Glenda O'Connell
Lynn Dumbrell
Barbara Walker-Smith
Sue Nicholls-Ward
Peter and Yvonne Fox
Angela Pedder
Althea Richardson
Jackie James
Margaret Harkin
Paula Brooks
Tony and Chris Burscough
Linda Peirson
Denise Atkins
David Hyde
Bryony Harcourt-Brown
Janet Wood
Maureen Betts
Ruth Scott
Denise Barley
Graham Atkins
Justine Waldron
Liz Jay
Don Moir
Suzanne Moorhouse


1. I have been owned by Beardies since 1980.
I was working in a salon in Bournemouth when I met my first Beardie, he was a lovely lively brown boy and my client would come in every week with him and he would curl up at her feet while she had her hair done, I knew that was the dog for me, so once I bought my own salon in Southsea I then got my first Beardie.
‘Connie’ was 8 months when I got her, she had been entered into a couple of open shows and they said it would be lovely if I could show her, I didn’t think I wanted to get into showing but as she had been entered I took her along.
Her first show was the New Forest Open Show, I had bathed her and prepared her the night before and took along all I was told to take except for the mysterious ‘ring clip!’
I had been in several shops asking for a ring clip and no one knew what it was but once I got to the show everyone knew!
I ended up getting a reserve in a large puppy class and that was it, I was hooked and have had many Beardies ever since.
Many have spent a lot of time in the salon and Molly (Ch Diotima Blue Kisses To Natterjack) was our most famous receptionist! she would welcome clients in and in the summer would lay outside on the pavement and most days people would come in to tell us she was outside, but she never wandered into the road or any further than outside the salon.

2. Our favorite part of owning Beardies is their exuberance and we love long walks along the coast line (I cant stand the mud!) but we do lots of country walks in the drier summer months but would never live anywhere but the coast for the lovely walks.

David with his girls Maizey and Lula

3. I always find it so difficult with puppy homes, it is a huge responsibility selling to show homes as you never really know how a puppy will turn out so I prefer to stick with pet homes.
I don’t mind them going to homes with children as I think Beardies and children are wonderful together.
I always tell the people that I am willing for them to come and see the puppies but I will not say they can have one until I have met them, this has caused a few problems over the years with one particular couple who had two very nervous children who kept pushing the dogs away and a wife who kept picking hair off of her trousers and when I said “ This is not the breed for you, you can’t have one” the husband banged down a wad of money on the table and said “heres the money now which one can I take?”
After I again explained I would not sell one to him he threatened me with all sorts of things before he left!

4. The most important advice I would give to a new breeder is, Speak to people in the breed you admire, ask their advice, ask about their lines, go over as many dogs and puppies as you can and get to know what you like and what you don’t and don’t compromise.

5. I think it would have to be temperament health and construction but any way around would look right!

6. In a good brood bitch you need all three of the above, and a good amount of being a good mother, some bitches seeem to produce great puppies whoever they are mated too, I would say in choosing a good brood bitch again llok at the lines you like and take notice of the Dam rather than the Sire, as most people see a puppy they like and immediately look at who the sire is.

7. The ultimate show dog has to have outstanding construction and temperament and a huge dollop of ring presence. Several of our outstanding show dogs are not the best constructed but they commanded attention as soon as they stepped into the ring with their presence.

8. The secret of success is being able to produce the above!

9. Such a difficult task to choose three Beardies as it could change every day depending on how i’m feeling about the breed!
The three Beardies I consider to be amongst the greatest in the breed would have to be Ch Ororas Frank for his sheer ring presence, construction and ability to pass this on as a sire, it was always a joy to watch him move around the ring and he knew he was good too!
Ch Diotima Gabriella was a stunning bitch sired by Frank and had his wonderful movement she was also an amazing brood bitch and finally Ch Tamevalley Easter Song of Potterdale another outstanding bitch who excelled as a brood bitch and produced a lot of the strength we have in the breed today.

10. My proudest moment is a toss up between winning the Bitch CC with homebred Ch Natterjack Natashka at the BCC champ show in 1990 in the largest entry we have ever had at a championship show in the UK 385 dogs made an entry of 554 and then the most thrilling that still gives me a smile is when the judge walked up to me and handed me Ch Malandex Xploits With Natterjack first CC from puppy and then a couple of weeks later to get the second one from puppy and then to make her up in junior and own the youngest champion the breed has ever had, yes that what pretty thrilling! and i’m not sure how I will ever top that or that feeling.

11. Maybe I will try and beat that record with one of her puppies!

12. The breed today compared to when I first owned the breed hasnt changed a massive amount, the things I notice more than anything is the quality in the ring.
When I was first showing I was competing in puppy classes of up to 35 bitches and the quality was in depth, now it seems to be much smaller numbers and little quality.
I wonder if some of it is people breeding from mediocre dogs and producing mediocre dogs rather than going to a top kennel and buying in something really special to breed from.
The movement in the breed has suffered due to fronts not being as good as they were and also we seem to be sadly lacking the correct shape and length of rib and due to the poor fronts no fore chest, this all adds up to the dog not moving as it should.
Rear ends are still quite sound, although in some of the European countries where more excessive angulation and a kick up are required, this is creeping in over here a little due to more dogs from overseas being introduced back into our bloodlines.
Temperament is in general very sound, you don’t seem to see so many nervous Beardies but maybe it is because there aren’t the numbers that there used to be.
Shortness of back and short upper arm is another more common problem and I hate to see this high lifting of the front feet due to this and the ridiculous movement of these short backed dogs, sadly some are even winning groups and once the all rounders start to think this is the norm then it will be time for me to leave this lovely breed.
But on the positive side there are still a lot of breeders who do still see the Beardie as it should be, ‘a lively outgoing extrovert of a dog with a supple smooth long reaching gait with minimum effort, on standing they should have a beautiful flowing outline with no coarseness over the shoulder a solid topline and a neat rear, carrying an adequate amount of natural coat and have a strong head with the all important enquiring expression’
Not a lot to ask for is it?!

David Hyde
14th February 2013


1. I bred my first litter in 1978. I had always had dogs at home as a child (mainly Border Collies and Spaniels) and as soon as I had a house with a garden a dog was an absolute must-have!! Fell in love with Ch. Davealex Royle Brigadier at Crufts in 1974 and the rest, as they say, is history.

2. Best of all is a really good blow on Berrow current girls will have a swim if the tide is in. Enjoying the countryside with my dogs is very special....I enjoy seeing them having fun with all their many friends, too.

3. Sadly I bred my last litter in 2006, and I miss the experience of breeding more than I can say. However, like most breeders, I found the search for the right homes for my puppies the worst part of breeding by a long chalk. I always did the third degree on prospective homes, and if they were local, I visited. I would not sell to anyone who worked 9 to 5 and they would have to convince me that there was real commitment to walking the dog twice a day in all weathers, and that the whole family, without exception, shared this commitment. Gently I would always point out the need to realise that the purchase price of the puppy was only the beginning of a very expensive enterprise, Vets’ bills, boarding fees, equipment costs etc being what they are.

There really isn’t an ideal puppy buyer for me, each one has to be carefully assessed on his/her merits and the final decision can’t be made until there have been several visits to see the litter and talk things over.

Ruth with' Pippa' Ch. Rising Lark at Ramberhay and 'Lottie' Ramberhay September Song in 1984

As far as children are concerned, visits obviously give ample opportunity to see how they behave with the dogs and puppies, but I never felt the need for hard and fast rules over ages etc.

4. Breeding a litter of puppies is a huge responsibility and should never, ever, be undertaken without careful thought and planning. I would say, to a new breeder, go to lots of shows/dog events, look at and evaluate for yourself any likely sires for your litter, talk to people who are experienced and whose knowledge you admire and trust, reassure yourself that your bitch is a suitable future Mum, find out about hip scoring, eye testing and all other relevant tests...actually the list is endless. Just remember, you never stop learning as a dog breeder, it is so important to understand that this is not something you can jump into believing you know all the just isn’t like that. Steep yourself in the world of Beardies, don’t just go to Shows to win a card and then go home – stay and watch other handlers, dogs from other bloodlines, and above all, ask questions and listen to other points of view.

5. Temperament first, health second, construction third (but I would be hoping for all three together, of course).

6. She must have a steady, unflappable temperament with no sign of nervousness. She must be strongly made and in robust health with good test results...a good eater who enjoys every morsel of her food, and has a real zest for life.
Hopefully from a line of bitches who have proved themselves in the whelping box and whose characteristics she will have inherited.

7. One that combines soundness and breed type, and one that really enjoys being in the ring and looks as if showing comes as second nature. If we’re lucky we get some like this, but not all dogs enjoy showing and I think it is unkind and unneccessary to force the reluctant ones to show.

8. Listen and learn. Aim to improve your stock with each generation. Realise that success is a bonus and that perseverance and dedication are essential qualities in the quest for it.

9. I am deliberately choosing three different dogs from the ones I chose for “Judges’ Choice” in the Kennel Gazette a few years ago...I think there is quality in depth in our breed and I can cast my net wide.
This time my choices are: Ch.Breaksea Gothic, Ch.Osmart Black Lorraine and Ch.Sammara Standing Ovation. All from the past, but all superlative Beardies and so full of breed type. I gave Gothic a CC many years ago, and he was one of my all time favourite brown boys. Lorraine was the Mother of my first Beardie, so typy and sound with the most wonderful temperament. Boysie was a great favourite who left such a legacy to the breed. There are so many greats, it is wonderful to be spoilt for choice!

10. There have been many moments to cherish....perhaps top of the list would have to be winning a Res.CC at Crufts in 1997 with my lovely blue girl, Belle. But also high on the list is getting messages from people who have had puppies from me saying how wonderful they are!

11. Sadly, no more breeding or showing for me. And at the end of 2014 no more judging either. Anno Domini catches up with us all!!

12. There are fortunately many wonderful Beardies currently in the ring, showing that superlative balance and outline both standing and on the move. However, there are some aspects of the modern Beardie which give me cause for concern. The standard asks for a very specific length to height ratio, and too often we see short backed, almost cobby examples, totally alien to the essence of the Beardie. One of the most fundamental characteristics of the breed is that flowing, effortless gait emanating from the correct body proportions coupled with correct angulation fore and aft. Fronts nowadays seem to be more problematic than hindquarters; the short upper arm and steep shoulder giving rise to unacceptable, high stepping action. I have been concerned about these trends during recent opportunities to judge the breed. But....rose coloured spectacles or not, I still think the Beardie is the best breed in the world, on all counts, and I am proud to have been an unashamed fan from 1974 to the present day!

Ruth Scott
15th February 2013


1. I waited five years before buying a bitch and breeding my first litter. My first beardie (Ch Swinford Sky Rocket at Macmont) sired many litters and I went to see as many as possible.
By the time I was ready to breed I had served a long and enjoyable apprenticeship.

2. I enjoy our caravan holidays and taking long walks – watching them run free. Every day with a beardie is a happy day.

3. Best homes for my puppies – I prefer pet homes as I breed for myself in the first instance.
My ideal puppy buyer is someone who is prepared to make him/her a member of the family with total commitment for the rest of their life.

4. Like other breeders they go off with the usual list of advice - also always on the end of the telephone etc. In brief, get to know your beardie, learn to get to know them as they need to get to understand your requirements. Be consistant, keep calm, and routine is essential.

5. A difficult one - temperament a must. I believe construction and health can overlap because if your beardie is not well constructed it restricts their mobility which is essential to health.

6. A good brood bitch must have all the above three AND be capable of mating naturally, whelping naturally and enjoying the rearing of her puppies.

7. The ultimate show dog - be a good representative of the breed (fit the standard) and have a natural desire to show off.

8. Secret of success – well I have enjoyed my moments in the show ring and admit that lots of effort has to be made. Other than that its down to the judges.

Althea a few years back with
CH Swinford Sky Rocket At Macmont

9. There are many special dogs who have won many many honours in the show ring. However if I can only name three it has to be Ch Brambledale Balthazar who produced some wonderful prodigy.
Ch Potterdale Lyric John who was the most impressive looking brown and also produced many winning prodigy. And Ch Orora’s Frank who had excellent breed type and again influenced the breed through his prodigy.

10. My proudest moment – well my wins at shows are just wonderful BUT seeing how well my dogs interact with other dogs and humans on our walks is the best ever. We all know that feeling with our wonderful breed.

11. My future plans – well after 36 years of pure pleasure I am just going to enjoy the dogs I have.

Althea Richardson
16th February 2013

  1 - I bought my first Bearded Collie in 1985 and Beth (Sunbree Such Delight) was bought solely to work the cattle on our farm! We originally started working our cattle with a rescued German Shepherd and was totally won over by the idea of using dogs to help with the work. It was through a chance meeting with two local Beardies and some investigative delving into this breed that I decided that as a "drover's dog" this breed was what we needed. If we had any doubts about the suitability of the breed to do the job, Beth was soon to dispel them. Over the years Beth proved her worth time and time again, including saving me from being trampled by a herd of Charollais cattle. It was suggested to me that I should perhaps think of showing Beth, which I did with some success including a ticket and BOB.

2 – Any time spent with my dogs is special, but walking with them around the farm and sitting with them by the stream and simply chilling is the most rewarding.

3 - In the 28 years or so I have only bred 6 litters for myself, so I have been lucky in that a lot of my original puppy owners have come back for a second puppy. Beardies are 'people' dogs who need to be with their owners, so anyone working full time would not even be considered. Prospective puppy owners who talked of an interest in 'doing' things with their dogs, i.e. obedience, working trials, agility, etc., would definitely get a second look!

Lynn and Katie, her foundation bitch

4 - Learn as much about the breed as possible, including reading books. Find out about correct temperament, construction, and about the dogs in your dog's pedigree, so that when the time comes you have the knowledge to make your own decisions about which dog to use or which puppy to choose. Don’t confine your search for a suitable stud dog to the show ring; be prepared to look elsewhere. Being able to recognise the faults in your dog is also important. Listen to those around you whose knowledge and opinions you value, but in the end it should be your decision. Most importantly don't rush into anything!

