It is a very old breed that descends from the European sheepdogs (Lawland) and the British dogs. In the 40's it was nearly extinct but it was saved in the late 60's in North America.
It is a medium-sized dog with a long, thin and brawny body but not heavy. It has a very beautiful figure. The head is massive, wide and proportional to the body. It has a strong, square muzzle. The ears are medium-sized, drooping by the head and covered with long hair. The eyes are big, slightly slanting, shiny and expressive. The tail is medium-sized, covered with long hair, it is kept low at rest and high, but not over the backline, when alert. The body is coverd with an inner layer made of thick and silky fluff and an outer layer made of long, smooth and pretty rough hair. The hair on the chin is of medium length but stretches towards the chest, forming a kind of beard (hence the name). The paws are covered with hair even between the footpads. The colour of the hair can be brick, reddish, brown with or without white patches or sand-coloured. The colours of the eyes and nose are complementary to the colour of the fur.
It is a lively, fast, intelligent, brave dog, efficient in its work. It has a well-balanced character which allows it to adapt easily to any given task. It is gentle, affectionate, devoted and a good playing partner for children. It gets along well with other dogs or other household animals, even with strangers.
It needs an intense and frequent brushing (a few times a week). When the fur is wet and full of mud it should be brushed after it dries. Excess hair between the footpads should be removed.
It feels best with an active family, it needs to get a lot of exercise and activity not to get bored and start causing damage in the house. It can live in the country side as well in the city. It is recommended for people with little experience in raising dogs.
It is an easy to train dog because it is intelligent and it learns fast. Better results are obtained with a playful and gentle method. It needs to be trained from an early age in order to transform the lively character (characteristic of this breed) into a tempered, docile one. It does well in agility competitions.
It is used to guard flocks and also as a good and pleasant companion making many of this breed's fans overlook some of the inconviniences related to the maintainance of its beautiful coat.