Bearded Collie – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Are you a fan of a shaggy dog, Bearded Collie? If so, you should learn more about the breed before you welcome the Beardie into your home. Read on and learn more about this breed.
Dog Breed Group:
Herding Dogs
20 to 22 inches tall at the shoulder
45 to 55 pounds
Life Span:
12 to 14 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

Bearded Collie is a bright dog with a fun-loving personality that charms everyone around him. This is a lively and witted breed, with a strong activity level and need to exercise.

Smart and charismatic, the Bearded Collie is a member of the herding group.

Herding is something that still does, although they are mostly full-time pets.

When treated right, fed with high-quality food, and kept in a happy and healthy environment this breed can live up to 14 years.

Quick Facts

Real name: Bearded Collie
Other names: Highland Collie, Mountain Collie, Hairy Mou’ed Collie
Common Nickname: Beardie
Origin: Scotland
Breed type: Herding Dog
Weight: 45-55 pounds
Height: 21-22 inches (male), 20-21 inches (female)
Lifespan: 12 – 14 years
Litter Size: 4-12 pups
Color: Black, blue, brown, or fawn with white or tan markings
Coat: Long double coat with furnishings

Bearded Collie History

Bearded Collie is most likely from the central European Magyar Komondor or Lowland Polish Sheepdog. Various records show that far back in 1515 two Lowland Polish Sheepdogs were brought to Scotland by Polish traders.

These dogs strongly resembled the dogs that they are today known as Bearded Collies.

Still, this is not something that anyone has managed to confirm so far. Hard evidence on the breed was found in the early nineteenth century when the first description of the breed was published.

These dogs were very active and spend the entire day herding sheep and other cattle over rough terrain and the cold Scottish areas.

After the Victorian era, this breed gained favor as a show dog, only to be used for work after Worl War I. They were busy herding and helping people rebuild tehir farms.

During this period, breeders and fanciers of the breed managed to bring some dogs to England and from there to America. In 1977, the AKC officially recognized the breed.

Bearded Collie Physical Appearance

The Bearded Collie is a breed that is easy to recognize thanks to his shaggy hair. The entire body is covered with a long and shaggy coat – mop like, from head to powerfully muscled thighs.

This is a well-balanced dog when it comes to appearance. The head is alwasy in proportion to the rest of the body, with a nose that is square in shape.

Eyes are expressive and large, and always the identical tone as the coat. Ears are medium size and covered in long hair.

Teeth are strong and come in a scissors bite. Their tail is usually covered with hair that is set low in their body, while the breed has a powerful gait.

The coat is double with a soft and furry undercoat. The length and density of the coat are enough to provide a protective coat. As for the dog shows coat of Beardie shoulD never be trimmed.

The coat increases in length towards the chest, forming the typical beard of the breed. Beardies are born either blue, black, fawn, or brown, with or without white markings.

As they get older, the coat color may lighten, so that black – for example, becomes gray or silver. Pigmentation on the Bearded Collie follows coat color.

Bearded Collie Personality

Beardies are known for being witty and lively. They are smart, active, and can be stubborn when they want. They will also show some independent traits that might surprise you.

This is a highly athletic breed that will demand an experienced owner and a proper training process.

They love working, so you can always think about participating in some dog sports such as herding and agility.

As with any other active breed, if your Beardie doesn’t receive enoguh exercise and attention he might easily develop some bad habits.

When feeling neglected, Berdie might bark, dig, or chew on something.

They may be too active for small children and may nip the heels of running children as if the children were sheep.

This is nothing unusual because this is a herding dog and herding-related actions are deep-set in their genetics.

This is why it’s important to educate your children on how to behave around dogs. Teach them not to disturb dogs while eating, drinking water, or sleeping.

All in, children should know when the dog is resting not to disturb him.

Living With Bearded Collie

All dogs are foodies, but Bearded Collies are passionate choosy eaters. This wouldn’t be much of a surprise if this breed wasn’t so active.

Beardie will demand a good and balanced diet, with occasional treats. Too many treats can lead to obesity, which is already a huge problem across the States.

They thrive on human companionship and when having work to do.

This doesn’t mean that spending time with your Berdie is enough to make him a well-behaved canine citizen. No, next to this you will have to provide proper training and early socialization.

They will bark at every newcomer, while only a few of them will be shy. This dog will demand a fair amount of time when it comes to grooming.

Some owners shave their Bearded Collies to make brushing and overall grooming easier and faster, but they look a bit silly without their distinguished coat.

Bearded Collie Training

Just like with any other dog breed, proper training is mandatory to have a well-behaved dog.

This breed requires an experienced dog owner, who knows how to handle independent and active dogs.

Early socialization should be imperative because it starts as soon as you get your dog.

Once the puppy vaccination is completed, you should start exposing your dog to new surroundings, people, smells, and other animals, especially dogs.

Bear in mind that dog parks are off-limits until your veterinarian approves them.

When you come across another dog during your walk, just inform the owner that your dog is on the regime of receiving the vaccine and that dogs should be close at the moment.

Puppy-proof your home and provide enough toys. Dogs can be trained when eight weeks old, and this is a great period to start with basic commands training and form a well-behaved dog.

If you feel that training your Beardie is too much, think about hiring a professional dog trainer, or attending puppy classes together with your little Berdie.

