What is a Beardie?
|What is a Bearded Collie?
The Bearded Collie is a medium size dog. The standard requires males to be between 21 - 22 inches and bitches 20 - 21. The Beardie is longer than it is tall, and it carries a double coat, i.e. the undercoat is soft, furry and close, and the outer coat, flat, strong and shaggy. They come in four colours: black, blue, brown, and fawn - with or without white markings.
The Bearded Collie or Beardie as it more commonly known is a herding dog that was developed in Scotland. Today most of the Beardies are pet or show dogs, but some are still worked on farms in New Zealand. Beardies were used in Scotland as “huntaways” where they were with the shepherd, behind sheep, or as a drovers’ dog. Thus a Beardie will either fetch or drive. They have the ability to handle most types of stock.
Mrs G O Willison was instrumental in having the Bearded Collie recognized by the The Kennel Club of Great Britain in 1959. The Beardie was first introduced into New Zealand in 1972 by Mrs Elizabeth McConnell when she imported Tambora’s Black Nancy (Imp UK). She followed this by further imports and then in 1974 Mrs Mary Warren imported Beagold Georgette (Imp UK).
Beardies need to be groomed properly and thoroughly at least once a week, except through the puppy shed (which can last between 3 - 4 months), when they need to be brushed upto 2 - 3 times per week. This period normally happens when the puppy is aged between nine months and two years. Most of the dead hair will be removed by grooming.
Beardies need to be trained to lay down when being groomed. When the Beardie is a baby, grooming will only take a few minutes. Let the puppy get used to this routine and slowly increase the time. Eventually most Beardies will accept being brushed and combed when trained in this manner. An adult Bearded Collie coat can usually take upto one hour to groom when only sprayed and brushed, longer of course if they have a full bath.
Beardies have a range of activities they can enjoy. The best is being with the people they love, whether it is in the house, out walking, playing ball, catching Frisbees or just free running and playing.
Most Beardies are suitable and can be trained for activities such as herding, agility, obedience, tracking, search and rescue, and hospital therapy. A fit, busy Beardie is a happy, healthy Beardie. A Beardie must be trained with kindness and firmness. They do not respond to harsh treatment. They have been bred to be independent thinkers.
The life expectancy of a Bearded Collie can range between 12 - 14 years. Many are still active well past twelve years, and so it is not that uncommon for Beardies to extend that lifespan.
Beardies are people oriented dogs and generally love children. They love to run and play, but one should remember they are herding dogs, and as such should not be left alone with young children unsupervised.
Beardies are a reasonably healthy breed and overall enjoy good health. There are a few problems that do occur within the breed and these include hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, autoimmune disease, but they are relatively rare here. Ask the breeder about health certifications and family history.
A Beardie requires, like all other dogs, suitable housing and shelter, when they are outdoors. They require nutrious food, and fresh water should be available at all times. The breeder should supply a complete diet sheet, with the relevant information.
Beardies are active, bouncy, energetic dogs or they can be laid back and low keyed. They appeal to those who like an intelligent, lovable, responsive dog, who can also be the local CLOWN. A Beardie owner should have a sense of humour. Overall they are a FAMILY dog. They must be loved as they are a very people oriented dog. If left alone for any long periods of time, they can make up their own forms of entertainment, which could include landscaping and remodeling. Not always to the high standard required by their owners.