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All Dog Breeds >>History of Bearded Collie

It is difficult to distinguish between fact and legend when looking at the history of a breed, but it is believed that Kazimierz Grabski, a Polish merchant, traded a shipment of grain for sheep in Scotland in 1514, and brought six Polish Lowland Sheepdogs to move them. A Scottish shepherd was so impressed with the herding ability of the dogs that he traded a few sheep for a few dogs. These were bred with the local Scottish dogs to produce the Bearded Collie. What everybody seems to agree upon is that Mrs. G. Olive Willison founded today's breed with her brown bitch Jeannie of Bothkennar.[when?] Jeannie was supposed to have been a Shetland Sheepdog, but by mistake Mrs. Willison received a Bearded Collie instead. She was so fascinated by the dog that she wanted to start breeding, so she started looking for a mate for Jeannie. A man she met one day while walking along the beach was about to emigrate from Scotland, so Mrs. Willison became the owner of his grey dog David, who was to become Bailie of Bothkennar. These two dogs are what we today refer to as the founders of the modern breed and there are but a few other registrable blood lines, preserved in large part by the perseverance of Mr. Nicolas Broadbridge (Sallen) and Mrs. Betty Foster (Bredon). These are based on a dog named Turnbull's Blue, a bearded collie from pure working stock registered in ISDS, at the time when ISDS still registered non-border collies. He fathered three litters of registerable bearded collies. The breed has become popular over the last half of the 20th century, in part propelled by a Bearded Collie, "Potterdale Classic at Moonhill", winning Best in Show at Crufts in 1989. The Bearded Collie Club celebrated its Golden Jubilee year in 2005.