The Bearded Collie, or Beardie, as he is known to his fanciers, is a medium-sized, strong, agile herding dog with a shaggy coat and an ever-wagging tail. He is an ancestor of the Old English Sheepdog, and the family resemblance is obvious. The Beardie has a broad head and a shaggy coat all over his body, even under the chin (hence the name "Beardie"). Beneath the dense, weatherproof outer coat is a thick, soft undercoat. The ears lie close to the head and the tail is long and carried low unless the dog is excited. The Beardie is robust, hardy, and active, but not massive. Puppies are generally born either black, brown, fawn, or blue, and lighten with maturity so that black Beardies may range from black to silver, and brown from chocolate to sandy. White often occurs on the tail tip, collar, chest, legs, top of head, and as a blaze, but never around the eyes or on the body behind the shoulders. Tan points may also occur.
The Bearded Collie is a descendant of the Polish Lowland Sheepdog (the Polski Owczarek Nizinny or PON), which was first introduced into Scotland in 1514 by a Polish sea captain who traded three of his dogs to a Scottish shepherd for a valuable ram and ewe. The dogs were bred with local herding stock and this formed the foundation for the Bearded Collie breed. For centuries, the Beardie was used in Scotland as a herder of both sheep and cattle, and was known variously as the Highland Sheepdog, Highland Collie and the Hairy Moved Collie. Collie is the Scottish word for herding dog, derived from the "colley" or "coaley" black-faced sheep. The name “Bearded Collie” comes from the long hair under the Beardie's chin that flows into the chest, forming a beard. The Beardie's lovable personality and appearance make him an ideal companion and family dog. Still fairly rare in the United States, the first U.S. litter of Beardies was whelped in 1967.