5 - This is really an easy question to answer - 1st is temperament, 2nd is health and 3rd construction. No matter what you choose to do with your dog, without the first two construction is immaterial.

6 - Correct temperament, good health, construction and breed type

7 - When I judge Bearded Collies I am looking for a well-balanced dog of correct proportions, not overdone or exaggerated in any way and exhibiting the temperament called for in our standard. Movement is so important in a working breed, so when our standard calls for "minimum of effort " in the movement, that is exactly what I want to see. Put all that together with a lovely head and a "bright, enquiring" expression and a certain presence about them, then you will have what a Bearded Collie is about.

8 - Someone, a lot wiser than me said “you cannot command success, but you can at least be worthy of it". Learn all you can but first and foremost always put our breed first.

9 - My choice is based on the fact that I actually knew these dogs very well and in their own way the following three Beardies epitomise to me what our breed should be about and of course to their owners they were the greatest. First is Ch. Beardivale Village Gossip CDEx. I have chosen this dog because, as well as having the ideal temperament which made him a loyal companion to his owner, he was very successful in the show ring into his veteran years. Benjie still is the only show champion to earn a working trial qualification and he also was more than capable of working sheep; truly an all round Bearded Collie. My second choice would be Charncroft Caradoc as he was the sire of my first two Beardies, Beth and her sister Katie, who was to turn out to be my foundation bitch. Peter’s beautiful temperament and type he passed onto my two girls and which Katie then passed on to her offspring. Sunbree Sandy Trail has to be the final choice. I picked him as a stud dog for my Katie daughter, Sadie, because once again he exhibited all that I think of as a Bearded Collie; beautiful temperament, correct proportions, soundness and type. I was not disappointed, as the bitch I chose to keep was Meg who proved to be all that anyone could want.

10 - Making up my Meg (Ch. Bethlyntee Summer Breeze), because as well as being a show girl, she was indispensable when it came to working our cows, which she did on a regular basis.

11 - My future plans are quite simple really, since I don't have any plans to breed more litters, I will continue to do a few shows every year enjoying the company of my dogs and friends.

12 - There are, of course, some very good Beardies still to be found, but unfortunately there is a trend towards a short-legged variety. The length of leg should, at the very least, be equal to the depth of chest and ideally be slightly longer, i.e. 1 to 1:1. Without these important proportions you end up with dogs, that not only no longer resemble the breed, but would be incapable of doing the work for which they were originally bred. Lack of leg length, coupled with lack of forechest, straight fronts and over angulated hindquarters, produces a scurrying action, often accompanied by a bouncing movement, which is highly undesirable in our breed and does not equate to the “supple, smooth and long reaching, covering ground with minimum effort” called for in our standard. Another, and even more worrying trend, is the poor temperament which we are seeing more and more around the shows. Our standard is very clear on this one “steady, intelligent working dog, with no signs of nervousness or aggression”. Anything other than this is incorrect.

We need to step back and take a good, hard look at what is happening before it's too late.

Lynn Dumbrell
20th February 2013

1. We were first introduced to beardies in 1974 & once seen we were smitten. We already had a little heinz 57 from the local dogs home, with whom John was enjoying the obedience scene but the bearded collie was just what I had secretly been looking for; energetic, loving, willing to please and a show off! As luck would have it our obedience class trainer was expecting a litter and in June 1975, Moonglow Magic Charm at Pipadene joined us. "Sally" was the sweetest girl & so patient with me while I underwent my apprenticeship in the show ring. She taught me so much and we were hooked. In 1978 we bred our first litter and the "Pipadene "kennels was born.

2. We have enjoyed several pursuits with our beardies over the years; agility, obedience, hospital visiting and of course, the show ring.
I have such fond memories working my beardies in obedience but the one who stands out for me was Pipadene Fleur. She absolutely adored it & was a real joy to work. That said, the show ring has & always will be my absolute favourite. I love the thrill of looking for the different characters in each dog and working with them to find that extra something in the ring Not only do I love to show my dogs but I really enjoy training others, helping them get the best out of their beautiful dogs.

3. Whilst I thoroughly enjoy having puppies, we only have a litter when we are looking for our next generation. Having bred for our own adorable bundle, it is vitally important to settle the litter mates into loving adoptive homes where hopefully they will remain for the rest of their lives. We always meet all our prospective puppy owners & look for a certain personality & attitude . I do rely on my gut instinct which may sound harsh but my puppies happiness is extremely important to me. Should our puppy buyers then show interest in any canine activities, we support them wholeheartedly. Our ideal puppy owners are those that keep in touch, proudly recounting special moments & achievements but not afraid to ask for help if and when needed.

Maureen and Alfie, Ch Pipadene Late Night Extra

4. If you're thinking of breeding remember, you get out what you put in. Know your bitch ( don't be kennel blind ) and choose your stud dog wisely. Seek as much information that you possibly can, such as what has been previously produced, health issues & top of my list temperament. Feed your bitch & resulting puppies really well and socialise your babes as much as you can.

5. This is a very difficult question as all three are extremely important. You need confirmation to be healthy and health to be happy, which hopefully supports good temperament. I wouldn't weight one higher than the other as all should be equally weighted when breeding.

6. A good brood bitch in my opinion should have all of the above and have a passion to rear her litter. The "mum" is so important in teaching her offspring good manners.

7. My ultimate show dog would be well constructed, true to the breed standard, bidable and with oodles of character to provide that " X factor".

8. I think the secret of success is always striving to maintain health, temperament & type whilst trying to improve your stock generation on generation. I believe that success is earned by hard work & perseverance & should never be taken for granted.

9. There have been many dogs over the years that I have greatly admired but the three that I have picked on this occasion, have all the attributes that for me, typify the bearded collie.
Ch.Brambledale Balthazar, the true "gentle knight" whose temperament was second to none. He had strength in head & the most kindly expression, balanced throughout, he had that effortless beardie movement.
Ch. Potterdale Classic of Moonhill for me had the X factor in every way. I remember watching her in the big ring at Crufts in 1989, so balanced throughout, simply flowed around that ring. Excelled in type and temperament a real " people " dog.
Ch. Pepperland Lyric John at Potterdale, a truly handsome boy with a multitude of attributes, passed down through so many of his children. Winston sired my first champion at Pipadene.

10. My proudest moment; well I'd like to cheat & have two! Judging bitches at Crufts in 2010 was such an honour. I had so many lovely dogs to assess, it was really special. However I really couldn't forget winning Best in Show at Birmingham City all breed championship show in1996, with my beloved Webster ( Ch Pipadene News Review), truly a moment that will live on with me forever.

11. My future plans - continue having fun. I have been exceptionally lucky to have been introduced to such a lovely breed & hope I will be able to continue showing, judging, training & occasionally breeding for a few more years yet.

12. Todays Beardie? - there are some really super Beardes around at present, with some really promising youngsters. However I do feel that we need to improve front angulation, in particular watch upper arm length, as there is still a lot of short stepping to be seen. Without a balanced reach & drive our beardies would have great difficulty in performing lengthy duties for which they were originally bred. Length & shape of rib is also something that we as breeders need to put some thought to.

Maureen Betts
20th February 2013

  1. Like so many, I first fell in love with the picture in the "Observers' Book of Dogs" as a schoolgirl, though it was some years before I met a real live Beardie and I had to be content with my parents' chosen breed, Yorkshire Terriers. Then, as a student, I was asked to doggysit one hot day. A friend's parents were taking him out for a meal and they couldn't leave Tammy to sit in the car, so I volunteered to help and was delighted to meet the beautiful "Tammy" (Tamevalley Burlesque). A visit to Crufts in 1975 and hours spent talking to the gentle souls around the benches and their adoring humans made me determined to own this wonderful breed one day.
Luckily my new husband is a dog lover too, and soon after we met, "Razzle" came into our lives - and a whole new world opened up for us. We became involved in all doggy activities, including showing, and along came "Tallie" (Deanfield Black Lace of Talraz), from whom all our present-day dogs are descended. The first litter with the new affix "Talraz" was born in 1982

2. Our dogs have their own individual personalities and although they all have that fun-loving "essence of Beardie", I have found willing partners in a variety of activities from showing, obedience, agility, and herding through to gentler pursuits such as country walks, hospital visiting, and fireside cuddles. I love the versatility of the breed, so that your hardy herder which battles with the stock in a chilly field in the morning can be the same dog which shares the sofa in front of the TV in the evening. Probably most of all I enjoy just being around them and learning from them, there seems to be always something new

The newly wed Mr and Mrs Jay with honorary bridesmaid dog "Razzle" (Rayre's Rhapsody-in-Blue) aged 14 months

3. The hardest thing of all about being a breeder is finding the best homes. Many enquirers fall at the first hurdle, when there seems to be some spark missing, which is all down to "gut feeling" and other intangibles. If I can't imagine being at least reasonably friendly with any person for several years, then I prefer to back off, as good communication is vital for the puppies' future wellbeing and therefore my continuing peace of mind.
I always encourage people to visit us between litters, to meet the dogs, and this gives us an opportunity to see how they interact with one another without the distraction of cute puppies. I do like people who ask lots of sensible questions, and listen to the replies properly! A sense of humour is essential too. Sadly experience has taught us to avoid young parents, the very house-proud, couples who have unequal affection for dogs and any home where the pup will be expected to spend long periods of time alone. Would-be exhibitors can be a nightmare too, as puppies don't arrive with labels round their necks saying "Future Champion" and so much can go wrong which isn't necessarily the fault of the dog or the breeder
My ideal puppy buyer has done their homework, combines a warm heart with common sense, and above all keeps in touch throughout the dog's life - and maybe one day comes back for another Talraz because their first was so special - that is a compliment of the highest order

4. I would advise a new breeder to carefully think through their motives before bringing puppies into the world. Breeding is a huge responsibility, not just about producing puppies but also guiding new possibly first-time owners of the breed. Be sure you know the answers to all their questions about feeding, grooming, health care, and training as well as being able to speak about the needs and characteristics of the breed - or at least be sure you know where to direct these questions. Your responsibility to the pups you breed does not end when they go out of the door.
Remember that each litter bred is not stand-alone but potentially a link in the chain of generations, so choose your breeding pair carefully and aim high. If you aren't proud of your litter in every way then why breed it at all?

5. Temperament has to be the most important followed by health, good construction is a bonus!

6. A good brood bitch has to be sound, typical of the breed, healthy and robust with a happy contented nature - any sign of nervousness or aggression is wrong according to the breed standard and should never be excused or perpetuated. The best brood bitches have predictable seasons, textbook mating behaviour and serene uncomplicated pregnancies. They whelp their pups calmly and require little assistance for the early weeks beyond clean bedding and extra food. As the pups grow they will help to wean them with regurgitated food and discipline them as necessary. They will also help vet future potential owners and accompany their offspring on their first adventures away from home!

7. The ultimate show dog also has to be sound, typical of the breed, healthy and robust and has to possess an air of quality and "attitude". A fit body, gleaming well-presented coat, bright intelligent expression and a healthy set of teeth all give show ring appeal. I like a dog which throws itself into showing in an honest way, standing tall and proud with little handler assistance and moving freely in any direction and at any speed - an occasional half-bounce and a wagging tail shows personality and is much more attractive than a furry statue.

8. Hard work, a willingness to learn, a willingness to change direction if necessary, and a good helping of luck (or karma!)

9. Ch Pepperland Lyric John at Potterdale always impressed for his beautiful clean outline, striking brown coat with sparkling white collar, and air of absolute self-confidence. He also produced some wonderful offspring over the years, as did my other choice, Ch Orora's Frank. I loved Frank's head and expression. his charisma and his elegance - and what a mover! Both these dogs kept their good looks well into old age and were great ambassadors for the breed. For my third dog, I select the French dog Fr & Int Ch In Vogue Island Come To Look At Me for his absolute correctness, excellent movement and breed type. I gave him Best In Show when I judged the French Club Show in 2009 and he was only 22 months, he stood out then and has matured into a dog of exceptional quality and wide appeal.

10. So many to choose ring glories are the icing on the cake but I love those little moments....watching Mirk (Talraz Supertramp) running wide and fast to gather a flock in a twenty acre field.....a nice message from a friend who has met up with one of our ex-puppies to say she's beautiful, be very proud......seeing Shannon's name listed with the BCC Senior Working Test qualifiers.....taking a litter to the vet for checkups and hearing the vet say wow what gorgeous pups you have.......watching a Beardie gently charm a visitor with nudges and thumping tail and hearing the visitor exclaim oh your dogs are so lovely!! .......

11. We may not breed many more litters here as we are wary of having too many dogs when we are not getting any younger, but hopefully we can continue for the next five to ten years with our natural rearing philosophies, giving our puppies what we believe to be the best start in life. We hope to continue to avoid following high fashion trends, and stick to the type of Beardie we know, love and trust, and hope that there will be those around who appreciate them as much as we do. And of course we hope to continue learning......

12. Sometimes I worry about them, as breed type is sometimes subtly "off" and glamour has become confused with quality
Dogs which can stand like statues, but move awkwardly, I find disturbing, and I worry that basic items of construction have been overlooked in favour of superb coats and eye-catching markings....I worry too about rumours of tail-fixing, and hushed-up health problems, and the use of mood-altering substances to render neurotic animals docile
But then I look at the majority of happy normal animals, and I feel that there is hope.....!!

Liz Jay
20th February 2013




We are flattered to have been contacted for this Interview as we consider ourselves novices when compared to others in the breed.

