Let’s Talk Breed Education!
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Official Standard of the Bearded Collie Characteristics: The Bearded Collie is hardy and active, with an aura of strength and agility characteristic of a real working dog. Bred for centuries as a companion and servant of man, the Bearded Collie is a devoted and intelligent member of the family. He is stable and self-confident, showing no signs of shyness or aggression. This is a natural and unspoiled breed. General Appearance: The Bearded Collie is a medium sized dog with a medium length coat that follows the natural lines of the body and allows plenty of daylight under the body. The body is long and lean, and, though strongly made, does not appear heavy. A bright inquiring expression is a distinctive feature of the breed. The Bearded Collie should be shown in a natural stance. Head: The head is in proportion to the size of the dog. The skull is broad and flat; the stop is moderate; the cheeks are well filled beneath the eyes; the muzzle is strong and full; the foreface is equal in length to the distance between the stop and occiput. The nose is large and squarish. A snipy muzzle is to be penalized. (See Color section for pigmentation.) Eyes - The eyes are large, expressive, soft and affectionate, but not round nor protruding, and are set widely apart. The eyebrows are arched to the sides to frame the eyes and are long enough to blend smoothly into the coat on the sides of the head. (See Color section for eye color.) Ears - The ears are medium sized, hanging and covered with long hair. They are set level with the eyes. When the dog is alert, the ears have a slight lift at the base. Teeth - The teeth are strong and white, meeting in a scissors bite . Full dentition is desirable. Neck: The neck is in proportion to the length of the body, strong and slightly arched, blending smoothly into the shoulders. Forequarters: The shoulders are well laid back at an angle of approximately 45 degrees; a line drawn from the highest point of the shoulder blade to the forward point of articulation approximates a right angle with a line from the forward point of articulation to the point of the elbow. The tops of the shoulder blades lie in against the withers, but they slope outwards from there sufficiently to accommodate the desired spring of ribs. The legs are straight and vertical, with substantial, but not heavy, bone and are covered with shaggy hair all around. The pasterns are flexible without weakness. Body: The body is longer than it is high in an approximate ratio of 5 to 4, length measured from point of chest to point of buttocks, height measured at the highest point of the withers. The length of the back comes from the length of the ribcage and not that of the loin. The back is level. The ribs are well sprung from the spine but are flat at the sides. The chest is deep, reaching at least to the elbows. The loins are strong. The level back line blends smoothly into the curve of the rump. A flat croup or a steep croup is to be severely penalized. Hindquarters: The hind legs are powerful and muscular at the thighs with well bent stifles. The hocks are low. In normal stance, the bones below the hocks are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other when viewed from the rear; the hind feet fall just behind a perpendicular line from the point of buttocks when viewed from the side. The legs are covered with shaggy hair all around. Tail - The tail is set low and is long enough for the end of the bone to reach at least the point of the hocks. It is normally carried low with an upward swirl at the tip while the dog is standing. When the dog is excited or in motion, the curve is accentuated and the tail may be raised but is never carried beyond a vertical line. The tail is covered with abundant hair.
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Feet : The feet are oval in shape with the soles well padded. The toes are arched and close together, and well covered with hair including between the pads. Coat: The coat is double with the undercoat soft, furry and close. The outercoat is flat, harsh, strong and shaggy, free from wooliness and curl, although a slight wave is permissible. The coat falls naturally to either side but must never be artificially parted. The length and density of the hair are sufficient to provide a protective coat and to enhance the shape of the dog, but not so profuse as to obscure the natural lines of the body. The dog should be shown as naturally as is consistent with good grooming but the coat must not be trimmed in any way. On the head, the bridge of the nose is sparsely covered with hair which is slightly longer on the sides to cover the lips. From the cheeks, the lower lips and under the chin, the coat increases in length towards the chest, forming the typical beard. An excessively long, silky coat or one which has been trimmed in any way must be severely penalized. Color: Coat : All Bearded Collies are born either black, blue, brown or fawn, with or without white markings. With maturity, the coat color may lighten, so that a born black may become any shade of gray from black to slate to silver, a born brown from chocolate to sandy. Blues and fawns also show shades from dark to light. Where white occurs, it only appears on the foreface as a blaze, on the skull, on the tip of the tail, on the chest, legs and feet and around the neck. The white hair does not grow on the body behind the shoulder nor on the face to surround the eyes. Tan markings occasionally appear and are acceptable on the eyebrows, inside the ears, on the cheeks, under the root of the tail, and on the legs where the white joins the main color. Pigmentation : Pigmentation on the Bearded Collie follows coat color. In a born black, the eye rims, nose and lips are black, whereas in the born blue, the pigmentation is a blue-gray color. A born brown dog has brown pigmentation and born fawns a correspondingly lighter brown. The pigmentation is completely filled in and shows no sign of spots. Eyes - Eye color will generally tone with the coat color. In a born blue or fawn, the distinctively lighter eyes are correct and must not be penalized. Size: The ideal height at the withers is 21 to 22 inches for adult dogs and 20 to 21 inches for adult bitches. Height over and under the ideal is to be severely penalized. The express objective of this criterion is to insure that the Bearded Collie remains a medium sized dog. Gait: Movement is free, supple and powerful. Balance combines good reach in forequarters with strong drive in hindquarters. The back remains firm and level. The feet are lifted only enough to clear the ground, giving the impression that the dog glides along making minimum contact. Movement is lithe and flexible to enable the dog to make the sharp turns and sudden stops required of the sheepdog. When viewed from the front and rear, the front and rear legs travel in the same plane from the shoulder and hip joint to pads at all speeds. Legs remain straight, but feet move inward as speed increases until the edges of the feet converge on a center line at a fast trot. Serious Faults: Snipy muzzle. Flat croup or steep croup. Excessively long, silky coat. Trimmed or sculptured coat. Height over or under the ideal.
