The Bearded Collie is one of the oldest dogs in Scotland. The term ‘collie’ is used for sheepdogs. The word is believed to come from the Scottish word ‘coaley’ which means black sheep (a distinct sheep in Scotland).
The dogs that herd these sheep were called ‘coaley-dogs.’ It was then changed to collie-dogs, and finally shortened to a collie.
There are different theories regarding the origins of the Bearded Collie. One theory is that they came from Lowland Polish dogs owned by a Polish sea captain named Kasimierz Grabski who arrived in Scotland to trade grain.
His dogs were traded to a farmer and were then bred with local Scottish Collies.
Another theory is that they are a descendant of long-haired sheepdogs that were brought by Roman settlers who moved to the British Islands after the England and Wales conquest in the first century.
These settlers then went north into Scotland where they developed what would become the Bearded Collies.
The last, and most likely, theory is that the breed originated in the Scottish highlands where they were bred with local sheepherding dogs. They have long hair to protect them from the harsh Scottish Highland climate.
Traits and Behavior
Bearded Collies are a very affectionate and loving breed. They are extremely devoted to their owners and are not shy in showing their affection. They are also affectionate and welcoming to strangers.
They mostly bark as a greeting rather than as a warning. They are highly taken with children but they tend to play rough and are well known for herding young children.
But, with socialization and training, they can learn to be gentle.
This breed is playful even at an old age. They love to learn and do any canine activities. They enjoy fetch, hiking and play ball.
If well socialized, they are good to bring during your kids’ soccer game. However, owners should bear in mind that this is a breed that needs attention.
Bearded Collies suffer from separation anxiety easily. It is not best to leave them alone for long periods.
Bearded Collies go along with every animal, both canine and non-canine. They are not aggressive, dominant or territorial. They prefer the company of other dogs, especially other Bearded Collies.
However, they don’t like being in a pack. So, care should be observed when introducing a new dog to Bearded Collies. Like other herding dogs, this breed tends to nip at anything that moves.
This is an intelligent breed. They learn quickly and are good at agility and obedience trials. However, when the owner is firm, they are most likely to take charge. So, owners should be firm but calm at all times.
Pet Care and Diseases
This playful and high-energy dog needs vigorous activity to stay healthy and happy. They require daily long runs, preferably without a leash, in a wide area. They will enjoy playing catch and Frisbee and activities that stimulate their brain like an obstacle course.
This dog is most happy if it’s working. They are also good for hiking and trekking. If not given enough exercise, Bearded Collies tend to become bored, anxious, and vocal.
Despite this breed having long hair, they have a low grooming requirement. They don’t need regular professional grooming. They do, however, need daily light brushing to prevent mats and tangles.
Thorough brushing is also needed every week. To keep this dog cool, professional grooming may be done to shorten the hair.
Bearded Collies are generally healthy and can live up to 13 years. But, they can also have health problems that include cerebrovascular disease, kidney failure, and dysplasia.
It is advisable to have them checked at the OFA and CERF to determine any genetic problems.
Bearded Collies look charming and friendly. They are medium-sized dogs with an ideal height of 20 to 22 inches, with females generally shorter.
This breed usually weighs between 40 to 60 pounds with its muscular and athletic body covered in a lot of hair. Their proportionate body is matched with a long and low-set tail.
The long, plentiful hair is quite noticeable to a Bearded Collie
Their double-layered coat is a combination of a soft, furry and close undercoat that is covered by a flat, harsh, strong and shaggy outer coat. This protects them from unforgiving weather.
This breed is covered in hair. It is common to mistake them for the more famous Old English sheepdog.
Their eyes may or may not be visible and their ears are of medium size, although they may look longer because of the hair. They come in several colors that include black, brown, fawn and blue with several markings.
The estimated lifespan of this dog is about 12-14 years. The average litter size is approximately 4-12 puppies. Other names include Highland Collie, Mountain Collie, Hairy Mou’ed Collie, Argle Bargle, and Beardie.
Visit these dog club websites dedicated to Bearded Collies. Click this link:
Watch this video: “Dogs 101 – Bearded Collie”