Bearded Collie

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Bearded Collie
Other namesHighland Collie
Mountain Collie
Hairy Mou'ed Collie
Common nicknamesBeardie
Height Dogs 53–56 cm (21–22 in)
Bitches 51–56 cm (20–22 in)
Weight 18–27 kg (40–60 lb)
Coat long double coat with furnishings
Colour black, blue, brown, or fawn with white or tan markings
Litter size 4-12 pups
Life span 12-14 years
Kennel club standards
The Kennel Club standard
FCI standard
Dog (domestic dog)

The Bearded Collie, or Beardie, is a herding breed of dog once used mostly by Scottish shepherds,[1] but now mostly a popular family pet.

Bearded Collies have an average weight of 18–27 kilograms (40–60 lb). Males are around 51–56 centimetres (20–22 in) tall at the shoulders while females are around 51–53 centimetres (20–21 in) tall.[2]

History of the Bearded Collie[change | change source]

Bearded Collie, around 1915

The Bearded Collie's legend is that Kazimierz Grabski, a Polish merchant, traded some grain for sheep in Scotland in 1514 and brought six Polish Lowland Sheepdogs to move the sheep. A Scottish shepherd was so impressed with the herding ability of the dogs that he traded several sheep for several dogs.[3] The Polish sheepdogs were bred with local Scottish dogs to produce the Bearded Collie. It is generally agreed that Mrs. G. Olive Willison founded the modern Bearded Collie in 1944 with her brown female, Jeannie of Bothkennar. Jeannie was meant to be a Shetland Sheepdog, but Mrs. Willison was given a Bearded Collie by accident. She was so interested by the dog that she wanted to begin breeding, so she began looking for a male dog for Jeannie. While walking along the beach, Mrs. Willison met a man who was emigrating from Scotland; she became the owner of his grey dog, David, who became Bailie (also anglicized as Bailey) of Bothkennar. Bailie and Jeannie of Bothkennar are the makers of the modern breed; there are only a few other blood lines, preserved in large part by the perseverance of Mr. Nicolas Broadbridge (Sallen) and Mrs. Betty Foster (Bredon). These are based on Turnbull's Blue—a Bearded Collie from working stock, registered in the International Sheep Dog Society when it still registered non-Border Collies. He bred three litters of Bearded Collies. The breed became popular during the last half of the 20th century—helped, in part, by Potterdale Classic at Moonhill, a Bearded Collie who won Best in Show at Crufts in 1989. The Bearded Collie Club celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 2005. The bearded collie is good natured and is good as a family pet and a working dog and a show dog.

Health[change | change source]

A three-year-old Bearded Collie in Scotland.

Mortality[change | change source]

The average longevity (the age at which half of the dogs has died and half is still alive) of Bearded Collies from recent UK and USA/Canada surveys is 12.8 years. Beardies in the UK surveys lived longer (average ~13.4 years) than the USA/Canada bearded collies. (median 12.0 years). Most breeds have average longevities between 10 and 13 years and most breeds similar in size to Bearded Collies have average longevities between 11 and 13 years,[2] so the lifespan of Bearded Collies appears to be higher than other breeds (at least in the UK). In a 1996 USA/Canada survey, 32% of Beardies died (including accidental deaths) before the age of nine; however, 12% lived longer than 14 years.[4] The oldest of the 278 deceased dogs in the 2004 UK Kennel Club survey died at 19.5 years;[5]

The commonest causes of death among Beardies in the UK are old age (26%), cancer (19%), cerebrovascular disease (9%), and chronic kidney failure (8%).[5] The highest causes of death among Beardies in the US and Canada are old age (18%), cancer (17%), kidney failure (8%), cerebrovascular disease (4%) and hypoadrenocorticism (4%).[4] These are similar to each other.

Morbidity[change | change source]

Bearded Collie owners in the UK said that the most common health issues among living dogs were musculoskeletal—mostly arthritis and cruciate ligament rupture—gastrointestinal (primarily colitis and diarrhea) and urologic diseases.[5] Beardie owners in the US and Canada reported that the most common health problems were hypothyroidism, cancer, Addison's disease, arthritis and skin problems. Morbidity in the two studies is not easily compared, however; the UK report grouped diseases, while the USA/Canada report used more detailed conditions.

More existing breed causes of death for the Bearded Collie include: Skin conditions, such as pemphigus foliaceous and black skin disease, follicular dysplasia, musculoskeletal conditions such as congenital elbow luxation, ocular conditions, such as corneal dystrophy, cataract and generalized progressive retinal atrophy.[6]

Hypoadrenocorticism[change | change source]

Hypoadrenocorticism (also known as Addison's disease) is a disease in Bearded Collies.[7] It occurs when the adrenal cortex produces less then needed numbers of glucocorticoid and/or mineralocorticoid hormones. It affects approximately 2–3.4% of Bearded Collies in the USA/Canada,[4] and causes the death of at least 1% of Bearded Collies in the UK.[5] These are higher percentages than for the average dog population (0.1%), and hypoadrenocorticism causes of deaths among young dogs.[4] Early symptoms are vague and easily mistaken for other conditions. Symptoms include unexplained lethargy, frequent gastric disturbances, or an inability to tolerate stress. With medication, most dogs can live a normal life.

In popular culture[change | change source]

  • The role of Nana in the original production of the James Barrie play Peter Pan was performed by a Bearded Collie.
  • A Bearded Collie named Coal[8] featured in the 2006 film The Shaggy Dog starring Tim Allen.[9]
  • Ralphie, a Bearded Collie, appears in the 2009 film Hotel for Dogs.

References[change | change source]

  1. "How Long Will Your Dog Live". Retrieved 2019-02-28.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "1996 Bearded Collie Health Survey. Presented as part of the BCCA Health Committee Annual Report for 1997–1998. (But report suggests survey was not sponsored by BCCA. Not clear exactly who to cite.). Although called a 1996 health survey, the data apparently come from surveys submitted in 1997 and 1998". Archived from the original on August 13, 2007. Retrieved July 22, 2007.
  3. "NZKC - Breed Standard - Bearded Collie". New Zealand Kennel Club. Retrieved 3 November 2011.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "Purebred Breed Health Survey 2004 • The Kennel Club". Archived from the original on 2013-08-13. Retrieved 2016-05-19.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Gough, Thomas (2008). Breed predispositions to disease in dogs and cats. Oxford, UK: Wiley. p. 23. ISBN 978-1405107488. OCLC 53231203.
  6. Scott-Moncrieff, JC (2014). "Chapter 12: Hypoadrenocorticism". In Feldman, EC; Nelson, RW; Reusch, CE; Scott-Moncrieff, JCR (eds.). Canine and feline endocrinology (4th ed.). Saunders Elsevier. pp. 485–520. ISBN 978-1-4557-4456-5.
  7. Scott-Moncrieff, JC (2014). "Chapter 12: Hypoadrenocorticism". In Feldman, EC; Nelson, RW; Reusch, CE; Scott-Moncrieff, JCR (eds.). Canine and feline endocrinology (4th ed.). Saunders Elsevier. pp. 485–520. ISBN 978-1-4557-4456-5.
  8. Chang, Justin (5 March 2006). "The Shaggy Dog". Variety. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  9. Smith, Neil (27 March 2006). "BBC - Movies - review - The Shaggy Dog". Retrieved 2017-11-03.