An old breed, the Bearded Collie has been recorded as far back as the 1770s. The breed was kept alive by shepherds who valued their working abilities and continued to use them as working sheepdogs. The development of the modern Bearded Collie is credited to G.O. Willison, who began breeding Beardies for the show ring after World War II. She was instrumental in forming the Bearded Collie Club in Britain in 1955.
Beardies are lean and active with strong bodies and often fluffy coats. Their outer coats are harsh and shaggy and naturally part to the sides, whilst their undercoats are close, soft and furry.
Grooming and Physical Needs
- Grooming Needs: The Beardie's long double coat requires weekly brushing with a bristle or pin brush to remove tangles and mats and reduce shedding.
- Coat Type: All Bearded Collies are born black, blue, brown, or fawn, with or without white markings. Some carry a fading gene, and as they mature, the coat lightens, darkening again slightly after one year of age. A puppy born black may become any shade of gray from black to slate to silver.
- Moulting: Beardies shed heavily once a year for two to four weeks, and you'll probably want to brush more frequently during this time to keep the level of loose hair under control.
- Exercise Needs: Bearded Collies are a mix of indoor and outdoor Dogs, but are not suitable for apartments as they are quite energetic. A couple of half hour walks and play sessions per day is suitable.
- Average Life Span: 12 to 14 years.
- Family: Bearded Collies are sociable and will demand to be included in all family activities, indoors or out. They are also excellent with children; their high energy level makes them active playmates who will spend hours running and playing.
- Temperament: A Beardie is smart, resourceful, and confident. Their bouncy, bubbly personality makes them fun to be with, but when it comes to training they can be an independent thinker who likes to have their own way.
- Trainability: Bearded Collies are both energetic and have a need to please. They are among the easier breeds to train.
- Sociability (Other Pets): Beardies will include other animals in their family "flock" if introduced to them properly, preferably when young. Being herding Dogs, they're always open for a game of chase. They will play happily with other Dogs from Chihuahuas to Great Danes.
- Barking: Moderate barking. Because of their herding heritage, Beardies are alert and make good watchdogs, barking to let you know that someone has arrived. They'll also bark to tell you that they're happy or excited or that they're bored or alone and would like some attention.
Bearded Collies were developed in Scotland for sheep and cattle herding. They function today as excellent family companions, show Dogs, working sheepdogs, or even all three! Their high energy, agility and quick learning make them suitable as Dog sport superstars.
When choosing a Beardie puppy, remember that temperament is affected by a number of factors, including heredity, training, and socialization. Puppies with nice temperaments are curious and playful, willing to approach people and be held by them.