BEARDED COLLIE – Sheep-Herding
What makes the Bearded Collie Unique?
Smart and lively, the Bearded Collie began its life in the Scottish countryside looking after unruly sheep. Though a number of these friendly dogs still serve their original purpose, the breed is now more commonly found as a companion for active families rather than tending livestock.
|Size:||Males – 64 to 71 cm (25 to 28 inches)
Females – 61 to 66 cm (24 to 26 inches)
|Weight:||Males – 50 to 59 kg (110 to 130 pounds)
Females – 45 to 54 kg (100 to 120 pounds)
|Life Span:||14 – 15 Years|
|Colour:||Fawn, red, or brindle coat|
|Litter Size:||4 to 13 puppies, 8 being the most common|
Is the Bearded Collie Right For You?
The beardie is a medium-sized dog with a long, lean, strongly made body, which gives the impression of both strength and agility. Its gait is supple and powerful, with good reach and drive. The ability to make sharp turns, quick starts and sudden stops is essential in a sheep-herding breed, and the beardie must be able to keep this activity up for a long period of time under all conditions. Its coat is double with a soft, furry undercoat. Bearded Collie has an air of cheerful, happy-go-lucky, tail-wagging humor. They are affectionate, playful and lively, they can make a perfect companion for children. They love to be with their people. An unexercised Beardie who is left alone without anything to do will not be happy, and you may not be happy with what they do while you are gone. If you must leave them be sure to take them for a long jog or walk prior to leaving. Known for their “bounce,”, the Beardie is exuberant and high-energy and without enough daily mental and physical exercise they may get themselves into mischief. Very trainable for many activities.
The beardie is a medium-sized dog with a long, lean, strongly made body, which gives the impression of both strength and agility. Its gait is supple and powerful, with good reach and drive. The ability to make sharp turns, quick starts and sudden stops is essential in a sheep-herding breed, and the beardie must be able to keep this activity up for a long period of time under all conditions. Its coat is double with a soft, furry undercoat.
Bearded Collie has an air of cheerful, happy-go-lucky, tail-wagging humor. They are affectionate, playful and lively, they can make a perfect companion for children. They love to be with their people. An unexercised Beardie who is left alone without anything to do will not be happy, and you may not be happy with what they do while you are gone. If you must leave them be sure to take them for a long jog or walk prior to leaving. Known for their “bounce,”, the Beardie is exuberant and high-energy and without enough daily mental and physical exercise they may get themselves into mischief. Very trainable for many activities.
In 5 Words
Learn About the Bearded Collie
This medium size dog has a long and lean body that is covered with fur. As a breed, Bearded Collies are strong and agile. They have strong, powerful legs that allow them to be able to execute sharp turns, quick starts ,and sudden stops in keeping with their sheepherding heritage. This breed can keep up such activity for long periods of time and in all weathers.
Bearded Collies have a large, flat head. They also have a short, full muzzle with a square black nose. Long hair covers the medium sized ears which hang close to the dog’s head.Their teeth are large and should meet in a scissors bite. These dogs also have wide set eyes, which should well coordinated with their coat colors. A Bearded Collie should have an inquisitive expression. Except when a dog is excited, its tail will be carried low.
These dogs weigh between 18 and 27 kilograms (40 and 60 pounds). The males of this breed should ideally measure between 21 and 22 inches (53 to 56 centimeters) at the shoulder. Meanwhile, female Bearded Collies should be about 20 to 21 inches (51 to 53 centimeters) tall at the shoulder.
Over its entire body, a Bearded Collie has a waterproof double coat. Thier outer coat is flat and rough. It protects the dog from the elements, but at the same time does not obscure it’s lines. The undercoat is soft and furry, which serves to keep the dogs warm during the harsh Scottish winters. Puppies of this breed are blue, black, fawn, or brown in color. They may also have white markings that change to cream or ash grey as the dog ages. Coat colors in this breed may change periodically until the collie is about a year old.
