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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > Bearded Collie

Bearded Collie

Origin: Great Britian

AKC Group: Herding

Height: 21 - 22 inches (Male)

Weight: 45 - 55 pounds (Male)

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The Bearded Collie is a herding dog. Herding dogs were originally bred to control the movement of sheep and cattle. While some breeds still work the farmlands, others are used for search and rescue and narcotics detection. When kept as pets, these dogs often try to "herd" their owners, by nipping at their owner's heels. If properly trained and exercised daily, herders make excellent family companions.

Bearded Collies are great family dogs - they're gentle, playful and very good with children. They get so attached to their families that they whine and become destructive if excluded or confined. Bearded Collies are fairly large dogs, so they do need exercise. They are usually good with other pets and strangers.

Great Britian
Male height: 
21 - 22 inches
Male weight: 
45 - 55 pounds
Shaggy and parted down the middle. Needs frequent brushing and combings. Tail and ears hang down.
Puppies that are born black may stay black or the color may lighten to gray or silver. Puppies born brown may darken to chocolate or lighten to sand. Puppies born blue or fawn may also lighten. White markings are allowed on the chest, legs, feet, tail tip and around the neck. Tan markings are allowed on the beard and legs. Eye and nose color depend on coat color.

The Bearded Collie ("Beardie") evolved from Polish herding dogs who were left on the shores of Scotland in the 1500s and bred to native herding dogs. They were developed to work independently, able to make decisions about their flock without the help of a shepherd who might be miles (km) away. The Bearded Collie got his name from the trademark "beard" that flows between his lower jaw and chest. The breed as we know it today was introduced to the public in the 1940s by the Englishwoman G. Olive Willison, who acquired a pup named Jeannie and was so entranced by her that she obtained a mate, Bailey, to start a breeding program. Willison's Bothkennar Beardies set the modern lines for the breed, and most, if not all, pedigrees lead back to Jeannie and Bailey. The breed met with great success in Canada and the United States in the 1960s and 1970s.

Beardies are the Three B's: bouncy, bubbly and boisterous. They are clowns, charmers, con artists and sweethearts. They make loving family pets who are extremely sensitive to their owners' moods. However, they can also be stubborn and strong willed, traits that kept them at their posts as sheepdogs for centuries. They are known for their intelligence and problem-solving abilities, which can make them challenging to live with.
At home: 
Bearded Collies have energy to spare - they must have lots of exercise and outdoor time to stay healthy and therefore may not make the best apartment dogs. They expect to be an integral part of the family and will want to be with their people and participate in everything they do. They love to be able to run off lead, so it helps to have a large, safe area in which this can happen. Beardies are all-weather companions, and their coats provide them protection from the cold and wet weather.
Beardies need exercise and plenty of it. A walk around the block will not suffice. You should be prepared to give your Beardie at least two half-hour exercise periods a day, which can include playing with a ball, going for runs or long, brisk walks.
The Bearded Collie needs a high-quality, balanced diet. His amazing problem-solving abilities mean that all food should be kept securely put away, or he will find a way to open the treat cabinet and indulge to his heart's content.
Beardies are responsive and tractable, but they are independent and have been known to call it quits if things don't seem to be going their way. Their stubborn streak can sometimes obviate the wonderful progress you think you're making with a Beardie in the training department. However, his desire to please brings him back around, and training will seem simple again.
Bearded Collies make ideal playmates for children and get along well with other pets.
The average life span of the Bearded Collie is 12 to 14 years. Breed health concerns may include allergies; autoimmune disease; eye problems; hip dysplasia; and hypothyroidism.
Fun fact: 

The earliest known images of Bearded Collies appeared in paintings of the Duke of Buccleigh and his dog, by the artist Gainsborough, in 1771.

Grooming blurb: 
The Beardie has a long, thick coat that requires regular weekly brushing to keep from getting tangled and matted. A good bristle brush, a metal comb and a slicker brush are necessary to keep your Beardie's coat looking good. The hair must be pushed back from his eyes, mouth and ears so that these areas can be thoroughly inspected and kept clean.
Copyright by T.F.H. Publications, Inc. This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.