Temperament: Smart, Bouncy, Charismatic
- Height: 21-22 inches (male), 20-21 inches (female)
- Weight: 45-55 pounds
- Life Expectancy: 12-14 years
- Group: Herding Group
A boisterous and charismatic droving dog from Scotland, the shaggy-coated Bearded Collie (“Beardie” to his friends) enjoys outdoor exercise in all weather. Bred to be independent decision-makers, they can be willful but are always friendly.
The Bearded Collie is a medium sized dog with a medium length coat that follows the natural lines of the body and allows plenty of daylight under the body. The body is long and lean, and, though strongly made, does not appear heavy. A bright inquiring expression is a distinctive feature of the breed. The Bearded Collie should be shown in a natural stance.
About the Bearded Collie
Standing 20 to 22 inches at the shoulder and covered head to tail in a shaggy double coat, Bear-dies bear a passing resemblance to another British favourite, the Old English Sheepdog. Beneath the coats, Beardies are the more lean and angular of the two. The lavish facial hair shouldn’t obscure the characteristic expression: a dreamy, faraway gaze.
These rambunctious comics can be a handful—but mostly, Beardies are approximately 50 pounds of heart, energy, and laughter. Well-socialised Beardies will get on nicely with other animals and kids. They bore easily, and training must be kept interesting. Outdoorsy families looking for a sturdy dog to share an uptempo lifestyle will never find a more affectionate and amusing sidekick.
NUTRITION The Bearded Collie should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
GROOMING The Beardie grooming regimen consists of two parts. The first is a daily brushing to remove tangles and foreign matter, which shouldn’t take more than five or ten minutes, assuming the dog hasn’t gotten into something messy. The second part is a weekly session with a pin rake, brush, comb, and possibly anti-tangle spray to remove dead hair and return the coat to pristine condition. This generally takes a half-hour to an hour. As with all breeds, the Beardie’s nails should be trimmed regularly, because overly long nails can cause the dog pain as well as problems walking and running.
EXERCISE The Bearded Collie is an energetic, boisterous breed that requires a fair amount of outdoor exercise. Unlike many of their owners, Beardies are happy to run and play outside no matter what the weather. They need some sort of activity every day, whether playing ball; a long walk, run, or hike; or just playing in a large, fenced-in yard or other area with a companion, human or canine. And, of course, being bred to herd sheep, Beardies love to participate in athletic events such as herding, rally, agility, and obedience competitions. A busy Beardie is a happy Beardie.
TRAINING As with all dogs, early socialisation and puppy training classes are recommended. Gently exposing the puppy to a wide variety of people, places, and situations between the ages of seven weeks and four months will help him develop into a well-adjusted, well-mannered adult. Puppy training classes serve as part of the socialisation process and help the owner learn to recognise and avert certain undesired behaviours that may be developing. Like many other Herding breeds, the Beardie was bred to work out in the field on his own without any direction from people. This independent (some would say stubborn) streak can make training a challenge, but patient owners will eventually succeed in winning over their Beardies using positive reinforcement – and lots of treats.
HEALTH The Beardie is a sturdy breed, and responsible breeders screen their breeding stock for health conditions such as hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, autoimmune diseases, allergies, and eye problems. As with all breeds, a Beardie’s ears should be checked regularly to remove foreign matter and avoid a buildup of wax, and the teeth brushed daily.
Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:
- Hip Evaluation
- Ophthalmologist Evaluation
- Thyroid Evaluation