The Bearded Collie is a medium sized, hardy dog. He supposedly descends from Scottish herding dogs and has a double, weather resistant coat. The Beardie’s long, shaggy coat requires a lot of grooming, care and attention – every day – to prevent tangles and the accumulation of dirt and debris. Ideally, he needs a house with a garden and access to the open countryside. He should have plenty of regular exercise and opportunities to run free.
Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)
The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 14.9% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'
Effective Population Size - EPS23.91
EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.
Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)
With such a long and thick coat, the Beardie will be uncomfortable in warm weather and should be kept as cool as possible. Hair will grow to cover his eyes unless kept trimmed.
- Hip dysplasia (malformation of the hip joints causing pain and lameness): breed mean score 9.4 (ideally parents should be lower)
- Elbow dysplasia (malformation of the elbow joints): ideally O:O
- Eye disease – annual eye test
Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are now available for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia:
DNA Tests Available
Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA)/Choroidal Hypoplasia (CH)
Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes
Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.
Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)
- Immune mediated haemolytic anaemia (destruction of red blood cells, causing listlessness, fainting, increased respiratory rate, dark urine, vomiting and other symptoms)
- Urinary incontinence
- Hypoadrenocorticism (Addison’s disease) (inadequate production of corticosteroids, causing letheragy and muscle weakness)
- Pemphigus foliaceus (skin lesions) (autoimmune disease)
- Symmetrical Lupoid Onychodystrophy (SLO) (an auto-immune disease affecting claw development)
- Kidney failure
Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.
Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.
You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP): www.puppycontract.org.uk
You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding: