There are many similarities between the Polish lowland sheepdog and the bearded collie. Both are fascinating breeds with interesting origins. Both make great herding dogs. They have key differences, however, especially in their personalities. The bearded collie is social, fun loving and affectionate, while the Polish lowland sheepdog tends to be more independent and uncooperative with other dogs.
Comparison of Origins
Bearded collies are an ancient breed. Despite the rumors and stories surrounding their origins, we will probably never know exactly how they came to be. They are an old breed that has naturally evolved over time; the breed is not a recent creation like the golden retriever. Some have suggested that the Polish lowland sheepdog is the ancestor of the bearded collie, but the theories are speculation. Regardless of their origins, both breeds were well adapted to work alongside humans while herding sheep.
Comparison of Appearance
Both dogs have similarities in appearance as well as noticeable differences. The bearded collie has a harsh, rough coat that needs frequent grooming, while the Polish lowland sheepdog has a dense, long and thick coat that needs moderate grooming. The bearded collie is black, blue and brown; the Polish sheepdog is black, brown, gray and white. Bearded collies weigh in around 40 to 60 pounds, and the Polish sheepdog weighs around 40 to 50 pounds. Bearded collies grow to be around 20 to 22 inches tall, and sheepdogs reach 18 to 20 inches tall.
Comparison of Behavior
The bearded collie tends to be of cheerful temperament and gets along well with other pets. The Polish lowland sheepdog is more independent and often doesn't get along with other dogs. Both are good with people and children, but the bearded collie tends to be more affectionate. Bearded collies exhibit more intelligence than Polish sheepdogs and have higher energy. Sheepdogs can handle being and working alone to a greater degree and aren't as clingy. Both dogs are loyal to their people.
Comparison of Function
Both Polish lowland sheepdogs and bearded collies work as herding dogs for sheep. Lowland sheepdogs guard flocks as well as herd, while the bearded collie primarily herds and isn't as effective at fending against predators. Lowland sheepdogs gently herd flocks, often nudging softly or using a piercing stare. The bearded collie usually avoids biting while herding but is known to bark frequently. The bearded collie became well-adapted for the harsh climate of the Scottish Highlands, and unlike some sheepdogs, the breed effectively drives large herds of cattle or other livestock.
Brian McCracken lives in Portland, Ore., where he writes on pets and animal wildlife as well as a wide array of other topics, ranging from real estate to personal development.