Breed in Brief
Registries: AKC, UKC, CKC
Size: 20 to 22 in tall; 40 to 60 lbs
Longevity: 13 to 15 years
Exercise: Active and playful
Training: Easy to train; hard to keep focused
The Bearded Collie is one of England’s oldest breeds. In the past, the breed was also known as the Highland Collie or Mountain Collie; it is said to be an ancestor of the Australian Cattle Dog as well as other hard-working herding breeds.
The Beardie stands 20 and 22 inches tall and weighs between 40 and 60 pounds. She has a broad skull, large dark eyes, and dropped ears. The body is strong but not heavy. The tail is long. The Beardie’s coat is her crowning glory; the outer coat is long, flat, and follows the line of the body. The undercoat is soft and close. All Beardies are born black, blue, brown, or fawn, and as the Beardie grows, the coat lightens.
This lovely coat does need some care to keep it looking its best. It needs be brushed and combed at least every other day — daily if the dog runs and plays outside and gets wet or dirty. In the spring and fall when shedding is at its worst, daily brushing is needed. Many pet owners have the coat trimmed to a shorter length for ease of care.
Beardies are active, playful, and often silly dogs. They need time to run, play, and exercise. Although walks are enjoyable, they are not enough to use up this breed’s excess energy. Games of fetch and hide-and-seek are good, as is a daily run alongside a bicycle. Beardies also enjoy canine sports, including agility, herding, and flyball.
Early training can help teach this boisterous dog what behavior is acceptable and what isn’t. Although Beardies are bright and intelligent, they are also freethinkers. Training should be structured yet fun.
The Beardie can be a good watchdog, but she’s too social to be overly protective. She does best in an active household where people enjoy doing things with her. She is good with kids, but as a puppy, she may be too boisterous for young children. She can be good with small pets but may try to herd the family cat. Health concerns include eye problems, hip dysplasia, and Addison’s disease.