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HISTORY

The Bearded Collie, affectionately called the Beardie, was developed in Scotland as a herding dog.  Its ancestors likely included herding dogs from the European continent, such as the Poland Lowland Sheepdog (Polski Owzcarek Nizinny) and the Komondor, blended with the sheep herding dogs of the British Isles.  It was developed as an independent worker, able to make decisions concerning the welfare and safety of their charges without depending on the shepherd who might be miles away.  Flocks in Scotland intermingled freely, yet one Beardie never brought home a wrong sheep during his many years of work.  The Beardie is still used as a shepherd's helpmate in Scotland, and now in the U.S.

 

G.O.  Willison brought the breed to recognition by The Kennel Club of Great Britain in 1959.  Since then, they've wended their way into hearts and homes world-wide.  Following recognition by AKC in 1977, they have remained about midway in AKC registration statistics.  Beardies are rarely half-way about anything, but breeders are happy the breed is middle-of-the-road when it comes to popularity.  Most Beardie breeders take great care in breeding, raising and placing their puppies.  Although a well-kept secret from the general population, they're popular with those who know, with owners often loving two or three or ten!

THE BEARDED COLLIE

A Beardie is a winsome, funny, loving, sometimes silly, sometimes pouty, adorable, curious, persistent creature, in short, close to human.  As puppies, they're much like two-year-old children.  They try out their independence, test their "parents," and are so cute they're difficult to correct.  This is the time good parents must force down the chuckle, give firm, but gentle discipline and then go in the other room to laugh 'til they cry.

Beardies aren't for everybody.  No breed is.  You have to be willing to tolerate if not enjoy -- brushing long hair, wet beards in your lap, and muddy pawprints in the wrong places at the wrong time.  And you HAVE to like bounce.  If you don't, please continue looking.

APPERANCE

The Bearded Collie is a medium-sized dog with long, shaggy hair.  Its body is longer than tall, starting with a kissy tongue and ending with a constantly wagging tail.  As an adult, Beardies may be black (from black to slate), blue (from steel blue, to silver), brown (from dark or milk chocolate to gingery red), or fawn (cinnamon to champagne), usually with white markings to a greater or lesser degree.

TEMPERMENT

Beardies are usually active, outgoing, bouncy, affectionate creatures.  Within the normal range of temperament, they range from low-key, sweet and laid back to rowdy and bold.  Each owner should decide what will fit best with their lifestyle and inform the breeder prior to purchase, so the Perfect Pup can be matched with their family.

 

The breed interacts well with other animals, particularly if raised with them.  Breeders often receive pictures of Beardies playing with tiny Chihuahuas or BIG Wolfhounds ...or even enjoying a "cat" nap with a kitten.  Some tend to be a mite bossy about possessions and hoard all the toys in their den.  Being herding dogs, they will yield to a chase if tempted.

AKC BREED STANDARD FOR BEARDED COLLIES

AKC BREED STANDARD FOR BEARDED COLLIES

Every breed has a Standard, a word picture of the perfect dog.  The Breed Standard depicts the characteristics that make this breed different from every other, in other words, the breed type.  For instance, a Beardie should not be confused with the Border Collie or the Old English Sheepdog.

The Standard for the Bearded Collie covers the ideal size, coat, color, gait, temperament and structure, right down to the shape of the feet and the tail carriage!  To obtain a copy, contact the AKC or the Beardie Parent Club, the Bearded Collie Club of America, noted at the end of this article.