The Bearded Collie - "Beardie"

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Bearded Collie
Weight: 45 — 55 lbs
Height: 20” — 22”
AKC Rank 2008 #107
Lifespan: 12—14 yrs
Group: Terrier
Origin: Scotland

A handsome "Beardie"
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Dog Breed Info - Bearded Collie

Breed Overview

1800’s. Original function: Sheep herding. Today: Herding trials, Companion.

The Bearded Collies originated from the Polish Sheepdog in Scotland back in the 1500’s. The dog looks something like the Old English Sheepdog, only smaller. The dog is a mix of breeds from other herding dogs, resulting in the dog we know today as the “Beardie.” These dogs were tireless herders of sheep and cattle for hundreds of years . The Beardie is not aggressive, but rather is a loving, friendly breed that seems to get along with most everyone and enjoys life to the fullest. As a result, the Bearded Collie became a favorite as a household companion dog and became more popular living with the family than out working the fields of cattle and sheep However, this is a rugged dog, capable of withstanding harsh weather and rough terrain in cold Scotland while herding. There were two strains—the Border strain with a brown and white with a wavy coat and the Highland strain that had a grey and white coat have since been inbred and merged into one breed. After WWI the Beardie was bred again, this time solely for work. Eventually, outsiders were able to bring Beardies to England and America and into the show rings. The AKC registered the breed in 1977 where it remains popular as a show dog, in herding dog trials and as a companion dog. For some reason, it’s popularity has been slow to increase.

The dog’s name comes from the excessively long hair under the chin, thus “Bearded” Collie, much like the Schnauzer.


The Beardie is readily trainable, even, in agility, and is eager to please. They learns fairly fast. Because this dog has so much energy and is so excitable, it is very necessary that he be trained at an early age in obedience. He needs a dominant trainer and owner, as he can become stubborn and headstrong if he thinks he is getting to be a pack leader in the household hierarchy. Use clicker training with this dog and positive reinforcement works along with the clicker to get the job done.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your Bearded Collie? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

Bearded Collie puppies are generally pretty easy to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.


This is a happy, lively, sometimes boisterous breed. Often referred to as the “Beardie,” this dog is all over the place looking for someone to play with, tail wagging, back end swaying. If you want an enthusiastic, sometimes silly, funny pooch, the Bearded Collie is for you. He is smart, responsive and obedient to commands once he’s learned them. The Beardie is an independent thinker with a clownish sense of humor. He’s normally good with children, especially if raised with them, although not necessary, and bonds very close to the family as a whole. This is a great companion and family pet.

If you happen to get a Bearded Collie with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

The Beardie begging
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Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Can be wary of some dogs but generally get along with most. May pick and choose their dog friends as all terriers do.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

.Somewhat accepting of pets as long as they are not hamsters or anything looking like a rodent. Terriers destroy rodents. Introduce your Beardie to cats and other dogs on common turf and slowly for best results.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Pretty friendly. A but wary of some strangers, a little standoffish, but warms up quickly once introduced. Bring on the relatives, neighbors and friends. Your Bearded Collie will happily join the backyard barbecue, tail a-wagging!


Yes. Very playful. One of the more playful terriers. The Beardie gets so worked up he gets silly and humorous, a bundle of furry energy just showing off.


Yes., Very affectionate dog. Loves family, wants to be at the center of things and is loyal. Will curl up on the couch or at your feet when the chores are done.

Good with children

Yes, likes and is tolerant of children but be careful. The Beardie might be too rambunctious for small kids. Children 6 or 7 and up will enjoy playing,. Running and romping with the dog. The dog loves to play and run which makes him a good companion for well-mannered kids. One caution—The Bearded Collie is a herding dog and may try to herd the children by nipping at their heels when they run. It’s his instinct.

Good with Seniors over 65?

No. Needs too much outdoor exercise and activity.

Living environment

House with a doggie door and large size fenced yard where the Bearded Collie can sniff, roam explore and play vigorous games of fetch for exercise. OR, a farm would be fine too.

This dog is not suited to apartment living. He’s just too active. He belongs with active, outdoor families that like camping, hiking and traveling.

