Bearded collie enjoying a windy day on the beach

The Bearded Collie, often affectionately called ‘Beardie’, is a dog breed with a rich history originating in Scotland. These energetic and cheerful working dogs were originally bred as sheepdogs in the Scottish Highlands.

The modern Bearded Collie originated from an incident when a ship from Poland exchanged dogs in Scotland, including some Polski Owczarek Nizinny, which were probably crossed with local Scottish sheepdogs, leading to the creation of the first Bearded Collies.

The Bearded Collie is known for its long, shaggy coat, which has a soft undercoat and a hard outer coat.

This double coat provides protection from the harsh Scottish weather conditions. The coat comes in different colours, such as sandy, slate-coloured, reddish brown, and sometimes with white markings. Regular brushing is essential to remove tangles and keep the coat healthy.

The Dutch Bearded Collie Club (NBCC) and other breed associations play a crucial role in maintaining breed standards and promoting responsible breeding. Bearded Collies are very affectionate and adapt well as pets. They are known for their lively and affectionate nature, which makes them suitable for various dog sports such as agility and obedience.

Coat and appearance of this active dog

The Bearded Collie, often affectionately called ‘Beardie’, is a striking dog breed with a distinctive long coat. These energetic and lively dogs have a woolly undercoat and a semi-long outer coat, which gives them protection from harsh weather conditions.

The coat requires regular and careful brushing from the skin down to avoid tangles, which is essential for the coat care of both adult dogs and puppies. The shoulder height of an adult Beardie is usually between 51-56 centimetres for males and 51-53 centimetres for females, making them a medium-sized breed.

They have a slender, athletic build and are known for their lively and friendly nature. Beardies are very active dogs and often excel in dog sports. Their pendant ears and expressive tail tip add to their charming appearance.

The Dutch Bearded Collie Club and other reputable breeders affiliated with the FCI are committed to preserving the health and character of the breed. Thus, attention is paid to hereditary conditions such as hip dysplasia and Addison’s disease. Beardies are known for their great adaptability and gentle nature, making them ideal pets.

Hereditary diseases and disorders in the Bearded Collie

The Bearded Collie, although generally a healthy and robust breed, can be prone to certain hereditary diseases and disorders.

Here is a list of some common hereditary diseases that can occur in Bearded Collies:

  • Hip dysplasia: A developmental disorder of the hip joint that can lead to arthritis and pain.
  • Addison’s disease (Hypoadrenocorticism): A hormonal disorder in which the adrenal glands do not produce enough hormones, which can lead to serious health problems.
  • Autoimmune diseases: Bearded Collies can be prone to various autoimmune diseases, in which the dog’s immune system attacks its own body cells.
  • Eye problems: Includes conditions such as cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy, which can affect vision.
  • Hypothyroidism: A condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, which can lead to symptoms such as weight gain and lethargy.
  • Dermatomyositis: A skin condition that mainly affects young dogs, characterised by rash and muscle weakness.
  • Allergies and Skin Problems: Bearded Collies can be prone to skin allergies, which can cause skin irritation and itching.

The character of the Bearded Collie

The Bearded Collie, often affectionately called ‘Beardie’, is a very energetic and cheerful dog. Members of the Dutch Bearded Collie Club and other friends of the Bearded Collie can confirm that this breed is known for its friendly and playful nature. These dogs make excellent pets and are often a joy to have around the house.

The Bearded Collie has a long coat that requires daily brushing to prevent tangles. This is part of daily grooming and provides an excellent opportunity to build a strong bond with your Beardie. Breeders affiliated with recognised clubs stress the importance of good coat care and health.

With an average shoulder height of about 53-56 centimetres, the Bearded Collie is a medium-sized breed. These dogs do well in dog training and dog sports, where their intelligence and energy come in handy. They are generally easy to train, which makes them suitable for a variety of activities.

At home, most Bearded Collies are affectionate and loving. They adapt well to family life and cope well with loud noises and crowds.

bearded collie walking in the city

The Care of the Bearded Collie

The Bearded Collie is a very special breed, best known for its long, lush coat that requires regular and thorough grooming. Having a Bearded Collie in your home means dedication to their coat care. Unlike a short-haired dog, the Bearded Collie has a long coat that is prone to tangles and matting.

