December Dog of the Month – Bearded Collie

It’s here! Our next Dog of the Month. For December, we have chosen our furry friends, the Bearded Collie! The name is perfect for this month – who doesn’t think of Santa’s beard?!

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The Bearded Collie, also known as “Beardies”, are big bundles of pure love, joy and excitement. They get along with everyone! They love staying in the action, and more importantly, they like to have a job to do – just like Santa’s elves. 😉  Outdoorsy families looking for a strong pup to share an adventurous lifestyle will never find a more affectionate and fun-loving sidekick.(akc.com)

 

Now, I know you must be thinking… Our last Dog of the Month blog, the Old English sheep dog – they look the same! Funny enough, their origins are different! The Old English sheep dogs are from England and the Bearded Collies are from Scotland. They do have a few similarities, both are very well known for their intense hair-do’s, happy personalities and they were both bred primarily for herding farm animals. If you want to know more about them, feel free to check out our last months blog!

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Now, back to the bubbly breed of the Beardies! In the past, they were recognized by the name: Highland Collie or Mountain Collie. For centuries, their job was in the Scottish Highlands as herding and droving dogs. Shepherds loved them because they were able to do a hard day’s work in the rough climate and hilly terrain. 

 

 

Before they were in Scotland, there’s some skepticism about where Beardies descended from.  The breed potentially came from an ancient breed, predating the Roman conquest of Britain in the first century b.c. However, its more commonly believed they came from a central European breed, like the Polish Lowland Sheepdogs, which were brought to Scotland in the 1500s. We can’t be 100% sure.

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There are some paintings in the 1700s that included Beardies with some well-to do Scottish citizens. This shows the boost into popularity of this breed somewhere during this time period. Bearded Collies have been all-around farm dogs from the beginning, working livestock and guarding with a strong bark. While working in deep brush, they will do the characteristic “beardie bounce” by leaping high to spot their herd! How cute!

 

Now for a few characteristics. The Bearded Collies known for being smart, active and lively. They are good with other puppies and kids and they can be friendly almost to a fault! They enjoy working and are great at competing in most dog sports including agility and herding. Because of their herding heritage, Beardies are alert and make good watchdogs, barking to let you know that someone is around. They’ll also bark to tell you that they’re happy, excited or that they are in need of some snuggles!

 

Their bodies are usually long and they are absolutely athletic dogs. Some of them take some time to become full grown, and may not reach full size and weight until two or three years of age! Beardies have large, sweet eyes and cute, floppy ears. As mentioned before – they are absolutely known for their beards! 

 

dog teeth cleaningTheir intense hair comes in different colours, different shades of brown, black, blue or grey, with their white markings on their chest, head and paws. Fun fact!  Bearded Collies are known as “dogs of changing colours” as quite a few of them have the “fading” gene. These dog’s coats start out dark when they are born and start to lighten up after 8 weeks. So they could start out almost black and lighten up to a light grey or brown! To protect them from Scottish weather extremes, the Beardie has a flat, harsh, strong and shaggy outer coat and a soft, furry undercoat. 

 

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The Bearded Collie’s overall health, is generally good. However, just like any other breed, they can be predisposed to some health issues as they mature. They can get up to 14 years old! Some of these health issues are: allergies, hip dysplasia and hypothyroidism. Always important to keep up with check ups to make sure your pupper is in tip-top shape!

 

 If you want to perhaps adopt one of these adorable teddy bears, you can always check out the BCCC Rescue Program (The Bearded Collie Club of Canada), on their website they have links to get you connected to your next furry family member!

 

That’s all for this Dog of the Month! Merry Christamas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from all of us at K9 Gentle Dental, from our fuzzy family to yours! Stay tuned for our next one!

 

References: hillspet.com; akc.org; dogtime.com, The BCCC Rescue Program

 

 

 

 

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