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Bearded Collie

Exuberant, active and hardy dog (other names: Beardie, Highland Collie, Mountain Collie, Hairy Mou?ed Collie)

Bearded Collie
origin:Great Britain
life expectancy:14 -15 years
classification:Herding
height:51 to 56 cm
weight:18 to 27 kg
exercise: Demandingtraining: Reasonablein/out: Outdoorgrooming: Needs groomingfeeding: Mediumsize: Medium
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History [ edit ]

Bearded Collies originated in Scotland as tireless sheep herders. It is believed that this breed is a descendant of the Komondor  and of the Polski Owczarek Nizinny (Polish Sheepdog () which was first introduced into Scotland in 1514 by a Polish sea captain, who traded three of his dogs (a dog and two bitches) to a Scottish shepherd for 3 sheeps (a ram and two ewes. It is very difficult to distinguish between fact and legend but the obvious resemblance with the bobtail (Old English Sheepdog)  indicates that the Bearded Collie is in all probability related to it. The name “Collie” is the Scottish word for herding dog, derived from the "colley" or "coaley" black-faced sheep and “Bearded” comes from the long hair under the chin which flows into the chest, forming a beard. This breed is robust, hardy and active, but not massive. The Bearded Collie was bred as an independent worker, hardy and reliable, able to work long hours, stand up to the harshest conditions and capable of making its own decisions concerning the safety  and welfare of its herds without depending on the shepherd’s orders who might be miles away. Hence its stubbornness and unwillingness to obey without question, which have nothing to do with stupidity but solely with a strong personality. In fact  its intelligence is remarkable: The Bearded Collie was capable of taking home the flocks of its master, which in Scotland intermingled freely while grazing, without bringing any wrong sheep.

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General Appearance [ edit ]

The Bearded Collie is a medium-sized, powerful, athletic, herding dog with a medium-length shaggy coat that, parting down middle, follows the natural line of the body. The lean body is longer than high, and has level back. The chest is deep, reaching at least to the elbows. The loins are strong. The ribs are well sprung from the spine but are flat at the sides. The legs are straight and vertical, with substantial, but not heavy, bone and are covered with shaggy hair.The head is broad and in proportion to the size of the dog. The stop is moderate. The muzzle is short, strong and full and from the cheeks, the lower lips and under the chin, the coat increases in length towards the chest, forming the typical beard. The nose is large and squarish. The drooping ears, covered with long hair, are medium-sized and lie close to the head. They have a slight lift at the base when the Beardie is alert. The eyes, harmonious in color with the coat, are large, wide set, not round nor protruding and so soft and affectionate that it is said the Beardie possesses bewitching eyes.The tail is long, low-set, with abundant feathering and carried low with an upward swirl unless the dog is excited. The coat is double. Beneath the dense, harsh, strong and shaggy weatherproof outer coat, free from wooliness and curl, lies a soft, furry and close undercoat. The Bearded Collies come in blue, black, brown or fawn, with or without white markings. The colours may lighten with maturity.

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Temperament [ edit ]

The Bearded Collie is an exuberant, active and hardy dog, full of life and with and amiable personality, neither shy or agressive. Its movement is free, supple and powerful. Beardies charm everybody with their joyous, affectionate, happy-go-lucky ways. A typical characteristic of this breed is its incredible agility. From a lying position they move like a flash when the order is given.  Being a dog bred to be independent and think for itself, it can be stubborn at times, the dogs being generally more bold outgoing while bitches tend to be calmer and more submissive. Neverthless, both males and females need a firm obedience training. The Bearded Collie is very intelligent and adaptable and very trainable for many activities. They are high-energy dogs, excellent companions for active families and splendid with children. They are also noisy barkers, but poor watch dogs. As they need to be with people they should not be left alone without anything to do. When alone, they should be given plenty of toys. Training should be started at an early age for puppies like dig, jump on people and chew things. In short, they are  persistent, curious and fun-loving rogues, master manipulators, extremely adept at getting their own way, but also thoroughly adorable and superb family friends. Besides they are quick to learn as long as the teaching is fun, consistent, and fair.

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Health [ edit ]

Beardies are generally healthy but prone to hip dysplasia. Attention should be paid to their dense coat which may conceal external parasite infestation.

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Dog trivia [ edit ]

The Bearded Collie is sometimes called  “bouncing beardie” because as this breed worked in thick undergrowth on the hill, the dogs would bounce to catch sight of the sheep.
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