Approved August 9, 1978
JUDGING FOR YOURSELF BY CYNTHIA MAHIGIAN MOORHEAD O ne of the first things a judge looks at when the dogs enter a ring is the overall shape and silhouette of You be the judge. And remember, a judge should judge each dog against the standard, not against the other dogs in the ring. FIRST PLACE
Here I have caricatured eight Bear- die outlines. I have omitted markings, colour, eyes, and most other details in order to present a less confusing task. I have exaggerated some aspects for clarity’s sake. Assume that the dogs are in essentially the same condition, are groomed and presented comparatively alike. Assume they are all well within the standard as far as size goes and approximately the same age. These are all distractions which we can arbitrarily do away with graphically, but don’t get bogged down in problems inherent in drawings... this is a learning tool. This, then, is your Open Dog class. They come in and go around the ring (a nice, large, flat one) and stand, as a class, for your examination. You are doing your first overview. Look care- fully at each, concentrating on the shape and overall structure. What does it tell you? How do you place them?
the animals. That initial impression is a very important one and often colors the way a judge will later perceive the dog in the hands–on portion of his/her examination. The Beardie possesses a unique outline, one that should imme- diately impress judge and spectator alike with its unmistakable shape. Too often we lose sense of the overall, and get bogged down in the specifics... how is the head? What about the shoul- ders? The loin? The tail? Even, how is it groomed? What color is it? It is the sum of all these points, after all, which defines the breed; taken singly they are essentially out of context. And yet, judge and spectator alike seem to have more problems visualizing the whole than the parts.
If you picked Beardie E, you and I are in agreement. However, if you picked Beardie C, you have a very good case, too. Beardie E wins in my mind on three points over C: length and straightness of back, balance, and head. E’s body is longer than it is high, in the approxi- mate five to four ratio. His back is level and blends smoothly into the curve of the rump. The tail is set low. The shoul- ders are well laid–back at an approxi- mate 45 degree angle. The neck is in proportion to the length of the body, strong and slightly arched, and blends smoothly into the shoulders. The hind legs have well-bent stifles, the hocks are low, but not excessively so. They are
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perpendicular to the ground and the hind feet fall just behind a perpendicu- lar line from the point of buttocks. The head is in proportion to the size of the dog. The skull is flat; the stop is moder- ate, but clearly discernible. The muzzle is strong and full and the fore face is equal in length to the distance between the stop and occiput. These are all things we can see in the drawing, and they are all things, which are called for in the Beardie standard. This Beardie should be able to move freely, supple- ly and powerfully. His balance should combine good reach in forequarters with strong drive behind. He should appear to glide effortlessly on the move. SECOND PLACE Beardie C. As they say in England, this dog was “unlucky to meet number I” today. Another nice, long dog, espe- cially nice in the well–arched neck and the proper tail set. There is a slight rise over the point of the croup, however, keeping the topline from being com- pletely level. Moreover, C appears to be slightly straighter both front and rear than E... that is, less angulated, especial- ly in front. The position of the front legs is slightly less under the dog. This could also be caused by poor handling tech- nique, but since we agreed that all our dogs were handled the same we must conclude here that Beardie C’s shoul- ders are not as well laid back or that the whole forequarter section is less well– constructed than E’s. Since the rear, while less angulated than E’s, is more angulated than its own front, the bal- ance of the dog is thrown off slightly. And this will surely show up in the way the dog moves...possibly by side wind- ing—although a dog this long may not move so badly as a shorter–backed one with the same problem. Finally, the back skull of Beardie C appears to be slightly domed or rounded, with a slope where the well–defined occiput should be. Still and all, this is a nice overall pic- ture, of a slightly different type of Bear- die than E. THIRD PLACE Things get a little murkier as you go down the line. My third place pick is Beardie H. While not as elegant a dog as either E or C, Beardie H has several things to recommend him...but even more to keep him out of the first two places.
First, he is considerably shorter in body length, although he does appear to have a level topline. Most glaring is the high, poor tail set, which completely spoils the outline of the croup and makes him appear even shorter in back than he really is. On the move this tail will probably be carried very high, possi- bly beyond the vertical. His very low hocks (excessively low hocks are as improper and unuseful as high ones) are combined with a short, very angu- lated stifle...a combination, which often means lack of drive and extension in the rear. By contrast, his front doesn’t look too bad, but all four legs appear to be a little short even for his cobbier back. He does have a nice head and adequate neck; the neck appears to blend nicely into the shoulders. This is a finishable dog, but not a special one. FOURTH PLACE Beardie F. This dog is very similar in type to Beardie H. He appears, howev- er, to be slightly straighter in front and more angulated in the rear. Moreover, he is longer in the stifle as well. This type of unbalance results in more drive than reach and you often will see such a Beardie hackneying in his attempt to get his front out of the way of his more dynamic rear. Another high tail set, but this one looks as if it might even have been fixed. (Yes, it does happen in Bear- dies.) That unnatural “break” point is suspicious–looking, although it can hap- pen congenitally as well. In any event, the set–on is too high and the carriage makes it look even worse. The head is not too bad, but if you were to take off more of that heavy head coat, you might notice that it is just a little small to be truly pleasing as far as balance goes, and that it requires a tad more stop to allow for the bright enquiring expres- sion that is one of the hallmarks of our breed. WHAT ABOUT THE OTHERS? Well...Beardie A’s steep croup, short back, and wide rear kept him out of the ribbons. His foreface is also consider- ably shorter than his back skull, a con- struction that makes the cheeks appear to be well–filled beneath the eyes, whether they are, in fact, or not; this is usually the “cutesy” type of Beardie face. His front doesn’t look too bad, but again he has “more” rear than front.
