Bearded Collie

AKC Group: Herding

Developed in Scotland from the Poland Lowland Sheepdog, the Komondor and sheep herding dogs from the British Isles, the Bearded Collie was bred to herd. Bred for its independent thinking and to make decisions about how to ensure the safety of their flock, Beardies never bring home the wrong (someone else’s) sheep. Beardies almost disappeared, but were saved circa 1944 with re-population mating.

Size: 10 to 20 inches, 35 to 55 pounds.

Color: Any shade of gray or chocolate. White is common as a blaze, on the chest, feet or tail tip. Tan points can appear too.

Life span: 12 to 14 years.

Health problems: Hip dysplasia.

Your Bearded Collie will need brushing every day. To prepare, you should mist his long, shaggy coat and tease out the mats. If you can’t find the time for grooming, you can get him professionally clipped every two or three months. His eyes, ears and paws should be checked every day and trimmed regularly. The other thing to take note of is to check for external parasites regularly as well. They can be harder to spot in all that hair.

Beardies are the ancestors of Old English Sheepdogs. Beardies are medium-sized agile dogs. They have broad heads, short muzzles and are shaggy all over. Their beard is how they got their name. Their coats are dense and waterproof with a thick, soft undercoat. Their ears lay close to the head and their long tail rides low unless they’re excited.

Their coat helps them be able to sleep outside. Beardies make an excellent farm dog. They don’t like to be too confined and, if living in the city, need to have a yard where they can run and get some exercise. They love the outdoors and are adept at escaping — ensure you have a sturdy fence.

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing a Beardie, you may (as well as breeders) swear that Beardies are somehow crossed with a grasshopper; Beardies are bouncy. Their tail always wags. If Beardies were human, they’d all be clowns. Joyous and affectionate, Beardies do great with kids and thrive with a loving family. If left alone for long periods, a Beardie will get into mischief. A Beardie can be trained to do almost anything. They will replace your doorbell, but they don’t possess the skills to be an effective watchdog. (This seems to be the only skill they don’t have.) If your Beardie is raised alongside other animals, they can grow to love them. Though they may always steal all the toys and be tempted to chase.

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