Bearded Collie Breeders, Breed Clubs and Rescue
“Collie” is just a Scottish word for any kind of sheepdog and the Bearded Collie has been known as the Hairy Mountain Dog, Scottish Bearded Collie and Highland Collie before arriving at his present name. Whatever the name, he has been known in Scotland from around the 16th Century as a sheepdog and also a useful cattle herder; it is thought that he probably owes a large part of his makeup to the Polish Lowland Sheepdog, to whom there are distinct similarities. It is known that Polish traders were frequent visitors to Scottish shores. One story has it that a dog was traded for sheep, others that the Polish dogs were simply left behind but whatever the facts there is a distinct similarity both in function and appearance between the Polish Lowland Sheepdog and The Bearded Collie breeds.
However, at the beginning of the 20th Century the Border Collie became the sheepdog of preference in Scotland and the Bearded Collie went into decline; were it not for the efforts of Mrs G Olive Willison in the 1940s the Bearded Collie may well have disappeared altogether. Her registered affix was Bothkennar and this is behind today’s Bearded Collies. The Bearded Collie Club was founded in 1955 and the breed was accorded Championship status in 1959 in the UK, the AKC recognising the breed in 1976. Ch Potterdale Classic at Moonhill, Best in Show at Crufts in 1989 showed how incredibly successfully the breed had recovered in only 50 years.
An intelligent, active, working dog the Bearded Collieis a wonderfully successful family dog where he is included in activities and given the opportunity to use his brain and energy. Left to his own devices he will get bored and possibly noisy or destructive. Given the right opportunities he will excel at Obedience and Agility, always eager to please his owners. The temperament of the Bearded Collie is generally excellent, though if left undisciplined they can become a little too lively. All working and pastoral breeds need to have a clear idea of where they stand in the household pecking order and although it would be very surprising to see a Bearded Collie show any aggression, without being dominated they can, like all other dogs, become confused and unhappy about their status.
Their coat is both a joy and a drawback; slate, fawn, black, blue, grey, brown or sandy, with or without white markings, they look stunning when the coat is well-kept and like many coated breeds slightly less wonderful when it is not. If the coat is too much to handle he can be clipped in some very attractive ways; not a purist’s choice, but better a smart clip than an unhappy, matted dog.
Rescue and Rehoming
In the unfortunate event you need to re-home your dog, or you are looking to give a home to an older dog, contact the Breed Clubs for their assistance. It is always wise to speak to people who are expert in the breed so you can get the best possible help.