The Bearded Collie or
Beardie is a herding breed of dog. Once used by Scottish shepherds, nowadays a
popular family companion and bred for dog shows.
Bearded Collies : Agility and Obedience training
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It is difficult to establish the facts in looking at the history of a breed.
It is held that Kazimierz Grabski, a Polish merchant, bought a cargo of grain
for sheep in Scotland in 1514, and brought six Polish Lowland Sheepdogs to move
A Scottish shepherd was so impressed with the herding ability of the dogs
that he traded a few sheep for some dogs. These were bred with local Scottish
dogs producing the Bearded Collie.
What everybody seems to agree upon is that Mrs. G. Olive Willison founded
today's breed with her brown bitch Jeannie of Bothkennar.
Jeannie was supposed to have been a Shetland Sheepdog, but by mistake Mrs.
Willison received a Bearded Collie instead. She got so fascinated by the dog
that she wanted to start breeding, so she started looking for a mate for her
A man she met one day while walking along the beach was about to emigrate
from Scotland, so Mrs. Willison became the owner of his grey dog David, who was
to become Bailie of Bothkennar.
These two dogs are what we today refer to as the founders of the modern breed
and there are but a few other registerable blood lines.
The breed has become more popular over the last half of the 20th century, in
part propelled by a Bearded Collie, "Potterdale Classic at Moonhill", winning
Best in Show at Crufts in 1989. The Bearded Collie Club celebrated its Golden
Jubilee year in 2005.
Bearded Collies as Pets
The Bearded Collie ranks 104 out of 155 breeds in popularity in the United
States. A Bearded Collie is best obtained from a reputable dog breeder or a dog
rescue, not from a pet store where dogs are bred specifically for profit.
Bearded Collies make excellent pets for those able to accommodate their high
energy level and grooming needs.
Weekly brushing is mandatory to keep their long hair mat-free. Some Bearded
Collie owners keep their pets in a "puppy cut" haircut, which does reduce the
need for brushing, but does not eliminate it.
Bearded Collies are a very high energy breed, originally bred to work in the
Scottish Highlands herding sheep.
Therefore, keeping a Beardie locked up in a backyard day in and day out is
very cruel, indeed. Beardies need daily exercise - the more the better!.
They also prefer to be kept indoors with their families. Bored Beardies are
notorious escape artists. They are also a very vocal breed and will bark at
anything for any reason, especially when excited. Bearded Collies are also known
to be good with children and excel at dog agility trials.
Bearded Collies were used to herd both sheep and cattle. It is essentially a
working dog, bred to be hardy and reliable, able to stand up to the harshest
conditions, and the toughest sheep.
The "working bearded collie" became less so in the last few decades and might
have died out. Thanks to the efforts of a few shepherds such as Tom Muirhead and
Peter Wood and breeders like Brian Plummer the "working beardie" has survived
and is becoming more popular.
It has been exported to Australia and the USA because it is an independent
and intelligent sheep dog. The purpose of the Working Bearded Collie Society is
to preserve the working abilities of the non-registered working dogs from
'bearded' ancestors. The web site Shepherds with beardies contains much valuable
information on the few remaining working beardies.
The KC registered bearded collie has fallen into disrepute with the shepherds
of Wales and Scotland (and elsewhere), because of the show breeders lack of
attention to 'hardy and reliable'. Along with the tendency of show bred lines to
develop excessive coats.
However, in some countries, notably Sweden and the United States, herding
programmes have been developed for the breed. Breed clubs in these countries are
actively encouraging breeders to pay attention to non-exterior qualities.
It is possible the beardie gained the name of 'bouncing beardie' because dogs
would work in thick undergrowth on a hill and would bounce to catch sight of the
sheep or because of the way the beardie faces a stubborn ewe, barking and
bouncing on the forelegs.
The bearded collie is an enthusiastic herding dog that needs structure and
fostering and that moves stock using both body, bark and bounce, should the need
Bearded Collies in Popular Culture
Coal, the Bearded Collie starred in the 2006 Disney film The Shaggy Dog
starring Tim Allen.
In the 2003 film Agent Cody Banks, Cody is filmed in a scene walking a
Please Don't Eat the Daisies, an American television sitcom starring Pat
Crowley (1965-1967) is reported to have a Bearded Collie co-star.
Tiger from The Brady Bunch may have been a Beardie or Beardie mix.
Einstein (a.k.a. Einie), Doc Brown´s pet in the Back to future trilogy, was
a Bearded Collie.
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|my beardie, molly, is a service
dog. she helps me with mobility. it is easier to get gum off your
shoe then it is to separate molly from my side.
|I have a Beardie. I love my
the Bearded Collies