Bearded Collie

Bearded Collie
Vital Statistics:
Place of Origin: Scotland
Group: Herding dog
Height: 20-22 in.
Weight: 40-60 lbs.
Life span: 10-13 yrs.
Trainability: moderate
Good with children: yes
Good with other pets: yes

What is the origin of the Bearded Collie?

Bearded Collies were bred to herd sheep in the Scottish Highlands. A characteristic of this breed is barking and bouncing on the front legs (called the “Beardie Bounce”) when confronting sheep to get them moving in the right direction. It is told that in 1514, a Polish merchant traded grain for sheep in Scotland and brought with him some Polish Lowland Sheepdogs. Bred with local dogs, the Bearded Collie was produced. Another belief is that when the Romans invaded the U.K. in the 1st century, they brought their herding dogs who bred with Scottish dogs and that’s how Beardies developed. Still another theory is that the Celts, long before the Roman invasion, bred their dogs with local Scottish herding dogs and that’s how Beardies came to be. They have also been called the Highland Collie, Mountain Collie, Hairy Mou├ęd Collie.

What does the Bearded Collie look like?

This strong, hardy dog is 20-22 inches tall and weighs 40-60 lbs. The head is broad and flat with full cheeks and of course, the characteristic beard. Nose is squarish and large. Eyes are wide-set and large with long eyebrows framing the eyes. Ears are medium size, pendant and covered in long hairs. The tail is set low and reaches the top of the hocks. The long outer coat is flat and shaggy, sometimes with a slight wave. The undercoat is soft and dense. Colors are black, blue, fawn or brown. There can be white or tan on tail tip, feet and chest. The long coat should be brushed several times a week.

What is the temperament of the Bearded Collie?

The Bearded Collie is an energetic dog, very playful. Since they can be independent, and will test their humans, firm but gentle training is advisable. Beardies are very affectionate and outgoing. They love children and are gentle, but true to their breeding, might try to herd them. They get along well with other pets. Beardies are active dogs and need vigorous daily walks and runs and playtime. They are not recommended for apartment living.

What are Bearded Collies used for?

Beardies, with their love of people, are great therapy dogs. They need lots of activity and also do well in agility trials, sheep herding trials, flyball and more. Most of all Beardies are loving, affectionate family companions.

Possible Health Issues

Hip dysplasia, hypo-adenocorticism, colonic disease, epilepsy, pemphigus (autoimmune skin disease), progressive retinal atrophy, vonWillebrand’s Disease.

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