Breed Type: Herding Dog
Country of Origin: Scotland
Size: Medium sized dog
Also known as: Beardie, Highland Collie, Mountain Collie, Hairy Mou’ed Collie and Argle Bargle
Males: Height: 53-56 cm cm Weight: 18-27 kg kg
Females: Height: 51-56 cm cm Weight: 18-27 kg kg
Exercise Requirements: Bearded Collie’s has a high level of energy and will need a lot of exercise like long day walk or have a yard that he can roam around supervised.
Care Requirements: The Beardie’s can live inside/outside. They need a yard where he can run around. Since Beardie’s has a long hair, brushing their hair is a must.
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Best Suited as: Companion Pets
Overview: The Bearded Collie is considered as one of the oldest breeds in Great Britain. Beardies are most commonly referred to as the shepherd dogs that usually are in charge of keeping watch over the cattle and sheep.
Appearance: The beardies are thought to be descendants of another breed due to striking similarities with the Old English sheepdog. This dog is medium in size, agile, a strong working dog with long shaggy waterproof hair and a happily wagging tail. The Beardie’s head is broad and has a short muzzle with long hair that forms as a beard under their chin, thus getting the nickname Beardie. They have wide-set eyes that are typically the same colour as their coat. Bearded collies have a soft, thick shaggy coat that will protect them from rough weather. They can be born all black, brown or blue and some may have extra white markings. The colour of their coat may change over time due to “fading gene”. However, Beardie’s that does not carry the “fading gene” will stay the same colour.
Temperament: Bearded Collie’s are known as fiercely loyal and very happy dogs. They are playful, happy go lucky with a waggling tail, demure and at the same time smart, strong and agile. Beardies are said to have a companionable, confident and friendly nature. They have a high level of energy; one’s owner must make sure that they get enough exercises to keep their spirits high. Beardies can be easily trained for any activity. They do not want to be confined nor left alone. They don’t show any aggressive behaviour or low self-esteem. They are a good playmate of kids due to their bouncy attitude and their high energy. Female beardies are usually much more high spirited and stubborn than males. Males tend to follow instruction while females are more independent in thinking. More often than not, in a pack, female Beardie’s tend to be the alpha dog.
History: Over the years, the happy Beardie’s records were lost in history. In the late 17th century, a couple of photographs of the Beardie’s were retrieved. Some claimed that the breed of the dog was from the cross-breeding of the Scotch Collie and the Old English sheepdog when a Polish captain traded his own Scottish Collie. The breed became popular at the end of the 18th century and was acquired for competition and as working show dogs. By the start of World War I, the breed was almost endangered. Thanks to the shepherds in Scotland who still continued to care and breed their Beardie’s, the dog was able to increase its numbers to a more sustainable amount. They were introduced in the States by the late 1950s and the breed was first recognized at late 1970s.
Care and Grooming: Due to their long shaggy hair, daily brushing (bristle or pin brush) is recommended to avoid tangles. It may take 30 minutes to an hour for proper brushing of Beardie’s hair. When working with the coat, using a proper dong comb along with a slight mist of water will keep the breed’s hair from becoming broken. They shed hair all year long and more with seasonal changes. If there is already mat or tangles you can use an anti-tangle spray found in any local pet shop or from your vet. A bath or dry shampoo is required at least once a week or more if necessary. Owners may prefer to clip their coat or have their coat trimmed by a professional dog groomer. After the bath is a good time to clean the ears by using a clean cotton swab to avoid ear infection. The breed’s ear should not have any foul smell. Also, it is the best time to clip their toenails since they are softened after the bath. Check also for any signs of infection if there are rashes or redness on the dog’s skin. Immunizations for beardies are also recommended and annually receive booster shots from your local vet.
Health: Due to thick coat they are prone to parasite infestation that may not be visible at first. They are also prone to hip dysplasia which is a heritable condition when the thighbone does not fit the hip bone. Also common with Beardie’s are eye problems, hypothyroidism and cancer. They can also have allergies at some point since it is common in the breed. Allergy may be caused by the environment but more often would be the dog’s food.
Suitability as a Pet: They can stay outdoors and make good farm dogs and will adapt to the weather. Not recommended to be with a family in an apartment. They can also be good as therapy dogs where they visit nursing homes and rehabilitation centres.
Training: Bearded Collie’s are smart and focused dogs. They are high trainable and always been noted to be athletic animals and learn very quickly. They can be headstrong so obedience training is recommended for them that will both benefit the dog and its owner to established discipline. It is advisable to start obedience training as early as 8 weeks old. They can be easily bored and not advisable to be kept alone. They may also be enrolled in Agility training since they are born as agile and high levelled energy dogs. They respond more to, a reward type and enjoy praise, and not a punishment.
Bearded Collie Organisations in Australia
Bearded Collie Social Club of SA
President: Elaine Bladon
Secretary Vicki Clark
Bearded Collie Organisations in the UK
Bearded Collie Club – home page
Bearded Collie Organisations in the US
American Kennel Club – Bearded Collie
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