1. We acquired our first Bearded Collie on 21.3.86. He was 12 months old and lived next door to Tony’s parents. The family had never really got to grips with such a lively, intelligent puppy and consequently he was rather unruly. We had never intended to have a Beardie, we didn’t know the breed, at the time we had Old English Sheepdogs and he was similar so how could we refuse? We discovered his name was “Bixie” (short for Bixter) and his registered name was Stowbourne Bixter. His breeders lived locally and they introduced us to the world of showing, we went along to the Cheshire show and came 2nd of 3……hooked! Bixie never exactly hit the heights but he did teach us a lot, particularly how to lose gracefully! Realising we needed to gain some control of Bixie we were introduced to the world of Obedience where he tested our patience, and that of our trainer, to the limit but it’s character building, so they say, and we must have enjoyed some parts of it as we acquired another, from the same breeder! Ceilidh’s mouth was overshot so Chris continued to persevere with Obedience and Agility training and managed to achieve the Senior Working Test with her. We had cottoned on by then that Bixie was not going to win BIS at Crufts and as we enjoyed the breed and showing decided to look around for a dog that was of show quality. So by now we were smitten and wanted to know more about this lovely breed.
In 1988 we were introduced to Pat Jones (Wellknowe), we admired the dogs she had, she was a no nonsense stocks person with an in-depth knowledge of dogs in general and we were very pleased when she entrusted us with Skye (Wellknowe Skara Belle of Kilfinan) with whom we learnt so much. We are for ever grateful to Pat for her time and patience and acting as our guide and mentor - we miss her enormously and hope she would approve of how we have utilised her knowledge and experience. Skye produced our first litter of Bearded collies in 1990 and we kept a dog, Shep ( Ch. Kilfinan Countryman) and a bitch , Corrie ( Kilfinan Moonlight Holly).From Skye is descended all of our present day Beardies. We are currently showing an 11month old bitch who is our 6th generation.

2. We enjoy doing everything with the dogs: showing, training, watching them grow and develop from new- borns through the gawky junior stage to full grown adults and then senior citizens. Probably the best time is watching them enjoy themselves on a free run across the beach, in a field or in the woods. There is nothing like watching Beardies in full flight!

3. The decision to have a litter of puppies is never taken lightly and finding homes for them is the least enjoyable part of the process. We breed a litter when we want to keep a puppy to hopefully improve and continue the “type” we prefer. We only ever advertise them through the puppy lists of the Breed Clubs or the Kennel Club as we hope that this way the prospective new families will have been through the initial stages of considering why they want this particular Breed. We have fairly finely honed radar when it comes to prospective guardians of our pups and will dissuade anyone we think may not be suitable. We prefer people who have had Beardies before and are willing for us to contact previous breeders for references but would not rule out anyone who we feel is

Tony enjoying Jinny's puppies

Chris and Skye


sensible and will LISTEN to advice. We are not averse to children in the family as long as we can see them with the dogs and they are well mannered and under parental control. Seeing how they react and relate to a number of our adult Beardies when we arrange for them to visit to discuss the breed can be revealing both in respect of the children and the adults. Children can be very beneficial and we both grew up with dogs in the household so who knows, the children could be the next generation of exhibitors/breeders? We do prefer people who have open minds regarding raw feeding and vaccinations and discuss these issues and options with them. We like to furnish people with information which we feel will enhance the life of the dog and the family and have been encouraged by past successes.

4. The most important advice we would give to someone who had decided to breed a litter is to firstly question why they want to breed, then to raise their awareness of what breeding a litter entails, emphasising the responsibility that goes with it in respect of the bitch and puppies and what can go wrong. If they still want to go ahead to discuss with them about how to they can select a prospective sire to contribute to the improvement (hopefully) of the breed and how they can best prepare the bitch for mating and whelping. We would advise them to speak to experienced breeders of particular lines they admire and to try to choose a dog which will enhance the future generation rather than trust to luck and go with the latest Champion. Before breeding a litter people need to have a clear idea of their own bitches’ good points and where she could be improved and then decide what they want from a particular dog to improve on her “faults” or not so good points. Putting in the ground work and breeding from the best available should then give them the best start. If they can find someone with knowledge and experience who they respect and trust and then accept guidance and advice from them, from our experience this is more helpful than listening to advice from a number of different people as this can become confusing and can often be contradictory. Experience brings a confidence in “gut feelings” but until that time arrives the new breeder needs clear guidance.

5. Thought about this long and hard and decided finally that all 3 are interlinked and of critical importance, however health and temperament are probably slightly more important as most puppies go to homes where they are companions and a family member and without good health and a stable temperament the dog could jeopardise the relationship leading to a very poor outcome for dog and owner. Construction is important and vital to the original purpose for which the Beardie was bred but is also a key factor in reducing stresses and pressures on the framework of the dog and enhancing its ability to enjoy a full and active life into old age.

6. A good brood bitch should have all the attributes above plus descending from a successful line of brood bitches is an advantage. She should have a steady and reliable temperament and her health status, that of her relatives and any puppies produced should be known and the information used responsibly. If her predecessors have had problems whelping or rearing a litter then we would reassess her as a potential brood. An outstanding brood bitch would pass on her qualities to her litter .We would also want a bitch to have a healthy appetite and a sensible approach to rearing her puppies.

7. The ultimate show dog must come as close to the standard as possible whilst possessing a temperament to cope with the stresses of long days at shows with the ability to turn up the performance on the big occasion. Unfortunately with long coated breeds they can be ruined by over presentation at the expense of correct construction and movement.

8. Achieving the highest level of success takes determination, hard work, patience, a sound knowledge of the breed, an understanding of animal husbandry, an ability to assess your own stock without being kennel blind, the ability to accept making mistakes, being able to present your dog to the highest standard and to be able to take the rough with the smooth. Add a dollop of good luck and you may be somewhere near!

9. Choosing the 3 greatest Beardies in our opinion is difficult as we have not had the advantage of judging the Beardies of the past but we have chosen those from bygone days as they have made the greatest impression. We have chosen Ch. Wellknowe Crofter as he was the dog we based our lines on having the balance and movement we look for, Ch. Potterdale Privilege as he was a superb ambassador for the breed being unexaggerated and a superb showman and Ch. Osmart Bonnie Blue Braid for his amazing contribution to the improvement of the breed in the early days.

10. In terms of the showring we have had a number of memorable experiences among which are winning the Welsh Contest of Champions in 1998 with Ch Osmart Lizzie’s country Lass of Kilfinan, winning the group at Blackpool 2007 with Kilfinan Scott’s Lass and coming Reserve in the working Group at Blackpool in 1995 with Ch. Kilfinan Countryman but the most amazing one was winning BOB at Crufts 1994 with Countryman and being pulled out in the last 8 in the huge Working Group. I don’t think we really appreciated what we had done at the time as we had only had Beardies for 7 years and he was from our first litter.

11. Our hopes are to continue to breed healthy sound animals and to have the opportunity to enhance our judging experience in Beardies and other breeds in order to broaden our knowledge base. With regard to showing we can only produce and show what we feel is correct and the outcome is in the hands of the judges!

12. It is difficult to know whether rose tinted specs come into this one as we remember huge entries in all classes when we first started showing. It was not unusual to have 20-30 in puppy classes and the Limit and Open classes were always enormous and filled with mature dogs in full coat. Again it is difficult to answer because we were not so experienced in those days so maybe not as critical - so were they better or were we not so able to assess?
There are many top class Beardies still to be found , shown to perfection so we don’t wish to sound damning but the main areas of concern for us are:
Size: particularly in dogs as they appear to be getting smaller. Considering the old standard for dogs was 24” before being reduced to 22” it would indicate that the breed was considered to be of a fair size. Some dogs today appear to be lacking size and substance and could be mistaken for bitches.
Heads: can sometimes be lacking width of skull and therefore lack balance. There appear to be a number lacking the width of underjaw and teeth seem to getting smaller in some. Eye colour has been a major problem for a long time and alongside head properties has a negative impact on the expression which is a major factor in considering breed type.
Proportions: a new “fashion” we have noticed creeping in is lack of leg length which alters the overall proportions. Our understanding is that the 5:4 ratio comes from the length of back (from the ribs) combined with correct forehand placement, depth of chest and the length of leg which meets the standards requirement for plenty of daylight under the body. There appears to be a number of Beardies lacking the required length of leg which gives the illusion of length but is incorrect for proportion and therefore balance.
Movement: we are not fans of the “kick- back” seen in some as this is wasted energy. We also prefer to see dogs moved at a sensible pace and not scuttling around the ring “going nowhere”.
Handling styles change but, particularly in puppies, we are not fans of the over trained exhibit, that looks like a statue, who when you look at its expression gives the impression of “the lights are on but nobody is home”. Beardies have a love of life and they should be allowed to show some of their natural exuberance in the ring. There is a difficult balance to be achieved in showing a Beardie and it needs to be a partnership rather than domination.

Tony and Chris Burscough (Kilfinan).
25th February 2013


1. Our first Beardie was born in 1982 - Brady (Penliza's Teasel)was a brown Pepperland Lyric John son. He was bought as a pet but after becoming a member of the SCBCC and entering the 'local' open show my mother was soon hooked. Brady was followed by two males before our first girl - Ch Desborough Dulcinea of Snowmead, so our first litter wasn't born until 1990. Having grown up with Beardies they are an integral part of my life - I couldn't imagine a home without them!

2. The most enjoyable thing about Beardies is living with them! They are so much part of the family and it is their wonderful temperaments that make them easy to live with.

3 . We rarely have litters and finding the right homes for puppies has got to be one of the hardest things about having a litter. An ideal puppy buyer has got to be someone who is looking for a puppy to be part of the family and will make a lifetime commitment. There is also nothing more satisfying as receiving photos or a Christmas card from people who have had a puppy.

4. Talk to as many people as you can, listen to all of the advice given, make up your own mind. Study pedigrees, see the dogs for yourself and evaluate what you are looking for in a stud dog and how they will suit your bitch.

A smiling Justine with Louis and Fayme

5. Temperament has to come first - you can have a dog that fits the breed standard to your ideal, but it isn't any good if you can't live with them. Health and construction come a very close second.

6. Temperament, health and construction are all important in a bitch - in the same order as above!

7. As well as breed type, movement and a character and temperament that loves being the show ring, the ultimate show dog for me has a 'je ne sais qoui' about them - I guess it is ring presence.

8. For me, success can be defined as breeding a consistent type, with super temperament. Success in the show ring is dependent on the judges, but being happy with the type of dog you are breeding is just as important. The unsung successes are all of the happy 'pet' owners whose Beardies live long happy lives.

9. I believe Ch Pepperland Lyric John at Potterdale had a huge influence on the breed through his show success and his progeny. Ch Potterdale Philosopher for the stamp he made through his offspring and Ch Orora's Frank for type and the lasting impression he has made on me for his ring presence.

10. My proudest moment has to be making Fagan (Ch Snowmead Sans Faute) into a Champion. The mating that he came from was one of my Mum's last wishes with the dogs. The icing on the cake was gaining Top Dog with him in 2003.

11. I hope to continue showing and enjoying my Beardies for many years to come!

12. I think that we still have the same variety of type in Beardies as we had 20 years ago. It would appear we have more health problems but whether this is because of more accurate diagnosis or a faster more fluent spread of information through the social media of Facebook etc I'm not sure. The relaxing of the pet passport rules allows for a larger population of Beardies to be available to us here in the UK and I find it interesting that in 2012 for the first time, we had more Beardies imported to the UK than where exported.

Justine Waldron
26th February 2013


1. After having Afghan Hounds for few years we decided we would like something with a bit more brains (not that Afghan’s don’t have brains) went to Birm Champ Show and spoke to 3 Exh/Breeders, Jenny Osborne, Suzanne Moorhouse and Lynne Evans (now Sharpe) Lynne had a litter due soon so when they were 5 weeks old we went to see them at Lynne’s home in the Forest of Dean. When we arrived her mother met us to say Lynne wont be long as she is exercising some of her dogs in the forest, she arrived back shortly, was that the breed we saw at the Ch Show very very wet and bedraggled, what could one say, what an introduction to this breed., clean brushed Show Beardie one day, a very wet dog the next ! We decided we would have a puppy Brambledale Blue Star. After a couple of years another beardie from the late Maureen Reader (Tamevalley) Tamevalley Folk Lyric.

2. Although we only show them they are first most pets who live in the house as one of the family, they enjoy walks and runs in the local forestry centres with dedicated doggy walks.

3. Hate this part, I never think they are perfect buyers for our babies, but we know we can’t keep them all. The prospective buyers can give you the best credentials in the world, what happens when your puppy leaves your home, you hope they are honest with their answers. On the initial enquiry we try to find their circumstances at home (work commitments etc) children (how old) also why a beardie ? If they have had a dog before it helps, we ask them to come and look, let them meet the other dogs (check reaction with the happy! Beardie is a good test)

The Snikkles dogs with proud owner Graham

4. Have you got time to raise a litter, finding new homes can be a challenge, vetting people etc, talk to the breeder of your bitch is a good start as they know the breeding lines. And can possibly give advice on potential stud dog(s)

5. Temperament, Health, Construction

6. A good brood bitch again with all of the above, hopefully passing on her and the Sere’s good qualities.

7. The dog that ticks all the boxes (as a judge) or it shows that extra something when showing.

8. ( tough one) Research and Experience and time in ones field.

9. CH.PEPPERLAND LYRIC JOHN AT POTTERDALE, saw him as a youngster to Champion (offspring carried that quality line through and through)

CH.TAMEVALLEY EASTER SONG AT POTTERDALE, a bitch who I admired for along time all the qualities of a good beardie (we had a puppy from a repeat mating which produced T.Easter Song from Lyric John/Dutch Bonnet of Willowmead called Ch.TAMEVALLEY FOLK LYRIC)

CH. SUNBREE SORCERER, another who produced many quality puppies with a line you could see.

10. Honour of being asked to Judge Crufts (Dogs) and all our Beardies having a Stud Book number, home bred a Champion and that wonderful feeling gaining that magical third CC with a dog you have bred.

11. To breed sound healthy and lovable puppies and need that bit of luck to show one with that winning quality.

12. They have changed over 30+ years, coat seems to mature a lot earlier, construction still seems good there are points we must still watch but we must still breed for quality They are still healthy sound Beardies with eyes and hips being tested when old enough.

