UPDATED! Bearded Collie: Breed of the Week
Do Bearded Collies Make Good City Dogs?
Every now and then when you are out and about, you see a dog and think, “Well, that is an unusual looking dog.” That’s my reaction every time I see a Bearded Collie. I am not sure if it’s all the hair or their playful energetic gait, but Bearded Collies are dogs that stick out in the crowd.
Bearded Collies, or Beardies, are one of the United Kingdom’s oldest breeds, dating back to 1514. According to the Dog Breed Info website, legend has it that the breed began when a Polish sea captain made a trade with a local Scottish shepherd. He traded three of his Polish Sheepdogs for a ram and a ewe. The shepherd then bred these dogs with other herding and flock dogs such as the Old English Sheepdog and the Komondor.
The first known paintings of Bearded Collies date back to a 1771 Gainsborough portrait of the Duke of Buccleuch and to a 1772 Reynolds portrait of the peer’s wife and daughter accompanied by two Beardies.
Bearded Collies are medium-to-large-sized herding dogs, who, given the chance, will herd just about anything they can. Like most other herding dogs they have great stamina and can run and frolick for a very long time.
The male Beardie grows to about 60 pounds and stands about 22 inches at the shoulder. Bearded Collies come in a variety of colors and color combinations. They were bred to have long durable coats to withstand the harsh weather of the Scottish countryside. Needless to say, they require regular brushing and grooming.
Ask a Bearded Collie owner what makes these dogs so wonderful and they will say it’s their disposition. They are known for being happy-go-lucky goof-offs.
Do Bearded Collies Bark?
Bearded Collies’ energy and need for exercise make them a questionable choice for urban apartment living. This dog is very active. If not exercised properly you could find yourself with a bored, destructive dog on your hands. That said, if you can devote the time to keeping them engaged, you might find yourself with an Urban Dog.
It is important to train your city dog. You don’t want your pooch to misbehave in your building’s common areas. The good news is that Bearded Collies are easily trained. They score “Above Average” when it comes to understanding new commands. They obey first commands about 70% of the time according to Stanley Coren, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia who studies dog behavior. That means it takes 15 to 25 repetitions for them to learn new commands.
We did a little research on the internet and came to the conclusion that Bearded Collies are a bit on the noisy side. In other words they do tend to bark. Click here for more on Urban Dog’s take on barking.
Click here to visit the American Kennel Club’s page on the breed. And here’s a link to the Bearded Collie Club of America. They can make great Urban Dogs, just make sure you keep them active and engaged.
For tips on how to find a pet-friendly apartment in New York and other cities read Urban Dog’s guide. Big dogs pose a particular challenge, but don’t worry, you can find places that accept large breed dogs.
We’ll leave you with this poster for the remake of Disney’s The Shaggy Dog. In the new version comedian Tim Allen trades places with a Bearded Collie. Look closely and you’ll see the dog has Allen’s eyes. An unusual looking dog, indeed!