Description: The Bearded Collie is a hardy active dog, with an aura of strength and agility characteristic of a real working dog. They are stable and self-confident, showing no signs of shyness or aggression. Bearded Collies have a high level of intelligence and resourcefulness and owners must keep them busy or they will invent things to keep themselves occupied. Beardies are large dogs, very floppy and fun, usually white and grey or white and brown. They are one of the oldest breeds of Europe. An early record of these dogs describes them as “A big rough tousy-looking tyke with a coat not unlike a doormat, the texture of the hair hard and fibry and the ears hanging close to the head.” Bearded Collies actually contain a fading gene that causes their fur to change color a while after they are born. They are born either brown and white or black and white, and gradually their fur changes to a grayish color. A good family dog, their natural instincts of guarding the flock will translate to guarding their family.
Other Names: Beardie, Hairy Mou’ed Collie, Highland Collie, Loch Collie, Mountain Scotch Collie, Old Welsh Grey Sheepdog
Type: Herding Dog
Height: Males: 21 – 22 inches; Females: 20-21 inches.
Weight: 40 – 60 lbs.
Colors: Slate gray, reddish fawn, black, blue, all shades of gray, brown or sandy with or without white markings. Any shade of grey or chocolate. White may appear as a blaze, or on tail tip, feet and chest.
Coat: Flat, harsh and shaggy; can be slightly wavy but not curly; soft, furry, close undercoat.
Temperament: Bearded Collies are friendly, active, willing to work, willing to please, humorous, but can also be independent.
With Children: Yes, outstanding family companion. Very loving family pets. Good with children. May try to herd children with playing.
With Pets: Medium.
Special Skills: Sheepdog and cattle herder.
Watch-dog: High; reserved with strangers but will come around quickly.
Care and Training: Weekly brushing of the Bearded Collie’s long shaggy coat. This will keep it from matting. Mist coat lightly with water before you begin. May be professionally clipped every two months. Bathe or dry shampoo as necessary. Bearded Collies need plenty of daily exercise and the opportunity to run free. Train puppies from an early age not to bark, as Bearded Collies are known to bark at anything anytime. Does well in competition obedience, agility work and herding.
Special Needs: Attention, exercise and grooming.
Learning Rate: High, responds well to consistent training which is firm but not overbearing. Many trainers find Beardies challenging and pleasurable at the same time to train.
Activity: High, needs running space and a job to do.
Living Environment: A home with a fenced yard is essential. An owner of a Bearded Collie needs to be able to take time to groom, train, exercise and socialize them.
Health Issues: Hip dysplasia. Other possible health concerns include allergies, autoimmune disease, hypothyroidism, epilepsy, colonic disease and skin problems.
Life Span: 15 – 16 years
Litter Size: 4 – 8
Country of Origin: Scotland
History: It is believed that in 1514 a Polish Merchant bought six Polish Lowland Sheepdogs in Scotland to herd his sheep, and a man from Scotland was so impressed with the Sheepdogs (also known as Polski Owczarek Nizinny dog from Poland) that he traded some of them for a few of his sheep. The Bearded Collie was developed from the The Polish dogs were mixed with Highland Collies, the native dogs of Scotland, which became known as the Bearded Collie. In the 1940s the breed almost went extinct, but thanks to Mrs. G. Olive Willison and her search for a mate for her female Bearded Collie Jeannie, a litter was produced and thus served to rebuild the Bearded Collie population again. Used as a working companion they would drive cattle and sheep to the market. The first litter to be born in America was in 1967, and in 1977 the breed was recognized by the AKC and CKC. Since then Bearded Collies have served in competitions, as companions, and engaging in their most prominent pastime, herding. These Collies have been well accepted in Canada and the United States.
First Registered by the AKC: 1977
AKC Group: Herding
Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 1), KC (GB), UKC