Graham Atkins
6th March 2013


We were flattered to be asked for our opinions, feeling relative newcomers but I guess 25 years does pass by very quickly! It has been interesting to sit back and reflect when answering the following questions!!

1. We bought our first Beardie in 1988 - we had always wanted a dog, but had to wait until our work schedules permitted. Peter grew up with Border Terriers, which we liked and considered but decided we wanted something a bit bigger. We both liked shaggy dogs and wanted something that would like plenty of exercise, as we enjoyed walking and also a breed with intelligence. At a local Agricultural dog show we saw a Briard which we liked alot but we felt we would perhaps like something a bit smaller and perhaps easier to obtain! We went through books on dog breeds looking for similar breeds and the Beardie seemed ideal both in looks and temperament. It took us a while to track a breeder down but eventually we bought Beth - Hajacan Kitkat - from Hazel Metcalfe.
Hazel persuaded us to have a go at showing, and although both Peter and Beth didn't have much idea about what to do, she won a second prize and we were hooked! Beth had the most wonderful temperament and was extremely intelligent but we soon realised that whilst we might have a bit of fun with her at local Open shows, she wasn't going to do much at Championship show level and so a year later Hannah - Orora's Silver Mica, joined the family and a year after that her half sister Orora's Marcasite. We will always be grateful to Bryony Harcourt-Brown for letting us have these two wonderful girls - from which all the Bushblades Beardies descend. Our first litter was born in 1991 - we have just had our fifteenth!

Peter and Yvonne with parts of their bunch

2. Going for a long walk in the lovely countryside around where we live, when it is dry underfoot and just pleasantly warm!

3. We look for homes with sensible owners, where the dog will be very much part of the family and will be involved in family activities, whether the dog is sold for showing or as a pet. We like homes where they will take time to do something else with their dog, at least basic puppy foundation classes, but also Good Citizens, agility, flyball etc. as we know how much Beardies love to 'do things'. Families with very small children may not be ideal but we always like to meet any children, and parents who can not control their children will not be considered as potential owners! We wouldn't necessarily rule out someone who works full time, we have known many people with dogs who are at home all day but rarely walk their dogs or do anything with them and Peter and I both worked full time when we got Beth. We would, however, expect them to take time off when the puppy arrives and to have given thought to how they can make arrangements or alter their work schedule so that the dog isn't left alone for very long periods. Good quality time with a dog can be better than quantity! Finally new owners must be able to cope with the grooming requirements of a Bearded Collie.

4. Watch, listen and Learn!
Watch dogs in the ring, pick out the ones you like and see how they do. Try and work out why you like them and why they did well - or didn't. Watch outline and overall balance on the stand and watch them move. To the novice the Beardie that moves with the effortless reach and drive required may not appear to be striking, but look at how many strides that Beardie takes to cover the ring compared to others with poorer construction. Watch movement and topline in profile - the dog with a rolling topline may just be fat but the one whose topline twists is unbalanced. Watch movement coming and going -it is just as important.

Listen to the views of those who have been in the breed a good while, achieved success and whose dogs you admire. Listen to various views, often others will point out things that you had not considered and different people will have slightly different priorities in assessing an animal which is good! As you become more experienced you will learn which are the best pieces of advice!
Learn - read all you can about the breed, study pedigrees of dogs which have achieved success, read books on construction and movement and read about those in other breeds that have achieved success and how they have done so.
To this we would also add 'not to be afraid to do your own thing sometimes'!

5. Temperament, health, construction - a dog with a poor temperament isn't going to stay healthy for long! Good construction is the icing on the cake

6. A good brood bitch should have a good temperament and no obvious health problems (and in this we would include serious mouth faults). She should be a sound example of the breed and of good type. We also believe a good pedigree is important - some very good brood bitches have only had average show careers but fulfil the criteria above and produce lovely pups.
Finally one that has regular seasons, is easy to mate, whelps easily and is a sensible and diligent mum complete the package.

7. One that enjoys showing for a start! The best constructed Beardie in the world will not do well if it finds showing boring or overwhelming!
Obviously one is looking for excellent construction, a good rapport with the handler and for us, one that is still capable of winning at the highest level well into Veteran or even Vintage is the mark of a top class dog. Very often those heavily coated, glamorous Juniors that have an outstanding show career go over the top and do little or no winning once fully mature.

8. See 4! Plus perseverance and a big dollop of luck! We also believe that some people do have a natural eye for a dog and overall quality and balance and this coupled with a 'feel' for what dog will go with which bitch gives them a head start!

9. We wanted to pick dogs that we have seen and both agree on Ch Orora's Frank - although he had more or less retired from showing when we met him and we were very novice owners, his beautiful balance and movement made a real impression and a template for our own Beardies. We don't remember him as a big dog but he had great presence and was always immaculately presented. To add to it all he produced some wonderful offspring and our next choice is his daughter Ch Potterdale Classic at Moonhill. Again she had retired from the showring but Brenda brought her to the Beardie Spectacular to show in the Champions parade. A lovely bitch, again so well constructed and presented but it was that elusive star quality and sheer ring presence that really stood out and we could instantly understand why she had gone BIS at Crufts. Always so in tune with her handler and loving every moment in the limelight she also proved her worth as a brood bitch.
We couldn't agree on our third choice on dogs we had judged - for Yvonne it is Ch Diotima Sea Wolf at Ramsgrove, who epitomised the sound, ground covering, unexaggerated type of Beardie we admire so much and is another who has proved himself a successful sire.
Peter - It is Ch Potterdale Audition at Pattishawl. A dog with the same sire as Sea Wolf and a super dog. Again a Beardie of lovely type who had real ring presence and movement that one could watch all day. I was privileged to be able to judge him and award him a CC and BOB at Bournemouth in 2007.

10. There have been lots of proud moments - from the e-mails and letters from people who have had a pet Beardie from us telling us how wonderful they are to making up our first Champion. However for Peter it was seeing Marco (Ch B. Transaction) winning his third CC and going BIS at the BCC Championship show - something we could have only dreamt about when we first started. For Yvonne it was seeing Joanne (Ch B Ready to Rejoice) getting her third CC and winning RBIS at NW&PB Championship show in 2012 - it is thrilling seeing someone else do well with a dog you have bred, especially when they themselves are relatively unknown.

11. Downsizing! We currently have 7 Beardies and they require plenty of exercise and grooming - quite a commitment when Peter works away most weeks and we are not getting any younger!
We also like to travel and now that mum and dad aren't really able to dog sit this is much more difficult.
Hopefully this will happen very gradually over the coming years and I am sure we will always have some involvement in the breed, though.

12. We still think that there are some quality Beardies being shown but there is not the strength in numbers these days, inevitable when show entries and puppies registered have steadily fallen year on year. It does concern us that a lot of emphasis seems to be on having very young, early maturing Beardies with big coats - often the leggy, raw pup or junior will turn into a beautiful swan but a lot of people seem to expect puppies to look (and behave) like miniature adults. We believe the Beardie should be a fairly slow maturing breed - and worth waiting for!
The number of dogs with narrow underjaws or poor pigmentation appears to be on the increase and breeders need to address these problems before they become even more widespread.

Peter and Yvonne Fox
13th March 2013


1. Have been in beardies for 35 years and breeding for around 31. Our first beardie was Brambledale Blue Star of Labooshar from Lynne Sharp who gave us our first insight into this beautiful breed. We chose a beardie basically because we had owned and shown Afghan hounds previously with some success and even though our first Afghan was sedate and obedient the second was unruly and we wanted something with a few more brains.

2. Primarily just owning them and having them for company and in the past they have got me through a few traumatic times in my life. I enjoy the dog scene and meeting old friends and it's always nice to judge the breed to see how they are progressing.

3. I have been lucky in the past that a number of previous owners have returned for 2nd or 3rd puppies but I always rely on my gut instinct even when speaking to people on the telephone especially with the questions they ask. My ideal puppy owner is someone who can give the care and attention to the pup that I would expect of myself.

4. Don't just go for a top winning dog or champion. Examine pedigrees carefully, attend shows and look at dogs and if possible ask the owner of any that you like the look of if you could go over the dog. Know your own bitch and what improvements you would like to make i.e. darker eye, better shoulders etc., and look for these in your chosen stud.

Denise relaxing with her dogs after judging Crufts

5. Temperament to me far outweighs the other two as the majority of a litter goes to pet homes. Construction possibly next but is equal with the health and wellbeing of a dog and therefore every effort should be made for the animal to be hip scored and eye tested.

6. Maternal instinct obviously is a high priority but some bitches don't always have this the first time around until after a couple of days and then everything clicks into place. Health is definitely another important factor along with her attributes such as construction and temperament and no one should use a bitch for breeding that is below the breed standard.

7. I don't think the ultimate show dog actually exists. There are probably a few who come close but everything has a flaw of some sort.

Saying that I would still want a dog/bitch that looked like they could still do a days work which would call for the long lean animal that seems to have disappeared over the years.

8. Perseverance. A judge might not like your dog as a puppy but don't be put off as the ugly duckling could turn into a beautiful swan as I've seen in the ring over the years and top honours were awarded.

Take the rough with the smooth. You could win the ticket one day and be thrown out at the next show but that's just the judges opinion.At the end of the day just relax and enjoy it but work hard at keeping your dog fit and well.

9. My 3 dogs would be Ch.Brambledale Balthazar, Ch.Pepperland Lyric John at Potterdale and Ch.Osmart Black Thorn at Moonhill.Each of them have laid the roots to many of the kennels/breeders that are around giving us what we have today.

10 Making up our first home bred champion - Ch.Labooshar Lore Lord - he was such a gentleman both in the ring and out of it and proved to be similar at stud never rushing the ladies.

He was made up with tickets gained in Wales, England and finally Scotland with a BIS at a club show and retired at the age of 3 years with 5 CCs and 5 RCCs including one at Crufts.

11. At the moment I have no plans for further litters so my only thing is to enjoy having my beardies around in the future and occasionally judging them.

12. Today's beardies are a few steps away from the original so to speak but that is progress and as a breed we have to expect both improvements and setbacks.

Some time back we went through a stage where there was very little difference between the dogs and bitches both in height and length but this is slowly recovering with the odd exception now and again where you can't guess the sex without examining the animal. We need to keep the length in both sexes as a few on both sides are becoming square.

We also need to guard against loss of pigmentation which seems to be on the up at the moment possibly due to not examining the roots of a pedigree before using certain stud dogs which could also be why some of these are becoming infertile.

Apart from that I think the breed is in a healthy state and long may it reign.

Denise Atkins
13th March 2013


1. We got our first Beardie in March 1981 mainly just because we liked the look of the dogs and never intended to show or breed. How things change! We decided to have a go at showing later that year after our puppy was taken back to her breeder for a visit. We entered the Bearded Collie Club of Scotland Open Show in August that year under Jo Pickford without any ring craft training for me or the dog (didn’t know that these things existed), and I was promptly dragged up and down the ring by Misty (Dramesk Winter Dusk, the ‘at Winaria’ bit came much later) much to my total embarrassment. She got second in MPB (yes there were more than two!) and then second in PB, closely followed by Bob Cross the steward, telling me that the judge wanted me to stay back as she wanted to speak to me. We wouldn’t have gone away anyway as the whole event was fascinating. Jo then said that I should get my act together and also to buy a proper ring collar and lead (I’d just used the road one) as she was quite nice and I was just wasting her. Well two seconds and a telling off from the judge was enough to get us hooked and we started to enter lots of open shows around central Scotland. However the performance from Misty was still pretty bad but she picked up quite a few cards and showing just became part of our normal routine. A lot of people helped me a great deal during this time and it’s probably fair to say that without that help we would probably have given up at some point in the first couple of years. It’s something that newcomers could do with more of today I think.

(L-R) Ch Welltravelled, Ch Wellwisher and Wallace
enjoying some lovely weather with Don.

2. Beardies just get under your skin and become full members of the family. They’re all different but all the same and of course you end up with favourites. This might sound a little perverse, but when I was showing regularly on the Ch show circuit, I really enjoyed the early starts and driving down the motorway on a sunny weekend morning. Just you, your Beardie companion, loud music and Irn-Bru to drink. What’s not to like?

3. This is a very subjective issue and is difficult to get right. People’s behaviour when they arrive to see the pups was always closely watched by us and how they reacted to possibly wet Beardies jumping all over them. Beardies always made the best judges of prospective buyers. I remember one woman who came quite a distance to see pups in 1992 and proudly told us what an immaculate garden she had. Kiss it goodbye I told her. She didn’t get one.

4. The best advice I ever gave anyone was to be careful who they took advice from. People looking for guidance on breeding should always understand what the responsibilities will be. That can only be gained from speaking with established breeders that the prospective breeder respects.

5. It has to be temperament and health at the top as without them you’ve got nothing. Then you can worry about construction.

6. Firstly the 3 attributes above but also that a good brood needs to be one which is quite calm in most situations. Too nervous and that trait can be passed on to the pups. A bitch with distinctive type should be able to pass that on to the offspring and hopefully you want the same type from her puppies.

7. For me the ultimate show dog is the one that walks in the ring and you can’t take your eyes off it. Hopefully it can also move correctly as well and meet all the other requirements of the standard.

8. Success can be defined at many levels depending on what you, as an exhibitor, want to achieve. You may be happy to confine yourself to local shows and do well there or you may decide to go on the national circuit and aim high. So the secret of success, for me, is to be content with your own achievements.

9. For me the 3 greatest would be: Ch Orora’s Frank who was such a terrific mover and superb stud dog; Ch Potterdale Philospher a Frank son who was such a dominant stud that you could pick out his children in a crowd; and Ch Potterdale Classic of Moonhill (Frank again) who really had that something extra special when she walked into the ring and just shouted “look at me”. It’s a pity that only 3 are required here. I could go on a bit more!

10. In think that making up our first champion Winaria Wellwisher probably takes it although there were some other pretty good days too like the Crufts CC in 1992. Making up her daughter and granddaughter were very proud days and I really can’t overlook the Southern Counties Club Ch show in 1997 when we won the BCC and RBCC with Welltravelled and Wellwisher (daughter and mother). I also have to mention that in 1985, Misty won PGB at Crufts and Margaret still thinks that was our greatest day!

