Bearded Collie: Dog Breed Profile

Bearded collie

The Bearded Collie is a dog of solid build, but without the impression of heaviness or superfluous weight. It’s particularly recognizable by Its very full dress, with long fringes. It displays an expression full of intelligence, liveliness, and curiosity.

It has the advantage of being as good a guard dog as a shepherd. It’s active, sociable, tender, and gentle, but also intelligent and playful. It never uses aggression and wants above all to be attached to Its master and Its adoptive family. Rather easy to educate, despite its stubborn nature, It’s also quite easy to get along with.

History of the breed

The Bearded Collie breed originates from Scotland and the North of England. Scottish writings dating from the 16th century relate facts in which dogs of this type intervene, with descriptions quite close to that of the Bearded Collie that we know today. This dog quickly gained a reputation as a top-notch sheepdog thanks to its natural ability to guide and herd sheep.

It seems that it came from the cross between the ancestor of the Polish Shepherd and local sheepdogs. The development of the breed through extensive selections really began in the 1940s under the leadership of  Gwendoline Olive Willison. The Bearded Collie breed was definitively recognized by the FCI on August 30, 1967

Physical features

  • Its coat: long, double, with a soft and dense undercoat, as well as a thick top coat, hard and flat. Wears a typical beard to which the dog owes its name.
  • Its color: all shades of gray, brown, and sand (with or without white markings on the muzzle, head, tail end, chest, or legs), black, blue, fawn.
  • Its head: broad, flat, and square, with a strong muzzle and a well-developed skull. The stop is moderate.
  • its ears: hanging, of medium size, raised at their attachment at the top of the skull when the dog is awake.
  • Its eyes: large, wide apart, colored in accordance with the dress. The look is soft and lively.
  • Its body:longer than tall (proportion of 5/4), with a straight back, a strong kidney, a deep chest, and well-sprung ribs.
  • Its tail: long, reaching the point of the hock, set on and carried low (never on the back), abundantly trimmed with fringes.

Behavior With Others

The Bearded Collie is an active, alert, determined, and confident dog. Intelligent and balanced, It’s never aggressive and does not fear much. It’s very sensitive and affectionate. It’s very gentle with Its master and Its adoptive family, which is a  priority for It. These qualities make It an excellent sheepdog, but also a guard dog, due to Its natural distrust of strangers.

With Its master and the members of its family, on the other hand, It’s very gentle. It also enjoys the company of children. It’s a constantly alert,  active dog, but also quite playful. It will never refuse parties with its master or the children. its  intelligence  is real and It puts it at the service of Its family

Compatibility with children: possible.

Note: the Bearded Collie can indeed be part of a family with children. It will also be able to show great gentleness with them.

However, it will imperatively be necessary to put rules of life in place at the house that everyone must respect, and in particular the children, to respect the tranquility of the dog when It needs it and therefore to avoid any incident.

Cohabitation with other animals: possible.

Note: the Bearded Collie will be able to cohabit with other animals or congeners if quality socialization is offered from an early age.


The Bearded Collie can sometimes be stubborn, which requires an education based on both gentleness and firmness. It’s typically the kind of dog who needs to grasp the usefulness of a command or exercise in order to execute it. Games occupy an important part of Its training.  This dog should be socialized from an early age so that it presents less reluctance to the presence of strangers, but also of congeners.

Living Conditions

The Bearded Collie can adapt to apartment living, although it is not necessarily recommended. Indeed, It must be able to go outside regularly and exercise. It’s an active dog who loves to run and play. Therefore, the apartment will be adequate only if its master is able to take it out several times a day.

Otherwise, you will have to think about upgrading it to a  house with a garden. This is where It will feel best, no matter if it’s in town or in the countryside. This is an impulsive dog that is not really suitable for the elderly. You have to be able to move around to take care of It.

Health & Maintenance

The Bearded Collie is a dog with good resistance. However, it is advisable to examine the inside of Its ears because of the risk of ear infections. The progressive retinal atrophy and, as with most medium or large dogs, hip dysplasia is also part of health problems that may affect it. You should moderate its physical activity in the first years of life.  The Addison’s disease and skin disorders can also affect this breed.

The life expectancy of a Bearded Collie is, on average, between 12 years and 14 years.

Long and full, the Bearded Collie’s coat needs regular maintenance to keep it looking good and clean. Keeping Its hair well is important, not only from an aesthetic point of view but also that of health, because it ensures its protection against the cold and bad weather.

It is recommended to brush the dog on a bi-weekly basis. Brushing becomes more frequent during the moulting period. Its ears, sometimes suffering from ear infections, they should be checked and cleaned on a regular basis.

The Bearded Collie is not picky when it comes to feeding. Its diet can consist of industrial food based on high-quality croquettes, or so-called traditional food based on meat, starchy foods, fresh vegetables. It should simply have a diet according to Its daily activity, which is often high.

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About Amanda

Passionate about animals, Amanda draws her expertise from her training as an educator, pet behaviorist as well as her extensive experience with animal owners. A specialist in dog and cat behavior, Amanda continues to learn about our four-legged companions by studying veterinary reference books but also university research sites (UCD, Utrecht, Cambridge, Cornell, etc..)

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