Most Beardies have the natural ability to herd. Early in the RMBCC history herding became an important part of the activities of the club. Instinct tests were scheduled, articles on herding and dog training were a major part of the club newsletter (Beardie Works), and club clinics were regularly scheduled. Everyone was encouraged to participate.
As one of the first local breed clubs to be sanctioned by AKC to host licensed herding trials, RMBCC lead the way nationally with herding trials and instinct testing. More recently local Beardies are still active on the herding trial courses showing up those other black and white herding breeds how to move sheep, ducks and even livestock.
Currently, the Rocky Mountain Bearded Collie Connection holds a herding instinct test every year. It is an excellent way to find out if your dog or bitch has the instinct for herding. The test generally lasts around 10 minutes and no previous experience is necessary. Minimum age is 6 months, and a dog is never too old to be tested. If the dog passes, the owner may want to pursue lessons and work towards AKC titles. This is a great way to work on a partnership between owner and dog. Since Beardies are so very intelligent, seeing them do what they would do naturally is very special.
The Bearded Collie Club of America's Herding Instinct Test program can be found at:
If you have questions, contact the local herding chair, Renee Jarrett 970-667-8293 or email@example.com