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Julie Simpson-Hill is an International Supreme Champion. She
authored a book entitled "The Natural Way." She included a
section in the book about Bearded Collies. In addition, she shared a portion of a
from her former husband's family archives. He once bred Bearded Collies. The date of the picture is unknown. Keep in mind that the image has been cropped;
only the portion of the photograph showing the Beardie next to a child
The portion of the page relating to the Beardie has been
retyped to reflect what appeared in the book.
"These are still in use and are very popular for getting a lot
of work done. Again the style is very different from that of the
My husband, George, used to breed Bearded Collies, but after the
last bitch, Kim, he has never replaced her with any of her pups,
although there are still a few dogs in the North of Scotland out of
this bitch. She was a very natural dog and from a very young age
would gather a long distance. I can remember George telling me that
she would, at the age of seven months, go out for sheep that were at
least 600 yards away. He can see why I was amazed at such a
distance, especially when my first Border Collie was more of a
driving dog than a gathering dog.
The Bearded Collie has a great nature, a lot of stamina for
working large flocks of sheep, and will bark at times when needed in
the pens to move stubborn sheep. The strain that George had was a
loose eyed dog and so flanked from side to side pushing forward on
large flocks of sheep. A dog like Kim was very handy when moving
sheep on the road, because you need to hurry and not hold up traffic.
Kim would bark if the sheep needed that extra encouragement to move
forward if they were spooking at a stationary car. She did not have
the finesse of some Border Collies but she was effective, and did
This reminds me of the time when George went alone to move sheep
on the main road. He had with him his dog Joy, and my dog Moss, as
they were both experienced for this job. George was trying to move
three hundred Blackface lambs out of one gate, down the road for
about fifty yards and in through a gate on the opposite side of the
road. This does not sound too hard, but Blackface lambs are really
cheeky and jump in all directions; through fences if you are not
careful, and they are not worried if they manage to escape from the
rest of the flock as long as they are free. The traffic was stopped
each side of the gates, while George and the two dogs pushed the
sheep out onto the road. The lambs were not willing to come out on
the road and the traffic started to become unsettled, inching
forward. Finally, the sheep were on the road and running. George
gave the dogs commands, but to no avail as, if there was one thing
that Moss was more interested in than working, it was loving the
ladies. George turned round to find Moss and Joy tied together in the
middle of the road. The only thing he could do was try to pick both
of them up enough to position them on the side of the road. It was
bad enough having to run yourself to head off sheep, but worse to
stand there next to the two dogs while traffic was finally allowed to
move on, with all those people pointing at them. I bet there was a
lot of awkward questions to answer from parents, as it was leaving
time from school."
Below is the cropped image from a family archived picture which
showed the family Beardie.