Beardie B’s topline is atrocious; the slope adds to the already short back and makes it appear even shorter. This Beardie will appear to be racing around the ring like an Irish Setter, whether he is going anywhere or not! He is short in foreface and his back skull drops off. He does not appear to have enough neck, probably because his lay- back is inadequate, making his front too straight. Beardie D is short in back. Even so, his topline dips. You often find a similar dip when the dog is too long in loin and the length of back comes from there instead of the proper long, angled back ribcage. Additionally, his steep croup and/ or high tail set add to the general problem. He is tall on leg as well. The whole effect is of a square dog like an OES rather than a rectangular one like the Beardie. He is extremely straight both front and rear—especially rear— and high on hock. His foreface and back skull are the right length, but his fore- face is downturned too much. Beardie G’s head isn’t too bad, but his withers appear to be around his ears. Whether he is truly short on neck or this is another case of inadequate lay- back making it appear he has no neck would be determined by feel. He does seem straighter in front than in rear. He, too, is slightly high on hock. Again, a short back and rise over the point of the croup make him unlikely to move with ease or authority. AND WHAT ABOUT THAT ELUSIVE WORD “TYPE”? We have barely touched on the question of “type” here, for one good reason: these comments are universal and applicable to all Beardies, regard- less of type. There simply is no “type” of Bearded Collie that should have a short back, or a high hock, or a domed head. Where type comes into play is when everything else is equal in qual- ity...then, and only then, should the judge allow himself the luxury of choosing the type that he or she finds personally the most pleasing. To choose a particular type over a bet- ter–constructed and moving dog of a type that is not, say, similar to what you have in your own kennel is irrespon- sible judging. Breed the type you like, but look for the best overall dog in the ring when you judge.
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is functional. And without it, one breed is indistinguishable from another. Th e written standard should be an a ffi rmation of a breed’s design. When a standard is inadequate or unclear it weak- ens the judges’ and the breeders’ ability to follow and understand nature’s answers to problems of natural construction and temperament. Th e standard represents an attempt to quantify that which the eyes and hands have seen and felt to be true in any breed. However, anyone who attempts to judge a breed solely on the basis of a written stan- dard will inevitably fall short. What the standard helps do is to summarize and, to a certain extent, prioritize the impor- tant aspects of a breed. What it does not do is adequately address all the individual nuances of a given breed that de fi ne type. Th e best judges are those who system- atically study and learn the intricacies of the breeds they will be judging—by read- ing, by being mentored, by observing in and out of the ring, and by countless hours of discussion and debate with other knowl- edgeable people, breeders and other judges alike. Remember, too, that a di ff erence of opinion is not necessarily a di ff erence of principle. You can agree to disagree, and everyone may be perfectly correct. Beardies present a conundrum: the breed is an ancient one, with an ancient heritage, no doubt about that. But the Bearded Collie that we all know and love
has essentially evolved from dogs in the late ’40s and early ’50s. When we discuss the integrity of the breed, we are not necessar- ily speaking solely about those unknown Highland workers for whom a very di ff er- ent set of problems was reality. Th e earliest written standards—and they may well pre- cede even the 1805 Scottish version many of us have read—re fl ected the dogs of the time, just as our does—or should do— today. In our breed, as for most breeds, the standard was created to de fi ne dogs in existence in an attempt to fi x type. It is the original, inherent character qualities that de fi ne not only the true essence of the breed, but the physical makeup as well. It should be remembered, moreover, that we have, and society has, for the most part, essentially changed the job for which the breed was developed. For in spite of our sincere e ff orts to maintain the working abil- ity of which we can justi fi ably be proud, it is that show ring with its speci fi c require- ments, that has become the natural “work- ing” arena for the Bearded Collie today. And though change is inevitable—and not always an evil thing—the dogs in the ring today do not de fi ne the essence of the breed. Rather, they should be considered re fl ections of the breed’s original intent. Consequently, to put up a dog with pic- ture-perfect structural qualities, but inap- propriate expression of temperament for the breed, does a disservice to both the breed and the standard.
Mental stability goes with physical abil- ity. I know many of us perceive and like to promote our breed as carefree, loveable clowns. While there is surely that aspect to a good Beardie’s temperament, there must be much more to it than that. Going back to our historical job description, what was required by the herdsmen and drovers was considerably di ff erent than the canine equivalent of the proverbial dumb blonde. So, while pretty much anybody, given enough time and perseverance, can read and re-read our standard, and quote it back ver- batim, to correctly understand and appraise a breed requires more than a good memory. Most good dog judges would agree that they carry a clearly de fi ned mental picture of the ideal breed dog in their heads. Any dog can gait soundly. And there is a great tendency to de fi ne breeds only within the limited scope of basic structure. To be sure, you must know basic dog structure and its conformation in relation to all the moving parts. But even though the old type versus soundness debate still rears its ugly head from time to time, I don’t believe the two are mutually exclusive. Pitting the essence of the breed against the generalized biological requisites neces- sary to de fi ne the breed’s overall balance and general appearance is counterproduc- tive to good judging. You must examine the breed in breed-speci fi c ways, and that means, as Anne Rogers Clark so succinctly puts it, “make your fi rst cut on type and
With the exception of the short-legged corgis, the Beardie is the longest- bodies of the herding breeds in proportion: 5 to 4, length to height. A Beardie should be rectangular, never square or cobby. t4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& 0 $50#&3
Angulation of the hindquarters, ideally, is equal to that of the shoulders, requiring necessary length of stifle.
