Bearded Collie general features, temperament, health

Bearded Collie dog breed photo

FCI # 124, Origin: Ireland, Group 8.3 Water dogs.

Height: 20-23 in, Weight: 45-65 pounds

Grooming: High, Shedding: Low, Coat: Long curls on the body and short coat on the muzzle and tail.

Color: liver (no white markings are allowed).

Ease of training: High, Energy level: High, Span of life: 10-12 years.

Breed: The origins of the modern Bearded Collie, as well as many other breeds of dogs, are lost in the mists of time. All the theories of it's history to a certain extent are speculative. There is, for example, an opinion, that the motherland of all shepherd dogs was Central Asia. According to this version, dogs were moving along with the nomadic tribes to the west, protecting caravans and the cattle.

Shaggy shepherd dogs are found worldwide, mostly in mountainous areas and the areas where winters are harsh and cold. In Spain there is a breed of shaggy sheepdogs called Gos d'Atura, in France - the Pyrenean Shepherd and Briard, in Portugal - Cao da Serra de Airesh, in Holland - Skapendus, in southern Russia - South Russian Sheepdog, in Poland - the Polish Shepherd, and a lot of other similar breeds. All of them, to one degree or another, are related, and it is not possible to assert with confidence that one of them was the ancestor of the other.

The Collie ancestors probably appeared in Scotland ( where they subsequently mixed with local dogs) with the Celts.

The bearded sheep dogs were living in Scotland for several centuries. They were very much valued by shepherds for their durability and excellent ability to graze the livestock (sheep and cows). The exterior of those shepherd dogs was not so important at that time, the main criterion of the selection were the working qualities. Only at the end of the XIX century the breeders began to pay attention to the exterior of their dogs. They were called differently: Collie, Mountain Collie, Alpine Collie, Drover's Dog, the Scottish Bearded Collie and the Shaggy Collie.

The forming of a Bearded Collie as a breed was under the influence of natural factors, rather than artificial selection, so the early documentary evidences of his origin are not available to us. Polish and Russian Shepherd could have a quite big influence on the forming of the Bearded Collie in Scotland. It is known, that in 1514 to Scotland from Poland were brought the sheep together with the Polish Shepherd Dogs.

Working qualities of these Shepherds so much impressed the Scottish pastoralists, that they started crossing them with their highland Collies. It is also quite possible, that the Bearded Collie is a descendant of Russian shaggy sheep-dogs, which in the Middle Ages were driving the herds of sheep and cows to Europe. In any case, Hubbart in 1947 in his book "Working Dogs of the World", wrote that by crossing the Russian sheepdogs with Bearded Collies were bred the Old English Sheepdogs - Bobtails.

Bearded Collie dog breeds

James Dalglish in his book "The Collie" indicates the possibility that the Bearded Collie originates from the Old English Sheepdog, especially since both breeds have developed in Scotland. Confirmation of this is the picture called "Shepherd", which was published in 1804 by Philip Reynegl; the dog is very similar to both: the Old English Sheepdog with a tail, and the Bearded Collie.

As the beginning of the recorded history of a Bearded Collie can be considered 1891, when D.G.Tomson Gray published his work "Dogs of Scotland", in which the breed is mentioned under the present name. The Bearded Collie as a breed was then not very famous, but it was already known, because the good representatives were exhibited in Glasgow and in England.

In 1897 the Kennel Club of Scotland held an exhibition in Edinburgh, where the Bearded Collie was officially recognized for the first time. Largely this could happen thanks to the efforts of enthusiast of all Scottish breeds - H. Panmur Gordon. One of the typical representatives of the Bearded Collies in the beginning of XX century was Jock - a dog of a dark gray color with white markings. Based on the description of the breed, made by Panmur Gordon, there was developed a new standard for a Bearded Collie, which was working for almost sixty years, with minor modifications. Then it became the basis for modern standard.

In 1912 in Edinburgh there was formed the Bearded Collie Fanciers Society, but the first World War in 1914 destroyed this initiative. Only in 1955 in England with the support of the Collie Club of London was opened the first Bearded Collie Club. In 1964, the Club publishes a specialized magazine, at the same time it was revising the breed standard. The major change affected the height of the dogs.

