Bearded Collie - History & Health

Source: PetWave, Updated on July 16, 2015
Bearded Collie

History

The original history of this humble herding breed has largely been lost to history. However, photographs of the breed date back to the 1770’s. There are several theories about the origin of this breed. Some think it began as a cross between the Scotch Collie and the Bobtail, or Old English Sheepdog, although this is unlikely. Some think that the Beardie descended from the shaggy-coated Polish Lowland Sheepdog and/or the Old Welsh Grey, which may now be extinct. Others put the Beardie’s ancestors as the Icelandic Dog or the Polski Owczarek Nizzinny.

Regardless of its origins, the popularity of the Beardies began in Scotland at the end of the Victorian era, where they were prized as both working and competition show dogs. With the advent of World War I, the breed almost became extinct. By the 1930’s, there apparently were no kennels breeding show Bearded Collies in Great Britain. Fortunately, the shepherds in Scotland continued to highly value and breed their Beardies during this time.

After World War II, several breeders in Britain began to breed Beardies again for show purposes. The Bearded Collie Club of Britain was founded in 1955, and in 1959 the Kennel Club of England allowed Beardies to be shown. Thereafter, the popularity of this breed began to steadily increase.

Beardies were introduced in the United States in the late 1950’s, and they were approved by the American Kennel Club in the late 1970’s as part of the Working Group. They joined the Herding Group in 1983. Perhaps the crowning moment for this breed came in 1989, when a Bearded Collie won Best in Show at Crufts.

Health

The average life span of the Bearded Collie is 12 to 14 years. Breed health concerns may include allergies, autoimmune disorders, congenital elbow luxation, eye problems, hip dysplasia and hypothyroidism.

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