Bearded Collie

Breed History

Bearded Collie

Bearded Collie is a medium sized herding dog that has a special ability to move another animal from one place to another. Strong leadership for this independent dog is necessary and plenty of exercise to help calm them.

True origins for this breed is unknown and nobody would record it for the history books. One of the few breeds that would develop without much human interference looking to breed characteristics into breeds.

Spread throughout Europe you will notice they have a special attachment to Scotland. In Scotland, they were in use to control massive size farmland and the animals that would live there.

Earliest documentation comes from the 16th century in the forms of written word and artwork. 1700’s and 1800’s would show more information until current day.

Going by different names at different times they were the Highland and Mountain Collie before holding the name of Bearded Collie.

Around the 1940’s when most dogs around the world would experience their first taste of distinction because of the World Wars the one place they stood in the biggest numbers were their homeland.

Having enough Bearded Collies made them rare in the fact they could use their own without crossbreeding to gain traction as a breed.

America was one of their last stops and they came in the 1970’s after all of the major wars.

Registration

In 1976, they would receive official recognition from the American Kennel Club while they would have recognition from their homeland for many decades before.

Top 120 in popularity they will most likely stay around this popularity giving the amount of time they have been in the club already.

Herding Dog, or Working dog, by all major kennel clubs that recognize them. Here are the major kennel clubs and their breed standards for this breed.

Size

Male Height: 21-22 inches

Female Height: 20-21 inches

Male Weight: 45-55 pounds

Female Weight: 40-50 pounds

Litter Size

6 puppies are the average litter size for a Bearded Collie. Breeders should be aware of the possible number of incoming puppies they need to care for. Caring for the puppies for eight weeks before selling to a responsible owner is the best practice.

Colors

  • Black
  • Blue
  • Brown
  • Fawn

Price

$1,000-$2,000 is the average price for a Bearded Collie. Prices vary depending on location, currency, supply, demand, and other factors that affect price.

Papers will cost the owner more money because of the strict adherence to the breed standard and the quality of puppy you are getting.

Without papers you can expect to pay a few hundred. When one, or both, parent(s) can’t receive papers it is normally due to crossbreeding at some point.

Grooming

Taking the dog on a long walk or run will start the grooming process the correct way. Failure to use these simple guidelines can result in a wild grooming of an overly excited dog. Removing that energy is the best way to start the process.

  1. Brushing
  2. Combing
  3. Bathing
  4. Ears
  5. Nails
  6. Professional Help

Brush the coat multiple times per week to get the best results. Long coats produce the heaviest time commitment to grooming each week.

Combing is also important and needs to be done multiple times per week to produce the best results. Tools that can reach the skin will be able to brush or comb the entire fur.

Bathe the dog after a long walk or run and the dynamics change. Water hoses now becomes a source of cooling off and hydration when the dog is hot and showing signs of exhaust.

Ears need to be clean once a week to stop frequent infections of the ear. Dirt build up will make this difficult and it is always cheaper to clean the ears while doing other grooming activities.

Trimming the nails should happen during exercise, which we recommend. If the dog doesn’t exercise, which we don’t recommend, cut the nails with clippers or get professional help.

Professional help is a recommendation for this breed.

Life Span

15 years is the average lifespan for a Bearded Collie. That’s a long time for a dog to live and owners should be aware of the time commitment. Excellent adult adoption options due to how long they live. You can get an adult Bearded Collie and still own them for over a decade.

Health Issues

Hip Dysplasia – getting an examination at 24 months of age is a recommendation from their kennel club. If the dog is experiencing problems that make them limp, favor a leg, or disengage from exercise you should get them to the vet right away for an x-ray of the leg bone and hip socket.

Eye Examination – cherry eye, cataracts, glaucoma are all issues that will affect this breed at some point in their life particularly older age. Some issues are mild while others can lead to partial or complete blindness. Exams at the age of 24 months and annually after are the best practice.

Thyroid – excessive weight gain, never ending thirst, and larger than normal appetite are all symptoms that show you that the dog is suffering from a Thyroid malfunction. Proper Thyroid evaluation will rule out the possibility of the dog having this problem.

Elbow Dysplasia – growth outside of the elbow will cause the dog to experience stiffness and cause discomfort when they try to exercise. Don’t overlook this exam for the breed.

Breed Group

Bearded Collies are proud members of the Herding Group. Dogs that can herd move one animal from one place into another. Humans can also herd but whenever economies depend on farming the scale is too big for a human.

Only a dog with a strong will and determination can chase other animals around until they go back into their resting place for the night.

Here are some of the other dogs that specialize in Herding

Exercise Needs

Bearded Collies need a lot of exercise and they need it every day. Depending on the scale of the farms from back home these dogs are used to running and walking for a lot of miles.

Knowing the true nature of this dog, and all dogs, there should be no surprise that they would need a lot of exercise. Owners have a hard time figuring out how much exercise is enough.

True answer is that nobody knows the answer to that question except for the dog and they have a way of showing that they haven’t been getting enough exercise.

Over excitement and bad behavior are the best indicators that the dog is not finding fulfillment in their current routines. Jumping, excessive barking, digging, nipping, biting and other behaviors are a cry for more exercise.

Once you start reaching their daily minimums you will notice that all of these go away and the dog goes into recovery mode in the house and backyard.

Here is a basic recommendation we give clients.

Morning: Hour (run, walk or treadmill)

Evening: 30 mins (run, walk or treadmill)

Younger dogs need a lot of runs and walks every day. Sometimes going it twice per day will finally get the dog calm and this is the biggest working stage of training and exercising a day.

Adult dogs start to see a decline in energy levels around three years old. Single session days will be the usual and most of the training will be on autopilot at this stage.

Senior dogs need only one session a day and they have the lowest energy levels. Still on autopilot you should really enjoy this time of the dog’s life.

Training

  1. Exercise program
  2. Commands
  3. Socialization
  4. Corrections

There is no foundation that is better than a daily exercise program. If you want to train your dog to behave start by addressing exercise head on and don’t move on to other steps until you figure this one out. One thing you can do that makes everything easier or not matter is exercising. Taking the dog from couch potato to covering 365 hours of exercise, one hour per day, will change their behavior. Doing two hours per day, or 730 hours of exercise, will absolutely do the trick.

Commands training will happen in a repetition manner. Practice will make perfect and changing the scenarios are a good way to do the same tricks with a twist. Making them sit in the mall, park, backyard, and kitchen are all different places and you should practice whenever you want the best results.

Socialize the dog after a long walk or run. I want you to understand that before vet visits, dog parks, car rides and other activities the dog needs one hour of running or walking beforehand. Truly a gem when it comes to changing behavior in social settings. Always lead with exercise and everything else gets easier.

Correct the dog verbal, on or off leash. Timing is one of the few things you need to know to make all this work. For example, a dog barks before you get to the yard, not when you’re walking in, or after you leave. Remember prevention is the only mindset when correcting and any later is a waste of time. Ensure that the dog sits or lays after the perfect timing, prevention, is applied.

Additional Resources