It is believed that 1944 can be regarded as the founding date of the modern population of Bearded Collies, due to the creation by Mrs. Willison the Bothkennar kennel. The names of her dogs are found in the pedigrees of many Bearded Collies around the world. In the modern population of Bearded Collies in England there can be found three types. Bearded Collies of the old style have a longer bodies, as well as a longer heads. Their coats are more rough and not very long. In dogs of the old type eyes are darker, and most of those dogs have a well-pronounced pigmentation. However, in general they are less showy than the Bearded Collies of other types.

Type "Potterdale" got it's name from the Potterdale kennel, which owners, Janet and Mike Lewis, began to breed "luxury" Bearded Collies with an expressive heads and very long coats. However, most of the breeders like the Bearded Collies of a third, intermediate between the first two, type, combining the positive qualities of both.

Currently, the Bearded Collie is popular around the world, he has participated in exhibitions and competitions for dogs, he is an excellent dog for sports and certainly a wonderful companion dog.

General Features: The Bearded Collie (sometimes also called Beardie) - is one of the brightest representatives of the family of Scottish shepherds. This dog is considered to be one of the oldest Scottish herding dogs.

The main distinguishing characteristic of the breed Bearded Collie, which is associated with it's name - a shaggy long hair, which forms the mustache and beard on the dog's muzzle.

Bearded Collie is a well built, but not a massive dog. Height at the withers - 53-56 cm. Average weight - 30 kg. Head of a Bearded Collie is large. The muzzle is elongated. Teeth are large and white. Deep-set eyes must match the color of the coat. Ears are high set and hanging. Tail is well feathered, at rest is down and high up when the dog is excited, but never lays on the dog's back. The coat of a Bearded Collie is long and thick with a soft dense undercoat. Color: black and gray, reddish-brown, all shades of gray, blue, sandy color with or without white markings.

This charming dogs, that have not lost their herding talents, are ideally suited to the family life. It is easy to train them, they can be trusted with children, they are always ready for fun and outdoor games. It is not recommended to keep the Bearded Collie in the city apartment, since the dogs of this breed need long walks and the opportunity to run free.

Bearded Collie dog breed photo

Temperament: Bearded Collie is a typical Shepherd Dog, retaining all the valuable qualities that are characteristic to these kind of dogs. Good character and the beautiful appearance attracted to this breed not only the attention of the farmers, but also the attention of a wide range of dog lovers. Communicating with the Bearded Collie - caring for this dog, training, spending time together - brings to it's owner a lot of delightful moments.

This dog learns quickly and can be easily trained. The Bearded Collie behaves tactfully with everyone - adults, children and the pets in the house. In the house Collie does not spoil anything, this dog is kind and attentive, and on the walks with pleasure runs and jumps, but obeys to the first call of the owner. Quickness and agility, combined with obedience enabled many Bearded Collies to become a real stars of many dog competitions.

The Bearded Collies successfully perform in many dog sports as well as at the dog shows. With children Bearded Collie is very gentle, never allow himself any rudeness, gladly takes care of them and shares with them all their games and fun. Natural born shepherd, Bearded Collie is always trying to bring together all family members and friends, always makes sure that no one is left behind.

Another important and a positive quality of this dogs - is their good health: these dogs often live for 15-16 years, and even in that age they are still mobile and very much able to work.

Grooming of a Bearded Collie is not so difficult, as it seems. In the first three years of life color of a Bearded Collie is gradually changing: puppies are born dark and gradually they become lighter until the three (in some dogs it's up to five) years, when the final color will appear.

In puppies up to four weeks it is almost impossible to determine, if they shall be black or gray. It is slightly easier with the red and brown color: the same color of the coat will persist in the adult dog, just the tone becomes lighter.

Grooming of a Bearded Collie, despite his abundant coat, is pretty simple. Puppy must be properly brushed twice a week, mostly to train a dog for this procedure from the young age. The adult dog must be combed once a week, it is important to ensure that the mats were not formed.

It takes - in the dogs with the most thick and long (but well-groomed!) coat - about twenty minutes. Before combing it is desirable to sprinkle the coat from the spray with the clean water or water with the addition of a small drop of dog hair conditioner.

For the hygienic purposes the coat is shortly cut around the anus, the abdomen and between the pads on the paws of a Bearded Collies. Wash your dog about once a month, but if the hair is not dirty, you can just skip this procedure. Before bathing the coat of this dogs should be carefully brushed.

Health problems: Generally the Bearded Collie is a very healthy and hardy breed. Still - like most of the large sized breeds of dogs - some representatives of this breed may be prone to the hip dysplasia.

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