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Bearded Collies were first registered by the Scottish Kennel Club in 1912, but  it was not until 1959 that the Kennel Club formally recognized a Bearded Collie Club.

In his book Working Dogs of the World (1947), Clifford Hubbard wrote about Thomas Gilholm (1853-1938), a former President of the International Sheep Dog Society, who had taken up the Old English Sheepdog:

"However, in the space of a relatively short time the Old English Sheepdog also became a much groomed and handsome dog which gradually lost all ability to work with any degree of skill, and in disgust Gilholm forsook the exhibition world altogether ... ."

A. Croxton Smith's viewpoint on what some of the differences were between the two breeds in his book About Our Dogs: The Breeds and their Management. London: Ward, Lock & Co., Ltd. (1950 printing) was:

"Origin and History.—Superficially it may be said that the Bearded Collie of Scotland and the Old English Sheepdog have a good deal of resemblance to one another. No doubt they have, but there are differences which separate them very distinctively. Both have shaggy coats, but the Scottish dog is smaller, not so strong in the muzzle, has a small beard under his chin and his tail is not docked. He gives the impression of being able to move easily and to spend long hours in his work. The eye, roundish in shape, is very expressive, denoting a high order of intelligence. The colour varies, but a dark hazel is preferred."

Smith went on to say that the hero of Alfred Ollivant's Owd Bob was said to have been a 'beardie."  Perhaps yes; perhaps no. It is true that the 1937 and the 1947 editions of Owd Bob had illustrations by K. F. Barker showing a Beardie as the main character. But other editions included drawings where the character was a rough coated collie type, a border collie type, etc.

Sydney Moorhouse, F.F.G.S., authored The British Sheepdog (1950). Is the information contained in his book reliable? A forgivable mistake was the appearance of Aubrey Hopwood's name as Aubrey Hammond within the below quoted text. It was likely a typist error because the bibliography did spell Mr. Hoptwood's name correctly.

Moorhouse related that Mr. Smith pointed out that the Old English Sheepdog was likely the ancestor of the Bearded Collie. The bibliography for Moorhouse's book gave a reference to Mr. Smith's book entitled British Dogs (1946). When reviewing what Mr. Smith wrote in that 1946 edition, it is perplexing how Mr. Moorhouse came up with the idea that Mr. Smith made that statement. The words "Bearded Collie" did not appear anywhere in Mr. Smith's 1946 book. And, Mr. Smith's book quoted above from the 1950 edition also did not include any such statement.

Equally confounding would be Mr. Moorhouse's statement that the Bearded Collie was probably an older animal than the Border Collie (unless he was referring to these two canines strictly by their modern "breed" names). There is no proof that one is older than the other.

Mr. Moorhouse was referring to Drury and Others' 1903 edition of British Dogs in the below quoted text.

"There are some who claim a kinship between the Bearded Collie, of Scotland, and the Old English Sheepdog, and in a work on British Dogs, published in 1903, the writer of the section dealing with the Bearded Collie says: 'This is a purely working type of dog, and appears to be a combination of the collie proper and the Old English Sheepdog. Unlike the latter, however, it is not bob-tailed.' Mr. Aubrey Hammond, whose book on The Old English Sheepdog was published two years later also says, of the Bearded Collie: 'I think there can be little doubt that this latter animal is identical with our own, and that the two varieties trace their ancestry to a common origin. Indeed, the only noticeable difference is in the tail, which the Bearded Collie possesses and the Old English Sheepdog does not; and this is, generally, a mere matter of amputation'."

"There is no doubting the ancient lineage of the Bearded Collie and, in all probability, it is an older animal than the Border Collie which has now ousted it from the majority of sheep farms. Mr. McCulloch is of the opinion that it is one of the ancestors of the Border collie, but of the suggestion that it is an ancestor of the Old English Sheepdog, Mr. Croxton Smith has pointed out that it was most probably the other way round."

"The Bearded Collie is, however, fast becoming scarce and in the autumn of 1949 it was announced that one well-known exhibitor was unable to procure a suitable mate for her very fine bitch."

Why Mr. Moorhouse wrote what he did regarding Mr. Smith is unable to be explained.

It is hoped that the viewer will enjoy seeing a few other images of some shaggy coated sheepdogs. Whether any of these dogs should be identified as a particular breed is debatable; it would be "speculation" so let us just agree "they were all sheepdogs."

 

 

Smithfield

Confusion

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1898

   

This charming illustration appeared in "The Illustrated London News," Christmas issue, in 1898. It shows a shepherd with his shaggy coated sheepdog approaching a little girl stranded in the snow. The image was entitled "Little Bo-Peep." A poem accompanied the image:

Little Bo-Peep had followed her sheep
Where the storm of snow had swept them;
And Little Bo-Peep ne'er went to sleep,
But warm in her cloak she kept them.

Then Little Bo-Peep began to weep
As the snow fell fast around her;
And her dog barked loud, and her dog barked deep,
Till the shepherd came forth and found her.

         

1906

 

 

William Luker, Junior (1867-1951) painted a dog in 1906 that was labeled as being an Old English Sheepdog.  But was it? These images also appear under the date 1906 in the Timeline.

Another image has been reproduced and sold where the dogs were not identified. The date of the painting is unknown, but it has been stated by two individuals that they saw this image in a 1903 children's book where it was labeled "On Guard."

         

1925

 

 

 

An antique pin had the same image as an image issued on a cigarette card (#33) by John Player & Sons in 1925.  The cigarette card stated the dogs were Old English Sheepdogs. On the back it states how the custom of docking the tail was said to have originated with drovers who adopted this method of distinguishing working dogs, which were exempted from taxation. Unknown Artist. Arthur Wardle might have been the artist as he did a lot of artwork on dogs for the John Player series. 

         

1935

 

 

This picture was in Hutchinson's Dog Encyclopedia (1935) in the OES section. Photo credit was Dorien Leigh. There was a Dorien Leigh Art Gallery in the early 1900s in London.  It is believed that the photo was furnished by the gallery to Hutchinson, and it is unknown who took the picture. The dog on the left is beardie-like. A larger image of just the two dogs is also placed here.

         

1935

   

This image was entitled "An Old English Sheep-dog Puppy" also from Hutchinson's Dog Encylopedia. Under the caption, it reads: "Old English Sheep-dog puppies often look more like their ancestors, the Bearded Collies, than their immediate parents, but as they get older they gradually grow the coat of the adult Old English Sheep-dog."

         

1937

   

Vere Temple was an illustrator and the author of a book entitled An Artist Goes to the Dogs, published in 1937. Her "Bobtailed Sheepdog" painting certainly appears almost identical to merle Beardies still being produced by some individuals in the U.K. even today. The viewer clearly can see how similar some of the breeds were or are.

         

1937

 

 

The Old English Sheep Dog, revised edition of 1937, by Henry Arthur Tilley, had a dustcover with a shaggy coated dog rendered by artist Nora Drummond (also known as Nora Drummond Davies, 1862-1949). It would be difficult to convince some Bearded Collie owners that this shaggy dog on the cover of Tilley's book is anything but a Bearded Collie. Mr. Tilley was a President of the Old English Sheepdog Club in England, and also, he founded the Old English Sheepdog Club in America (1904).

The coloured image of the dog, pups and horses was also done by Nora Drummond.  It appears her model may have been the same shaggy coated canine as the one above it.

 

 
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