There is mention of a breed resembling the Bearded Collie in Scottish records dating back to around the sixteenth century. He has long been known in Scotland and Northern England where he was bred for herding sheep.
Some 500 years ago, dogs that were also said to be the forerunners of the Polish Lowland Sheepdog were abandoned on the shores of Scotland and these bred with native herding dogs. A look at the Polish Lowland will show similarities. But the Bearded Collie as we know it today owes most of what we have to G. Olive Willison who, in the 1940s, came into possession of a Beardie puppy called Jeannie. After searching, she found a mate for Jeannie, a dog called Bailey, and her Bothkennar kennels set the mould for today’s Bearded Collies.
The ‘Beardie’, as he is affectionately known, is a hardy dog with a lovable temperament. His handy size and adaptability, combined with workmanlike qualities, have given him a following far outside the farming community. Ideally suited to life in the country, with a double weather-resistant coat and active nature, he is a happy dog, neither timid nor aggressive. Ready to join in any activity, he has an enquiring expression that seems to ask‘ Well, what shall we do now?’ Gentle, and good with children and adults, he makes an ideal member of a fun-loving family.
Vulnerable Native Breed
How much exercise?
Up to 1 hour per day
Length of coat
How much grooming?
Town or Country
Type of home
Minimum Garden Size
Over 10 Years
* If you are asthmatic or have an allergy, you should consult your medical advisor before considering obtaining a dog. More information can also be found on
the Kennel Club website
The Pastoral Breed Group
The Pastoral Group consists of herding dogs that are associated with working cattle, sheep, reindeer and other cloven footed animals.
Usually this type of dog has a weatherproof double coat to protect it from the elements when working in severe conditions. Breeds such as the Collie family, Old English Sheepdogs and Samoyeds who have been herding reindeer for centuries are but a few included in this group.