NWBCC All Breed Herding Trial

September 13th and 14th, 2014

Herding Premium Final 2014 pdf


In a world where we are re-discovering the roots of the Bearded Collie so too are we rediscovering what made our breed such an important part of the world when it was more pastoral.

Since we no longer, for the most part, work flocks of sheep in the USA of upwards to 1000 head with dogs…. It is difficult sometimes to perceive what our shaggy friends can do.

Most of us are confined to what are termed arena trials, a competition format, or field work (also in competition format). But on occasion there is that chance, that opportunity, to actually have a Beardie working at every day chores.

In competition venues, as Beardie owners are finding out, it’s frequently a different world from the Beardie that works farm, trust farm, cut block, commercial flock chores…different….yet similar.

What are the similarities?

Both require first and foremost a solid relationship with the dog. This should be the foundation of owning a Beardie. A partnership if you will… the dog becomes the “highly intelligent” tool; you the handler become the wielder of the instinctual, highly perceptive, on occasion independent thinker.

Both will require that you the handler, (and probably an urban or city person,) learn more than a tad about stock. If you respect the stock, your dog is more apt to respect the stock.

Both will require that you know HOW your dog works. What are its comfort zones? What is a flight zone, and how does that apply to the stock? All will require knowing that a Beardie is an “upright” dog… a dog that differs from say a Border Collie. Not wrong…just different. Can the Beardie get the “job done”? Yes… it just may do it in a different manner.

Both the competition format and the everyday farm chore work will require that YOU the handler know what the rules of the day are.

Here in the PNW we are indeed fortunate in that we have training venues and coaches that are familiar with Beardies. (See the Venues page.) Those resources have not only given Beardies a chance to test their heritage, but given guidance and opportunity to the human half of the teams. It is a privilege to experience the quiet joy and thrill of partnership and work that historically is almost older than the hills that surround us.

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