Bearded Collies "Beardie" is not a "Lassie" dog
The Bearded Collie is not what most people think of as a Collie. The Books of Albert Payson Terhune set in my mind that a Collie should be what we call the Rough Collie. For other people it was Lassie. Whatever the case the Bearded Collie is only related to the rough collie in the sense that they are both herding dogs.. According to Glenn D. Short in an article entitled Early History of the Bearded Collie the term collie is a word that describes the function of the dog. In other words, the name collie might refer merely to a” herding dog.”
According to Short, the Bearded collie has been known “as the Mountain Scotch Collie, Old welsh Grey Sheepdog, Highland collie, Loch Collie, or the Hairy Moued Collie.” Now we call them “Beardie.”
History of the Bearded Collie
The Bearded Collie may have been around since the 1600’s or earlier. According to Mr.. Short, formal breeding records weren’t kept on herding dogs as they were bred for usefulness rather than show. In the early 1900’s some standardization may have been tried but it would have been for work standards. Mr. Short references the book “The dogs of Scotland,” by D.J. Thompson Gray published in the 1880’s as having the first written descriptions of the breed.
It’s possible the Bearded Collie came from cross breeding with the Polish Lowland Sheepdog. Some records show the dogs brought to Britain in the 15th and 16th centuries.. Another view is that a Polish merchant, Kazimierz Grabski in 1514 traded for some sheep and also bought some Polish Lowland Sheepdogs to help with the sheep. The theory is that other sheepdogs got mixed in and eventually evolved into the Bearded Collie.
Iris Combe, in a study, felt that hill dogs in the north or Britain are traceable to Roman occupation. Mr. Short’s article is skeptical of this theory but notes an”…uncanny likeness of the Bearded Collie to the Egyptian Sheepdog.
Wikipedia relates that Mrs. G. Oliver Willison founded the breed in “1944 with her brown bitch, Jeannie of Bothkenner.” Apparently she had ordered a Shetland Sheepdog but because there was a shortage of Shetland Sheepdogs, a Bearded Collie was substituted. She liked the dog and searched for a mate. An immigrant from Scotland let her have a dog named David that later became Bailie of Bothkenner.
Some think that a strain of the Bearded Collie was developed to work in the Highlands or hill country to find stray sheep on the mountainside. Others would be used as drovers herding the sheep to market. They were probably used for working cattle too.
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Bearded Collie Introduced
The Bearded Collie was introduced as pets in the United States in 1957.The United States the American Kennel Club reported the Bearded Collie as ranking 104 out of 155 breeds in popularity in the United States as shown in Wikipedia.
They can be excellent pets but like most working dogs are high energy dogs. Because of their long hair they need weekly brushing to keep their coat from matting. Some owners keep them in a shorter cut. The Bearded Collie is very loyal and family friendly.
The females may be more outgoing and headstrong while the males are more likely to follow instructions. The female is likely to be the Alpha dog if there is more than one Beardie in the household.
They have an “advanced age of maturity. That means that some puppy traits will last longer and they might have to be trained at a later stage.
The Bearded Collie is a breed of herding dog. It is not a “Collie” in the sense of that famous Lassie was a Collie. Except for the breed of Collie like Lassie collie should be considered a term for a herding dog. Like many other herding dogs the Bearded Collie originated with Scottish breeds of dogs. The Breed was founded in 1944 by Mrs. G. Olive Willison, according to Wikipedia.
Wikipedia article on Bearded Collie
Early History of Bearded Collie by Glenn D. Short
© 2012 Don A. Hoglund
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