Mathildas Hundar


Blue Merle Bearded Collie
The hottest topic of conversation in the Bearded Collie - world today is the Blue Merle Beardies.

Bearded Collie is right from the start an inbred breed and therefore it has a small gene pool. Which means that breeders have difficulty finding new bloodlines to their breeding and the entire Bearded Collie breeding in the whole world can end with inbreeding. The inbreeding is even more worrying now that the registration figures for Bearded Collies are falling. Therefore, some people believe that we need to add lines from breeds that are closely related to the Bearded Collie in order to avoid breed extinct. 

An English breeder, Kennel Brambledale has started to breed her Bearded Collies with Working Beardies (Beardies that have Border Collie in their ancestry) to get a sound, healthy and herding Beardie. She has English Kennel Club's approval and her dogs are registered now as Bearded Collies, even if it is mixed with Border Collie. 

Because Border Collies have other colors than the Bearded Collie have, it has now been registered Bearded Collies with the color Blue Merle. Hence the name Blue Merle Beardies.

I think that this will destroy more than help the breed and therefore I am against this development of the breed. Firstly, I do not think we need new bloodlines from other breeds. I believe we can maintain a sound and healthy breed by developing cooperation between breeders worldwide. In order to maintain a healthy breed, we need to work a little harder and maybe make some sacrifices as using individuals who are not quite your type appearance but still a healthy Bearded Collie.

The drawbacks I see with mixing Bearded Collies with some other breed, is that we get new blood lines that we know nothing about. Then all breeders has to restart their breeding and all the work breeders done for Bearded Collies during centuries, will be lost.

An argument for mixing the Bearded Collie with Border Collie is to have a working breed. I believe that the Bearded Collie already is a working breed and that we should continue working on this but within the breed. By mix Bearded Collie with Border Collie, you also mix a different ways of working and produces a different kind of mentality.

Other arguments are to get a healthier breed. Which I do not see that we solve with the involvement of Border Collie in our breeding. We get a different temperament and appearance of the breed that is not typical for the breed. Merles does not exist in our breed and will only be produced if a Beardie is mated to a Merle dog. That dog will have Border Collie ancestry and may introduce many health problems that our breed does not have.

I find it strange that an individual Kennel Club can accept that these Blue Merle Beardies register as Bearded Collies when it affects a breed so much. The English Kennel Club should have discussed this with representatives from the Bearded Collie clubs worldwide.

As a breeder, it becomes very important to work together, this affects all breeders in the world. In England they plan to go to the English Kennel Club headquarters to protest with dogs. And those who cannot participate in that protest must write to the UK Kennel Club to protest at the decision to register Merles.

Pictures borrowed from Brambledale Kennel.


I had no idea it existed such thing as Blue Merle in this breed. This was new to me, not the history of the breed, but what is beeing done now. I know far too little about the breed to have any strong opinions on it, but thank you for this very informative post :)

2011-07-20 @ 22:35:29

I totally agree - I do NOT like the fact of mix breeds entering our breed. Then what's the point calling them Bearded Collies if they're not. So many years of breeding spoiled thorough a "whim" - without any studies of health or mentality on these dogs they suddenly think we will do better using them in our breeding? You have GOT to be kidding me!

Shame on the English Kennel Club!!!

2011-07-27 @ 12:46:34
#3: Martine Gsell

Before writing anything, I think facts should be verified first! Merle Beardies WERE present in the breed,but outbred by the first post-war breeders. This is factually proven ( 1912 Standard, used at Mrs Willison's time, and admitted by her as describing her dogs, Mootie, Britt's mother, and numerous quotes by Major Logan..)And the breeders would just have to avoid using merle parents,if they do not want the factor to be reintroduced in the registered breed. As you must know it,the merle gene is dominant, and the carrier shows it..

2011-12-05 @ 12:34:47
#4: Sharon Roche

I agree with Martine Gsell and find the above article to be inaccurate and lacking in knowledge of the breed's history.

2012-02-19 @ 11:27:47
#5: Astrid

Jag vet inte riktigt hur jag hittade din blogg, men jag är glad att jag gjorde det :D. Prenumererar nu på din blogg på BlogLovin'!

2012-03-19 @ 00:38:48
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