Life span: 10-14 Years
Height: 53-56cm (Male); 51-53cm (Female)
Weight: 45-55 pounds
The Bearded Collie is an energetic and loyal dog that will brighten your days with its enthusiastic nature. They especially love bouncing around to show how excited they are, although originally their bounces were put to use to spot sheep, herding them by barking and jumping up and down. Be sure, however, that you are ready for brushing sessions with this hairy buddy!
The Bearded Collie has a strong body, although hidden by its huge amount of hair that covers its whole body. They have arched brows above its eyes and its ears fall loosely, covered with hair. Its teeth are strong and sharp, and its hairy tail is set low on its body with a slight curve at the end and raised when at attention. The eyes can be blue or brown with a blue, black or brown nose. Its double coat is dense, with the overcoat lean, shaggy and harsh to the touch and the undercoat soft and fluffy, falling on either side naturally. Their coat can be a combination of black, brown, light brown, blue or white.
It is believed that the Bearded Collie is a descendant of the Magyar Komondor, two of which were brought to Scotland by Polish traders in 1514. The first known picture as the Bearded Collie as we know it is in a portrait of Duke of Buccleuch made in 1771, with the first written description of them in the 1800s. They were used for herding sheep and getting rid of cattle, becoming a show dog during the Victorian era. They almost became extinct during the 20th century, but Mrs. G.O. Willson saved them by breeding them as show dogs and starting the Bearded Collie Club in Britain in 1995. They were brought to America in 1950 although the first litter was not born until 1967, with the breed being recognized by the American Kennel Club until 1977.
They are known for being obedient and smart, as well as retaining their energetic and athletic nature. This breed tends to get along well with other pets, although its herding instinct is strong and might sometimes take over. The Bearded Collie needs a relatively big yard in order to play and run freely, other than the daily exercise they need. Being left alone for too long is not a good idea for them, as they enjoy spending time indoors or outdoors with their family. Male dogs of this breed are said to be more outgoing than females.
The Bearded Collie is a generally healthy breed, but may suffer from:
Allergies that produce the same symptoms you see in humans, and depending on the cause, different treatments can be used.
Hypothyroidism, a disease that affects the thyroid gland, its symptoms are ear infections, skin infections, hair loss, lethargy, and depression.
Hip dysplasia, a hereditary disease in which there is an abnormal formation in the hip socket, that may eventually cause painful arthritis. It may also be affected by the environment they reside in.
Persistent Pupillary Membrane, remnants of fetal membrane in the eye which tend to disappear on their own. If they persist they may cause cataracts, this can be treated with eye drops given to you by your veterinarian.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), in which the dogs may become night blind at first and progressively lose their day eyesight as well.
Autoimmune diseases, in which the autoimmune system attacks the organs and cells of the body as they would normally attack a disease.
Due to its long coat, they need daily grooming sessions that should only last a few minutes to remove any minor dirt and tangles. They also need weekly grooming sessions that last longer, carefully brushing in order to get rid of dead hair, using anti tangle spray is recommended. Their nails should be trimmed regularly. Their eyes should be regularly checked in order to prevent infections. They need daily exercise consisting of running, walking or playing in a fenced yard with a companion. This breed will not care what the weather might be, as it will always want to play outside. They also love participating in many competitions that include herding, agility, obedience, etc. Training can be a bit difficult due to their independent nature but will be possible with patience and positive reinforcement. They also need early socialization.