A fun-loving, bright dog, the bearded collie is known for being quick witted and lively. They need plenty of exercise and can almost be friendly to a fault.
Bearded Collie At a glance
Male: 40-60 lbs.
Female: 40-60 lbs.
Height at Withers:
Male: 22 in.
Female: 20 in.
Floppy ears (naturally)
Exercise Requirements: >40 minutes/day
Energy Level: Very Energetic
Longevity Range: 12-14 yrs.
Tendency to Drool: Low Tendency to Snore: Low
Tendency to Bark: Moderate
Tendency to Dig: Low Social/Attention Needs: High
Characteristics: Double coat, straight
Colors: Any shade of grey or chocolate. May have white blaze, feet, chest, tail tip; may have tan points
Overall Grooming Needs: High
AKC Classification: Herding
UKC Classification: Herding Dog
Nuisance barking, digging and chewing habits can result if the bearded bollie does not receive enough exercise.
Bearded collies are medium-sized dogs, ranging in height from 20 to 22 inches and in weight from 50 to 60 pounds (20 to 25 kilograms).
They are longer than they are tall and underneath the coat are very lithe, athletic dogs. Some lines are quite slow to mature, and do not reach full size and weight until two or three years of age.
Bearded collies have large, expressive eyes, a broad head, and a level topline with the tail carried low. The ears hang down and have a long hair fringe. Naturally they do have a beard, which obscures some of the muzzle. The long flowing coat is straight, harsh and thick, with a soft undercoat. While there should be plenty of coat, a bearded collie's coat should not reach or drag on the ground as these are working sheepdogs.
The coat comes in various shades of brown, black, blue or gray, often with white markings on the chest, head and feet. Tan points can also be seen. Bearded collies are known as "dogs of changing colors" as many of them have the fading gene. These dogs start out dark at birth and start to lighten up after 8 weeks. For example, a dark brown may lighten into a milk-chocolate color. Somewhere around a year, the fading stops and the color darkens up a bit, though usually not as dark as the very young pup was.
The bearded collies is known for being quick-witted and lively. They are smart, active and can be stubborn or independent. With all that athletic ability and intelligence in one package, they definitely do best with firm, patient training and quite a bit of it. They are usually good with other dogs and can be friendly to a fault. They enjoy working and do very well competing in most of the dog sports including agility and herding. As with most intelligent, active dogs, if bearded collies do not receive enough exercise and attention they can develop some bad habits. Nuisance barking, digging and sometimes chewing habits can occur. They are sometimes too active for small children, and may nip at the heels of running children as if the children were sheep.
Bearded Collies can be finicky eaters, which is surprising in such active dogs. A good balanced diet is adequate; however, too many treats can lead to obesity even in these active dogs. The dogs require a fair amount of exercise. Ideally they should get a couple of walks daily and a good running, play, or training session as well. Bearded Collies are fairly hardy and often live to 14 or 15 years of age.
As with most herding breeds, the Bearded Collie thrives on human companionship and having work to do. The work can range from obedience to agility to working sheep, but they do need training and attention. They will alarm bark, but then leap exuberantly on the newcomer. A few can be shy, so early socialization and a gentle, but firm hand in training are necessary.
Grooming is a daily job here. Dogs with the correct harsh coat merely need a quick going over daily except when shedding. If your bearded collie has a soft coat, you will spend much more time untangling mats and removing debris from the abundant coat. Bearded Collies are sometimes shaved by pet owners, but look a bit silly without their coats!
One of the oldest herding breeds, the bearded collie is thought to be descended from some Polish lowland sheepdogs left in Scotland in the 1500s. These dogs then crossed with the local herding dogs to produce these herding dogs of the British Isles.
Bearded collies have been all-around farm dogs from the start, working livestock and guarding with a carrying alarm bark. While working in deep cover, they will do the characteristic "beardie bounce" by leaping high to spot their stock!
Many of the cute fuzzy dogs in commercials and in Disney films are bearded collies or part bearded collie. They are fun loving, intelligent dogs.