then reward the soundness of your typical specimens.” Th at makes type and sound- ness a continuum. Balance and proportion are probably the most important aspects to be de fi ned by any standard. Dogs must be considered as a whole and not as a large assortment of various parts. A dog can score well on individual points and still not be balanced. Our standard spells out a number of cru- cial points on balance and proportion, and your general education and dog knowledge fi lls in others. A Beardie considered to be within the guidelines set down in the standard is an acceptable animal to do the work for which he was intended. When you examine a Bearded Collie in pro fi le, you should immediately discern on a medium-sized frame the 5:4 proportion called for in our standard which contributes to the suppleness and movement of a tireless herding dog. Th at the length of back should come from the ribcage and not the loin helps insure a fi rm, level topline, with no wasted energy expended on twisting or roll- ing. Such a topline connotes both strength and agility. An incorrect croup may cause or exacerbate the exaggerated rear kickup we see all too frequently in our breed. Or it may bring the rear foot too far under the body to allow the necessary balance front to rear to show good typical sidegait. Excessive hock action is undesirable and keeping the hocks well let down avoids this problem. Th e correct slope of pastern is necessary for the quick turns of the herder and acts as an e ff ective shock absorber. Legs and feet that turn neither in nor out, but remain straight even when
fl exed in movement mean maximum thrust, unweakened by joints being out of line. But don’t confuse the relative narrow- ness of correct movement in a lean body with either hockiness or overcloseness. Corresponding and correct angles front and rear maximize reach and drive, and singletracking minimizes the possibility of any fatiguing roll. Good depth of chest with the long uniquely shaped ribcage of a lithe body allows plenty of room for heart and lungs, lending endurance and stamina. Coat texture and length of coat are important to a breed meant to work in harsh weather over unforgiving terrain. A soft or heavy coat cannot shed burrs or turn water readily. And of course, the character- istic beard from which the breed takes its name, should be present and accounted for. Th e head should show plenty of fl at backskull and a corresponding amount of well- fi lled foreface, allowing room for the particularly appealing and expressive eyes to be set wide and obliquely and for the jaws to hold a full complement of teeth. A bright, enquiring expression is a hall- mark of the breed. Bright, however, should not connote feverish or frantic, but rather an innate sense of intelligence and willing- ness to engage in a meaningful partnership with most humans. Ears should be of cor- rect length and carriage, su ffi ciently mobile to facilitate hearing in less-than-optimum conditions. Acceptable color and pigment add to the beauty of the dog. While there are no disquali fi cations in this breed, we do note a number of serious faults, and we would hope that you take
these seriously into consideration. In the end, current grooming practices notwith- standing, most of us would like to keep this a natural and unspoiled breed and we appreciate all the help you can give us. Our standard is, by and large, a good one, I think and the opening paragraph pretty well sums up what I consider to be the essence of the Beardie: “He is hardy and active, with an aura of strength and agility characteristic of a real working dog. Bred for centuries as a companion and servant of man, the Bearded Collie is a devoted and intelli- gent member of the family. He is stable and self-con fi dent, showing no signs of shyness and aggression. Th is is a natural and unspoiled breed.” BIO Cynthia Mahigian Moorhead has owned Bearded Collies since 1972, breeding and showing them under the kennel prefix “Parchment Farm,” and has been licensed to judge them since 1985. She has judged the Bearded Collie Club of America’s National Specialty twice, the first American breeder- judge to do so. She has also judged Beardies in Canada and the UK. In the past she has been BCCA president and BCCA board member, as well as chair of the BCCA Publications Committee, and editor of the “Beardie Bulletin”. She has written numer- ous articles about the breed, its history, and how to most e ff ectively judge it. Currently, she is co-chair of the BCCA’s Judges’ Educa- tion Committee and is owned by two Bear- die boys, Ramsay and Oliver, who herd and run agility.
/eft: 7he Beardie·s PovePent should be strong, yet effortless, with long, low, ground-covering strides, with no wasted motion. Above: :ithout the correct angles in front, undesirable PovePent faults Zill be present. The BCCA’s Illustrated Standard can be ordered from http://beardedcollieclub.us/
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THE BEARDED COLLIE
T here are many responses when people see a Bearded Collie for the fi rst time. “What is that?” “How much time do you have to spend brushing?” “What a great dog!” Th at is the correct response and happily the one I hear most often. Th e Beardie is an aris- tocrat among dogs, which is quite something since their appearance thousands of years ago was as a lowly dog work- ing livestock for the nomadic herding peoples of Central Asia. When those nomadic herders settled in the Middle East, believed to be where sheep originated, they kept their dogs with them. Th ese dogs were selected for their skill in gathering and driving many kinds of animals: horses, yaks, camels, sheep, cows, for guarding herds and family, and for their hardiness. Th e Armant of Egypt is possibly a working ancestor of the Bearded Collie. Shaggy herding dogs, travelling with migrations of nomadic settlers from the east arrived in Brit- ain across a land mass, now gone. Th en in the early 1500s a momentous event occurred and, more astonishingly, it was recorded. A Scottish shepherd, trading sheep for grain
By Christiana Taylor
Photo by owner Amy Steltz.
