The origin of the Bearded Collie may have come from the Magyar Komondor of Central Europe, however, there is also a theory this breed descended from the lowland Polish Sheepdog. To support this theory, documented records indicate that in 1514, Polish traders brought two lowland Polish Sheepdogs to Scotland. But, it is just a theory that suggests these dogs were then bred with local Scottish dogs to produce the Bearded Collie.
The first documented description of the Bearded Collie breed was not published until the early 19th Century.
The Bearded Collie is an energetic and devoted herder of sheep and cattle in the rough terrain of Scotland. Known as Highland Sheepdog, the Highland Collie, and the Hairy Mou’ed Collie, it was also nicknamed Beardie and is one of Britain’s oldest breeds.
In the early part of the 20th Century, the Bearded Collie just about disappeared. However, after WWII, Mrs. G. 0. Willison, owner of the Bothkennar Kennels was fascinated by the these dogs started breeding them for show purposes. In 1955, she established the Bearded Collie Club in Britain. Once the Kennel Club in England accepted the breed, its popularity began to increase. Bearded Collies were introduced to the United States in the 1950s, but none were bred. It was not until 1967 the first litter of Bearded Collies were bred in the US.
In 1974, The AKC allowed the Bearded Collie to be eligible to be shown in the Miscellaneous Class and in 1977, it was eligible to compete in the Working Group. Once the Herding Group was established in 1983, the Bearded Collie became a breed within this group.
The Bearded Collie’s best known talents include herding, agility, performing tricks and competitive obedience.
Height: The height for a Bearded Collie is 20-22 inches (51-56cm.) Females are just a little shorter than males.
Weight: Bearded Collies weight approximately 40-66 lbs. (18-27 kg.)
Coat Type: The Bearded Collie has a long, shaggy coat which protects against wet and cold weather. The outer coat is harsh and shaggy while the undercoat is thick and soft. The length of the coat is longer on the lower lip, cheeks and under the chin and lengthens toward the chest. This creates the characteristic beard of the this breed. The Bearded Collie is an average shedder. Daily brushing (not combing) is necessary in order to help prevent matted hair.
Color: The color of the Bearded Collie’s coat can be lack, brown, fawn, blue; with or without lighter markings. Tan trim may occur on all colors.
Temperament: The Bearded Collie is an enthusiastic, high-energy, lovable dog. They do very well with children and love to be indoors with family. Bearded Collies are playful, charming, alert and easy to train. This breed is a noisy barker, but is not a watchdog. Bearded Collies are not aggressive or shy.
Health Problems: The Bearded Collie is generally a healthy breed. The most common causes of death among in the UK were old age, cancer, cerebral vascular, and chronic kidney failure. Leading causes of death of Bearded Collies in the USA and Canada were old age, cancer, kidney disease, cerebral vascular, and Addison’s disease. UK and USA/Canada surveys also indicate the median age of a Bearded Collie is 12.8 years. However, the median age for this breed in the UK is 13.4 years while the median age in the US/Canada is 12 years.
Special Interests: The Bearded Collie can be seen in a 1771 Gainsborough portrait of the Duke of Buccleigh as well as a 1772 Reynolds portrait. These portraits are the earliest known pictures of this breed.
AKC: Group 7 – Herding Group
ANKC: Group 5 Working Dogs
CKC: Herding Group
KC: Pastoral Group
UKC: Herding Dog Group
FCI: Group 1 ; Section 1 – Sheepdogs