The Bearded Collie dog breed was developed in Scotland to herd sheep and cattle in any climate or terrain. Today they function as excellent family companions, show dogs, working sheepdogs, or even all three. Although they are purebred dogs, you may find them in the care of shelters or rescue groups. Remember to adopt. Don’t go shopping if you want to take a dog home. Because of their energy and speed, Bearded Collies are well suited to compete in obedience, rally, agility, and other dog sports. They are very affectionate and can even make good pets for novice dog parents. However, they need a good amount of exercise and prefer a fenced yard to run in. And make sure that fence is secure, because these pups can be excellent escape artists. If you’re looking for a sweet, loyal best friend to keep you on your toes, this may be the breed for you.
Bears do not like to be confined and can become nuisance barkers if left alone frequently. Bears require about an hour of daily exercise in a fenced area where they can run. Beardies can be stubborn, so obedience training is a must. Bearded Collies will bark to warn of approaching people, but they are not guard dogs of any kind. The Bearded Collie’s coat requires weekly brushing, more during the annual shedding season. Some Beardies may react to monthly heartworm prevention. Discuss this with your veterinarian to decide if a daily preventative is best. To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from a backyard breeder, puppy mill or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests their breeding dogs to make sure they are free of genetic diseases that can be passed on to puppies and that they have a healthy temperament.
The Bearded Collie is one of Britain’s oldest breeds. Sometimes called Highland Collie, Mountain Collie or Hairy Mou’ed Collie, shaggy herding dogs of this type existed for centuries as farmers’ helpers. Farmers bred for their working ability and did not keep records, so it is unknown how the Beardie came about, but it is believed that a Polish trader visiting Scotland in the 16th century traded a pair of Polish Lowland Sheepdogs for other goods. Those dogs were probably crossed with local sheepdogs to develop what became the Bearded Collie. The first visual depictions of Bearded Collie type dogs appear in a portrait painted by Gainsborough in 1771 and in a 1772 portrait by Reynolds. In 1818 a description of the breed was published in an issue of Live Stock Journal. Bearded Collies were popular working and show dogs in the late Victorian era, but had no breed club and no official standard (a written description of what the breed should look and act like). The breed was kept alive by shepherds who valued their working abilities and continued to use them as herding dogs. The development of the modern Bearded Collie is attributed to G. O. Willison, who began breeding Beardies for the show ring after World War II. He was instrumental in the creation of the Bearded Collie Club in Great Britain in 1955. In 1959, the Kennel Club granted show rights for challenge certificates and championships. The breed gained in popularity after that. Bearded Collies first came to the United States in the late 1950s, but none of these dogs were bred. The first litter was born in the United States in 1967. By 1969 the Beardie had enough people interested in it to form the Bearded Collie Club of America. The breed was admitted to the American Kennel Club Working Group on February 1, 1977. It moved to the Herding Group when that group was established in January 1983. Currently, the Bearded Collie ranks 104th among the 155 breeds and varieties registered by the AKC.