The Bearded Collie is a medium-sized ancestor of the Old English Sheepdog with an agile body and a number of natural herding abilities. The breed has a sturdy, robust build and a large, broad head that features a muzzle that is equal in length to the back-skull. Their wide-set eyes sit in the middle of their. The eyes are large and full of expression. The eye color generally matches that of the coat: slate-grey dogs have dark brown eyes; brown dogs have brown to amber colored eyes; blue dogs have grey colored eyes; fawn dogs have amber-hazel colored eyes. Their ears are pendant shaped and lie close to the head and their teeth are large and well-developed. The tail of this breed is carried low unless the dog is excited. Bearded Collies have a long, shaggy double coat that consists of a dense, weatherproof outer coat and a thick, soft undercoat. The coat color of a Bearded Collie may change several times over the course of their lifetime. Bearded Collie puppies are usually born with a black, brown, fawn, or blue coat. Black puppies fade to grey. Brown puppies become tan. Blue puppies turn sterling silver. Fawn puppies fade to cream. As the dog becomes older, the coat color darkens again. Final coat colors of this breed are somewhere between the puppy coat and yearling coat.
Bearded Collies are a joyful, springy breed and they are very charming and good-natured. They are lively and playful and make wonderful family companions because of their ability to get along great with children and their stable disposition. Bearded Collies are affectionate and need to be around people. They should not be left unattended without a job to do. Because they are thinkers and are somewhat headstrong and energetic, they need obedience training. They are very trainable and have a number of natural abilities. Male Bearded Collies tend to be more bold and social, while female Bearded Collies have a propensity to be more sensitive and calm. Bearded Collies are noisy barkers but they do not make good watchdogs. They are not an aggressive breed.
Like many other dog breeds, Bearded Collies are prone to hip dysplasia. Their thick coats can conceal external parasite infestation, so it’s important for owners of this breed to check beneath the coat for ticks or irritation. They are a generally healthy breed and typically live for 14 to 15 years. Bearded Collies average 7 puppies per litter.
Bearded Collies are descendants of the Polish Sheepdog that was introduced into Scotland in 1514. The man who introduced the Polish Sheepdog was a Polish sea captain that traded three dogs for a ram and ewe. The dogs were then bred with herding stock to create the foundation for the Bearded Collie breed. Although the herding breed almost disappeared in the early twentieth century, it was saved in 1944 by a mating pair. The Bearded Collie is comparatively rare in the United States. Many believe the Bearded Collie is also related to the bobtail (Old English Sheepdog).
Bearded Collies have a long, shaggy coat that needs daily brushing. Their coat should be misted with water before brushing and mats should be teased out before they become bad. Extra attention should be given to the coat when the dog is shedding. Bearded Collies can be machine-clipped on a bi-monthly basis. The coat should be bathed and/or dry shampooed as necessary. Bearded Collies are average shedders.
Bearded Collies are active dogs that need regular opportunities to run free and play outside. They are not recommended for a small household or apartment. Comparatively active indoors, this breed does best with at least an average-sized yard. Bearded Collies make great farm dogs and are happy to sleep outside. They are used to harsh weather conditions and have no problem adapting to wet, windy, or rugged areas.
These are highly intelligent dogs that must have stimulating mental exercise as well as daily physical exercise. While excellent working and farm dogs, Beardies need human companionship and do not thrive as backyard dogs. They are also renowned escape artists and will let themselves out for a stroll around the neighborhood if their owners fail to do so regularly. Although they are generally friendly with children, Beardies are known for their bounce and can be too exuberant for small children or the elderly.
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