11. There are very few future plans as there will be no more Winaria Beardies. However I still enjoy judging very much and have a couple of big days to look forward to.

12. I have long felt that when people come into showing they are naturally heavily influenced by the big winners of that time and tend to look back at that period as a golden one. Unfortunately this tends to lead to the sort of comments that you hear like “Beardies are not as good as they used to be” and there may be some truth in that depending on your start time! However there are some very good quality Beardies around who still look the way that I think a Beardie should. When I went on the circuit in a big way, class sizes were huge in comparison with today. Having 30+ dogs in a class was not unusual and sometimes that would now account for almost half an entry. I remember PGB at Birmingham City in 1994 which had 47 dogs in it. However it’s not all a numbers game and quality in depth is very important for the future well being of the breed. I have found over the years that regardless of the size of entry, there are normally only a handful of exhibits that you would consider giving the CC to and if you are presented with a bigger choice then that’s a good day for a judge.

Don Moir
15th March 2013


1. Since 1955. I was brought up with a Beardie from a very young child, I was terribly upset when he died. I started breeding and showing miniature poodles as a young teenager and when I saw Mrs Willisons advert and realized our Rory was a Beardie, promptly ordered a bitch puppy from her, who arrived at Willowmead in 1955. As soon as she was six months old she joined the show team.

2. Walking the dogs on a lovely sunny, but not too hot, dayin some of the beautiful countryside near where I live.

3. A middle aged couple in a stable marriage, who already have owned a Beardie and know all the in's and out's of the breed and never would have any other type of dog.

4. To ring ME with anything that bothers them with their puppy at any time throughout its life.

5. 1.Temperament, 2. both construction and health.

6. Calm and steady temperament. excellent mothering ability and plenty of milk.

7. A dog with a calm and steady temperament who loves every one and is not noise sensitive, who has that extra bit of sparkle to pull all the stops out when necessary.

8. Goodness knows, tell me when you find out.

Suzanne showing Kayla at Crufts

9. Osmart Bonnie Blue Braid, Braid really stamped his type and lovely head, which is still being born in puppies today.
Pepperland Lyric John at Potterdale, Lyric John also had some excellent off spring but the type is not so obvious in these days.

10. Willowmead Perfect Lady winning the hat trick in consecutive years at Crufts of bitch C.C. with Ch Black Magic winning the dog C.C. for two of those years.

11. To make up Kayla and Alice, both on two C.C.s and five reserve C.C.s, after that I will take life a bit more gently???

12. Sadly I feel the dog we started breeding in the Fifties and Sixties is rarely seen these days. The dogs we see in the ring at the moment are so over trimmed, long backed and short legged, that I know I have seen the best of the Bearded Collie. We do still have enough of the correctly made dogs around to get the breed back to the correct shape, but the way things are going, we could easily have a very different dog to the ones I started out with in the showring.

Suzanne Moorhouse
16th March 2013


1. I have owned Beardies since 1975 and have many memories of my first Beardie, Seykoe Excalibor, who introduced me to the show world. I had ‘Solly’ from 12 weeks old and he was going to be purely a family pet, showing was never considered. However, he matured into a handsome lad and I decided to take him along to one of our local Exemption Shows, he not only won his class but went on to get BIS. This was the beginning of showing for me, I then started taking him to training classes and it was then that I decided to show him, well at least at Open show level. I can remember his first show was Bedford Open Show, I was so excited when he won his class AV Working & Pastoral. I did my apprenticeship at Open shows with modest success and then decided to go one step further and enter him for a championship show. The big day arrived, I was very nervous but again excited, it soon came around for us to go into the ring, Solly showed his heart out, and I was thrilled when the judge pulled us out 1st hence qualifying for Crufts. I went home a very proud Mum, it was always my ambition to go to Crufts but to go to show was a dream come true. Crufts finally came around and I was wondering how I would cope at this prestigous show with so many spectators, Mrs Barbara Iremonger was the judge, I took up my place in the big ring and kept my composure, when the judge shortlisted Solly this was a bonus, when he got shortlisted again I had to keep my nerves together, when she finally gave Solly 3rd I was ecstatic. I was by now smitten with the ‘show bug’ and continued showing males for several years and then in 1984 I got my first bitch ‘Charity’ Rallentando Rula, and bred my first litter at Claudalla in 1988.

Margaret with her first love Solly


2. I enjoy all the social activities with my beardies, whether it be showing, training, fun days, committee work and have many special memories of ‘Charity’ when she was a visiting ‘Pat Dog’ at our local hospital, she was the highlight of the week for many of the patients. My dogs give me great pleasure of being around the home and especially when I am feeling low they are always there to greet me with licks and cuddles. They are part of our family and have the same home comforts as us humans!!!

3. I have only bred a few litters as I find it difficult finding suitable homes for my puppies, I only breed when I want to keep a puppy. I would say the ideal owner would be someone who did their homework on the breed and knows the high maintenance involved with owing a Beardie, a caring and loving home is my prime importance, and ideally I prefer my puppies to go to homes where someone is around during the day as beardies thrive on human companionship.

4. I would advise any new breeder to think carefully before they decide to breed, it’s a huge responsibility and you need to have the time and patience to give the best to your bitch and puppies. Go to shows, fun days etc and talk to experienced breeders, your choice of stud dog is of prime importance and get to know all his good qualities before you make your decision. Feed your bitch on the best quality food you can afford, exercise is very important to keep her in good physical condition – if you feel it’s all too much for you then don’t breed.

5. I would say temperament first, followed by health and construction

6. A brood bitch should have all the qualities above, she should have a good appetite and be in prime body condition and have a sensible attitude towards rearing her puppies.

7. I like to see a well constructed and presented dog, (including clean teeth), with that melting beardie expression, a dog that can move effortlessly showing lots of character, be happy with showing and have that little bit of ‘charisma’ to catch the judge’s eye.

8. To be successful you need to work hard, never take anything for granted and remember you get back what you put in and maybe then you will have a little ‘luck’.

9. I have admired many great dogs over the years, however the three very special ones are, Ch Pepperland Lyric John at Potterdale, a true ambassador of the breed who excelled in movement and a most handsome dog of great breed type; Ch Kimrand Simon a great favourite of mine, I loved his head and expression, he was a true gentleman with a wonderful temperament and excelled in movement; and Ch Tamevalley Light’ning Storm, a most stunning girl who was one of my favourite all time bitches, and I was fortunate in having the pleasure of judging her and awarding her the CC when I judged at Leicester in 1992.

10. I have had many memorable wins and experiences over the years, topping the list must be judging bitches at Crufts in 2007 when my CC winner went on to win the group, following on the same year when my bitch Ch Claudalla Lady Tippins gained her title and BIS in a huge entry under the late Mrs Jenny Osborne at Bearded Collie Ch Show, and 2011 was a year to remember when I campaigned litter brother and sister to their title within 6 weeks of each other.

11. I plan to continue showing and enjoying my beardies, hopefully one more litter, I enjoy judging and being around my friends and hope this can also continue well into the future.

12. I feel we have many good Beardies in the ring today. I have noticed over the past few years that males seem to be getting smaller, in some cases if they were in a mixed class they could be mistaken for a bitch, tail carriage in some lines seem to be a problem as does light eyes, poor pigmentation and small teeth. There is a lot of bad movement creeping into the breed, this could result from lack of exercise or purely a badly constructed dog. Handling skills have vastly improved but what I don’t like to see is a dog strung up so tightly that he/she can barely breathe, a trend that is creeping into the breed. Showing our lovely breed is purely a hobby, let’s keep it that way, and remember the perfect dog has yet to be born!!

Margaret Harkin
17th March 2013


1. Having been asked to take part in the interview for BCX, I thought maybe almost 25 years being owned by Beardies was no time at all compared to some. Saying that we, Steve and myself have been blessed to own and meet many wonderful dogs. When we lived in Northolt, Middlesex, we often saw a chap exercising his Rough Collie and Beardies…. Seeing them run free across the fields was fantastic, this chap turned out to be John Hagan (Sunnyvale Beardies). We had decided that once the time was right, a Beardie would be the pet for us, a natural, happy dog.

We later moved to Beaconsfield and shortly after we rescued a lovely 8 year old brown Beardie boy ‘Barney’ who we later found out had been sired by Ch. Sunbree Sorcerer… we also acquired our first Beardie puppy from Linda Fox, he was ‘Brady’ Moonhill/Beksam lines.

Steve’s job moved us to sunny South Wales in 1991, our new home gave us more space which of course meant more room for Beardies! A lovely old fashioned blue boy from the Roseollie kennel joined us. We took him along to one of the Bearded Collie Club fun days and our dear ‘William’ won a ‘show’ class…. Knowing nothing about the show world, we decided to have a bit of fun and take him along to some Open Shows….. we had a great time, gaining some valuable experience, meeting other Beardie people and of course their dogs.

Paula and Dylan in the Working Group ring at Crufts 1998


In 1993, one of our Beardie holidays took us all to Devon to stay with Una Cornthwaite at her beautiful Mill in Oakhampton…. She had a litter of puppies at the time which was fatal……. I expressed an interest in one of the pups. Una said she would let me know at the end of our stay if we were suitable owners or not! She would assess us with our Beardies during the week… very scary indeed! I had picked out a slate boy and thankfully when we went back to see them a couple of weeks later, Una agreed to let Dylan ‘Braddabrook Botzaris’ come to live with us. The show scene became a regular thing for us and Dylan became our first Champion.

2. The thing I love the most is to be at home with all the dogs doing whatever they want to do….. usually having a huge cuddle on the sofa, it’s the best feeling in the world…. A close equal is seeing them running free on a nice walk. I don’t mind them getting dirty or wet as long as they enjoy it…….. it’s what having a Beardie is all about.

3. As we started out with boys, it took as a while to consider breeding and buying a bitch. So our first young lady was ‘Fancy’ from the Bryonyhill kennel who joined us in 1995. Since then we have only had 4 litters. We have been very lucky with the homes found for our pups and not meaning to offend anyone, the perfect home will never exist…….I would rather keep them all which is why we don’t breed very often. All homes are different and luckily Beardies are very adaptable… the ideal would be someone who has experienced a Beardie before……

4. Firstly, do not rush into anything, take time to talk to and more importantly listen to as many other breeders as possible…. not just in Beardies. The temperament of the parents to me is utmost along with the health of mum, dad and any other known relatives. Research into how successful the relatives have been in producing well balanced, healthy puppies. Many people enjoy showing and winning with their Beardies, I am one of them but all Beardies should be pets first and foremost and this is the basis they should be sold. If they go on to do other things and be successful then that is a bonus. Stud dog owners should not be omitted from this question. The same process should be considered.

5. Simple…..Temperament, Health, Construction.

6. Assuming all of the above are positive, I would look for a bitch that comes from lines that are healthy and productive.

7. This is an interesting question as the obvious thing to say is that a dog should display ring presence, it has to look like it wants to be on show and that little bit more. Most people will have seen the 2013 Crufts Best in Show winner and knowing nothing about her breed, she captures you with her happy, ‘look at me’ stance….of course this is supported by her overall physical balance. Not all Beardies have that ‘showy’ trait, that is not what they were bred for and for me there is nothing more rewarding than watching a steady, sound, unexaggerated Beardie flow around the ring.

8. I do not believe that success just happens, not unless you are really lucky. Success must be to be able to maintain and/or breed happy, healthy and sound Beardies for yourself and/or others to enjoy…. As I have said before, Beardies are so adaptable and they are happy being involved in Agility, Working, Obedience, Fly ball, Heelwork to Music and showing. Whatever form of success I would imagine that someone has dedicated many hours and hard work into making it happen.

9. There are a number of Beardies that could be considered but three that always stick in my mind for being great examples are: Ch. Potterdale Classic at Moonhill…. having met her, she will never been forgotten, a personality plus with charisma that made her a very special lady. Two other Beardies that I loved for type are Ch. Breaksea Gothic for his overall unexaggeration and Ch. Beardievale Village Gossip for his sheer effortless movement.

10 I suppose you never forget your ‘first time’ experiences, the first RCC, I was so excited I thought I was going to be sick! then the first CC, again a feel sick moment, making up your first homebred Beardie, being proud of all Beardies that you have bred and so on…… but if I have to pick one, it has to be winning Best of Breed at Crufts in 1998 with Ch. Braddabrook Botzaris at Fraglestone… it was amazing…..

11. To try as much as possible to look outside the box for future breeding plans.

12. Everyone has their own interpretation of the Breed Standard which will influence the answers to this question. For a dog to be one of the ‘best’, it has to look like a Bearded Collie. We should all be looking for a lean active dog that could carry out the job it was intended to do. Sizes have always varied although the correct proportions these days are not so obvious.

When you look back at old videos and archive material, a lot of the old Beardies are not too dissimilar from the current ones… the overall balance of a dog is there and it is not a new thing that we have exaggeration in some…. Historically the number of Beardies entered at shows was so much higher and therefore the choice greater.

There are many quality Beardies around today, some of which are not always the top winning ones.

When I first was introduced to Beardies, many established breeders were happy to share their advice. It was suggested that in order to be successful and understand the breed, it was reasonable to expect to do a ‘ten year apprenticeship’. At the time this seemed ridiculous, we were doing quite well in the show ring and guessed it could only get better with practice. Now 25 years on, I can totally relate to their suggestion. I started judging after having Beardies for 10 years and I judged for 10 years at Open Show level before awarding CC’s. So in answering the question, it is not just about today’s Beardies but about how much today’s Beardie owners are aware of what a Beardie should be, it is worth doing the research if we want to keep this beautiful breed alive.

