Legend has it that when a polish merchant was trading grain for sheep, he brought a few Polish Lowland sheepdogs to move the sheep which captured the attention of a Scottish merchant for their herding abilities. He brought several dogs in exchange of sheep and bred them with local Scottish dogs which yielded Bearded Collie. This happened around early sixteenth century but these got nearly extinct during WWII. In 1944 G.Olive Willison resurrected the Bearded Collie by breeding one to his brown bitch.
AKC recognized them in 1976 and these are a rare breed. They are also known as "Highland Collie," the "Highland Sheepdog" and the "Hairy Moved Collie."
The Bearded Collie is an extremely active breed and excels at obedience and agility training. It is intelligent, and easily trainable. Due to their antics and activities, they are extremely entertaining and make for excellent family pets.
- Activity level: 4/5 (very active)
- Intelligence level: 3.5/5 (intelligent)
- Curiosity: 2/5 (mildly curious)
- Friendliness: 3/5 (quite friendly)
- Vocal: 4/5 (can be quite vocal)
Being a working dog, The Bearded Collie has a long, lean body medium sized body. Its head is large, and has relatively short, full muzzle. The coat is shaggy and waterproof, and changes colour many times before consolidating in adulthood.
- Fur: Shaggy coat; hard and flat outer coat and furry soft undercoat. This coat hangs on their whole body especially their chin, forming a beard. At birth they could be black, blue, brown or fawn, with or without white markings but they often fade away as they mature.
- Eyes: Widely set eyes are in tone with their coat.
- Body structure: Medium-sized and strong build these dogs have a lean lean-long body.
- Facial features: Large head, broad and flat; a relatively short muzzle; large, square, black nose. Medium-sized ears covered with long hair hang close to the head.
- Weight: Bearded Collies have an average weight of 18–27 kilograms (40–60 lb).
Most common health problems faced by the Bearded Collie are Musculoskeletal, Hypothyroidism, Cruciate Ligament Rupture (CLR), Addison’s disease, and skin problems. Hip Dysplasia however cannot be treated and dogs with these should not be bred. PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) also cannot be treated but dogs can compensate their sense of sight and live normally, just don’t move the furniture frequently. Cruciate Ligament Rupture can be diagnosed by cranial drawer test and arthroscopy, whereas hypothyroidism can be detected through a complete blood count, urinalysis and biochemistry profiling; radiographic studies may also be conducted to check for thyroid related deficiencies.
Obedience training will help you to discipline them and avoid chaos. Positive training techniques like food rewards and praise are recommended, they do not learn by harsh measures. It takes about an hour to brush them and should be done once a week.
Use a Pin brush to remove tangles from long double coat. Spray a conditioner before brushing to make the task easier. Bath them as required. Nail care and dental hygiene are other grooming needs.
We have gathered this information from our breeders based on their experience with this breed. However, remember that each animal is different with its own personality and needs (just like people!), so use this information wisely.
Do you know more about this breed and want to share your knowledge with us? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org