Fans of the Bearded Collie concur that those that aren’t familiar with this particular dog breed only need to get familiar with it. And people who have experienced the way the Bearded Collie bolts across meadows with its flowing fur, how it rolls around filled with energy and joy and the way it carefully and observantly takes into consideration its owners fantasies become simply addicted to the original dog breed and its own distinctive charm.
Bearded Collies is very lively, active and self-assured dogs. Despite their powerful character, they show no signs of aggression or a nervous disposition. By comparison, Bearded Collies are considered sensitive and extremely attentive. Thanks to their high degree of wisdom and well-honed powers of observation, they appear to know exactly how they’re expected to act and want to please their people. Despite the fact that this characteristic isn’t recorded in the FCI’s official breed standard, Bearded Collies can be described as quite adaptable dogs obviously oriented towards people. They execute the tasks that life — and their owners — need of these with commitment but without neglecting their normal personality. Their merry nature seems unshakeable and they frequently bark during play to share their zest for life.
However, they do not especially like loud, shrill noises, so some noise-sensitive Beardies prefer to curl up in a quiet corner during heavy storms. This behavior even gives Bearded Collies the title”trembling wool balls”, but that is unfair. They could be sensitive, but they’re no weaklings and even if they’re frightened by loud noises, this does not mean that they’re unsettled or emotionally thrown off balance. Amongst the descendants of the Scottish herder, Bearded Collies is the only ones adept at both guarding and herding cattle, in addition to watching over and protecting the animals. Up to this day, this strain has shown its inherent attentiveness, but Bearded Collies consistently remains calm, composed and do not reveal any excessive severity in their responses.
Even during their training, they reject strictness and unpleasant orders. Hence, always have a calm and gentle approach if you would like to back them successfully. Gentle Bearded Collies today expresses their thanks as ideal companions for families or single individuals, as they loyally accompany the people in their lifetime.
There is no question that a Bearded Collie will bring ensured joy into your house — but obviously a little bit of dirt on the paws also for good measure. Small sticks or grains of sand get tangled in the long coat through leisurely strolls in the wonderful outdoors. Happily however, the dirt does not stay in for long because of the Bearded Collie’s apartment, quite hard hairs. Sand and forest soil mainly fall from their own accord, whilst leaves and branches may largely be easily removed by hand or using a comb.
Under the long top hair flat based on the standard, even though a small wave can be allowed — the body is coated with a soft, furry undercoat. Despite their full-bodied, shaggy hair, Bearded Collies doesn’t appear plump. According to the FCI’s official breed standard, the hair should on one hand be thick and long enough to offer sufficient protection, but it cannot obscure the natural body shape. The strong, sporty physique should still be recognisable under the full coat. As a former herding dog, the Bearded Collie is a slim, active dog that shows good height with everything else proving unwieldy. Male dogs are around 53 to 56cm in height. At 51 to 53cm, bitches are slightly smaller.
There is little fur around the bridge of the nose, but it is much longer at the cheeks and chin, forming the typical beard. After all, this characteristic hair growth gives the breed the name Bearded Collie, or Beardie for short.
The Bearded Collie is highly diverse in terms of colouring. The base colours of puppies at birth are black-and-white, brown-and-white, blue- or fawn-and-white, whilst adult dogs range from slate grey, ruddy, fawn, black and blue to all shades of grey, brown and sand. Beardies partly have white markings that can appear as a blaze on the face, muzzle, chest, legs, paws and the tip of the tail.
There is little information about the origin of the Bearded Collie. They supposedly descend from the shaggy shepherd dogs from Eastern Europe and Asia that came to England as early as the 15th century with sheep and cattle purchased in their country of origin. In Scotland, the dogs were used to tend and herd cattle. In contrast to most shepherd dogs, Bearded Collies was suitable for patrolling and protecting the cattle from predators and rustlers, hence some shepherds handed them sole responsibility for the herd. Indeed, they appeared so reliable that there were even stories of dogs that were sent alone from the cattle market in London back to Scotland.
Apart from that, however, there isn’t much to find out about this dog breed. This may be due to the fact that the original owners of Bearded Collies were primarily shepherds, who due to their lack of education kept almost no records about their dogs. At the beginning of the 20th century and in the subsequent turmoil of the First and Second World War, there was almost no trace to be found of the hard-working Bearded Collie. The breed was only rediscovered by chance in 1944. At that time, the English dog breeder Mrs. G. O. Willison requested a Shetland puppy but from the box emerged a brown-and-white puppy that the breeder at first thought was a mongrel. Four months later, an old shepherd recognised that the supposed mongrel was actually a Bearded Collie. Mrs. Willison was so taken by her new dog’s lovable nature that she helped the breed make its comeback. She tirelessly sought out a scarce supply of Bearded Collies amongst British shepherds so that she could form a new breeding base. At the same time, she convinced her breeder colleagues of the charm of the rediscovered dog breed and encouraged them to get involved with breeding Bearded Collies.
Nowadays in Germany, the dogs are bred at the Bearded Collie Club e.V.. The BCCD is the first club in Germany that is exclusively dedicated to this dog breed. Renowned dog breeders regularly undergo further training and offer precise guidance to young breeders. Thankfully, most of the BCCD’s breeders stay away from the”contemporary Bearded Collie”. These so-called Show Beardies came about in the course of aesthetic breeding, which downgraded the Bearded Collie to a well-groomed and eye-catching exhibition dog. These overfed dogs had unnaturally long fur and truly suffered with such a heavy coat. Concentrating on appearance also involved changes in the dogs’ nature. Modern Bearded Collies was overly stressed or even competitive.
These days, sensible breeders are dedicated to the”old type” of Bearded Collies, which can be less correlated with beauty competitions and prizes and much more with maintaining a strong, healthy, smart and lively family dog.
Grooming and Housing
What is more, the old type’s medium-long hair is much much easier to groom compared to Show Beardie’s”fashionably long” coat and loses nothing in aesthetic terms. The fur is obviously still long enough for dirt to get caught up in it, but Bearded Collies moulted less than their short-haired pals. As a result of the hair’s level and rough structure, routine brushing every a couple of weeks is sufficient.
Maintaining an active and adventuresome Bearded Collie entertained proves more time-consuming than dressing. Dogs of this breed love long walks which give them the opportunity to move around freely without constraints. If their people have the perfect attitude towards training dogs, they are also able to learn little tricks and have fun with Dog Dancing. Agility or Treibball also bring real pleasure to all true Beardies. Together with motion games, these smart dogs love brainteasers like intelligence games and think-tasks.
Bearded Collies are considered easily trainable; they do not tolerate severity but nevertheless require consistent training. If you dedicate yourself to a Bearded Collie, you’ll be rewarded with a very joyful, adorable and charming dog. Their docile character helps them get along well with other animals, but their people stay number one for them. The many fans of the Bearded Collie agree on one thing: Once you are knowledgeable about the Beardie, you will never forget it.