Paula Brooks
20th March 2013


1. I started looking for my first Beardie in 1970. She arrived in 1971. I chose Beardies out of the Observer’s Book of Dogs. I was a child, so I think it was a good choice. I worked in our Boarding Kennels throughout the year to pay for Beardie purchases. My first Beardie was especially good at leaving show rings sideways. She won one VHC, I think it was a sympathy vote. My fourth Beardie, Ch. Mignonette of Willowmead at Orora, became Top Beardie 1975 and 1976 and was Best of Breed at Crufts in 1976, when she won her first CC I was pretty much a novice and when she won Best of Breed at Crufts there was some suggestion the judge went for faces…it took less than a year! Mignonette was exceptionally beautiful. I bred my first litter in 1973. Orora’s Herb Robert came from this litter but it took another generation before Ch. Orora’s Blue Basil came and I started to get to what I wanted. Basil sired Ch. Orora’s Huckleberry who was a very nice dog and generally thought to be a better edition of Benjie of Bothkennar. He was flat coated, elegant, with length of body and length of stride. At this time we still knew that Beardies should have flattened sides to their ribcages, which were not narrow and that angulation was best balanced to the front and not straight behind. Beardies were allowed to have necks and look beautiful and Huckleberry did. Mignonette produced a few really nice Champions; the best was Ch. Orora’s Frank who was so influential in improving movement in the breed. His coat was not as flat as it should have been but his movement and construction made up for that. I lost my line through a tragic accident to Huckleberry’s son Ch. Orora’s Impetuosity and then having no litters when my daughters were young and I was being a working single parent. I have had to reinvent my Beardies using nice dogs that other people have, whose pedigrees contain some of my original dogs. I am still a working single parent but I multi-task well. I still find I look for the same things I always did.

2. I most enjoy owning really well constructed Beardies. I like to stroke over their heads, necks and shoulders and feel good about what I feel even if I am not thinking about their shoulders at the time, and I like to watch them free running and enjoy their movement. Poor dogs, they are on constant alert for putting a paw wrong! But they are allowed to be naughty… as long as they look good doing it.

Bryony and Champion Orora's Frank in 1988


3. This is difficult because I don’t want to let this out in case people clock on to what to say to me! I do it on instinctive appeal I think, if I feel the person is kind and caring, that is what I ask of owners.

4. Well, don’t call yourself a breeder for one thing. Learn a lot and don’t believe any one person. Never assume you cannot learn more.

5. Health has to come first; if they aren’t healthy they aren’t anything.
It depends what you mean by temperament, if they are annoyingly bouncy then I would rate construction in front but if they are aggressive or very nervous in normal safe situations, then temperament comes above construction

6. I never pick a bitch for being a brood bitch. I feel it is rather a nasty term. All kept bitches should be well constructed, healthy and sound, then if they have a litter they should be put to the right dog for them. There should be no difference between girls kept for show and those who may have a litter.I would like to talk about the keeping of stud dogs, however. All keeping of dogs for show suggests they may be used at stud and that the person using them may be unaware of their early history. Before keeping a dog for show, therefore, it should have the following basic attributes:
Full pigment before 8 weeks of age
Two fully descended testicles before 5 months at the very latest.
Perfect canines, preferably from the time of gaining baby teeth but certainly by 6 months.
Stable temperament from birth.
Then you assess him for construction and quality

If you are never going to let him be used at stud you can obviously keep whatever you want.

7. Nice. (ref: Oxford English Dictionary)

8. The secret of breeding and showing really good dogs, which may or may not be the secret of success, is to see dogs exactly as they are and not how you would like them to be.

9. Not really, but I can give a list of the dogs I consider to have been the best and most memorable to me:
Not in order of preference, Winston, Tally, Cassie, Frank, Eric, Percy, Braid, Mignonette,Velvet, Basil…pity they are all long dead.
Winston: Ch. Pepperland Lyric John at Potterdale, he was super in head and his topline was always level. His colour and quality of coat was magnificent. I didn’t like the way he slightly kicked his heels up on the move, his eyes were not the darkest and he was rather boisterous but otherwise he was fabulous. He always looked squeaky clean. And his chain squeaked too.
Tally: Ch. Tamevalley Easter Song at Potterdale. She was terribly sweet. She always had a level topline and showed her little socks off. I loved her head. She could have had a bit more neck for perfection but otherwise she was absolutely lovely. She was a beautiful colour too.
Frank: Ch. Orora’s Frank. I wasn’t supposed to put my own dogs here, don’t care. He was a farty, licky boy with amazingly good construction and really the only person who I saw dropping to move the way he did. He was very special, except for his scrubby coat type that took 7 years to come good. He took his level topline to the grave.
Eric: Ch. Potterdale Privilege. Eric was a terribly well constructed dog. Apart from his slightly soft coat he was extremely good. Pity he didn’t come under me at Crufts.
Cassie: Ch. Potterdale Classic of Moonhill. I know she was a bit big and latterly rather over coated, but when I first saw her I was so proud that she was by my dog that I suddenly found I had tears running down my face and shivers all over my body. She was beautifully balanced.
Percy: Ch. Edenborough Blue Bracken. When I first came into the breed he was invincible…and then Mignonette started winning and the first time she got Best of Breed she beat him. I was never more electrified! He always looked so majestic. He was too cool for running about but standing he looked so very proud. His front angulation was exceptional.
Braid: Ch. Osmart Bonnie Blue Braid. The first adult Beardie I ever met. He stood with his paws on my shoulders and I fell under his gaze. His head was gorgeous, and to top that, he gave me Frank.
Miggy: Ch. Mignonette of Willowmead at Orora. I got second pick of litter, but when I went to collect her I was unable to see any other puppies there. I remember Suzanne saying something to my parents about why she wasn’t the pick of litter but it was irrelevant to me because I wouldn’t have wanted any other. She had a number of imperfections but she was totally gorgeous all her life, she had a haze around her that captivated and I can still feel it when I look at her photographs.
Velvet: Ch. Black Velvet of Willowmead. This was the first Beardie in the show ring who astonished me. Looking back she was not really as good as the dogs above in shape, being a little roached in back, but she was a stunning junior and, despite her lack of confidence I was deeply smitten.
Basil: Ch. Orora’s Blue Basil. Terribly naughty person, always was and still remains, my best friend.

10. When Frank got a standing ovation as he moved in the ring at Crufts at the age of 14

11. I want to make lovely Beardies, the way they were when they were beautiful

12. They are much too heavily coated, too stuffy in neck, rather broad and coarse and not elegant or lithe. There is no flowing line to the majority of Beardies and they are now more built out of cubes, whereas they were built out of rectangles. Some of them are nice, overall they are not proper. It is a matter of desperate sadness to me that many of today’s exhibitors and indeed judges cannot even know what Beardies looked like in the 70’s and 80’s. They were so beautiful and it is almost lost.

Bryony Harcourt-Brown
22nd March 2013


1. I got my first |Beardie in 1983, a slate bitch from the late Angela Hutchinson. I showed her without much success. She was difficult to show and I realised that, although she was sound with a good coat and no real faults, she did not have the quality to make it as a show dog. I had learned a lot about movement and construction from my time showing my Old English Sheepdogs in the 1970’s. I used to often admire the Beardies at shows and watched them in the ring all day at Crufts on two occasions before taking the plunge. When Lizzie cam to live with us we still had the last of our Bobtails, who lived to the grand old age of 15 years. Lizzie had our first, and her only , litter in 1988.

2. Showing them of course, but most of all, our morning walks in the country park, 7 days a week, rain or shine. We used to take our 6 Beardies away on our caravan holidays for several years, they were some of the best times too.

3. The worst part about breeding a litter, for me, is finding homes for the puppies. Hence, I have only bred 7 litters, as this really does put me off. It’s a big plus if the prospective owners have had a Beardie before, or at least owned a dog. You really have to go with your gut feeling about people in the end.

Glenda with Ch. Atherleigh Over the Rainbow JW and her two sons
Atherleigh Red Alert and Ch. Atherleigh Mahogany Moon.


4. Have some experience in this breed before breeding your first litter. Its not something to be rushed into. Wait till you have observed many dogs, seen many litters and made some good friends in the breed. Take advice from people who own dogs you admire and have had success with their own breeding programmes. Wait till you have a bitch who has a lot to offer the breed and when the time comes, take advice from her breeder.

5. Temperament , I always say it’s not always your top winners you love the most. Health. Construction.

6. All of the above, of course. My ideal, I guess, is that she comes from a line of good producers on the dam’s side. That she has a certain type and quality about her and that long, easy, far reaching movement. Bitches like this will invariably produce something special.

7. One that not only has super type, construction, movement and coat, but has a real love of being in the ring and would do anything for their handler/owner. That indefinable thing called charisma.

8. It’s no secret. It is just hard work and dedication, a certain single mindedness. It’s ensuring your dogs are superbly fit and well conditioned, that they are happy. Nothing comes easy and everyone has set backs and disappointments. Watch all the successful handlers. Have a good friend and mentor. Obtain the best dog/bitch you can, and, most importantly, learn to be critical of your bitch, or you will never improve what you have.

9. There are many great ones to choose from and, of course, I must confine my choices to dogs I have seen in the ring. Ch. Tamevalley Easter Song of Potterdale, a truly lovely bitch, I remember seeing her go BOB at Crufts as a veteran looking superb, she contributed so much to the breed from her numerous Ch . offspring. Ch. Potterdale Philosopher, a do of superb type, who put his stamp on his progeny. Ch. Potterdale Priviledge who, for me, brought the breed standard to life. Once seen never forgotten. Ch. Ororas Frank, for his stunning type and movement and his great contribution to the breed. Ch. Potterdale Classic of Moonhill for her sheer class and charisma, if ever a beardie was aptly named it was her.

10. There have been many, but right at the top is winning my first ever CC with Ch. Potterdale Phorget-me-Not from the post graduate class at the BCC Club Ch. Show. Winning both CC’s at Bournemouth with the litter mates Atherleigh Venus and Ch. Atherleigh Rufus. Doing the double again, in the same year, at LKA with Rufus and his half-sister Ch. Atherleigh Rainbows End. Seeing relatively inexperienced owners making up dogs bred at Atherleigh. Our Lucy (Ch. Atherleigh Over the Rainbow JW) being BCC and Dog World top brood in 2008.

11. To carry on enjoying showing my dogs and perhaps one more litter. Who knows what the future holds.

12. To see a correctly made Beardie, of superb type, flowing round the ring with that breath-taking, effortless movement that sends tingles down your spine. Are there any around today? Yes, there are, but, sadly, they are few and far between, which, I suppose comes with smaller entries. Beardies don’t seem to be the extrovert characters they used to be in the ring. I guess some are just not allowed to show it.

Glenda O’Connell
23rd March 2013


1. I can remember going to a dog show at Flamingo Park Zoo in Malton, North Yorkshire, when I was 15 years old, where I recall seeing a scruffy brown and white collie, curled up on the front step of the farm house. The little dog un-curled itself to reveal a beautiful beardie bitch, who had the sweetest nature and turned out to be Deanfield Autumn Gold owned by Jackie Goulder, our trainer/shepherdess. I was smitten with the breed and shortly after Orora’s Roderick joined our house. I bred my first litter in 1992, 12 years after Roderick came to me.

2. I enjoy most aspects of the “dog world” but showing is my hobby and producing the dogs to show standard is what I pride myself on doing. I love the many places the dogs take me too and the wonderful friends I have met over the years. Then thinking of the dogs, the occasional herding lessons and the great walks we go on daily is so refreshing.

3. Over the years, I have been or I consider myself as being very lucky with puppy owners, ideally I like owners to have had a beardie before but this is not always the case, so I always like to meet these people well before the puppies are born, to watch their reaction to the adults and how they interact with them. Questions are always welcome and I think anyone buying a beardie for the first time should come with a host of questions that will be answered. Reassurance of 24/7 support and as much information should be offered from the breeder, so when the new puppy arrives, they are prepared to some degree.

Linda making us long for summer


4. The advice I would give to a new breeder is, don’t rush to the first dog you like, just because it is a super colour or has the darkest eye, doesn’t mean that your puppies will have the same. Every pup has 2 parents that will contribute to the makeup of your litter, ask the stud dog owner about previous litters and look at the bitch he was mated to. Just because he sired dark puppies to Mrs X’S bitch doesn’t mean he will to your bitch. Ask to examine the dog and then his owner may want to know about your bitch, if they don’t already and her pedigree for sure as some lines do get close and isn’t a good idea to do these mating’s. We are lucky in the fact that we have so many information sources available for people to do their homework before mating’s are considered.

5. Temperament, Health and Construction. As the majority of my puppies will go off to be family pets, the temperament is paramount to fulfil the requirement of the family. Health, well I wouldn’t knowingly breed from any of my dogs if I knew they had a health problem but you want your dogs to live a long and happy life and if the construction is wrong, then it doesn’t make it a bad pet, just loved by its owners.

6. A great show bitch doesn’t necessarily mean it will be a great brood bitch. I look at my bitches and look at what I would like to improve on but never would breed from a bitch that didn’t meet my expectations in the show ring, then I look at puppies and who their sires are, would this dog suit my bitches? I have this philosophy when deciding on a sire for my litter, try it, you may not like what you get but it is a learning curve as a breeder and if you do like it, then think what you would have missed out on.

7. The ultimate show dog is one of breed type that can display an air of showmanship, with a great outline, one that moves with little effort and displays a happy disposition.

8. The secret of success, is not to become complacent in what you do, consider your options and that of others too. Be supportive to your fellow beardie owners and never take what you do for granted. We all come across hurdles and you can never learn too much in whatever you do.

9. Over the years numerous beardies have taken my eye but the one who I wished I could have taken home was, Always Blue at Ramberhay. I watched ‘Belle’ from a puppy and not long after many CC’s followed. Belle just flowed in her outline from nose to tail and moved with such grace, a truly special beardie.
Alistairs Lonesome Cowboy, a dog I had the good fortune to meet in his elder years. I saw video footage of him as a puppy and again as an adult. I thought he was outstanding for his type, his movement had little effort and a real showman that was so attentive to his owner, a special bond was apparent. To top this he had the most beautiful brown coat and matching eye and a temperament to die for.
Ororas Frank, again a dog of such ring presence, with a super outline and could out move the best. Frank became such a great sire and I was fortunate to have owned a son of him, who I think inherited so many of his qualities

10. My proudest moment has to have been the day my CH & IRCH Kiltondale Mcauley won the Pastoral Group at Leeds Championship show. The breed judge on the day was Mr J Bishpam and the group judge, a breed judge, Mr S Hall. I was so proud of Mac that day, the way he used to play-up o the crowd as they clapped for him as he went round the ring, he knew he was special.