Daily brushing is essential to keep the coat clean, tangle-free and in good condition. A Bearded Collie is an energetic dog that needs plenty of exercise. Regular exercise not only helps maintain their physical health, but also contributes to exhibiting desirable behaviour. Without sufficient activity, they can become restless or destructive.

When brushing, it is important to brush the coat from the skin down to remove all tangles and keep the skin healthy. Ms Willison, known for her role in the development of the breed, stressed the importance of good coat care to prevent skin problems.

As a purebred dog, the Bearded Collie has specific needs, and potential owners should be prepared to put time and effort into caring for their dog. This includes not only physical grooming, but also providing adequate mental stimulation and training.

Socialisation and upbringing of the Bearded Collie

Socialisation and education of the Bearded Collie are essential for developing a well-adjusted and happy dog. From an early age, it is important to expose Beardies to different people, animals, environments and sounds. This helps them get used to various situations and promotes balanced and confident behaviour.

Bearded Collies are known for their intelligent and inquisitive nature, so they generally respond quickly and enthusiastically to training.

Positive reinforcement techniques work best with this breed. Compliments, playtime and treats are effective means of encouraging and rewarding desired behaviour. Consistency in training is crucial; this helps avoid confusion and ensures clear communication between the dog and owner.

As Beardies are an energetic breed, it is important to provide them with plenty of physical and mental challenges. They love activities such as walking, running, fetching and agility training. These activities not only keep them physically fit, but also provide the necessary mental stimulation.

How much experience does a Bearded Collie require

The Bearded Collie is a breed that can be kept by both experienced and inexperienced dog owners, but it does require a specific approach and dedication. For inexperienced owners, the Bearded Collie can be a challenging but also rewarding breed.

Its intelligent and energetic nature requires considerable time for training, socialisation and grooming, especially of the coat. Daily brushing and maintaining the Beardie’s long coat can be a learning curve for beginners.

For experienced dog owners, the Bearded Collie offers an opportunity to apply their skills in training and grooming. These owners will likely already be familiar with the need for consistent training and regular grooming, which is essential for the Beardie’s well-being.

Regardless of experience level, it is important for all owners to understand that the Bearded Collie is an active dog that needs plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. They thrive best with owners who are willing to invest time and energy in their physical and mental well-being.

Is training necessary?

Training is absolutely essential for the Bearded Collie. These intelligent and energetic dogs require consistent and positive training to realise their full potential. Because of their cleverness and eagerness to learn, Bearded Collies generally respond well to training, but they need clear and consistent guidelines.

Bearded Collies have a natural tendency towards independent thinking, which can be challenging during training. It is therefore important to be patient and use a positive training approach, with lots of praise and rewards. This helps to keep their attention and ensures that training is both fun and productive.

Socialisation is also a crucial part of their training, especially as puppies. Exposing the Beardie to different people, animals and environments helps develop a well-adjusted and confident dog.

Besides basic commands, Bearded Collies can also be trained in more advanced obedience, agility and other dog sports. Their active nature makes them suitable for various activities that offer both physical and mental stimulation.

How much exercise does a Bearded Collie need?

A Bearded Collie, known for its lively and energetic nature, needs a significant amount of exercise daily to stay healthy and happy. As an active breed, it is ideal to offer them at least one to two hours of exercise a day. This can include walks, running, playing and other activities that stimulate both their bodies and minds.

Bearded Collies are not only physically active but also intelligent, so mental stimulation is just as important as physical activity. Obedience training, agility exercises and intelligence games can help keep their minds sharp. These activities are not only good for their well-being, but also strengthen the bond between dog and owner.

It is also important to add variety to their daily routine so they don’t get bored. Walks in different environments, meeting other dogs and exploring new places can all contribute to a happy and balanced Bearded Collie.

Consistent and sufficient exercise is essential for controlling the Bearded Collie’s energy level and preventing behavioural problems that can arise from boredom or excess energy.

Bearded collie out on a rainy day

How is it getting along with children?

The Bearded Collie is known for its friendly and patient nature, which makes it an excellent companion for children. These dogs are naturally loving and tolerant, and their playful nature often resonates well with young family members.

Due to their lively and energetic nature, they are often willing to participate in games and activities, making them fun playmates for children. However, interaction between a Bearded Collie and children should always be supervised, especially with younger children.

