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What is a Bearded Collie?

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  • Written By: Jacob Queen
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 15 July 2018
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The bearded collie is a Scottish dog breed originally developed for herding. The dogs are medium-sized with shaggy coats, and their color is generally black, gray, fawn, or silver with white markings. Bearded collies can usually see just fine, but the fur on their faces appears to cover their eyes, and this is one of their most distinctive qualities. They are closely related to the Old English sheepdog, and in terms of appearance, the two breeds are quite similar. Like many other herding breeds, they're considered fairly easy to train, and they have an active disposition.

Bearded collies were developed in the 1500s. The original breeds combined in order to create them were probably the Polish lowland sheepdog and komondor, along with the Old English sheepdog. At one time, they were called the highland collie, and they were generally renowned for their excellent herding abilities. The word "collie" is actually just a Scottish term for sheepdog, and the bearded collie has no particular relation to the better-known collie breed of television and movie fame. The dogs are still used commonly for herding, but many of them are also kept primarily as pets.

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These dogs generally live more comfortably when they can get some exercise outdoors. They've been used for centuries as farm dogs, and they’re usually quite happy sleeping outside under the stars. The bearded collie is a rugged animal, and it isn't normally bothered much by foul weather or dampness. They do have a reputation for escaping their confinements, so owners are advised to make sure their fences are in good repair.

The bearded collie is considered a low-maintenance dog breed. The dogs live fairly long lives, and although they do have some potential genetic health issues, none of them are especially common. There is a bit of grooming work involved for owners who want to keep their dogs clean. This is especially true when the dogs spend a lot of time outdoors.

In terms of temperament, the bearded collie is known to be very playful. They're outgoing, and they love to spend time with people. The dogs are usually great with kids, although their playfulness can lead to accidents around smaller children, and parents are always advised to be cautious with any dog. Bearded collies are known to learn very quickly, and owners are advised to give them some obedience training. They will often bark at strangers, but they don't have much aptitude for more serious guard work.

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