11. I strive to keep the breed healthy and happy and in my future plans I hope to do this, showing is a hobby and any award is a bonus, the beardie is a wonderful breed and deserves to stay this way.

12. I think that the beardie of today can follow trends, I have seen dogs up to size then 3 years down the line, new dogs that are 2 inches smaller and I do believe that some winners can make a trend for the future when people are choosing a puppy or a stud dog. A beardie moving with a long effortless stride, with a balanced outline, a flowing coat and daylight under the body is divine. Square with long legs or too long with short legs is not what the standard requires and should be watched in the future.

Linda Peirson
27th March 2013


1. I had my first Beardie in 1963, this was Wishanger Spring Harvest. At the time I bred and showed whippets and had a Great Dane. I was also Secretary and one of the trainers at a large obedience training club and competed in obedience with some success, up to class A, but I felt that I needed a more suitable breed to progress further in this field. I had seen Beardies working in obedience and was impressed with their temperament and how they were so enthusiastic to work. A new lady came along to the training club with a brown shaggy dog, which I thought might be a Beardie, but I was not sure that they came in brown! The lady was Mrs Youdale who, later went on to breed under the Calasona prefix. She told me that there was a litter of Border/Beardie puppies for sale at the Wishanger Kennels and together we paid a visit to Mary Partridge to view the litter. I saw the litter, but also there was a litter of Beardie pups and I fell in love with a slate bitch. Unfortunately, I could not afford to buy her and I agreed to pay five guineas for her and to return the whole of her first litter to the breeder. Tazzy ,as she was called, was everything that I had hoped for, and loved her obedience work. In April 1965 she was mated to Ch.Wishanger Cairnbhan and produced three brown puppies that were returned to her breeder. In 1966 she was mated to Alastair of Willowmead and from that litter I kept Charncroft Chit Chat. I was approached by John Holmes, who trained animals for TV and film work who asked me if I would let him have Tazzy, as at the time I was very busy at work and did not have a lot of time to compete with her. Tazzy went to live with him and took part in many TV shows and adverts and she created a lot of interest with people wanting to know what breed this shaggy dog was.

Jackie James, believe it or not...


2. I enjoy spending time with my dogs, going for long walks and taking them to obedience and agility classes. I also enjoy showing the dogs, win or lose, and it’s a chance to meet up with my doggie friends.

3. This is the worst part of breeding a litter. I always insist on future owners paying at least one visit before they actually have the puppy. I can then ask them why they chose a Beardie and if they are aware of what owning a Beardie entails. If they have children I also ask them to bring them along, so that I can have some idea of how the children react to the dogs. If I think they are suitable I tell them that there will be a puppy available of the sex that they want, but I do not let them choose the actual puppy, as this has led to problems. By the time they are ready to leave I have some idea of the temperament of each puppy and try to match the puppy with the new owner. It is not always the case that previous Beardie owners do not need vetting. I have had two instances where they had previously had puppies from me and they have come back for another after losing them in old age. Unfortunately, although they had no problems with their first puppies, unbeknown to me, their circumstances had changed in the fifteen or sixteen years since then. In both cases they were returned, one at 14 months and one at 12 months of age. Both dogs had been loved and well cared for, but their owners just could not cope, one had separation anxiety and the other was just too boisterous for her owner. After a spell of retraining they were both successfully rehomed. I always tell new puppy owners to let me know if they have any problems, however small, and I am always prepared to have a dog back, whatever their age.

4. Take time to study the breed, take advice, look at pedigrees and the dogs in the show ring and decide what you like.

5. Without a doubt, temperament, health and construction. As most puppies that you have will be going to live as pets temperament is very important.

6. A brood bitch should have a steady calm temperament, have been hip scored and be free from any obvious health problems. I would avoid breeding from her if she has any faults that might be hereditary, such as a high hip score or an incorrect mouth. She should not be a fussy feeder and should have regular and normal seasons. It helps if she comes from a line of good brood bitches.

7. One that fits the breed standard as closely as possible, with an excellent temperament and free flowing movement. It should also have that special charisma that makes it a show dog.

8. Look, learn and be patient. Do not give up and try to view your dog honestly and be aware of your dog’s faults and virtues.

9. This is quite hard to restrict it to just three, but I would have to choose Ch. Osmart Bonnie Braid who was one of the leading stud dogs and had a big influence on the breed.
Next, would be Ch. Pepperland Lyric John at Potterdale, a free moving dog with good length of body and a super brown coat. Then I would pick Ch. Potterdale Classic of Moonhill. I had the pleasure of awarding her a CC in 1987.A really feminine bitch, with a super head and expression. She did the breed proud when she won BIS at Crufts and she certainly had that little bit extra as a show dog. Incidentally, she has both Braid and Lyric John in her pedigree.

10. I think it has to be two moments, both at Crufts. The first was in 1973 when I won my first CC at Crufts with Ch. Charncroft Cassandra. The dog ticket and BOB went to Ch. Edenborough Blue Bracken. At the time Cassandra had been mated to Blue Bracken, resulting in my successful ‘Country’ litter.The next occasion was in 1996 when I had the honour to judge at Crufts and had a wonderful entry of 175 bitches.

11. After 50 years in the breed I do not plan to keep any more dogs, as at present as I have nine dogs, five Border Terriers, three Beardies and a Springer Spaniel. I have not accepted any future judging engagements. I will still be attending a few shows with my youngster and I may possibly have one more litter, as I am often asked for puppies, but we shall have to see.

12. There is not the same depth of quality in today’s dogs. This might be due to the low entries that we are getting at the shows. It is sad to see so few puppies being shown, as these are the dogs of the future. I remember quality puppy classes of 35 or more entries, and it was quite an achievement to qualify for Crufts. Nowadays, it seems lot easier to qualify. Perhaps there is a case for having a grading system similar to the one they have on the continent. A lot of today’s dogs seem to have exaggerated movement, lacking in front extension and a kick back with the hind movement. This can look quite stylish, but is not correct. A dog should have smooth long reaching movement with a minimum of effort. I do not like to see trimming and I do like to see some animation, especially in the young dogs. Pigment seems to be a bit of a problem. On the positive side we do still have some really nice dogs being shown that are a credit to the breed.

Jackie James
27th April 2013


1. I got my first Beardie, of Broadholme x Brambledale breeding, in the Spring of 1976 and the second a year later. I had seen them in the Observer’s Book of Dogs and they looked like perfect hillwalking companions. The only drawback was the length of coat, since we spent so much time out in deep snow and blizzards on the high mountains of the Highlands, so I had to keep them cut short once the snow arrived, as any shepherd would. Being a winter mountaineer and owning such a capable working breed led me to take up Search and Rescue with them. My first and third Beardies were very good mountain search dogs, but the second one was too soft in temperament and was quickly retired. As the 80’s passed I spent a lot of time at dog shows, working trials, obedience and agility, and enjoyed particular success with Bob (Quinbury Stormdrifter at Runival CDEx) who was a great character and able to win in a wide range of disciplines. I gave up mountain rescue activities in 1986 and concentrated on the dog world after that. I bred my first litter in 1985, by Bob ex Potterdale Amanda, and have bred nine litters in all over the last 35 years. All my recent generations descend from Kiri – Ch. Potterdale Elegance at Runival, who was born in 1987 and only ever wanted to do Obedience and any other work on offer but alas for her she was so beautiful that she ended up in the show ring most of the time, winning 8 CC’s along the way.

2. I like to know that they’re enjoying life and in good health, so anything that contributes to that. I don’t have the energy to engage in the many working activities I did with them 20 or 30 years ago, but I know they don’t care. Being Beardies, they just want to be with me and get a good gallop and good food every day – all else is ‘human’ stuff!

3. A ‘best home’ is a place where the pup will be valued and well cared for its whole life, and I prefer my pups to go to owners who have had Beardies before so they know what they’re letting themselves in for. All that hair and bounce and relentless enthusiasm can be an acquired taste.

4. As I have bred so few litters, I don’t really feel qualified to be doling out advice! We are all on a life-long learning curve and it’s easy to make mistakes. But I would say - don’t assume that because a male has been

A photo of Denise and Bob in 1991.

used widely by well-known breeders he will give you a litter full of top quality pups. There is a tendency to follow the herd when choosing studs (which I have also done more than once) but it takes two to tango – the sire needs to complement the dam.

5. There was a time when I assumed that good temperament came automatically so I didn’t think about it, but looking back I see that I was blessed with particularly sweet beardies at that time. I learned my lesson with later generations! Health was always something I worried about, since my very first litter produced a bitch that died young from Addisons, so I abandoned that breeding line and started again. Good construction, of course, is what we all hope for, but such is the random nature of inheritance that even the most wonderfully constructed parents can throw a litter full of very average body shapes. The important thing is to choose the right pup! So can I rank them in order? Not really - they are all important. But I probably worry about temperament first these days.

6. For a good brood bitch you look for easy whelping, good mothering, a calm and loving nature ... the usual stuff. I hate to hear of bitches being bred from ‘to give her more confidence’ or ‘to calm her down’. But everyone makes their own decisions – there are several famous brood bitches that would never have been permitted to have a litter if they’d been mine, for reasons of temperament or health, meaning some very successful breeding lines would never have come into being. Just as well I wasn’t in charge of the breeding programme then, eh....

7. The ‘ultimate show dog’? I don’t really know what this means. They are all individuals. But of course for the showring you hope for a combination of outstanding construction, soundness, attractive coat, steady outgoing temperament and good health ... and then lots and lots of luck!

8. Define ‘success’? But whatever it is you view as success, it will need hard work, dedication, luck and a very good dog.

9. The first Beardie to really impress me, in the 70’s, was Pure Magic of Willowmead. I loved his length of body and stride, his handsome head, his moderate coat. Pepperland Lyric John at Potterdale was the next star, for me – such a magnificent brown, full of life and love. He sired my third favourite – Potterdale Privilege, who I thought as close to perfection as one could get in a Beardie.

10. You might think my proudest moment was when Bob won Best of Breed at Crufts in 1985, but I was so astonished - and subsequently so hurt by some unpleasant comments that came my way – that it didn’t go down as a memorable occasion for me. Winning Best in Show at a Beardie club Ch show makes me very proud, and I’ve been lucky enough to do so three times: with Ch Potterdale Elegance at Nebcol, with Ch Runival Dream of Peace at EBCA and again at EBCA with Lochbarra Moonwalker. Probably though, my proudest moment was when Bob won the CD stake at his second Working Trial in 1983 and qualified CDEx, beating police dogs and experienced Trials handlers. That was a real ‘Yay!’ moment.

11. Future plans? These words aren’t in my vocabulary – like my dogs, I live for today. I hope to always have a beardie living with me that descends from dear Kiri and to always be able to engage with the dog world, for that has been my life, and without Beardies I don’t know who I am.

12. Today’s Beardies... There are plenty of good ones around, although they don’t necessarily always win, especially under all-rounders. There are fewer with nervous temperaments than I remember in the 70’s, and we seem to have come through the worst of the overshot mouths and loose fronts. Pigmentation is much improved after being largely ignored for a couple of decades. These sorts of trends are usually tied to over-use of a particular stud dog and eventually the world moves on and people find another dog to correct that fault, meanwhile setting in train a new problem. With the wider variety of studs being used now, because of the worry about inbreeding, perhaps we shall see less of these ‘fashions’. But how we can get the all-rounders to understand that a really typical Beardie is a LONG dog that doesn’t kick up at the rear, has a very particular shape of ribcage and doesn’t need a big white collar as a seal of quality ... well, will we ever manage that?

Denise Barley
28th April 2013


1. My great love and appreciation of Beardies began before I even knew it! In 1980 whilst out walking, I met a man whose dog I could not get out my mind. A dog whose path I crossed for just a moment but was to change my life forever. So captivated was I that I forgot to ask the man what breed he was, so took off to our local library a few days later to try and identify the dog that still bounced about in my head. I had grown up with Yorkshire Terriers and knew little about the working dogs that I have since come to love and admire. After several hours of searching, I came across a volume of "Collie Dogs of Britain" and I will never forget turning the page out of which jumped a very handsome version of the dog that refused to leave my thoughts, "Braid" or, as the pages read, Champion Osmart Bonnie Blue Braid. I contacted Jenny immediately, booked a puppy and on a stormy November night, made the long ascent to Osmart to collect him. As we dried out and Jenny made steaming hot coffee, we snuggled our puppy, “Basil” (Calderlin Islay Mist) sired by a Braid son, Peter Ben Bonnie at Osmart and bred by Dorothy Lindsay. He was perfect and we were smitten. We continued to enjoy our dogs as companions until a friend suggested we joined her with our latest addition to our Beardie family at a local Limit Show. We came 2nd out of 2 in the puppy class and as I ironed the creased tails of my blue rosette, I knew I was hooked. I have kept that very blue ribbon to this day!

I didn’t even consider breeding until I felt I had enough experience and knowledge of the breed and after 20 years of living with Beardies, we finally bred our first litter in 2000, which produced 2 champions for Caldermist.

2. Simply sharing in their company whatever we do and wherever life may take us together. I also enjoy being in the company of other’s Beardies and the friendships they bring us.

An early photos with Angela and one of her Osmarts

3. We have only ever planned a litter when we want to keep a puppy ourselves and always wish we could keep them all! Deciding on the best homes has, for me, to be the most difficult part of breeding. I do however consider it a two-way process, and so I expect to be asked as many questions as I ask of a potential owner. However, despite some well crafted responses (I think most of the UK must “work from home”!), I have ultimately learned to listen to my gut instincts. We have been fortunate that every single owner of our puppies from the few litters we have had has kept their promise to stay in touch with some returning for a second puppy – such a great compliment.