Short History of the Bearded Collie
The origins of the breed are said to go back to the 1500s when a Polish merchant was transporting a load of sheep from Scotland. He had brought several Polish Lowland Sheepdogs to accomplish this and subsequently sold some of the dogs to a local shepherd. This next lead to these dogs interbreeding with the native Scottish herding breeds. The result of this union was the Bearded Collie.
Around 1944, Mrs. G. Olive Willison accidentally received a member of this breed rather than the Shetland Sheepdog she had ordered. Yet it was a fortuitous meeting, as the lady became intrigued by the dog she had gotten instead. Mrs. Willison eventually decided to breed her dog, Jeannie of Bothkennar. The lady purchased a second dog from a Scottish immigrant. This dog was later known as Bailie of Bothkennar.
The aforementioned breeding pair made significant contribution to the current breed, as there are not many other bloodlines. Other breeders that contributed to the continued existence of the Bearded Collies were Mr. Nicolas Broadbridge and Mrs. Betty Foster. The lines they created were started from Turnbull’s Blue, who sired three litters of registrable Bearded Collies.
During the latter part of the 20th century, this breed became increasingly popular. Potterdale Classic at Moonhill, a Bearded Collie, won Best in Show at Crufts in 1989 and the Bearded Collie Club celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 2005.
Although they were bred to be working dogs, Bearded Collies adore their human families and are generally great with older children. In fact, these collies do not handle being left on their own for long periods of time and should be walked prior to an owner’s departure to prevent unwanted destructive behavior. They are generally good watchdogs and have a loud bark, but will not do as a guard dog. When this breed is not given enough to do mentally and physically, they can prove themselves to be quite mischievous.
Bearded Collies are playful, goodnatured, and affectionate. They are also quite lively and greatly enjoy playtime. They are smart and obedient, but are nonetheless somewhat independent minded. Therefore, this breed may try to herd younger kids as well as other pets when playing with them. Well-known for their bouncy personalities, Bearded Collies may unfortunately be too boisterous for families with small kids.
Caring for Your Bearded Collie
This breed occasionally suffers from a number of health problems that chiefly affect the eyes such as cataracts, corneal dystrophy, and progressive retinal atrophy. Owners of Bearded Collies are advised not to feed these dogs from the table, because many of them have allergies and various food sensitivities. This breed may also suffer from a cellular disorder known as pemphigus foliaceus, which can cause a variety of unpleasant skin conditions to spring up. Some dogs may additionally suffer from the loss of black hair from their bodies. This ailment, known as black hair follicular dysplasia, is quite rare but has been known to appear from time to time. Von Willebrands disease may also affect Bearded Collies. This mild bleeding disorder causes blood clotting difficulties.
A herding job will keep this active breed happy and well exercised. Otherwise Bearded Collies need a brisk jog, a lengthy walk or a vigorous play session on a daily basis.
Their long coats require brushing every other day.
As with any breed, these collies require monthly heartworm, flea and tick medication. Thier nails should also be trimmed as needed.
Grooming & Bathing
Bearded Collies have a double coat which is prone to matting if not kept properly maintained. Spray-on detangling products may help owners keep their dog’s coats free of mats. These dogs should be washed every six to eight weeks at the very least. More regular baths are recommended if the dog’s posterior tends to become matted with feces.
Exercise & Training
This intelligent breed is easy to train as long as they are provided with stable authority figures. Bearded Collies with meek owners have been known to take advantage of the fact. Firm, consistent commands are a must with this breed and rules should always be the same to prevent misunderstandings. Obedience training is highly recommended as well. Early socialization is another key component of a Bearded Collie’s education.Those owners who take the time to make learning fun for their pets will be rewarded because the dogs will learn more quickly. These dogs will especially benefit from treats used as positive reinforcement. With a good balance between plentiful exercise and strong leadership Bearded Collies will quickly become self-confident and stable in personality.