It is important to teach children how to treat dogs respectfully and gently. This helps to foster a safe and positive relationship between them. Bearded Collies are also intelligent dogs that enjoy learning and participating in dog training, which can be a fun activity for both children and their four-legged friend.

Involving children in dog care and training can help develop a sense of responsibility and empathy in children.

Advantages of a Bearded Collie

  • Friendly and Social: Bearded Collies are known for their loving and friendly nature, which makes them great companion dogs.
  • Good with Children and Other Pets: They are patient and tolerant, making them excellent for families.
  • Intelligent and Trainable: These dogs are smart and respond well to positive training methods, making them relatively easy to train.
  • Active and Energetic: They are perfect for active households and love long walks and play sessions.

Disadvantages of a Bearded Collie

  • Demanding Coat Care: Their long coat requires daily brushing and regular professional grooming to prevent tangles and matting.
  • Requires a lot of Exercise: They need a lot of physical and mental stimulation, which can be a challenge for less active owners.
  • Can Be Naughty: If not properly trained or bored, Beardies can sometimes be stubborn or mischievous.
  • Susceptible to Hereditary Health Problems: As with many breeds, they can be prone to certain hereditary health problems.

How old a Bearded Collie gets

A robust and good-hearted dog breed, the Bearded Collie generally has a good life expectancy. Typically, Bearded Collies can reach an age of around 12 to 14 years.

Price of a Bearded Collie

The Bearded Collie, known for its shaggy coat and joyful demeanor, is a breed that has captured the hearts of many in the US. Here’s what to anticipate in terms of investment for a puppy:

Price Range for a Bearded Collie Puppy in the US:

  • Expected Cost: The price for a Bearded Collie puppy usually falls between $1,200 and $2,500.

Factors Influencing Price:

  • Breeder’s Reputation: Puppies from well-respected breeders, particularly those with champion lineage, tend to be pricier.
  • Pedigree: AKC-registered Bearded Collies command a higher price than those that are not registered.
  • Geographical Location: Expect higher prices in regions with an elevated cost of living.
  • Age: Puppies are typically more expensive, with adult Bearded Collies usually costing less.
  • Coat Color: Rarer coat colors may fetch a higher price.

Price Summary:

  • Standard Range: $1,200 – $2,500
  • Premium Range: Above $2,500 for puppies with exceptional lineage, working capabilities, or uncommon colors

Breeds Similar to Bearded Collie:

For those drawn to the Bearded Collie’s smarts, teachability, and vivacity, these breeds might also appeal:

  • Old English Sheepdog: Known for their playful nature and voluminous coat, with prices ranging from $1,500 to $2,500. They demand considerable grooming.
  • Komondor: Recognizable by their distinctive corded coat, these guardian dogs are priced between $2,000 and $4,000. They have specific grooming needs and characteristics fitting a guardian breed.
  • Polish Lowland Sheepdog: Intelligent and agile with a resemblance in temperament and athleticism, typically priced between $1,200 and $2,000. They are somewhat rarer than Bearded Collies.

Additional Guidance:

  • In-Depth Research: Bearded Collies are bright and active, necessitating consistent training. Confirm their personality and care needs suit your lifestyle.
  • Visit the Breeder: If choosing a breeder, ensure you visit to meet the puppy’s parents and assess the living conditions for health and temperament.
  • Training & Socialization: These dogs thrive with early training and socialization to develop into well-rounded adults.
  • Lifestyle Fit: Originally bred for herding, Bearded Collies need daily physical activity and mental engagement.

Remember: Opting for a pet is a serious, enduring commitment. Selecting a breed that aligns with your lifestyle ensures a harmonious home. Exploring breed clubs or kennel directories may assist in finding reputable Bearded Collie breeders. Alternatively, adopting from shelters or rescues could introduce you to Bearded Collies or similar breeds, providing a loving home to a dog in need.

About the Author: Giovanni

After a dedicated 20-year career as a veterinarian, I now share my passion and knowledge on my blog focused on pet wellness. My experience covers everything from preventive care to treating complex conditions. I strive to provide animal lovers with valuable insights on the health and happiness of their pets, from nutritional advice to behavioral guidance.