with a Polish ship captain, saw the cap- tain’s Polish sheep dogs move only designated sheep from a huge fl ock onto his ship. A trade was made that brought the Polish Lowland Sheepdog into the lineage of the indigenous shaggy herd- ers of Scotland. Hardy, intelligent, loyal and independent, the ‘Beard’ or Bearded Collie, emerged and became the domi- nant herding and driving dog of the hills of Scotland. Ok, hardy you say? Yes, a lithe, strong dog, with a weatherproof harsh coat and warm undercoat. A coat that fends o ff burrs, rain and snow, and has shaggy bangs that protect dark mystical eyes. In fact, it’s common for male Beardies to wish to stay outside in wind and cold. Th e girls, not so much. Intelligent are they? Oh my yes! Th ey’re reputed to have been able to drive a herd of sheep 458 miles from Scotland down to Smith fi eld Market with a rally team of shepherds. Th en, sent to fi nd his
Old Gang Classical Beardies; Owners: Julie Kempster and Bea Swaka.
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to do. Th ey need to work or play or train fi ve days a week. Th e drive and energy that makes them strong and bright and able, also makes them bored and frustrated if they are not thoroughly exercised most days, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Bore- dom results in destructive behavior. What they love best are games with an owner. Ball games, Frisbee, fi nd the cookie, tug of war (they will win through determina- tion), soccer, you invent it, they will play. If obedience is a sport, and I doubt it, they are less amenable. Th ey do not care for repetition, for working too close, and for tasks they don’t see the point of. Neverthe- less, a Beardie will do it, if it’s that impor- tant to the owner, and if training is full of games and excitement. It will take a bit more cheerleading to get a good result in training, and counting on regular practice to prevail in performance may lead to dis- appointment. Ever friendly with a crowd, a Beardie can be seen trotting gaily along ringside greeting fans while you’re consci- entiously striding through the course the judge is calling out. At the end of an agil- ity run, while onlookers clap and cheer a nice run, a Beardie has been known to race back onto the course waving his fabulous “Agility requires the sure-footed, devil-may-care abilities T YPICAL OF T HESE ADROIT AT HLET ES.”
own way home, the Beardie retraced his route, stopping at each pub he’d visited on the way south for a hand out. Loyal? Absolutely. To his family, caring for each, watching over each, and protecting all with his alertness and vociferous bark. Th e Beardie’s independence is a cat- egorical component of his many parts. For millennia he has worked both with and without his leader, bringing the entire fl ock from the steep, craggy hills-a job he does largely with his voice. He chooses his path in snow and storms, always considering his choices with or without guidance, these skills translate into a proud and sometimes strong-willed housemate and partner. Yes? Well, how is he to live with? Ah, the Beardie at home. Lively? Perhaps ram- bunctious is closer. Friendly? After a very animated and vocal greeting, remember his ancient job guarding, he is delighted with everyone who visits and knows they came to see him. Good with children, pup- pies and kittens, he may herd them care- fully to his chosen spot and have a cuddle. Beardies are clever and witty. Known to open gates, doors, and crates, then appear where you are with élan and delight in himself. When a Beardie smiles, which is
frequently, he has an Irish twinkle in his beautiful eyes-makes it very hard not to smile with him. Th ose characteristics bring him big wins in the show ring and a huge fan following. Female Beardies have all the same abilities and characteristics, but exer- cise their skills with elegance and fi nesse that often mask wily subterfuge. Should an irate owner fi nd the lamb roast reduced to a few gristly lumps, a Beardie girl’s adoring eyes and embarrassed demeanor usually beguile her owner. Clever wench that she is, she follows that up with a lavish show of devoted, meaty kisses. A Beardie bitch is Sarah Bernhardt and Anna Pavlova on four tidy feet, and expects to get her way. Beardies excel at sports. Agility requires the sure-footed, devil-may-care abilities typical of these adroit athletes. In 2012, at the prestigious Eukanuba competition, a marvelous Beardie won the 20" class over a competitive fi eld of powerful Bor- der Collies, a breed believed to have been developed from Scottish Beardies along the ‘border’ with England. Despite their common ancestry, these two breeds are not alike in structure or temperament. Th ey do share one out- standing characteristic; they need a job
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tail in glee, and risking an NQ. Mostly, judges are smiling tolerantly because “after all, it’s a Beardie!” Th ey are adept herders, bred to use their voice, conscientious and plucky, and sometimes too enthusiastic. A Beardie may assert his own instinctual, embedded knowledge regardless of the trial course. Successful competition with a Beardie has to be built by mutual coopera- tion and respect, not forced. A Bearded Collie can be very obsti- nate when forced, but completely ame- nable when he’s trained gently with praise and appreciation. Th ere is one event in the poignant his- tory of the Bearded Collie that underscores the precarious gamble that brought him through an undistinguished heritage from trailing nomads in Central Asia to con- quering the rugged hills of the Highlands gathering sheep, to conquering the show ring. Although the Bearded Collie was brie fl y glimpsed in dog book annals before the Great War, they were subsequently lost, disappearing back to working farms mostly in Scotland and Wales, unnoticed by dog fanciers. After the Second World War, because one woman became pas- sionately attracted to the breed and deter- mined to fi nd them, the Bearded Collie reappeared, this time successfully brought to the fancy. Mrs. G. O. Willison rescued the Bearded Collie from obscurity in 1944 when a Bearded Collie pup arrived instead of the Sheltie she was expecting. It was fi ve years before she was fi nally able to acquire a male and from these two, Jeanie of
CH Bendale Special Lady; Owners: Michele Ritter & Chet Jezierski.
