This herding dog popular with the shepherds of Scotland has since then gained favor as a family pet because of its lively nature and a show dog thanks to its good looks. They are often referred to as Beardie.
The high spirits and high energy level of Bearded Collie dog breed is suitable for herding sheep and cattle over rough terrains without fatigue. Nicknamed “Bouncing Beardie”, they are known for their boundless energy and are best matched with owners who can meet their need for exercise and activity.
Legends trace the origin of the Bearded Collie dog breed to the introduction of some Polish Sheepdog into Scotland by a merchant from Poland. Breeding these dogs with the native Scottish dogs may have produced the Bearded Collie known for its excellent herding capabilities. This takes the origin of this breed to the early part of the 16th century.
While these hardworking dogs continued to herd sheep and cattle over the rough mountainous terrains, they became noticed in the show dog circles too. However, it is quite improbable that this breed continued popular straight up to the present day. The interest in this very efficient working dog would have waxed and waned in the intervening period but we know that it they became a popular choice as a herding dog after the World War I.
They eventually became popular in England and the United States with the official recognition by AKC coming in 1977. The bloodlines of most of the modern breed are traced to two dogs called as Jeannie and Bailie of Bothkenner owned by Mrs. Olive Willison. Turnbull’s Blue line is another lineage from this working dog registered with the International Sheep Dog Society.
These dogs are covered from head to tail in long, flowing fur. Even their faces are buried in an avalanche of hair, earning them the ‘bearded’ tag. The common coat colors include black, brown, blue and fawn, often with lots of white and sometimes without.
Bearded Collies measure about 22 inches in height and 40 to 60 pounds in weight. Females are slightly smaller.
These lively dogs are playful and enthusiastic and love to be the center of attention. They are highly intelligent and capable of independent thinking and decision making, a highly desirable trait in herding dogs that have to control animals larger than themselves.
They are amenable to obedience training, but females are rather more independent in nature and may refuse to follow instructions.
They love to play with kids, but may not be suitable for young ones as they try to dominate them and even try to herd them during the games.
Grooming and exercise
It goes without saying that Bearded Collie takes extra time and effort to groom. The long coat has to be thoroughly brushed every other day to keep it in good order. Some owners prefer to give them a puppy cut for ease of maintenance.
These high energy-dogs need more than a daily walk to stay healthy and contented. Multiple walks combined with several games to expend its boundless energy are necessary. They ideally need large fenced in yards or vast grounds to run around and play.
These working dogs are at home in the open even when the weather is very cool, but it is best if they are brought in at night to spend the time with the family. They have some degree of tolerance to heat also.
Common health issues of Bearded Collie dog breed
Bearded Collies have a life expectancy of 13-15 years, but it is greatly dependent on individual dogs. These dogs are quite hardy, but Addison’s disease is a great cause of worry among these dogs. Owners of this dog breed should check for this condition that results in the death of a large proportion of young dogs. If detected early, this disease can be managed with lifelong medication.
Other health issues found in this breed are hip dysplasia and colonic disease. They are one of the few dog breeds prone to a blistering of the skin known as pemphigus, even though it is not a common occurrence.