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Bearded Collie

Bearded Collie

The Bearded Collie or ‘Beardie’ is a lean and active dog. Rectangular in outline being slightly longer than they are tall, with a long, harsh top coat that is never trimmed or styled but naturally parts down the middle.

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for owners with some experience
  • Basic training required
  • Generally healthy breed
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys one to two hours of walking a day
  • Large dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming once a week
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
  • Generally friendly with other dogs
  • Gets along with other pets with training
  • May need additional supervision to live with children
  • Needs a large garden
  • Can live in semi-rural areas
  • Can be left alone with training
Generally healthy breed

This breed can suffer from: 
- Hip dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia 
- Collie eye anomaly which is an inherited condition where the eye does not develop properly, which can lead to blindness. 
- Skin allergies 
- Addison's disease which is a condition where a dog's body is unable to produce a normal level of natural steroid  
- Immune mediated haemolytic anaemia¹ which is a condition where a dog's immune system attacks and destroys it's own red blood cells resulting in anaemia. 

Priority Kennel Club health schemes and testing: 
- Hip dysplasia screening scheme

¹J. W. Swann et al, 'ACVIM consensus statement on the treatment of immune‐mediated hemolytic anemia in dogs', 2019, Journal of Internal Veterinary Medicine 

Key Facts

Lifespan: 14 – 15 years
Weight:  18 – 28kg 
Height:  51 – 56cm 
Colours:  Black, blue, reddish-fawn, all shades of grey, brown and sandy, with or without white markings
Size:  Medium
UK Kennel Club Groups: Pastoral

Ratings

Family-friendly: 4/5
Exercise needs: 4/5
Easy to train: 5/5
Tolerates being alone: 2/5
Likes other pets: 5/5
Energy level: 4/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 4/5
Bearded Collie on the field

Personality

Affectionate, eager to learn and gentle, the Bearded Collie loves being around people, and being involved in all aspects of family life. Typically accepting of other dogs and household pets, they will welcome visitors with delight, and can be quite vocal in their greeting.

‘Enthusiastic’ is an excellent word to describe the Beardie, they approach everything in life with enthusiasm, and very much wear their hearts on their sleeves.

Bearded Collie walking in the forest

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Scotland

As with many working dogs, developed for function rather than appearance, there are a variety of origins for the Bearded Collie. They are however most likely a result of mixing local Scottish sheepdogs with three Polish Lowland Sheepdogs who were brought into the country by Polish sailors in the 16th century. The Beardie quickly became an effective working dog, and unlike other collie types who herd, the Beardie’s particular role was as a droving dog, driving animals long distances from the highlands down to market towns, over sometimes very long distances indeed.

The Bearded Collie was, and remains, an adaptable, clever and hard working dog, capable of independent thinking and extreme endurance.

did you know?

Did You Know?

  • Commonly believed to be descended from the Old English Sheepdog, in fact the Beardies origins are far older than the Old English Sheepdogs and it is likely both owe much to the early Polish Lowland Sheepdogs.
  • In reviving the breed in the 1940s, Mrs Willison, owner of Jeannie of Bothkennar (who almost all modern Beardies can be traced back to) did use some Old English Sheepdog blood to improve her stock. 
  • Bearded Collie’s are quite popular in movies and TV shows and have appeared in “The Shaggy Dog” and “The Brady Bunch”, to name a couple! 
  • The popularity of the Bearded Collie boomed when they won Best in Show at Crufts in 1989.
  • They are known to be quite stubborn, so this is something to bear in mind if you’re considering one!

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