Renown for their great sense of humour, the Bearded Collie makes for a great family dog. They are an active and intelligent breed that originated in Scotland hundreds of years ago as faithful herding dogs.
History of the Bearded Collie Dog
The Bearded Collie, also known as the Highland Collie, Mountain Collie, or the Hairy Mou'ed Collie, is one of Britain's oldest breeds.
According to legend, in 1514 a Polish merchant named Kazimierz Grabski, reportedly traded a shipment of grain for sheep in Scotland and brought six Polish Lowland Sheepdogs to move them. Upon seeing the impressive herding ability of the dogs, a Scottish shepherd traded several sheep for several of the dogs. The Polish sheepdogs were bred with local Scottish dogs to produce the Bearded Collie.
The dogs were used as herding dogs for centuries in Scotland. They were excellent workers, herding sheep and cattle for local shepherds. Bearded Collies were popular working and show dogs at the end of the Victorian era, but they had no breed club and no official standard.
The Bearded Collie almost became extinct during the Second World War. In 1944 Mrs. G. O. Willison from Great Britain bred a pair of Bearded Collies, resurrecting the breed. in 1967, the first litter of Bearded Collies was produced in the USA, with the breed first being recognised by the American Kennel Club in 1976.
Today the Bearded Collie ranks 104th among the 155 breeds and varieties registered by the AKC.
Generally speaking, the Bearded Collie is a medium sized dog with a medium length length coat that follows the natural lines of the body and allows plenty of daylight under the body. They have a long and lean body, that is strongly made but does not appear heavy.
The head is proportional to the rest of the body and the skull is broad and flat. A Bearded Collie's muzzle is strong and full and the nose is large and square.
Their eyes are large, expressive, soft, affectionate and are set widely apart. The ears are medium sized, hanging and covered with long hair. They are set level with the eyes.
The Bearded Collie's neck is in proportion to the length of the body, strong and slightly arched. The legs are straight and vertical, with substantial, but not heavy, bone and are covered with shaggy hair all around. The hind legs are powerful and muscular at the thighs. The feet are oval in shape with the soles well padded.
The tail is set low and is long enough for the end of the bone to reach at least the point of the hocks. It is normally carried low with an upward swirl at the tip while the dog is standing. The tail is covered with abundant hair.
The ideal height at the withers is 21 to 22 inches for adult males and 20 to 21 inches for adult females.
Source : Race de Chien
One of the Bearded Collie's most distinctive features is their coat. They have a shaggy, waterproof, double coat that hangs over the entire body including the chin, hence the name "Beardie".
Puppies are born black, blue, brown or fawn, with or without white markings and often lighten, first fading to a light gray or cream as the dog matures.
The coat color changes several times before it reaches the adult color. The final coat color is somewhere between the puppy coat color and the color the coat is when the dog is about a year old.
Another aspect that springs to mind when thinking about the Bearded Collie is their enthusiastic, bouncy and bubbly personality. They are an intelligent, resourceful and confident breed that loves to play and is great with children and other pets.
Typically, Beardies are sociable and lively, although some can be laid-back. Be sure to talk to the breeder about what kind of temperament you are looking for in a dog. She can help you pick a puppy that displays the personality best suited to your family.
It is vital to start training with a Bearded Collie while they are relatively young as they are an independent thinker who likes to have their own way. Their natural instincts give them a love for herding and chasing, so good training is necessary to make sure they don’t display these behaviors inappropriately.
Health and care
On the whole, the Bearded Collie is a healthy breed. However, like all breeds, they can be prone to certain diseases and conditions. These include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, eye diseases, autoimmune thyroiditis, a skin condition called pemphigus foliaceous and Addison’s disease.
Not all Bearded Collie's will get any or all of these diseases, but it's important to be aware of them if you're buying or living with one.
The average lifespan for a Bearded Collie is 14-15 years.
The Bearded Collie's long, shaggy coat requires weekly brushing with a bristle of pin brush to keep it tangle free and reduce the chance of matting and shedding. During molting season, you'll probably want to brush more frequently to keep the hair under control.
Other grooming needs include dental hygiene and nail care. Brush your Beardie's teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that lurk inside it. Daily brushing is even better if you want to prevent gum disease and bad breath.