Since this breed was bred to work out in the field, he is packed with high energy levels, so training and providing enough exercise can be a real challenge.

Make sure that you always do proper research on teh breed before you get a dog, to see if you are a good match.

In the meantime, make training sessions short, frequent, fun, and packed with proper training treats.

Bearded Collie Exercise

The Bearded Collie is an active breed. Owning this breed means that you have enough time in your everyday life to provide regular training, exercise, and even additional outdoor time.

If this isn’t you double think if you are ready to have a dog, because being a pet owner is a full-time commitment.

On the other hand, if you are ready to commit to this breed, you should know that Beardie is a breed of high energy levels, with a need for a minimum of 60 minutes of activity per day.

If the day is rainy you will still have to provide a walk of a minimum of 30 minutes and some indoor playtime.

Don’t force Beardie puppy to go long-distance or hiking, because joints need to be fully developed before a dog can reach his full physical endurance.

Plus, you want to avoid any possible joint and hip injuries. Beardie will be more than happy to participate in athletic events, such as agility and herding.

They are no strangers to winning at obedience competitions. Last but not least, remember that a busy Beardie is a happy Beardie.

Bearded Collie Grooming

You won’t have to spend all day grooming your Bearded Collie, but you will have to invest a significant amount of time into keeping that wonderful coat fresh and clean.

This breed will shed regularly. This means that you will have to deal with some level of dog hair in your house on your clothes, and especially on your socks. However, they are not heavy shedders.

Even if you find dealing with dog hair stressful, you will love that this breed doesn’t smell – now dealing with dog hair must sound less stressful, right?

This can be kept at a minimum if you provide daily brushing. This is why you should have the right grooming tools in your home. The right tools will always help you keep the soft clean and soft.

Brushing is also important because it will minimize shedding and help you keep your house in order. Regular brushing will also add to your connection with adorable Beardy.

Plus, it’s helpful to brush your dog to see if there are signs of fleas, skin irritation, or any skin infection.

You can expect heavy shedding once a year, and on those days you should have a vacuum cleaner on hand. The rest is regular maintenance:

  • Provide regualr veterinienrin check-ups
  • Trim or grind nails monthly, or when needed
  • Check gums weekly and provide food and treats that promote teeth health
  • Learn how to clean dog’s ears
  • Check eyes regularly

Bearded Collie Health

The median longevity of the Bearded Collies is 12.8 years.

Individual dogs may live longer or shorter, which many depend on countless factors, including general living conditions, nutrition, and overall health.

This is why it’s important to only deal with responsible breeders who will only breed healthy dogs.

If you find yourself in a place where the person doesn’t have any medical documentation on the dog, won’t show you the facilities, and says no meeting the bitch and the rest of offspring, know that you are standing in a puppy mill.

This should be more than enough for you to walk away.

Dealing with responsible breeders means that you are dealing with someone who is officially recognized as a trustworthy person to work on breeding dogs.

Plus, these breeders will always screen stock for health conditions such as allergies, eye problems, hip dysplasia, etc. As with all breeds, Beardie is a healthy breed, but during life, some health issues may occur.

This is why regular veterinarian check-ups are important. Prevention is the best key to having a healthy dog in the long run.

What you can do for your dog’s health is to provide high-quality food and proper nutrition. This way you’ll protect your dog from obesity.

Obesity in dogs is on the rise, and you want to avoid your dog gaining weight.

Weight loss in dogs is possible, but you shouldn’t allow extra pounds if you want your dog to live a healthy and happy life.

Bearded Collie Nutrition

The Bearded Collie should do fine on high-quality food. Make sure that you know how much you should feed your dog on a daily level.

Don’t overfeed your dog – always bear in mind that dogs should have a balanced diet, that is packed with fruit and vegetable that are dog-safe.

Learn which human foods are safe for your Fido, and which should be kept away from their reach and stomach.

For hot summer days, you can always make soem treats with cucumber, and for winter night you should avoid feeding popcorn to your dog.

What you eat isn’t always the best option for your dog. If you have any doubts about dog nutrition, make sure that you talk with your veterinarian.

Is Beardie For You?

Beardie is a playful and energetic breed known for his famous beard and ‘Beardie bounce,’ a yo-yo leap that stands for his carefree attitude, Only dogs with a big amount of confidence can have so easy walk.

Some Bearded Collies are more serious than others, but this is overall a playful breed.

Before you get this dog, know that Beardie will demand a fair amount of your time when it comes to exercise and outdoor time.

This is a very sociable dog who can easily become unhappy and destructive if left for a long period of time without companions or even other pets.

Destructive Beardie is something that you want to avoid no matter what. Overall this breed requires a confident owner who will establish and enforce the rules. But… Is Beardie for you?

Beardie isn’t for you if you are not ready for intense exercise requirements, frequent jumping, and destructive behavior following barking when bored.

This breed isn’t for you if you’re not ready to clean dog hair daily. The waiting list on this dog is high and Beardie comes with a high price tag – also something that you should think about.

However, if you are ready to accept all of the listed, and you are fine with having a dog who:

  • Is medium-sized
  • Is athletic and strong
  • Is active
  • Is playful with everyone
  • Is extremely sociable with other animals

If that is the case, a Bearded Collie may be right for you.

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