Bothkennar and Bailie of Bothkennar, all pedigreed Beardies are descended according to Mrs. Williston. Interestingly, Jeannie was brown and Bailie was black. Because of this genetic diversity, Beadies come in four col- ors: black, brown, fawn and blue. Pigment is to match coat, as is eye color. A Bearded Collie must have an e ff ort- less, ground covering movement, bal- anced and beautiful to watch. Because he demands exercise, he is a lean well muscled dog. While the breed standard calls for him to be naturally presented, show ring competitors have begun to soft- en his harsh coat and trim him into an unnatural silhouette. Such dogs should be
considered unfavorably with respect for his heritage and his archetypal breed stan- dard. Th e Bearded Collie is an aristocrat among dogs exactly as he is and has been for over a century. I was very fortunate to have gotten my fi rst show Beardie in 1993 from Britannia kennel, the preeminent kennel in the US. BIS CH Britannia Good Day Sonshine willingly allowed me to succeed in con- formation, agility, obedience, and herd- ing, teaching me what I was to do, while he fi gured it all out with his remarkable intelligence. I made a thousand mistakes, he made none. He is a legend in the breed and irreplaceable in my heart.
“OWD BOB” By Alfred Ollivant (c. 1898) “Should you, while wandering in the wild sheep land, happen on moor or in market upon a very gentle knight, clothed in dark grey habit, splashed here and there with rays of moon; free by right divine of the guild of gentlemen, strenuous as a prince, lithe as a rowan, graceful as a girl, with high carriage, motions and manners of a fairy queen, should he have a noble breadth of brow, an air of still strength born of right confidence, all unassuming; last and most unfailing test of all, should you look into two snow-clad eyes, calm, wistful, inscrutable, their soft depths clothed on with eternal sadness— yearning, as is said, for the soul that is not theirs—
know then, that you look upon one of the line of the most illustrious sheepdogs of the North.”
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A FORUM ON BEARDED COLLIES
and judged in Australia in 2005. Having been chosen to judge under the US judging system, I am now approved to judge Bearded Collies, Welsh Corgis (Pembroke) and am on permit for Border Collies and Shetland Sheepdogs. I have 57 years in dogs, 43 years showing and 34 years judging.
I live in Ocala, Florida after moving up from Ft. Lauder- dale. I am a retired Emergency room nurse since February 2016, but will be returning part time as of October this year. I started in England in 1971 and in the US since 1973 with OES, with a side trip to a Border Collie (obedience), a Silky Ter- rier (Champions), Shar-Peis (2), Rottweilers (2) and Whippets (Champions). I started in Beardies in 1978 with all English imports and have bred or owned over 50 CHs, multiple group winners and a BIS. I am a breeder of Merit and my prefix is Chaniam. I started judging in 1984 with Beardies and Old English Sheepdogs as my first two breeds. At that time the AKC would not let us have breeds in different groups (i.e. Hounds for Whippets and Working for BC and OES; there was no Herding Group back then).
I live in High Ridge, Missouri, which is about 25 miles outside of St. Louis. I trav- el with my husband in our motor home,
shoot skeet and do some trapping. I golf whenever I get a chance. Dogs take up much of my time. I’ve loved dogs all my life, so did my parents. We’ve had dogs as long as I can remember. I started showing in obedience in the mid 1970s, so around 38 years and I’ve been judging for about 20 years. LARRY STEIN
IAN COPIS I live in Victoria, BC, Canada. Besides being involved in the dog showing world, I am an avid sports fan and play badmin- ton regularly. I enjoy all forms of music and live theatre and am currently enjoy-
I live in Mount Holly, New Jersey. Professionally I’m a Medical and Veteri- narian Illustrator. I’ve been showing and breeding for 46 years and been judging for 30 years.
ing worldwide travel with my wife now that I only work part time. Any spare time is taken up with my granddaughter. I was introduced to the dog show world at the age of nine, I began showing my sister’s Afghans and my own Miniature Pinschers in the 1960s in England. When looking for another breed in the 80s, I was attracted to the Bearded Collie after seeing the magnificent CH. Edenborough Blue Bracken. I pur- chased my first Bearded Collie in 1979, Kimrand Honeybee and my second a year later, who became my first Champi- on in the breed, CH. Kimrand Carousel. While establishing the Rallentando Kennel, I bred my first litter in 1982 which produced English and European Champions. As a family, we moved to Canada in 1990, where our daughter began to take a major interest in the breeding and showing. We only breed when we require a puppy to further our breeding program, thus our litters are few, but we have consistently produced quality dogs that have gained their titles throughout Canada and the USA, winning Specialties and All Breed Shows alike. My judging career began in England at the age of 18 and I slowly progressed to Championship level judging in 1990. I have judged many Bearded Collie Specialties in England, Hol- land and the US; including the US National Specialty in 1999. I judged Bearded Collies at the World Winners Show in 1990
1. Describe the breed in three words. CA: Rectangles, bounce and gregarious.
IC: Impossible, as the breed is perfect, but if you want three words: agile, devoted and graceful. LR: Medium, athletic and joyful. LS: Lithe, soft expression and long-bodied. 2. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? CA: Movement, length of body with short loins and temperament. IC: When judging I always look at the whole dog, never judg- ing parts or preferences, and I always look at the positive aspects of the dog as opposed to any faults. Temperament is a priority; I look for a stable and self-confident Beardie with no shyness or aggression. A Bearded Collie must be able to move freely and easily on a loose leash; movement must come from good front and rear angulation. The dog should give the impression
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“THEY MUST HAVE THE HALLMARK OF THE BREED— THEIR BEAUTIFUL, SOFT, MELTING EXPRESSION.”
