Health of the bearded collie here in Norway
A few years back there was definately more varied temperament of the Beardies here in Norway. It varied between hysterical, "over-happy" and Beardies full of stress - to the very shy and nervous ones, even at dogshows.
Luckily it seems like the breeders here have done their job correctly, and it is no very rare to meet any Beardie with that untypical temperament.
In a book published in Norway some years back, it was stated that some Beardies seems to "snap" in 2-3 years of age, and basically go totally "mad". I've never seen or heard about this, though, so I can't understand where they got their information from.
But a Beardie is a relatively soft temperamented breed, who requires a firm but friendly hand in upbringing. They do get startled or even afraid if the owner is too hard on them, so the best advice to correcting them is abosolutely " ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!". That'll say when you see that the pup reacts to you telling him/her off - it's enough. Shouting, shaking them, screaming is totally pointless, and always way over the top.
Several Beardies do have problems with loud/strong noices - like gunfire, fireworks,thunder, etc. The best advice here is (as always) - don't cuddle them when they get afraid. Just pretend like nothing happened, quietly remove them from the "problem at hand", not making any fuss about it, and stay calm.
Keep them indoors at newyears eve, don't press your luck even if you have a dog (of any breed!) that doesn't seem to mind the fireworks with exposing him/her to it willingly. It could be frightened - so why "make" a problem for yourself?
HD (hip dysplasia)
We have fortunately been very lucky with the breed and breeding program here in Norway. We have a very low prosentage of HD (hip dysplasia) - also lower than out neigbouring countries last time I heard the numbers.. This prosentage is around 5-7% of HD on the x-rayed dogs.
The Norwegian Bearded Collie Club recently signed a deal with the Norwegian Kennel Club stating that the x-ray result should be known (officially checked by the NKK) of the parents before allowing the pups to be registrated in the NKK.
The NKK policy is that the clubs cannot demand the parents to be free from this - just have a known degree of this.
But as we has such a healthy breed - there hasn't been a beadie used with HD in some 20 years here (or more).
The degree system is something like this:
A and B is free (A is the better one)
C is mild
D is medium
E is strong
AA (arthiritis in the elbows)
I've lived with a couple of beardies with this problem, and trust me when I say that this is much, much worse than the HD! There are no regulations about checking (xray) for this before breeding here - but I do with all my dogs.
I try not use any of my dogs for breeding if this is not known.(and of course free from this).
But as in all these cases - one have to concider details against details. I would certainly not use a dog that has this - but many countries doesn't x-ray for this, so in that case I wouldn't rule out one otherwize splendid studdog.
In Sweden several breeders have started to xray for this as well, before breeding their dogs. And I'm sure in time we will see that more common over here as well.
The degree system is almost the same as on HD - except that we don't use the "B".
So A is free, C is mild, D is medium and E is strong.
PRA, Cataract, Addison
Known in the breed here, but very, very rare here in Norway. We don't check for this regularly here.
Nail problems, etc
Known on the breed, more frequent than the eyeproblems and Addison, but very little taken into concideration when breeding. It is very painful for the dogs, but not lethal (one could always operate away all the nails...)
It's very easy to detect, and I would not use such a dog for breeding, even if it is very unclear about the hereditary effetc.
"Been there - done that".. Dogs getting really bad teeth before even getting halfway in life.. Before I knew any better, I did use one like that for breeding. And it is obvious that several the pups from this dog has the same problems. So I wouldn't recommend the use of dogs with these problems for breeding either.
A "puppy-bite" is quite common. This is a minor overbite, and one or both of the lower canine teeth touches the gum in the upper jaw. We aren't too afraid of this, as long as the overbite isn't too much, as this will correct itself when the grown up teeth comes along.
Missing teeth is well known, usually the P1's and/or sometimes the P2's. I admit that this is not really concidered much of a problem of most breeders here. But for breeding I would make sure that at least one of the parents have all the 42 whites..
Not really "health", but....
Every once in a while there comes along a beardie with a "glass eye" (light blue, like a Husky). I've never heard that this is any problem for neither the dog nor the owner, so I don't list that as a real problem - except for the showing part of having a Beardie.
Beardies has beein influenced of other pastoral breeds like Old English Sheepdog, Border Collie, Polish Lowland Sheepdogs, etc. These can all have more white markings than the Beardies' breedstandard allow. So it's not really that strange that we every now and again get pups with too much white.
I divide these into:
Whites - all white body (with only a patch or so with the other colour)
White heads - all white heads with only maybe a patch or so around the ear(s)
Half white head - that's white around one eye
Overmarked - too much white in the collar and/or on the outside of the hindlegs (over the hock)
Spots - a white spot (or stripe) on top of the back from one side to the other - usually at the hip area.
It does seem like these different kind of mismarkings doesn't neccessarily connect to each other - so one usually gets one or the other - not more of them combined. I have no studies to back this up, it's just what I have seen during these years as a Beardieowner/breeder.
Anyway - no matter how much white the Beardie has - it still has no health effect to them. They are just as healthy as any other correctly marked Beardie.