ShowSight Presents The Bearded Collie

Continued from pg. 230

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 characteristic beard from which the breed takes its name, should be present and accounted for. Th e head should show plenty of flat backskull and a corre- sponding amount of well-filled 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 hallmark of the breed. Bright, however, should not connote feverish or frantic, but rath- er an innate sense of intelligence and willingness to engage in a meaningful partnership with most humans. Ears should be of correct length and carriage, su ffi ciently mobile to facilitate hear- ing in less-than-optimum conditions. Acceptable color and pig- ment add to the beauty of the dog. While there are no disqualifications 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 prac- tices notwithstanding, 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 intelligent member of the family. He is stable and self-confident, showing no signs of shyness and aggression. Th is is a natural and unspoiled breed.” ABOUT THE AUTHOR Cynthia Mahigian Moorhead has owned Bearded Collies since 1972, breeding and showing them under the kennel pre fi x “Parchment Farm,” and has been licensed to judge them since 1985. She has judged the Beard- ed Collie Club of America’s National Specialty twice, the fi rst 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 numerous 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’ Education Committee and is owned by two Beardie boys, Ramsay and Oliver, who herd and run agility.


CH Bendale Special Lady; Owners: Michele Ritter & Chet Jezierski.

I was very fortunate to have gotten my first 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 conformation, agility, obedience, and herd- ing, teaching me what I was to do, while he figured 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 con fi dence, 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.”

Left: The Beardie’s movement should be strong, yet effortless, with long, low, ground-covering strides, with no wasted motion. Right: Without the correct angles in front, undesirable movement faults will be present. The BCCA’s Illustrated Standard can be ordered from


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