of simply floating around the ring. The dog should be long and lean, 5:4 ratio, with the length of back coming from the rib cage and not the loin. The head is a distinc- tive feature of the breed; it should be in proportion to the body and equal in length from muzzle to stop and stop to occiput. Eye color must tone with the coat giving the dog that soft melting and enquiring expression. It is a medium-sized dog; the word “medium” appears throughout our standard. It should have a double coat, but it is the quality of the coat that is more important than the quantity. It is a naturally presented breed. Ultimately, I am looking for a well-constructed Bearded Collie that moves freely with the expression that melts your heart when looking into those beautiful eyes. We have a first class Illustrated Standard; on page six is the perfect Bearded Collie. If you have just one of those in your ring, you should be extremely happy. LR: Balance, athletic side gait with strong topline and happy and joyful personality. LS: They must have a long back and their length is through the rib cage with a short loin, never appearing square. They must have good shoulder layback with a long upper forearm and good bend of stifle to cover ground effort- lessly. They must have the hallmark of the breed— their beautiful, soft, melting expression. 3. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? CA: Trimming, too much white or white in the wrong places (mismarks) and kick up in back legs (unbalanced dogs). IC: I find traits are cyclical. The biggest change I have witnessed over the years is the quality and quantity of coat. More Beardies are being presented with exception- ally long coats and not always of the correct texture. Fortunately, square Beardies with shorter muzzles, which seemed to be in fashion a few years back, have decreased. Some loins are tending to be over long. I also see far too many level bites. I know that it is accepted within the breed standard but it is a concern. The trimming of coats is something that handlers tend to
do more than the breeder/exhibitors, although breeder/ exhibitors have seen that by trimming they can win. Who is at fault? I blame not only those individuals who practice this, but the judges who place these dogs. Judges must read the standard and see this is a naturally presented and unspoilt breed. I was given a Group 2 placement recently and was told by the judge that if I had bothered to trim the dog we would have won the Group. We had a long discussion but I will never show to that judge again. I do not like to see dogs moved at breakneck speed and on tight leashes. The breed is supposed to be shown on a loose leash at all times. LR: I don’t think so; many long-time breeders are doing a good job. LS: I have been seeing a trend towards square dogs— no where in the Breed Standard does it say the Bearded Collie is square! Another thing I have also been seeing is some muzzles that are far too short— this is not correct for the breed. 4. Do you think the dogs you see in this breed are better now than they were when you first started judging? CA: No, not necessarily. More emphasis now on glamour (coat) and showing (attitude) than on correct dogs, but quality in general has improved as more breeders strive to improve their breeding programs. IC: I feel the breed is in good hands with our younger breeders. They have kept their eyes on the standard and in the main are producing good quality dogs for the show ring. They are more mindful of the herding qualities, with so many owners becoming more inter- ested in herding, agility and obedience. This is great for the breed. I have always felt Beardies are strong and over the years they have maintained that strength. There are always ups and downs but in general, apart from the coats, I see little change. LR: The entries are not as large as they were 15 years ago, but there are still many quality dogs. I did the Top 20
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melting expression—it should never be severe. Although judges are better today understanding that all four colors are acceptable. I still see some who only put up certain colors, which is not correct. 6. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? CA: I have seen judges excuse tri-color dogs (tan points like Dobes or Rotties) thinking the brown, which has faded to cream up the back legs is dirty or white instead of correct. Expression has to be soft and eye color should match the darkness of the coat. You rarely see really dark eyes in Beardies. A judge must think rectangles when judging the Beardie, there is nothing that is square about this breed. IC: Having recently judged over 100 Beardies in Seattle, Washington, I was thrilled with the quality overall. I believe our younger generation of breeders is doing a good job and this will hopefully ensure for some time to come that the Bearded Collie remains a wonderful free- spirited canine that is a devoted family member. LR: Because of their joy for life, Bearded Collies are always fun to judge. A judge has to be aware that there can be a lot of jumping for joy before they settle down and gait. For me, without that zest for life, it’s not a Beardie. LS: Bearded Collies are a wonderful happy breed—a joy to live with and they just want to please. 7. And, for a bit of humor: what’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? CA: A new judge (and former handler) asked me, his stew- ard, to hand out 3x5 index cards to all the handlers in the ring (and there were many as it was a Boxer ring) giving directions how to do a triangle, in pictures. Everyone had a good laugh as this was his first assignment. IC: Many years ago, I was traveling overnight with friends to a show in Manchester, England and had a young male puppy sleeping on the seat beside me. In the early hours I awoke to a very damp seat and pants. Needless to say, I was wearing my show clothes. We stopped at a service station where my female friend offered me the only available change of clothing she possessed—bright pink jogging pants! I went to the washroom to change and the look on the faces of the truck drivers as I stood and washed out my show pants, was a sight to behold. The worst part was that we arrived at the show late and I had to show this male puppy in the first class of the day, thus I had to show in the pink pants! To my horror the dog won its class and the judge, on handing me the red first prize card said, “Sorry, the card doesn’t quite match your pants sir!”
