(or: Let's Make Like Beardies and Get the Flock Outta Here!)

One of the most gratifying things in the world to watch is a dog doing the job for which its breed was intended. This is certainly true of herding; many Beardie owners speak of tears starting in their eyes as they watch their Beardies turn on to sheep for the first time.

Duncan was my very first herding dog, and he taught me more about stockdog training than I ever taught him. Charlie, Seamus, and Dinah all have their herding instinct certificates (HICs).

As with agility, you can compete in a number of "leagues" in herding, including AKC, AHBA, and ASCA. Once you get truly hooked on herding, you'll want to keep informed about herding events in all three "leagues". Here in the Northeast, the Northeast Herding Info Web site contains lots of resources to help you find herding events, clinics, and instructors.

For a very long time, it was nearly impossible to find places to herd anywhere near Maine. Duncan and I made many, many, many 7-hour drives to Raspberry Ridge Sheep Farm in PA to train with Carolyn Wilki. Good news, herding hopefuls: There are now places in New England where you can go herding with your Beardies! Here are a few:

Some Herding Links You Can Use

Here's a list of links to some herding resources, both on my site and elsewhere:

Snail Mail Links


The Australian Shepherd Club of America allows other herding breeds to enter its performance events, including herding. Write to:

Australian Shepherd Club of America
6091 E SH 21
Bryan, TX 77803
(409) 823-3491


AKC allows registered dogs from the Herding Group, certain breeds from the Working Group, or dogs with an ILP from any of these breeds, to compete in AKC events. The dogs must be 9 months of age or older to enter. Write to:

The American Kennel Club
Att: Special Performance Events
5580 Centerview Drive, Suite 200
Raleigh, NC 27606-3390
(919) 233-9767

AKC also publishes information that you can order from the above address, including a geographical list of AKC herding clubs and the AKC Regulations for Herding Tests and Trials. The regulations are also available at the AKC Web site at http://www.akc.org.


The American Herding Breeds Association publishes a bimonthly events bulletin for its members. Membership is $15/year. Write to the membership chair:

Siouxsan Eisen
AHBA Membership Coordinator
e-mail: siouxsan@ahba-herding.org

Want to Talk About It?

There are a number of email forums where Beardie lovers from around the world can trade stories, brags, information, help, and all sorts of other herding-related stuff. Two of these are beardieherd-l and herdingbeardies, both on Yahoo Groups.

To join each list, visit http://groups.yahoo.com and search for the list name. Click on the link, and then click on the big "Join This Group" button that appears at the top of the page.

Voila! You're ready to join in the fun!

The Great Plains Bearded Collie Club offers herding DVDs, including a combination DVD of their classic videos "Getting to Know Ewe II" and "Dancing Sheep to Sheep." These DVDs are great resources for anyone who wants to start herding with a Beardie. Visit the GPBCC's Shopping page for more information.