Bearded Collie Overview

Dog Breed:
Bearded Collie
Breed Group:
Alert, lively, charismatic, self-confident, and active.
Males: 21-22 ins, Females: 20-21 ins
45-55 lbs
Life Span:
12-14 years
Coat Colors:
Slate grey, reddish fawn, black, blue, all shades of grey, brown and sandy with or without white
Area of Origin:
Best For:
Homes with large gardens, outdoor-loving owners, and keen groomers.

Bearded Collie Characteristics

Good for First-Time Owners
Good with Children
Easy to Train
Exercise Requirements
Ease of Grooming
Amount of Shedding
Amount of Drooling
Tendency to Bark

About The Bearded Collie

  • Known as a "Beardie"

  • A sociable breed

  • They have a love of children

The stunning Bearded Collie or Beardie as their fans know them, cannot help but turn heads and gain admirers wherever they go. However, underneath those flowing locks is a dog with a strong working heritage that needs daily exercise of the brain and body to be a happy family pet.

Rain and snow outside? That’s not going to deter the Beardie, who will still demand their run before taking a snooze. Through the undergrowth and into the mud? That sounds like a Bearded Collie!

A sociable breed, the Bearded Collie mixes well with other animals when a sensible approach is taken to introductions. They also have a love of children with strong friendships being quickly built. As with any breed, it is essential to supervise those interactions and provide opportunities for the dog to have an uninterrupted space of their own.

Bearded Collie Breed History

  • Bearded Collie population ran into problems in the early 1900s

  • Mrs. Willison credited for founding the breed

  • earded Collie can be found in two types, the working line, and the show line

Shaggy herding breeds similar to the Bearded Collie have been hard at work in the Borders and Highlands of Scotland for hundreds of years. However, the Bearded Collie population ran into problems in the early 1900s, and by the 1940s, there were very few examples of the breed left in the UK.

Luckily and by complete chance, Mrs. Willison received a Bearded Collie puppy instead of the Shetland Sheepdog she had ordered from a Scottish Farmer. She was so enamored by the pup that she searched for a mate so that she could breed a litter. Finally, she found a dog, and the foundation for the modern Bearded Collie was formed.

Do carefully check the breeding of any puppy before you visit. The Bearded Collie can be found in two types, the working line, and the show line.

  • Working line dogs have been bred to work for long periods in all conditions. Their energy levels and need for stimulation may not make them suitable for most pet homes.
  • Show line dogs, however, have been bred for their easy-going natures. They often have less herding instinct than the working lines, which may make them an easier dog to have as a family pet.

Bearded Collie Size & Weight

  • Medium-sized breed

  • Males: 21-22 ins, Females: 20-21 ins

  • 45-55 lbs

Bearded Collies are a medium-sized breed, but their energy and enthusiasm can make them seem like a much larger presence in a home! Place ornaments up high and be ready for them to take over your sofa.

Bearded Collie Personality & Temperament

  • Known for their love of people

  • Some Beardies struggle when left alone

  • Can be noise sensitive

Bearded Collies are well known for their love of people and their exuberance when meeting both old and new friends. An outgoing breed, owners talk about the ‘Beardie Bounce’ to describe the energy and joy for life that their dogs demonstrate every day. They are also quick to mention that a sense of humor is needed for this fun-loving breed!

This love of people can mean that some Beardies struggle when left alone and are away from their family. If you’re a full-time worker with a busy social life, then they are unlikely to be the right breed for you. Beardies can learn to cope with being left at home alone, but it’s essential to plan in early training so that they are relaxed and calm when by themselves.

Some Bearded Collies can be noise sensitive, a problem that can be seen in many of the herding breeds. There can be a genetic element to noise sensitivity, so do ask the breeder if the parents of the pups are worried by loud or unexpected noises such as fireworks.

The Bearded Collies heritage required them to work on the hills far from the shepherd, using their own initiative. Be warned, without stimulation for their active minds, they’re likely to get up to all kinds of mischief!

This breed can happily live in a smaller home or flat as long as they have opportunities for running free every day.

Bearded Collie Health & Grooming

  • Common issues include Hip Dysplasia & Collie Eye Anomaly

  • Bearded Collie coat requires daily attention

  • Being left with a damp coat can lead to skin problems


The Bearded Collie is a relatively healthy breed, but breeders should have their dogs tested for the following conditions:

Hip Dysplasia: Although not a severe problem in Bearded Collies, it’s still essential that breeders can show you the hip score certificates for both parents of a litter of pups. Dogs who are affected by hip dysplasia are likely to show signs of lameness and discomfort when walking.

Collie Eye Anomaly: Unlike some of the other Collie breeds, Bearded Collies in the UK are not generally affected by inherited eye disease. Nonetheless, many breeders choose to eye-test their dogs as a precautionary measure and will be able to provide potential puppy owners with a copy of the test certificate.

Grooming: The Bearded Collie coat requires daily attention to prevent painful matting from forming. Grooming each day will also reduce the volume of hair shedding in the home and remove any burrs or undergrowth, which becomes attached during walks.

Many owners choose to have their dogs professionally groomed once a month, but the coat will still need regular attention between visits. Care is needed to ensure that the Bearded Collie is thoroughly dried off when wet. Being left with a damp coat can lead to skin problems. Regular checks are also needed of the hair between the paw pads, which can quickly become matted and sore.

Bearded Collie Training

  • Highly intelligent breed

  • Bearded Collies do not respond well to harsh training

  • This breed can be noisy


The Bearded Collie is a highly intelligent breed who enjoys learning new behaviors and tricks. Many Beardies compete with great success in a wide range of canine sports such as agility and obedience.

Bearded Collies do not respond well to harsh training, and they are particularly tuned in to their owner’s moods. Reward-based training with clear communication will result in a companion who is keen to learn more.

Training should start as soon as the pup is in their new home, with attendance at puppy classes from as young as 8 weeks of age. Setting boundaries and house rules are essential and provide the consistency that Beardies seem to thrive within.

With that herding background, there is the potential for some chase and nipping type behaviors to occur. However, these can be quickly stopped by training a reliable recall and by redirecting the Beardie into playing with a toy instead.

This breed can be noisy as the herding style of the Bearded Collie is to bark to encourage the livestock to move. This then means that when a Beardie becomes excited or frustrated, they can begin to bark. Managing this can be as simple as looking for opportunities to remove the trigger for the barking.  For example, moving away from children running around excitedly.

Bearded Collie Exercise Requirements

  • Highly intelligent breed

  • Bearded Collies do not respond well to harsh training

  • This breed can be noisy


This is a high energy breed, so adult dogs need at least an hour’s walk every day. Most Beardies enjoy the opportunity for supervised running with other dogs, and this can be a great way to tire them out quickly.

Mixing in training or encouraging your Bearded Collie to use their noses to find treats and toys will also help to meet their energy needs.

Bearded Collie Diet & Feeding


Your vet/nutritionist is always the best person to speak to about the feeding needs of your dog. However, as a general rule, look for puppy food designed for medium-sized breeds to start off your youngster. Most manufacturers then recommend switching over to adult feeds at around six months of age.

When deciding which food is most appropriate for your Bearded Collie, do consider their energy levels. Varieties are available for both high and low levels of intensity. Selecting the right food will help keep your Beardie within the correct weight range.

Bearded Collie Rescue Groups

Bearded Collies do sometimes find themselves in need of a new home. Specialist rescue organizations include: This is a national organization that has rescue representatives in most US states.