The Bearded Collie
The Bearded Collie is one of Britain’s oldest breeds. Also known as the ‘Highland Collie,’ this herding breed was started in 1514 when a Polish sea captain made a trade with a Scottish shepherd. For three of his Polish Sheepdogs, the captain received a ewe and a ram. The Polish Sheepdogs were later bred with Komondor and the English Sheepdog producing the Bearded Collie. The Collies came near to extinction during WWII, but in 1944, Mrs. G.O. Willison bred a pair of Bearded Collies leading to the re-population of this breed. They are still considered rare. Recognized by the AKC in 1976, they excel in tracking herding, competitive obedience, agility, tracking and performing tricks.
Bearded Collies are fun loving and full of energy. They thrive on human companionship and love to work. Bred to use their energy, they need to have it directed by their owner as boredom as lack of regular exercise can lead to bad chewing habits, digging and nuisance barking. A good exercise regimen and lots of attention will help keep them out of mischief.
The Bearded Collie has a double coat consisting of a short, soft undercoat and a coarser, straight outer coat that is prone to matting. They are an average shedder, need a daily brushing, as well as a daily heck of coats for debris and matting. Brush and comb before baths to remove mats, which tend to tighten up when wet making them more difficult to remove. Make brushing easier by using a spray on detangling product before the bath. After the bath, fluff-dry and comb out any loose hair.
Teeth, Ears and Nails
Brush teeth at least two to three times a week to remove tartar build up and prevent gum trouble. Check the ears once a week and trim nails weekly or monthly, depending on the dog.
Bearded collies are medium-sized dogs with long, lean bodies with a life span of about 15 years. They are born brown black, fawn, or blue and may or may not have white markings, but the coat color may get lighter as they age. The weight range for both males and female is 40-60 lbs. The average height at the withers for males is 22 inches and for females, 20 inches. Females will produce approximately seven litters with between four and twelve pups.
Before deciding on a Bearded Collie for a pet, here are a few facts that you should consider:
- They need firm handed patient owners willing to take the time to train them.
- They need lots of exercise and attention.
- They demand a high grooming schedule.
- They are prone to hip dysplasia.
- Though generally good with children, some may be too active for small children.
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