Web by WMC Corp ABOUT THE BEARDED COLLIE  Collie is Scottish dialect for a dog that herds sheep.  The beardie was bred to be longer than it is tall, as five is to four, for agility and quick turning in the rocky Highlands.  Everyone has a theory about its origins, including the Polish Lowland Sheepdog, and some books say it was around in Roman times.  Most beardie people believe it is related to The bearded collie, or beardie, originated in Scotland, where it primarily herded sheep.  the Old English Sheepdog, but, being smaller, and more agile, was kept to primarily herd sheep while the Bob Tail Collie, now known as the Old English, was used mainly to drive cattle. Registrations died out in England between the two world wars, and the breed was put back together by Mrs. G.O. Willison and some other dedicated people in the 1940's.  The first beardies we know of came to the US in the early seventies, and the first beardie champion, Brambledale Blue Bonnet, became a champion shortly after AKC recognition in 1977 and earned the first Best in Show for a beardie in the US.   The beardie is a loving, friendly, very intelligent dog that learns easily.  Herding dogs need to bond with the shepherd and to learn and retain commands, so temperament and intelligence have always been important traits.  Beardies love being with people, and are, generally, very adaptable.  The herding traits can be a nuisance at times, and a help at others.  They will herd small children, and other dogs or cats.  In fact, they will herd anything!  The kids will never get too far away, but they will try to herd you on every walk.    PERSONALITY  Their intelligence makes them easy to train.  However, they are also smart enough to easily manipulate gullible humans. The beardie will work hard to get you to do what he wants you to do, all the while convincing you it was your idea.  A beardie wants everyone to be happy, and what would make you happier than pleasing your beardie?  They are easily trained, with a firm, but gentle, hand.  However, if you do not become the "alpha," they will fill that void and run the house for you.  After all, someone has to do it.  Beardies get along with everyone, but they love other beardies best of all. They live happily with other breeds, cats, etc.     Beardies are gentle dogs, as herding dogs must be.  They are very empathetic and make wonderful therapy dogs.  They seem to know instinctively what a human needs.  If they can have a personality fault, it would be shyness.  If they are not properly socialized, they could become shy.  Very rarely, a shy beardie might become a fear biter, i.e., not biting out of aggression but out of fear.  A properly raised puppy who gets to meet lots of people and other dogs should never exhibit this trait.  At Ha'Penny, a good temperament is our number one concern, but nurture always plays a part in the personality of both humans and dogs.     We don't really see personality differences between the sexes.  The main difference is size.  However, in our experience, the boys tend to be a bit goofier and the girls a bit more serious.  Who knows, maybe it was the girls who did all the work back in Scotland?  Both sexes make wonderful, loving pets.     The short answer is they are more so than most breeds.  Beardies, like Old English, Bichons and other long-haired breeds, have real, rooted hair, like humans.  Most breeds have short fur, and they shed.  Beardies do not shed.  Their hair will die and come out, especially with grooming, but they do not shed.  This makes them much less of a problem for people with allergies.  Most, but not all, people who might not be able to live with a short- haired breed do fine with a beardie.   ARE THEY HYPO-ALLERGENIC? Beardies are a medium breed, with girls usually about 45-50 pounds and boys a bit bigger.  They look bigger than they are because of all that hair.  They are much lighter than a Golden Retriever or a Labrador Retriever, for example. Beardies have real, rooted hair, just like humans and about 20% of all dogs, like Bichons and Old English.  As our founder Dick Schneider, was fond of saying "Take your choice, vacuum or groom."  Since they don't shed, you won't find hair all over the place.  They avoid the shedding seasons and the vacuuming that comes with it.     SIZE AND GROOMING  Since they have real hair, if it isn't brushed, it will mat up and die. If you didn't brush your hair for weeks on end, it would get tangled and matted and very uncomfortable to live with.  The beardie has that hair all over his body.  You can learn to groom your own beardie, which, with practice, probably takes about one and a half hours while watching TV, or you can send him to the groomer every two weeks or so.  If you let it go too long, your beardie will get badly matted and have to be clipped down.  It is an easy regimen to get into, but, if you don't want to do that, don't get a beardie or other long-haired dog. HEALTH  In general, beardies enjoy good, healthy and relatively long lives.  We used to think 10-12 was "average" longevity; but, with good veterinary care, most beardies live longer than that.  Our record so far is almost 16 and a half, but many of our beardies live to be 13, 14 or 15 years old.  From what we see from other breeders, that seems to be the case for them, as well.  A beardie can get any disease or exhibit any health problem that any dog can get.  So far, though, there is not one particular genetic problem that we have to be especially wary of.  Dick thought that part of the reason for this was that the beardie is a bit of a "mutt" breed.  He felt that, when the registrations died out in England and Mrs. Willison and others had to go up to Scotland to find "beardies," they might have had some mixture of other breeds in them.  After all, a highland shepherd would breed the best to the best, probably not worrying too much about purity of stock.  At any rate, this was Dick's theory about why beardies don't really have some genetic problem that is very prevalent in the breed. Beardies are also still very much working dogs.  Our official breed standard favors proper construction and temperament.  Dogs with good construction tend to have an easier old age.  There are no guarantees in life, but a beardie usually has a pretty happy middle and older age.