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BaxterBoo Blog
January 30, 2013

Meet the Breed: The Bearded Collie

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  • Height: 20"-22"
  • Weight: 40-60 pounds
  • Historical function: Herding
  • Modern function: Herding, and agility, companion
  • AKC classification: Herding

Physical Characteristics:

The Bearded Collie is a lively medium-sized dog with a long coat. The body is trim and athletic. The long, double coat lightens as the dog ages, and keeps the dog comfortable in many weather conditions. It is sometimes confused with the Old English Sheepdog, but the Bearded Collie is from Scotland, is smaller, has more coat color varieties, and has a much longer lifespan.

History of the Breed:

The Bearded Collie is an old dog breed originating in Scotland and developed to herd sheep and cattle, with a long coat that protects the dog against adverse weather conditions. The breed is considered to be rare and is also known as the "Highland Collie," the "Highland Sheepdog" and the "Hairy Moved Collie." The name "Bearded" comes from the long hair that resembles a beard, and the name "Collie," which is the Scottish word for a herding dog.


The Bearded Collie is very playful and is a comic. They are intelligent and trainable, but have been bred to be independent thinkers, a necessary trait in handling livestock. This can make training a bit of a challenge, but if the trainer understands that play is a high motivator for this breed, they will find success. Beardies are slow to mature. Make sure that they are adequately exercised before leaving them alone to prevent unauthorized forms of self entertainment.

  • Best suited for: Active families with older children. Beardies are good for all kids, but their bounciness may be overpower small ones. Great for farm/ranch life, agility training. Not suitable for apartments.
  • Preferred living conditions: These lively companions want to be with their people, and their people have to be committed to be active with this dog on a daily basis to prevent behavioral issues from developing.

Care and Health:

  • Grooming requirements: That beautiful coat requires brushing every other day and daily cleaning of the beard. The heavy coat can obscure skin parasites so monitor for ticks. Some owners opt to keep Beardies in a puppy cut for ease of coat care. Average shedder.
  • Exercise needs: Daily walks and outdoor play will ensure a well-behaved Beardie.
  • Life expectancy: 14-15 years
  • Health concerns: This is a long-lived breed with relatively few health problems but can deal with hip dysplasia occasionally.

Breed Club Links: Bearded Collie Club of America Perfect Pairings: Best in Show Shampoo/Conditioner Combo Pack with Free Brush.

Bearded Collie photo courtesy of Blake Handley.

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This entry was posted by Mary.

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