AKC Dog Breeds: Bearded Collie

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Herding Group
Height: 20-22 inches   Weight: 35-55  pounds  Color: black, blue, brown, fawn, white marks

The Bearded Collie is hardy and active, with an aura of strength and agility characteristic of a real working dog. Bred for centuries as a companion and servant of man, the Bearded Collie is a devoted and intelligent member of the family. He is stable and self-confident, showing no signs of shyness or aggression. This is a natural and unspoiled breed. The Bearded Collie originates from Scotland, and was originally bred to herd sheep and drive cattle. Once known as the Highland Collie, the Bearded Collie is thought to have been developed from Polish dogs. The breed was registered with the AKC in 1976.

General Appearance
The Bearded Collie is medium-sized and very agile. A herding dog of great stamina and high intelligence, the Beardie is noted for its shaggy coat and never flagging wagging tail. Related to the Old English Sheepdog the Bearded Collie has a broad head, short muzzle and a shaggy coat all over - including under the chin - which is where the nickname Beardie came from. A bright inquiring expression is a distinctive feature of the breed. The Bearded Collie should be shown in a natural stance. The Bearded Collie has a rather naught and mischievous expression at times, and sports a distinctive shaggy coat, which is harsh and flat, and can be wavy on some dogs. The outer coat has a softer, close set undercoat. There are various colorings to choose from with the Bearded Collie, and this includes black, slate, various shades of blue, fawn, or brown. Many have white or tan markings, and the coat shading can change over the life of the dog.


Known for his "bounce," the exuberant Bearded Collie will charm you with his joyous, affectionate, happy-go-lucky ways. He is playful and lively with an always wagging tail.  The perfect companion for children. Enthusiastic, stable and self-confident. Males tend to be more bold and outgoing, while females tend to be calmer and more submissive. The Beardie needs to be with people and not left alone without anything to do. He has an inquisitive nature, and loves getting involved in a range of activities including herding, agility, hiking, and protecting.


Daily brushing of the long, shaggy coat is important. Mist the coat lightly with water before you begin. Tease out mats before they get bad, and give extra attention when the dog is shedding. Use the comb sparingly. If you prefer, the coat can be professionally machine-clipped every two months or so. Eyes, ears and paws should be checked daily. Bath or dry shampoo when necessary. It is difficult to locate ticks in the thick undercoat, so check regularly. This breed is an average shedder.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy
Generally healthy. Beware of hip dysplasia. Their dense coat may conceal external parasite infestation. The Bearded Collie has a life expectancy of around 12-14 years.

Activity Level

Bearded Collie need LOTS of exercise! And this does not mean just running around the backyard. They need vigorous exercise every day, and at a minimum should get an hour of rigorous (romping) exercise at least three or four times a week. Beardies have no end to their energy both indoors and out. If left to their own devices, they will make up their own games to play and chew on whatever they can find - if not jump fence and take off. Outside they will entertain themselves by digging holes. The goal is to stimulate both the mind and the body of your Beardie - engage his limitless curiosity and high intelligence. An ideal workout for your Beardie if you don't run sheep or other livestock, would be a rousing game of fetch with balls or a Frisbee, throw in some swimming, running along side you while you bike and hiking. Whatever it is you choose to do physically, just include your Bearded Collie. They're happiest when doing things with you and are up for anything from wrestling to swimming. The best exercise regimen for your Beardie would be at least two 45 minute walks a day, no matter what the weather may be. While you may not be too happy with the weather, your dog doesn't mind in the least. This may vary depending on your dog, as each one does have its own personality.


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