San Diego, CA
Bearded Collie - The 'bouncing Beardie'
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© Christine Till
Bearded Collies are one of Great Britain's oldest breeds. They are sheep herding dogs, originating in Scotland. "Collie" is the generic Scottish word for a dog that herds sheep, and the Bearded Collie's long, lean body and agile movement make him well-suited to that task. The breed still herds today, but they are also popular pets. They had once been known as Highland Collie and Mountain Collie.
The most common description that I have heard for the Bearded Collie is "Bouncing Beardie Baby." This describes the general nature of the breed. Beardies are intelligent, active, and energetic dogs with a long, flat, harsh and shaggy coat. They make good members of the family and are good with children. The Beardie is very friendly and likes people, including strangers. This dog thrives on human companionship. Bearded Collies are lively and playful, full of enthusiasm and energy, and popular partners in almost any activity: conformation, obedience, agility, herding, flyball, freestyle, therapy and as just plain friends. Name it, they'll do it - jog, swim, wrestle, do tricks, join in football games. They are smart and obedient, but they are independent thinkers with a clownish sense of humor.
Beardies need lots of grooming. With their long hair, they can track in mud, leaves, and all sorts of unusual materials stuck in their coat. They may just rub it off on you. Beardies like to romp and run ... and jump. Many can easily jump a standard fence (4 feet) and some climb. They sometimes display genius in getting loose. And, Beardies can dig (famous for excavating) so you made need stone under the fence. Some Beardies have a high herding instinct and nip at ankles or eye-level bottoms, trying to bunch their "flock."
So Beardies aren't for everybody. No breed is. You have to be willing to tolerate - if not enjoy - brushing long hair, wet beards in your lap, and muddy pawprints in the wrong places at the wrong time. And you HAVE to like bounce.
For those who don't mind any of the above the Bearded Collie is a winsome, funny, loving, sometimes silly, sometimes pouty, adorable, curious, persistent pet, close and a good friend to his human.
April 9th, 2013
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