The dog has a heavy coat and can stand bad, harsh weather but needs to be indoors to be with his family and socialize. It’s not fair to lock the dog out and away from his people.

Bearded Collie in a big hurry
Photo showing a Bearded Collie running in a big rush to get somewhere.

Energy level

High energy.

Exercise needs, daily

High. Take the Bearded Collie out jogging. Or, two long walks daily. Or, play a brisk game fetch with a ball or Frisbee twice a day. The dog must get his exercise in or he will become destructive and frustrated.


Fairly good watchdog. They have a loud bark and will announce anything out of the ordinary.

Guard dog

No. The breed is too friendly to kill an intruder. He might get a little aggressive toward someone trying to harm one of his family but this breed in not known as a true guardian and intruder-killer.


None to very little.


The Beardie has a long coat that should be brushed nearly every day. Use a medium to stiff bristle brush from your pet store. It tangles and mats if not maintained.

Wash the beard under the chin after EACH meal. Food hardens in the beard and you’ve got a real mess if you don’t keep up with it!

Bearded Collie Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for Beardie puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been VERY well socialized and started in obedience training. It's not often that Beardie puppies turn up in dog pounds and shelters.
Bearded Collie Breeders with puppies for sale.

Bearded Collie Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an older dog and are looking for a rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - Bearded Collie Rescue At the time of this writing, Petfinder is listing only 34 of this breed as available to adopt. That number is subject to change,m of course.
Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site but there don't appear to be very many available for adoption. Check online under Bearded Collie Rescue groups and try kennels and foster homes too. You're bound to find some great dog to adopt!

Health Issues For The Bearded Collie
Below are the illnesses or medical problems listed for the Beardie by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are medical issues this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • Hip dysplasia - Hind end limping, back leg acts lame. Wear and time causes the femur to fit poorly into the pelvic socket with improper rotation causing great pain, lameness, arthritis and difficulty walking in the Bearded Collie. You may notice the dog “hopping”” like a rabbit when running plus hesitating to climb stairs, all due to pain in the hind quarters. The problem actually starts as a very young puppy with an abnormal formation of the hip joint and grows progressively. A vet can locate this with a diagnostics test.

  • Corneal Dystrophy—An inherited disease of the eye. A fluid buildup causing the outer part of the cornea to appear white and move inward toward the center.. A very painful and difficult to treat ulcer will develop.

  • Epilepsy—A serious seizure disorder that usually appears at around 2 to 4 or 5 years of age in the dog.

  • Colonic disease - Inflammatory bowel disease in the large intestine.

  • Elbow luxation—A dislocated elbow joint affecting the front legs and causing a painful, lame front leg for the Bearded Collie. Usually caused by a trauma to the joint such as falling or fighting with another dog or some form of physical abuse. Symptoms: A lame leg, carrying the leg bent, swelling at the front knee joint. See your vet for treatment or the dog will eventually lose the leg.

  • Pemphigus foliaceus - Found in dogs such as the Akita and Collie. A severe skin disease characterized by ulcers and crusting around the eyes, ears, bridge of the nose, footpads and groin. Diagnosed by skin biopsy. Treatment is by medication and special bathing of the infected areas.

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy—(PRA) An inherited, untreatable disease of the retina affecting both eyes causing blindness. It’s in the genes of the dog and is not painful. Starts with night blindness and progresses as the retina gradually deteriorates.

  • Persistent pupillary membranes—Hereditary. Vision impaired by strands of tissue in the eye left over from before birth. Strands should be gone by 5 weeks age. Strands can bridge from iris to cornea, iris to pupil, iris to lens (causing cataracts) or they can for sheets of tissue. If the Bearded Collie is young and you see small white spots in the dog’s eyes or the dog seems to have poor vision, see the vet. Forming of cataracts might be the biggest problem but don’t let this slip by. It may be nothing, it may be something.

  • von Willebrand"s Disease—A deficiency in clotting factor in the blood. The affected dog does not properly utilize the blood-platelets for blood-clotting. Thus, the dog is prone to excessive bleeding if in an accident or surgery.

  • Cataracts—Hazy or cloudy vision and will cause total blindness eventually if not treated.

Other health problems could occur with your Bearded Collie. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide

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