Bearded Collies were developed as herding dogs and family companions in Scotland, reaching U.S. shores in the 1950s. Their medium size, shaggy appearance and bouncy enthusiasm quickly won them fans. In 1977, the breed received AKC recognition. Despite the dogs’ winsome appearance, they are not pushovers and need training for humans and canines to be content. Today Beardies are popular partners in almost any activity: conformation, obedience, agility, herding, flyball, freestyle, therapy and as just plain friends. Beardies were first eligible to compete at Westminster Kennel Club in 1978.