Lean and active, the Bearded Collie is a medium-sized dog with a long, harsh, shaggy top coat that naturally parts to the sides and comes in black, blue, reddish-fawn, slate grey, all shades of grey, brown and sandy with or without white markings. Dogs ideally measure between 53-56cm and females measure 51-53cm. They weigh between 18-28kg.
The 'Beardie' was developed in Scotland from local sheepdogs, particularly the Old English Sheepdog, with a possible influx of genes from the Poland Lowland Sheepdog and the Komondor. Originally, there were probably two types of Bearded Collie dog breed - a smaller, lighter boned herder from the Highlands, and a heavier boned droving dog with a solid black coat from the Lowlands. The modern Bearded Collie breed is believed to be an amalgamation of these two types of herding dog. 'Collie' is a Scottish term for a sheepdog.
The breed is alert, eager to learn and likes being around people. These are gentle dogs who love to be included in all aspects of family life and tend to get along with other dogs and household pets. Strangers will be greeted excitedly with lots of barking but are generally given a warm reception.
As with many breeds, the Bearded Collie can suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia (joint conditions that can be painful and lead to mobility problems) and hereditary eye disorders. Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.
The Bearded Collie is an active breed that needs at least an hour's exercise daily. Beardies love all kinds of games, and have been known to do well at agility, obedience and even tracking.
Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's also important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food.
Grooming is an extensive operation for the Bearded Collie dogf breed, and daily brushing is recommended. It is essential to lift up the coat and get right down to the skin. Just brushing the topcoat is useless and mats will form unless each layer is meticulously brushed through, preferably with a pin brush. Beardies do shed but if groomed properly, will not shed excessively.