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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 photograph 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 appears below.

The portion of the page relating to the Beardie  has been retyped to reflect what appeared in the book.

"Bearded Collies

"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 Border Collie.

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 the job.

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.


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