Bearded Collie


A medium sized Bearded Collie
Bearded Collie Quick Summary
Also Known AsBeardie
Height (at withers)20-22in (51-56cm)
Weight40-60lbs (18-27kg)
Hair Colour(s)Grey, fawn
Lifespan12-14 years
Energy LevelHigh
Litter size6-8
Barking TendencyHigh
Exercise requirementsHigh
Ease of trainingMedium
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityMedium
Aggression levelsMedium
Distress if leftHigh

The Bearded Collie is a medium-sized, sturdy looking dog. The body has a level back with a deep chest sporting well sprung ribs, muscular hindlegs, strong, shaggy forelegs and a low-set, relatively long and feathered tail. The head has a broad and flat skull with a short muzzle, a large nose, large and wide-set eyes, medium-sized dropped ears and large teeth. The long, shaggy coat is extensive, even reaching under the chin which gives rise to the name, and the colouring tends to be shades of grey or fawn with or without markings.


Bearded Collies are gentle and sociable dogs that love to be around people. As a result they make loyal companions and fine family pets, although as they were bred as working dogs, they require plenty of outdoor exercise. They should not be left alone for long periods of time either as they can grow bored, which can result in excessive barking and possibly destructive behaviour. These dogs are intelligent, eager to learn and highly trainable but they can have an independant streak, which means they are best suited to those with some experience of dog ownership and training. Bearded Collies are suitable only for older, more considerate children as they will not tolerate any rough handling and may also try to herd children and even some adults by heel-nipping. They tend to get along pretty well with other dogs and household pets. These enthusiastic dogs tend to greet strangers warmly, and although this is often to the accompaniement of lots of barking, this means they don't tend to make effective watchdogs.

History & Skills

Bearded Collies originate from Scotland where they were developed from local sheepdogs, in particular Old English Sheepdogs, and Collie is actually a Scottish term for a sheepdog. Originally there may have been two types of Bearded Collie: one a smaller, lighter version used for herding flocks and for huntaways - where the dog and shepherd work behind the sheep and the dog works back and forth, barking continuously to drive out lost or hiding sheep; the other a heavier dog with a black coat that was used for droving in the Lowlands. The Bearded Collie of today is perhaps a mix of the two, and was almost lost until it was revived after the Second World War. The Bearded Collie eventually found its way to England and America, where it became a show dog.

Breed Specific Ailments

Bearded Collies tend to live between 12-14 years and are a pretty health breed on the whole. Some of the health problems that have noted in this breed includes hip dysplasia, epilepsy and cataracts.


Bearded Collies are medium shedders when groomed properly, and so may not be best suited to those suffering with allergies. Their grooming requirements are pretty high, and their long coats will need brushing a few times a week or better still daily to prevent matts and tangles, especially at 9-18 months of age when the puppy coat is lost. The topcoat will need lifting and each layer of hair brushing right down to the skin, and note that tangles are easier to sort out if the coat is damp. The undercoat should be checked regularly for ticks, and the hair between the feet pads should be trimmed regularly and toenails trimmed when required. As with all dogs, the ears should be kept clean and inspected regularly for signs of infection.

Exercise & Environment

Bearded Collies are hardy working dogs that can live outdoors in temperate and even cool climates. As a result they make fine farm dogs and love to be able to run freely off the leash. They are not suitable for small homes such as apartment flats, but when kept as pets they will require some indoor time with their owners. However, these are still active dogs that will need plenty of exercise. A good daily walk is essential, and the chance to run will be greatly appreciated.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

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