Bearded Collie Dog Breed
Aliases: Beardie, the Highland Collie, Mountain Collie, Hairy Mou ed Collie, Bouncing Beardie
|Life Span:||12 - 14 years - although some have lived a lot longer|
|Litter Size:||4 - 12 average 7 puppies|
|Recognized By:||CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR|
|Color:||Black, Brown, Blue, or Fawn|
|Male Height:||20 - 22 inches ( 51 - 56 cms) at the shoulder|
|Male Weight:||35 - 55 pounds (16 - 25 kg) depending on height|
|Female Height:||20 - 22 inches ( 51 - 56 cms) at the shoulder|
|Female Weight:||35 - 55 pounds (16 - 25 kg) depending on height|
|General info courtesy of terrificpets.com. Additional information about this breed can be found on their website.|
|Living Area:||Not recommended for apartment life, they are best on a farm or acreage where they have the room to run and exercise with their handlers. They are highly active even indoors where they prefer to be with their humans.|
The Beardie is medium-sized and very agile. A herding dog of great stamina and high intelligence, the Beardie is noted for its shaggy coat and never flagging wagging tail. Related to the Old English Sheepdog the Beardie has a broad head, short muzzle and a shaggy coat all over - including under the chin - which is where the nickname Beardie came from.
Hardy and active, but not massive, the Beardie is considered to be a robust and generally healthy dog.
They have a dense, weatherproof outer coat with a thick, soft undercoat. Its head and teeth are large. The eyes are wide set and high on the head, and match color with its coat. The ears are close to the head with a long tail carried low unless the dog is excited.
Their cost color changes several times over their lifetime. Puppies are usually born black, brown, fawn or blue. The coat fades to light gray or cream. As the dogs mature, they darken to their adult coat in any of the four colors, black (from black to slate), brown (from dark brown or milk chocolate to gingery red), blue (from steel blue to silver), or fawn (cinnamon to champagne). The final coat color is somewhere between the puppy coat and the yearling coat. There will also likely have white markings of some sort.
The Beardie has unusual eye colors. In general, the eye color usually matches the coat color - for instance - Black and Brown Beardies have brown eyes, the Blues have smoky or grayish-blue eyes and the Fawns sport a lighter brown eye which sometimes has a hint of hazel in it.
Beardies can and do sleep outdoors and also make excellent farm dogs. They are good to go in windy, rugged or wet areas since the dogs are out in all weather conditions to herd. It does not like to be confined and should have a place to run off of its lead. The Beardie loves to be outdoors, but also wants his place inside with his family (pack). These dogs are notorious escape artists so it\'s best to make sure they are happy and well exercised.
The Beardie\'s shaggy coat is flat, harsh and shaggy, and can be slightly wavy but not curly, with the undercoat soft, furry and close. The outer coat is flat, harsh, strong and shaggy and falls naturally to either side. The weatherproof outer coat is long and dense, providing protection against all weather conditions.
The Bearded Collie (first introduced into Scotland in 1514) was developed in Scotland as a herding dog with ancestors including herding dogs from the European continent - the Poland Lowland Sheepdog (Polski Owzcarek Nizinny) and the Komondor, blended with sheep herding dogs in the British Isles. The Bearded Collie is in all likelihood also related to the bobtail (Old English Sheepdog).
It was developed as an independent worker, capable of thinking on its own and making decisions about the safety of their flocks without depending on the shepherd who might be miles away. Beardie\'s have never brought home a wrong sheep despite the practice of flocks intermingling while out to pasture. The Beardie is still used as a shepherd\'s helpmate in Scotland, and in the U.S.
The breed almost disappeared in the early part of the twentieth century, but was rescued through mating a pair in 1944. Even today, it isn\'t very widespread and it\'s still fairly rare in the United States. The first US litter of Beardies was whelped in 1967.
G.O. Willison brought the breed to recognition by The Kennel Club of Great Britain in 1959. The breed was officially recognized by the AKC in 1977.
This dog is without a doubt one of the largest clowns in the canine world. Many seem to think he has pogo sticks in his legs, or at the very least was crossed with a grass hopper. His bounce and charm are addicting and he is always joyous and affectionate. Playful and a tad cheeky, his tail is always wagging. He has a lovely sense of humour and that combined with his high energy levels make for some pretty funny episodes. Males tend to be more outgoing and bold, while females are calmer and more submissive.
He\'s really terrific with kids and thrives, NEEDS to be with people. He needs to be a part of the family unit and would wither without human contact. If he is left alone without human contact and has nothing to do, he will get into trouble. He certainly can be trained to do just about anything, but not to be a watch dog. Noisy barkers yes, but not watch dogs. Their forte is herding animals - and their people (with a grin!) You don\'t need a doorbell when living with a Beardie.
Beardies jump and can even clear very high fences, if they don\'t have something to do that appeals to them. They\'ll also jump up to greet you, kiss your nose and look you straight in the eye. Great trick, but it can scare little ones and others who aren\'t used to such enthusiastic greetings.
This breed does well at intermingling with other animals particularly if they were raised with them. Some can be bossy about possessions and hoard all the toys in their den, and being herding dogs, they will chase things if tempted.
The Beardie may have gotten one of its other names - bouncing beardie - because when working in thick undergrowth on a hill, they bounce to catch sight of their sheep. It\'s also speculated this name came from the way they face a stubborn ewe, barking and bouncing on the forelegs. The bearded moves stock using body, bark and bounce. Very few beardies show "eye" when working, most are usually upright.
Thyroid Disease - Low Risk
The Bearded Collie ranks #85 among all breeds for autoimmune thyroiditis prevalence. This is considered a low risk breed so your chances of obtaining a dog with the disease is small. It is still suggested that dogs meant for breeding still be tested to help bring the incidence of disease even lower (or even eliminate it).
|Rank Among Breeds||Number of Dogs Tested||Percent of Dogs With Disease|
You can download the full report (on all breeds) by the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Here
Other Health Problems
Generally a quite hardy breed, the Beardie does have some special medical conditions to be aware of:
- Cataracts - any opacity or loss of transparency of the lens of the eye.
- Corneal dystrophy - an inherited abnormality that affects one or more layers of the cornea.
- Pemphigus foliaceus - an abnormal immune response to normal components of the skin, resulting in separation of cells. This leads to blisters, pustules, and crusting erosions in the skin.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy: manifests as night blindness, slowly progresses to total blindness.
- Black hair follicular dysplasia - a rare inherited disorder seen in mixed-breed and purebred dogs. Hair loss occurs at a very early age in black areas on black, or black and white dogs.
- Von Willebrands disease - a common, usually mild, inherited bleeding disorder in people and in dogs. It is caused by a lack of von Willebrand factor (vWF), which plays an essential role in the blood clotting process.
- Food sensitivities and allergies also seem to be a problem for this breed. So do not give it scraps of food from the table.
They are also extremely sound sensitive to things like thunder or large trucks. Have your Beardie Vet checked for hypothyroidism.