Bearded Collies and Herding

The Bearded Collie is described: "One of the oldest of the British herding breeds, the Bearded Collie has for centuries been the Scottish hill shepherd's dog, used to hunt and gather free-ranging sheep on the Highlands. The breed was also popular as a cattle drover." (CKC Standard). One of the objectives of the BCCC is "to protect his heritage as a herding dog".

There have been only a small number of Beardies in Canada who have actually been used for the job of herding. Yet it remains our mandate as Bearded Collie breeders and owners to "protect" the herding ability of this breed. One way that the BCCC encourages members to assess the herding instinct ability of their Beardies is by conducting Herding Instinct Tests, the first having been held in 1987.

It has been only since near the turn of this century that the Canadian Kennel Club recognized herding as a competitive sport. There are numerous challenges for Beardies to participate in competitive herding in Canada: few trainers or training facilities and the cost of training being major issues. However, as time passes, an increasing interest in herding across Canada has resulted in an increase in herding activities in the past decade. There are a few BCCC members who participate in competitive herding with their Beardies.