The Bearded Collie or Beardie is classified under the Pastoral Group of the Kennel Club of UK and is one of the herding breeds of dogs we know today. They were originally used for herding livestock in the Highlands of Scotland.
The physical features of the Bearded Collie is characterized by a proportionally sized head-to-body ratio with a flat skull, moderate stop, full and strong muzzle and a large, squarish black nose. The large round eyes are set widely apart, portraying an affectionate breed. Hanging ears covered in long hair and set level with the eyes adds to the gentle appearance. The head is supported by a strong and slightly arched neck which in turn is supported by a level back lined body with well-sprung ribs, deep chest and strong loins. Straight and vertical front legs covered with shaggy hair compliment the powerful and muscular hind legs with well-bent stifles and low hocks. All four legs are cushioned with well-padded soles. The hairy tail is normally carried low when standing but may be raised slightly when in motion or excited. A supple and powerful gait displays agility and elegance even when moving in any speed.
Long double coat covers the whole body with colours that come in either black, blue, brown or fawn which typically lightens as the dog matures. A mature black Bearded Collie may show a colour of any shade of gray, a brown Beardie from chocolate to sandy, while blue and fawn coloured dogs become lighter. Eye rims, nose, and lip colour pigmentation follows coat colour.
A male Beardie can stand between 53 – 56 cm while females are typically between 51 – 52 cm tall at the withers. Ideal weight is between 18 – 27 kg.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
The history and origin of the Bearded Collie is somewhat a mix of fact and myth. According to certain accounts, the breed traces its roots back to Scotland in the early 1500s. A captain of a Polish ship named Kazimierz Grabski reportedly arrived in Scotland to trade sheep with grain and brought along with him six Polish Lowland Shepherds to help move the sheep. A local Scottish shepherd was so amazed at the herding ability of these Polish sheepdogs that he offered to trade two ewes and a ram for one male and two female dogs. These sheepdogs were then crossbred with local herding dogs such as the Old English Sheepdogs and the Magyar Komondor which became the foundation of the Bearded Collie. The resulting breed displayed long hairs on the chin that resemble a beard, hence the name “Bearded”.
The Bearded Collie is described as an exuberant, active, affectionate and highly intelligent breed that displays an impression of soft curiosity, humorous but agile. It is a natural herder and sometimes a barker but it is not a suitable breed for a guard dog. It will greet strangers with excitement and a lot of barking but will generally give a warm reception.
The Bearded Collie is a quick learner making it a highly trainable breed, although this ability to learn fast also enables it to learn bad habits just as quick if not properly trained and socialized. A kind and persistent training will make the Beardie a very suitable house pet. Training a Bearded Collie requires someone who is calm but firm and consistent. A display of authority is a must when training this dog because it has a tendency to be self-willed and obstinate.
The long thick coat requires a great deal of attention from a dedicated owner. Brushing should be done every day or every other day at the least but total grooming should be done at least once a week. The coat should be sprayed with water before brushing. Brush each layer of the coat meticulously with a steel pin brush to prevent matting. The hairs between the soles of the feet should be trimmed on a regular basis to prevent the dog from slipping. The Bearded Collie is an average shedder.
Like most sheepdogs, the Bearded Collie is a healthy breed in general. However, like most other breeds similar to its size, it is not without a problem. Minor health issues include:
Addison’s disease, the insufficient production of glucocorticoids and/or mineralocoritoids in the adrenal cortex
The Beardie is a fast-growing breed so it is important that the dog receive good nutrition during the puppy months. Do not overfeed or give supplement as this can cause bone problems later.
It is an active breed that requires a good amount of exercise, both physical and mental. An hour of nice jog along the neighbourhood or a very long walk on lead is the ideal exercise. On a fenced yard, an hour of hearty play session on a daily basis will satisfy its exercise requirement. If left alone with nothing to do, a Bearded Collie can display mischievous behaviour.
The Bearded Collie is suitable for an apartment life or to a family with a large house and a moderately sized backyard. It is a devoted breed, showing no signs of shyness or aggression and can get along quite well with children and other animals due to its affectionate, playful and lively nature. Care must be taken when there are small children in the house because the Beardie enjoys rough play and can easily knock small kids down.