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The Bearded Collie is a bright dog known for its quick wit and vivaciousness. This dog breed belongs to the herding group and is an excellent family companion, working dog, and show dog. The Bearded Collie originated from Scotland, although the history of how it was bred is debatable. Beardies are medium-sized dogs, weighing 45 to 55 pounds and standing at 51to 56 centimetres. It sports a double coat: a shaggy flowing topcoat and a soft and furry undercoat. The Bearded Collie has a lifespan of 12 to 14 years.
Are you looking to own a Bearded Collie? Before you decide, here's a brief background about this smart and active dog breed.
The Bearded Collie is reported to be of Scottish and Polish descent. Although its history is unclear, it is said that a Polish merchant who came to Scotland traded a few Polish Lowland Sheepdog for wares in the 1500s. Later, the Polish sheepdogs were crossed with local Scottish sheepdogs, particularly the Old English Sheepdog, to develop the Bearded Collie. Other reports say that invading armies left dogs with indeterminate breed and were bred to native herding dogs in Scotland.
G.O Willison is credited for creating the breed for the show ring post-World War II in 1944. She formed the Bearded Collie Club in Britain in 1955. The breed gained recognition in 1959 when the Kennel Club granted rights to show for Challenge Certificates and Championships. However, it was only in 1989 when the Bearded Collie rose to popularity when it won Best in Show at Crufts Dog Show.
The Bearded Collie is an athletic-looking dog initially bred as a herding dog. It weighs 45 to 55 pounds and stand 51 to 56 centimetres. A Beardie is longer than it is tall. It has expressive eyes, a broad head and drop ears. The Bearded Collie sports a double coat; a furry soft undercoat and a long and flowing topcoat that is straight, thick and coarse.
The breed is distinctively known for its "changing colours" as many of them have the fading gene. They start out with dark colours at birth which slowly fade after eight weeks and darken again after a year. This dog breed's coat comes in a variety of shades of brown, black, blue, grey or reddish-fawn. Beardies often have white markings on the chest, faces, feet and tips of their tails. Daily brushing is required to keep their long and flowing coats in excellent condition, tidy and knot-free. In the grooming department, the Bearded Collie is a high maintenance dog. They shed heavily once per year in a period of two to four weeks. During this time, it is recommended to brush more frequently to keep loose hair under control.
Don't forget other grooming needs such as oral hygiene and nail care. Teeth should be brushed two to three times a week, even daily, to prevent gum disease and bad breath. Nails should be trimmed to avoid overgrowth and to keep them in good condition. Ears should be checked for any signs of infection such as redness and must be cleaned regularly.
The Bearded Collie is smart, active, independent and stubborn. It tends to be bouncy and jumps up into your face unless trained otherwise. Smart and athletic in a dog is a recipe for disaster for new owners, since dogs with these temperaments are challenging to train. The Bearded Collie is definitely best with firm and patient training, ideal for experienced dog owners.
Bred to be working dogs, they need to be kept busy. Give them mental and physical stimulations such as interactive games. They do well competing in dog sports such as agility and herding. If Bearded Collies do not get enough exercise or are left alone for any length of time, they tend to form bad habits such as excessive barking, digging or chewing.
Beardies are generally good around children and enjoy playtime. This dog breed may be too active for small children and should not be left alone unsupervised.
A typical serving for an adult Beardie is 1/2 to 2 cups of high-quality dry dog food per day that must be divided into two meals. Bearded Collies are active dogs, thus, have plenty of energy to use. Activity level, the dog's size, age and its size will determine the amount of food to serve. As a dog owner, it is one of your responsibility to make sure that your dog is given the right nutrition it needs.
Typical calorie needs of adult Bearded Collie per day:
Bearded Collies are fussy about their food, so they need to be fed a well-balanced diet of lean proteins and fewer carbohydrates. Free-feeding or leaving food sitting out all day will encourage dogs to overeat and Beardies are the same.
The life expectancy of a Bearded Collie is between 12 and 14 years. However, like any dog breed, a Beardie is known to suffer from health disorders. Common health disorders of a Bearded Collie are Hip Dysplasia, Choroidal Hypoplasia Collie Eye Anomaly, Addison's Disease, Haemolytic Anaemia, and Thrombocytopenia.
The Bearded Collie has demanding exercise needs. It requires mental and physical stimulation to maintain a healthy body and mind, at least 60 – 80 minutes of exercise daily. Beardies also need constructive activities such as herding, agility and hiking to occupy his curious mind and satisfy his high energy.
The first thing to know after deciding to want a dog is to find out how much it'll cost. However, having the money to purchase a Bearded Collie is only the beginning. A Beardie puppy will cost you £400 to £500. Pet insurance is another thing, and the cost will depend on the coverage you select. The cost to insure a Bearded Collie will be £20 a month for a basic cover. However, a lifetime cover is double the cost, which is around £40 a month.
The cost to buy high-quality dog food is around £40 - £60 a month. While veterinary costs which include health checks, initial vaccinations, boosters and neutering will quickly add up to £1,000 a year. On top of all this, you would need to factor in the necessary dog supplies and equipment such as collars, leashes, beds, and bowls which may cost you around £200.
Are you sure the Bearded Collie is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
Still not sure if a Bearded Collie is for you? Take our quick Pet Finder for other suggested breeds that may be suitable to your personality and lifestyle.
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