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Bearded Collie

Quick facts

Bearded Collie AKC Group: Herding
Height: Male: 21-22 Inches, Female: 20-21 Inches
Weight: 45-55 pounds
Colors: Black, blue, brown or fawn. White may appear as a blaze, or on the tail tip, chest or feet.
AKC recognized in: 1976

The Bearded Collie, affectionately called the Beardie, gets its name from the long hair under its chin, which flows down its chest, forming a beard.

It is generally believed that the Bearded Collie originated in Scotland in the early 1500s. A sea captain traded two or three Polish Sheepdogs for a ram and a ewe. These dogs were bred with local herding breeds to form what we now see as the Beardie. These dogs were used for centuries in Scotland both to herd sheep and to drive cattle. The term “collie” is thought to also be of Scottish origin, derived from the Colley black faced sheep they were used to herd.

Since the Bearded Collie was such a successful working dog, the owners were reluctant to allow outsiders access to the dog. Eventually though, breeders that were interested in the Beardie as a show dog were able to introduce the dog first to England, and then to the US. The Bearded Collie was recognized by the AKC in 1976.

The Bearded Collie has been known by several other names, including the “Beardie”, the “Highland Sheepdog”, the “Highland Collie”, and the “Hairy Moved Collie”.


Bearded Collie Summary
Affection four paws
Cold Tolerance four paws
Ease of Training three paws
Energy level four paws
Exercise Requirements four paws
Friendliness : Children three paws
Friendliness: Other Animals three paws
Friendliness: Other Pets three paws
Grooming Requirements four paws
Heat Tolerance three paws
Playfulness four paws
Protection Ability two paws
Watchdog Ability four paws

Bearded Collies are not recommended as apartment dogs. They require vigorous and regular exercise.

Bearded Collies require early and regular socialization. They tend to act suspiciously towards strangers, so teaching them what is normal behavior in friendly people will help alleviate those suspicions and teach it to recognize abnormal behaviors if necessary.

This breed does well with older children, but may try herding small children while playing, and its rambunctiousness may be too much for younger children.

The Bearded Collie is smart and playful. However, it is also an independent thinker. It has a clownish sense of humor.

The Bearded Collie does well outdoors in moderate to cool climates, but it prefers to have access to the house and its family. Maintenance of its long hair requires a brushing or combing at least every other day.

Health and Exercise

Bearded Collies have an average life span of 12 to 14 years. In general, they will enjoy an active and healthy life, but some are prone to certain hereditary illnesses/diseases, including:

  • epilepsy
  • hip dysplasia
  • colonic disease
  • Addison’s

Bearded collies require a large amount of physical and mental exercise. A simple walk on a leash is not enough. A long jog or extended workout is best. These dogs are best when they have a job to do, especially herding. Herding trials may be a good option.

Bearded Collie Book

Want to learn more?

Beardie Basics and Beyond: The Complete Guide to Bearded Collies was written by three of the early importers of this breed into the United States. This 285 page book has all the information you need, including Beardie specific health tips, grooming tips, and much, much more!

Or you can search for other books about the Bearded Collie.

Visitor Comments

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