ShowSight Presents The Bearded Collie

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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