4. Do not rush into breeding. Take time to educate yourself as much as possible. Be prepared to watch, listen, read, learn and take advice from those more experienced and from those whose knowledge you trust and respect. Seeking practical support from an experienced and willing ‘mentor’ can certainly provide welcome reassurance when embarking on that exciting first litter.

5. I don’t consider that any of these important traits can be divorced, as I believe they are all synonymous, with each having the potential to impact on the other.

6. A Beardie girl who possesses the qualities and attributes to make an effective and positive contribution to the Breed. Health, soundness in temperament and conformation and the physical and psychological ability and aptitude to mate, conceive and whelp naturally. Also an instinctive knowledge and nurturing approach to rearing her puppies with limited need for human intervention.

7. A fit, well balanced dog which mirrors the Breed Standard with nothing exaggerated or overdone. A fluid, effortless mover reflecting all the essentials to do the job for which they were bred, all topped off with a touch of that indefinable ‘je ne sais quoi’ or charismatic presence which simply commands attention.

8. It depends in what context success is to be measured.
I believe that underpinning every successful breeder, handler, exhibitor, trainer or judge for example is a lot of hard work, passion, dedication, determination, and a fair amount of luck. Whichever the chosen discipline however, there is no fast track to experience, which I believe is the cornerstone to sustained success. Patience, a willingness to learn, and continue learning and an ability to critically assess and acknowledge your own Beardie’s strengths and limitations, rather than by their accomplishments in the show ring are additional important considerations.

9. This is a difficult one as there have been so many Beardies I have admired and appreciated over the years and who have, without question, earned a memorable place in the Beardie Archives whether it be as influential Dams or Sires, as outstanding show dogs or excelling in their chosen disciplines. Subsequently, my choices are purely self indulgent so:
Ch. Osmart Bonnie Blue Braid for steering me towards this wonderful breed and for his contribution to the continuing development of the Bearded Collie both here in the UK and overseas in the early days.
Ch. Potterdale Privilege: See question 7.
Ch. Breaksea Imagine: Simply beautiful.

10. I have been lucky enough to share many proud moments both in and out of the show ring, so another difficult question. I am very proud of the Beardies we have bred and the joy they bring to their owners.
In the show world, I consider that making up our first 2 homebred Beardies and litter sisters, Ch Caldermist Carolina Blue and Ir Ch. Caldermist Lilac Wine JW has to be up there among some of my proudest memories.

11. To continue enjoying the company of our Beardies for many years to come and continue taking every opportunity to increase my knowledge and understanding of this very special breed which crept into my heart all those years ago and simply refused to leave.

12. There are still several Beardies which fit my ideal in the ring today, but with each show I attend, I do admit to becoming increasingly concerned about long low or tall, square Beardies of incorrect proportions and untypical head patterns. My other cause for concern is that the gender of some Beardies is not always as obvious as it should be! The health profile of the breed has been in the spotlight in recent years and the debates that have subsequently emerged will no doubt continue for some time to come. However, maintaining the future health of the Bearded Collie is indeed firmly in the hands of us all and we need to do all we can to ensure that as their guardians, we leave this beautiful breed as good, if not better than we found it.

Angie Pedder
1st May 2013


1. As a child we always had dogs, my uncle who lived next door, bred Jack Russell’s and Staffordshire Bull Terriers, but when Alan and I moved into our own home we were thinking more of a Cocker Spaniel or a Westie, however when I learnt that a friend was going to have her big hairy dog put to sleep because she was going to work abroad, we offered to foster him, until a rescue home was found. This was our introduction to Bearded Collies and this big hairy lovely boy was Sharistan Prospect Pride (Jason) his Sire was Charncroft Crusader and his Dam was Tamevalley Clare De Lune. Jason was 7 years old when he came to us, he died at 15 years old, we were his rescue home.

There was a lady in the Estimating Department of the company I worked for who bred dogs, but I was not aware of the connection with Jason, until she contacted me to offer help and advice. This lady was Maureen Reader (Tamevalley) who became my close friend and mentor.

The breeder of Jason had recently got a new puppy and was intending to show her, she asked us to accompany her to her first show to give moral support, this was the Bearded Collie Club Championship show in 1982, Maureen Reader was judging Dogs and Fred Randal (Kimrand) Bitches. Moonhills Gold Digger went Best in show he was a beautiful brown boy,

Jan some years back with Tamevalley Milwaukee Storm at Pepperjay

I was smitten and we were hooked. Jason’s breeder never attended another show, but this was just the beginning for me. Even though we didn’t have our own dog to show for some years, I attended most shows with Maureen and helped with showing some of the Tamevalley girls and in 1987 we started showing our own lovely brown girl Tamevalley Karibou.

I have bred only one litter and this produced Ch Pepperjay Always ‘n’ Forever, it was so hard to say goodbye to the other 7 puppies, that I realised breeding wasn’t for me, however we may decide to have a litter soon, as we need a new puppy at Pepperjay.

2. I love to watch our dogs playing and running together, the walks we have, the hugs and kisses they give and of course, the social life and many friends they have bought us.

3. As I said earlier, we have only had one litter, I loved the experience of having the litter and looking after them, but finding the right homes was the hard part. We were lucky that some lovely people wanted our dogs, we kept in touch with all except one family, the puppies are all gone now but our friendships still go on.

4. Breeding a litter is a great responsibility not only do you need to consider why you are doing it, but are you doing it for the right reasons. Speak to as many experienced breeders as you can, ask questions, do your homework before choosing a stud dog.

5. I hear breeders say they breed for temperament, but really all three are very important, I believe you should not be breeding dogs that you do not believe excel in all three.

6. As above.

7. A dog that is near to the breed standard as possible, who enjoys the show ring and is a natural showman.

8. I don’t have an answer to this, but I would say, you only get back what you put in.

9. There are so many dogs that I have admired over the years but if I have only to choose three they would have to be Ch Potterdale Conclusion for his character and the qualities he passed on to his many offspings. Ch Potterdale Classic of Moonhill a wonderful ambassador for the breed and a worthy winner of Best in Show at Crufts 1989. But then I’m sorry, I couldn’t choose between the next two Ch Pipadene Camio and Ch Diotima Dream Baby both these girls stopped me in my tracks when they were in the ring I loved them both, super quality bitches.

10. I had many proud moments handling Maureens girls Ch Tamevalley Lightning Storm and Ch Tamevalley Manhatten Mist, but I must admit it was a magical moment when my own little girl Ch Pepperjay Always ‘n’ forever from our only litter, won her 3rd CC and Best in Show under Jackie James at the Bearded Collie Club of Scotland Championship show.

11. To continue enjoying our Beardies. We may decide to breed our second litter now I’m looking to retire, but it would only be to keep a puppy to enable us to continue showing.

12.I think we have just as many quality dogs around today, but I do feel we hear of more health problems than we used to, especially when it comes to natural matings. I am concerned that dogs are getting smaller, and that they appear to be longer due to shorter legs. I appreciate we all have our opinions and its always interesting to listen to other peoples views.

Janet Wood
14th May 2013


1. I first found Beardies in 1975 whilst looking for a shaggy dog at an Open show in Leicestershire, one Wednesday evening. In the spring of 1975 I was settled in my own home & decided that now was the time for a puppy. I had considered an Old English Sheepdog but felt that they were too big & not very bright!. At the show there was a brown Beardie sat at the end of the room giving the occasional woof! & I was sold. I hadn’t got any idea what the bred was but I was totally in love with this friendly hairy. That summer a lovely brown Beardie boy Shem (Glendonald Copper Knight) came to live with us. As I hadn’t had a dog before I thought it important that the puppy Shem & I should got to training classes. The ones local to me were ring craft (which meant nothing to me at the time) & the first class that we went to, was a match meeting & Shem won a rosette & the rest is history. In 1977 Tansy (Brambledale Black Bryony of Bumbleridge) joined our family & became my foundation. Tansy produced me my first little in May 1979 sired by Braelyn Broadholme Crofter.

2. I have always enjoyed anything where we all have fun, so it goes without saying that we have attended an awful lot of club fun days where we joined in the Beardie working test.. Since living in Staffordshire we were able to get involved in agility & flyball as well as continuing with obedience & of course the show ring, which took up most of the available time. I really enjoy holidaying with the dogs in the caravan which allows us to have lots of different favourite walks all over the country.

3. We only have a litter to ensure that we will not loose the Bumbleridge line. Before I ever bred a litter I was asked why do you want to have a litter?, my response to the lady in question was that I couldn’t think of anything more special than to do well in the show ring with a Beardie I have bred. In later years most of my puppies will be booked before they are born. These will be either people who have had a Beardie from me before or that we have met & been liked by the bunch. In the earlier days if people enquired about buying a

Sue & Holly (Ch. Bumbleridge’s Winter Wish)
when shen won the bitch CC at Crufts 1998.


puppy I would say that they could come to visit & meet the adult dogs but would not guarantee that they could see or book a puppy. If the prospective new owners could convince me that the dog could be part of the majority of their lives then I might let them see the puppies. We want to be able to treat the new owners as friends who keep in touch. I think this is down to my ‘gut feeling’ about the people & how they respond to me. One of our doggie friends once told me that he had had some pretty high powdered job interviews but they were child’s play compared to convincing me that they were suitable to have one of my puppies!!!

4. Be honest with yourself & don’t become kennel blind. You should always want to improve on what you have so it is important that you honestly recognise the areas that need improvement. Ensure that you have carried out all the health screen that should be done then talk to the breeder of your girl & ask for advice on a suitable stud dog(s) and if possible look at litters that have been sired by any potential dog. Before I had my second litter I kept speaking to the breeder of my girl asking what she thought about a certain dog. For a number of dogs she made comments but then when the comment ‘that could be nice’ came back I settled on Ch. Charncroft Corinth which produced Andromeda & Moonmaiden.

5. Temperament must always be first as the dogs must be nice people to live with. Health & construction somewhat go hand in hand. A healthy dog is a happy dog but the construction of the dog will have a serious impact on their health. So health followed very closely by construction

6. A bitch that meets all aspects of 5 & whose pedigree hasn’t got any known problems in her ancestors

7. The one who the minute they walk in the ring demands your attention with an expression that melts your heart, doesn’t disappoint when you go over them & effortlessly flows round the ring, covering plenty of ground.

8. Patience & learning which should help you understand how things work. You need to understand that not all lines mix well so research the history of your line to help you move forward. The more time you invest, the better the pay back.

9. I found this question very difficult as there have been a lot of Beardies I have greatly admired. My first must be Brambledale Balthazer as he was closely related to my first girl; he was such a gentleman with a wonderful temperament. Ch. Tamevalley Easter Song of Potterdale always looked the show girl with movement to die for & mother to the only beardie to win Crufts. I must also include Winston – Ch. Pepperland Lyric John at Potterdale who I watched being shown by Mike, just demanding that I did not take my eyes of him; I was total stunned by his ring present & depth of colour of his brown coat.

10. Being successful in the show ring always makes me feel proud. Awarding CCs for the first time at Leicester 1991 was great moment which eventually led to the receipt of the letter from the kennel club in November 2003 asking me to judge Crufts in 2008.
I am going to say there are two proudest moments that of having the honour of judging dogs at Crufts in 2008 and achieving the Bearded Collie Senior working test with Ch. Bumbleridge’s Naughty ‘n’ Nice in 2012 making him the only living champion with a Senior Working Test (& only the seventh to do so). It was better than getting a CC .

11. To continue to enjoy life with the Beardies, having fun in everything we do.

12. I think some of today’s Beardies need to compare themselves against our breed standard & ask could I stand up in the ring to some of the past Beardies. We still have some lovely, well constructed Beardies but some don’t quite make the grade. Breeders need to go back to basics & decide what they need to improve on; then look for a dog that has that in abundance. Don’t just use the latest fashion in a stud dog or use a dog just because you know will get a mating, use the dog that is best for your girl.

Sue Nicholls-Ward
5th August 2013


1. I had always loved dogs especially collies I had my first collie a working sheepdog in 1957. Border collies were not recognised for the show ring until about 1976 and Agility didn't start until 1978. I wanted a breed I could show and work my final choice came down to a Shetland Sheepdog or a GSD. How wrong was I a picture appeared in Our Dogs of a shaggy sheepdog with the most beautiful head and expression I was hooked it was a Bearded Collie. I was lucky enough to work in the Bothkennar Bearded Collie kennels in the very early sixties. I didn't purchase my first Beardie until 1970 again from an advertisement in Our Dogs. She was Jessamine of Tambora who was shortly followed by Irish Lace of Tambora.

2. I Enjoy their companionship cuddles on the sofa long walks anything else is a bonus

3. There is never an ideal buyer I preferred to sell to people who already had experience of the breed but this wasn't possible in the early days. If a family came I looked at how the children behave amongst the dogs and did Mum really want a dog or was she just pushed into it. Mums usually get left with work of caring for the puppy

4. Is your bitch good enough to breed from have you the time facilities and money to rear a little. If the puppies aren't sold quickly have you the room to keep them and most importantly would you be prepared to take back any of your puppies in later life.

5. Good basic construction from health tested parents with steady temperaments.

6. A good specimen of the breed without any exaggerations. Steady temperament.


7. A superbly moving dog who can look the judge in the eye and say "Now put me up"

8. Not to become kennel blind.

9. Willowmead Mignonette of Orora, Pepperland Lyric John of Potterdale and Tamevallety Easter Song of Potterdale they laid the foundation of so many lovely Beardies.

10. To see Jean Keith make up Ch. Briaridge Lyrical Lord. She had never owned a show dog and he was bought as a pet.

11. None age has caught up with me.

12. Still a variation in type perhaps to many short on the leg have length but not made up by the length of the ribcage. Mouths give a cause for concern.

Barbara Walker-Smith
15th Aprilt 2015