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Bearded Collie (Beardie)

Origin

The Bearded Collie originated in England and is one of the country's oldest breeds. The foundation of the breed was started in 1514 when a Polish sea captain made a trade with a local Scottish shepherd. He traded three of his dogs he had with him (Polish Sheepdogs) for a ram and a ewe. The shepherd then bred these dogs with other herding and flock dogs such as the Old English Sheepdogs and Bobtails.

The dogs were used as herding dogs for centuries in Scotland and became known as the "Highland Collie", the "Highland Sheepdog" and the "Hairy Moved Collie". They were excellent workers, herding sheep and cattle for local shepherds. The name "Bearded" comes from the long hairs which grow on the chin making the dog look like he has a beard and the name "Collie" is the Scottish word for herding dog. The Bearded Collie almost became extinct during the Second World War. In 1944 Mrs. G. O. Willison bred a pair of Bearded Collies resurrecting the breed. They are still to this day considered a rare breed. Some of the Beardie's talents are tracking, herding, agility, competitive obedience, and performing tricks

Description

The Bearded Collie is a medium-sized, strong working dog. The body is long and lean. The head is large, broad and flat with a moderate stop. The muzzle is relatively short, strong and full. The black nose is large and square. The medium-sized ears hang close to the head and are covered with long hair. The teeth are large and meet in a scissors bite. The eyes are wide set and are in tone with the coat colour. The tail is carried low unless the dog is excited.

They have a shaggy, waterproof, double-coat, which hangs over the entire body including the chin (hence the name "Beardie"). Beardie pups are born black, blue, brown or fawn, with or without white markings and often lighten, first fading to a light grey or cream as the dog matures. The coat colour changes several times before it reaches the adult colour. The final coat colour is somewhere between the puppy coat and the colour the coat is when the dog is about a year old.

Temperament

The Bearded Collie has an air of cheerful, happy-go-lucky, tail-wagging humour. 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 they have to be left alone make sure that in between times they have plenty of exercise. Known for their "bounce,” the Beardie is exuberant and high-energy and without the exercise and stimulation they need they may develop problems. The Bearded Collie can be easily trained for many activities.

An owner who displays a natural authority is a must as Beardie’s think a lot and will be headstrong if he sees you as meek. One needs to be calm, but firm, confident and consistent when dealing with this dog. Boundaries must be placed and taught to the dog for him to follow. Obedience training is recommended. The Beardie is a natural herder of people and animals. They are noisy barkers, but are not watch dogs. They should not be shy or show aggression. When well balanced between leadership and exercise they will be stable and self-confident.

Height, Weight

Height: 51-56cm.
Weight: 18-27 kg.

Health Problems

Prone to hip dysplasia. Their dense coat may conceal external parasite infestation.

Living Conditions

The Bearded Collie is not recommended for small dwellings or flats. They are fairly active indoors and will do best with at least an average-sized garden. Beardies can sleep outdoors and make excellent farm dogs. They are also good in windy, rugged or wet areas since the dogs will go out in all weather conditions. It does not like to be confined and should have a place to run off of its lead. The Beardie prefers to be outdoors.

Exercise

This is an active dog that needs lots of exercise, including at least two walks a day. This breed also will greatly enjoy time to run free in a safe area.

Life Expectancy

About 14-15 years.

Litter Size
4 - 12 - Average 7

Grooming

Daily brushing of the long, shaggy coat is important. Mist the coat lightly with water before you begin. Tease out mats before they get bad, and give extra attention when the dog is shedding. Use the comb sparingly. If you prefer, the coat can be professionally machine-clipped every two months or so. Eyes, ears and paws should be checked daily. It is recommended to bath or dry shampoo the dog when necessary. It is difficult to locate ticks in the thick undercoat, so check regularly. This breed is moults normally.

Group

Working

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