“BECAUSE OF THEIR JOY FOR LIFE, BEARDED COLLIES ARE ALWAYS FUN TO JUDGE.”
at the National a few years back and it was filled with quality.
LS: Yes—there is more consistency of breed type today and fronts have improved in some lines, but I still see far too many steep shoulders and short upper forearms. 5. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? CA: Length of the dogs. They are the longest of the dogs in the Herding Group (not taking short-legged dogs into consideration). Judges should be putting up longer dogs than squarer dogs if in doubt. IC: Beardies were originally herding and droving dogs that needed to be hardy, strong and agile and able to work effortlessly all day. One really needs to watch a Beardie herding sheep to truly appreciate the breed. Judges, old and new, are typically swayed by coat. A recent experi- ence where I was ring stewarding showed me that. I had judged all the dogs that were being shown that day so I knew the exhibits well; the judge commented to me that BOB went to the dog with the best coat—the worst dog in the ring on that day! Beardies also do not need to be run at the speed of light, we need judges to understand that fastest dog is not necessarily the best—speed kills! LR: With any long-coated breed, I think a new judge can be distracted by the coat. It is important to have a balanced dog. Plus the Beardie body is longer than it is high, so watching for the proper proportion is important. LS: Judges need to understand that the Bearded Collie is a long breed. The length of the back, according to the Breed Standard, is from the ribcage with a short loin. Judges should also reward dogs that are light and supple in movement covering ground—not stilted and choppy due to steep shoulders and croups. They should never appear square! The Bearded Collie has a soft,
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A Study of the BEARDED COLLIE
always had young littermates to socialize. Days were long so we’d all sit around talking dog and playing with the puppies until our classes were called. It was here I met the Ha’Penny dogs and became friends with Dick and his wife. Through them I also got to know Robert Greitzer, who owned Moon- shadow, a dog they bred. He also had a Saluki at the time, my other breed. As these puppies hit the “real” show ring, we’d often stay and watch each other’s breed, frequently judged just before or after our own. Later, when I decided to add rest of the Herding group, Beardies were one of the first breeds I applied for. IAN COPUS
Drawn to the breed by their outgoing personality, I started in Bearded Collies in 1978. Coming from Leeds, England to Florida, my husband and I previous- ly owned and bred OES. Realizing our accomplishments, goals and limitations with the OES, we made the decision to switch breeds and enter into the wonder- ful world of Bearded Collies. Aside from
their gregarious personalities, what attracted us to the Bear- dies was the beautiful coats and the ability to be shown natu- ral as well as the breed being fairly new to the US at that time. We acquired our foundation stock from England. There are over 50 champions under the Chaniam prefix as well as mul- tiple group placings (fifty five group ones and a BIS to date). I currently live in Ocala, Florida. I have three Beardies at home and co-own two males, one being an offspring and one a Ger- man import residing in Oregon. In my spare time (my real job), I am an ER nurse at the VA hospital in Gainesville, FL— hopefully soon-to-be retired. My heart has a special place for Junior Handlers, which spurred me to create an educational event called the Juniors Jamboree in Florida. I am an active member of multiple All Breed, Group and Breed clubs. I have been an AKC judge for over 25 years, approved for the Herd- ing Group and 2/3 of the Hound Group at this point. I have been honored to judge several Bearded Collie specialties and OES specialties throughout the US. I am currently nominated to judge the BCCA specialty in 2017. I have judged in Eng- land, Holland, Venezuela, Trinidad & Tobago, Argentina and Australia. I enjoy judging rare breed shows whenever I can. NAN BODINE I saw my first Beardies back in the 80s, I believe, when I lived in New Jersey. Matches were still prevalent then and I both judged and showed at them often. One event that was quite popular was called a Puppy Sweepstakes, held once a month during the winter. The classes started with 3-6 months and were judged by group, so each class had plenty of compe- tition. I was breeding Shelties then and, like so many others,
I live in Victoria, BC, Canada. Besides being involved in the dog showing world, I am an avid sports fan and play badmin- ton regularly. I enjoy all forms of music and live theatre and am currently enjoy- ing worldwide travel with my wife now that I only work part time. Any spare time is taken up with my granddaughter. Intro- duced to the dog show world at the age of
9, I began showing my sister’s Afghans and my own Miniature Pinschers in the 1960s in England. When looking for another breed in the 80s, I was attracted to the Bearded Collie after seeing the magnificent Ch. Edenborough Blue Bracken. I pur- chased my first Bearded Collie in 1979, Kimrand Honeybee and my second a year later, that became my first Champion in the breed, Ch. Kimrand Carousel. Establishing the RAL- LENTANDO kennel, I bred my first litter in 1982, which produced English and European Champions. As a family we moved to Canada in 1990 where our daughter began to take a major interest in the breeding and showing. We only breed when we require a puppy to further our breeding program, thus our litters are few, but we have consistently produced quality dogs that have gained their titles throughout Canada and the US, winning specialties and all breed shows alike. My judging career began in England at the age of 18 and I slowly progressed to Championship level judging in 1990. I have judged many Bearded Collie Specialties in England, Holland and the US, including the US national specialty in 1999. I judged Bearded Collies at the World Winners Show in 1990 and judged in Australia in 2005. Having chosen to judge
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