Bearded Collie (Birdie, Bearded Man)
A bearded collie is one of the oldest breeds in the UK. These dogs have been known to people since very ancient times, which is confirmed by many documentary evidence. One of the first images of dogs such as bearded collies is presented in a portrait painted by Gainsborough in 1771, and in a portrait of Reynolds in 1772. Also, a description of the breed was published in 1818 in the issue of the Live Stock Journal. But, in fact, the breed has more ancient roots, although there are no earlier images of these dogs.
They were also called Highland Collie, Mountain Collie or Hairy Collie. Such shaggy, long-haired dogs for centuries helped in farms, being universal and very useful animals. The lack of earlier evidence is explained very simply – farmers in the Middle Ages did not know how to read and write, respectively, they could not keep any records. But dogs were bred solely on the basis of their useful qualities.
Consequently, there is no exact evidence of exactly how the dogs got into medieval England. But there is a dominant assumption that a Polish merchant who visited Scotland in the early 16th century exchanged a pair of Polish lowland shepherds. They were destined to become the basis for the future breed, which subsequently will be associated with England, but not with Poland.
Probably, the Polish shepherd dogs were crossed with local shepherd dogs and other dogs (which ones are hard to say because for centuries they could cross freely with many breeds), and as a result we got a great dog with very noticeable hair. The bearded collie helped to graze the sheep and even to find the missing, strayed from the herd – to drive them back, the dog barked loudly and jumped in front of such a sheep.
Despite the fact that the bearded collie breed did not have its own club, and they did not have any specific written standard, these dogs were very popular in the Victorian era, and even participated in agricultural shows. The greatest support was provided by shepherds who used these dogs just like a shepherd.
However, the modern bearded collie is a merit of G.O. Willison. After the Second World War, dogs began to be bred for participation in the show ring. This man also played an important role in the creation of the Bearded Collie Club in the UK – this happened in 1955. In 1959, the Kennel Club granted the right to participate in competitions.
A bearded collie is a medium-sized dog with a rich and dense coat that is not usually sheared. The physique is large, the limbs are medium, the head is round with hanging ears. Muzzle with a beard. The tail is short. The color can be slate gray, black, blue, all shades of gray, brown and sand, with or without white marks.
A bearded collie is a dog with a soft and kind character. It is well suited for those people who have never previously had experience with a dog, or such experience is very small. These pets rarely create problems, love harmonious relationships with everyone, and build them with pleasure in almost any environment. There are no exceptions – other dogs in the park, your friends who come to see you, just strangers – the dog tries to make friends with everyone.
They almost never show aggression, the maximum that can be is restraint towards strangers on the street, although upon closer acquaintance, your pet will most likely behave in a friendly manner. Despite the fact that, in terms of character, these dogs are very open and harmonious, in fact, if you want to get such an animal, you should know that it has a very high level of energy.
Therefore, you will need to devote at least an hour a day to active classes, and the pace of your life should correspond to the energy of the dog. After all, if she is bored, then the energy will be directed in the wrong direction. Firstly, a dog may simply begin to attract your attention, and sometimes you may not like the ways it does it. Secondly, it can begin to behave somewhat destructively, but not in order to attract attention, but simply to throw out energy somewhere.
They like to play, they like to spend a lot of time on the street, they love children very much, because for them they are the first partners for games. They have a great understanding with children, including because this breed has a great sense of humor. However, these animals can be very emotional and even quick-tempered, especially when a small child overcomes their threshold of patience. So the child needs to be trained in proper handling, and children under 5 years old should not be left alone with a dog.
A bearded collie is a very smart dog, which always understands when it is being discussed, understands the owner perfectly and can learn a lot of commands. The negative aspects include self-confidence and stubbornness, as well as the tendency to make decisions independently.