The Bearded Collie originated in Scotland and is a herding breed. Legend has it that a Scottish shepherd was impressed with the Polish Lowland Sheepdog that he’d seen that he decided to breed them with some local Scottish dogs to produce the Bearded Collie for its herding ability. There are very few registered bloodlines of Bearded Collie today, but they do exist.
The Bearded Collie is a working dog, bred often to herd sheep and cattle. In the last few decades, the working Bearded Collie has become less common and the Bearded Collie has become a more popular family pet. The breed does make an excellent pet as long as the owner is willing to groom and exercise the dog. Weekly brushing is mandatory, therefore some owners keep their Bearded Collie in a “puppy cut”; this does not eliminate the need to groom, it just reduces the frequency.
The Bearded Collie has been referred to as the “˜bouncing beardie’ because it often bounces to catch the sight of a sheep it is herding when it is in thick undergrowth. It also tends to bounce on its forelegs when it faces a stubborn ewe.
The Bearded Collie typically lives between 10 and 13 years. The most common health issues among Bearded Collies are musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal and urologic. It also may suffer from hypothyroidism, cancer, arthritis, skin problems or Addison’s Disease.
Addison’s disease occurs in at least 2- 3% of Beaded Collies and is characterized by insufficient production of gluticocorticoid and/or mineralocortoid in the adrenal cortex. This percentage may seem low but is much higher than for the general dog population. It is often undiagnosed because it can be mistaken for other conditions. Addison’s disease can be treated; if a Bearded Collie suffers from frequent gastric disturbances, inability to tolerate stress, or unexplained lethargy, it may have Addison’s disease.