie. Perhaps this was his destiny. Amongst old
family photos, given to Peter after his father passed away, was one
of his mother, dated 1937, sitting along side a large Beardie
belonging to Peter's Aunt Edie.
Peter's Aunt Edie with Buster.
The chapter of his life regarding Beardies began one day when his nephew saw a
man and woman walking their dogs on the South Downs of England.
The dogs happened to be Beardies. He mentioned his sighting to
his Uncle Peter (who had guided this nephew into a life of
This mention by his nephew about seeing Beardies prompted Peter
to make an effort to also see these dogs when being walked by their
owners. In 1993, he saw an advertisement in the Scottish Farmer
newspaper, but upon calling, he learned the Beardie pups had all
been placed. Peter was not going to give up. More attempts didn't
meet with success until Peter made a second contact with one person
who had advertised a Beardie litter previously. When Peter called
this second time, the man informed Peter that he had not bred his
bitch again, but he was willing to sell to Peter one of his two
young Beardie bitches. Peter jumped at this opportunity.
Peter Wood, November 2005
Once you have owned a Beardie and got used to their endless energy
and willingness to please, not to mention their strong bond with
you, you probably would not want to change breeds."
So why a Beardie? Personal preference just the same as "what make of car
Any car will get you from point A to point B. Beardies will do
anything you ask of them if you train them to do it; they are very
Peter was one of
several individuals that formed the Working Bearded
Collie Society, a registry for working Beardies in the United
Kingdom. This organisation hopes to preserve some of the working Beardie
Peter has judged
informal ISDS-style trials, i.e., local trials around the south of
England. In 2003 and 2005, he made trips to America to share
some of his knowledge, based upon his years of experiences as a
shepherd, to others pursuing an interest in herding activities with
their dogs. Peter visited the Grand Canyon on his first trip.