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Bearded Collie Dog Breed Profile

Bearded Collie

Other Names
Dog Group Kennel Club
Breed Classification
Bearded Collies belong to the pastoral group and are used as sheepdogs, as companions and seen in the show-ring. 
Cost of Ownership
Average Food Cost
£4-7.50 per week
Feeding Requirements
This is a fast growing breed so good nutrition during the puppy months is important. It is important to not overfeed or supplement as this can lead to bone deformities. 
Other Expenses
The average price of a puppy is around £500. They are advertised cheaper but care must be taken as the temperament can be suspect. As they are a relatively hardy breed, there should not be any excessive veterinary bills. 
> 15 years
Beardies can have long lives; 16 to 17 years of age not being unusual. 
Average Litter Size
The average litter is 6 or 7 puppies, although litters of 10 or 12 have been known. 
General Physical Description
Lean and active, Beardies are strongly made and cover the ground with the minimum of effort. Their outer coats are harsh and shaggy and naturally part to the sides, whilst their undercoats are close, soft and furry. From their cheeks, lower lips and under their chins, their coats increase in length towards their chests giving them their typical beards!

Height Min Max
Bitch 51cm (20") 53cm (21")
Dog 53cm (21") 56cm (22")
Weight Min Max
Bitch 18kg (40lbs) 28kg (62lbs)
Dog 18kg (40lbs) 28kg (62lbs)
Size Category
Weight Height Range
Dogs ideally measure between 53 - 56cms at the withers and bitches measure between 51 - 53cms. Both dogs and bitches weigh between 18 - 28kgs. 
They can be prone to allergies and hip dysplasia. Puppies should only be purchased from breeders who have hip scores for both the sire and dam. Being collies, there is some tendency to eye diseases. Addison’s Disease can also occur in Bearded Collies.  
Common Ailments

Persistent pupillary membrane
corneal dystrophy  
Susceptibility To Illness
'Collie' is a Scottish all-inclusive term for a sheepdog. Developed in Scotland from local sheepdogs, particularly the Old English Sheepdog, with a possible influx of genes from the Poland Lowland Sheepdog and the Komondor, the ‘Beardie’ is a sturdy representative of the pastoral group. There were probably originally two types of Bearded Collie. One was smaller and lighter boned and was used for herding flocks in the Highlands and for huntaways. Huntaways involved the dog and the shepherd working behind the sheep and having the dog work back and forth, barking continuously. This drove out the lost or hiding flock members. The other version of the Beardie was a heavier boned dog with a solid black coat. This type of Beardie was used for droving in the Lowlands. The modern Bearded Collie is believed to be an amalgamation of these two versions of herding dog. The history of the Bearded Collie is not clearly defined. There are records of Beardie type dogs droving cattle from the north and west Highlands to market in the 18th and 19th centuries. 'Dogs of Scotland' by DJ Thomas Gray, written in 1891, lists the Bearded Collie and describes it '... with a coat not unlike a doormat'. At the Edinburgh show in 1897, the Beardie first entered the show ring and a Mrs. Hall Walker modified its standard in 1898. The breed was almost lost till a Mrs. Willison set about to revive it after WWII. The Bearded Collie Club was formed in 1955, after the dog appeared for the first time at Crufts. Championship status was awarded in 1959 and exportation of the breed to countries outside Great Britain began in the 1960s. American Kennel Club recognition was given in 1976. 
Intelligent and with an independent streak, they are best trained by being convinced that they want to do whatever it is you want them to do. They cannot handle rough correction or handling. Owners must be gentle but firm. The breed is eager to learn and likes being around people.< 
Show Characteristics
The skull is broad and flat with a moderate stop. The foreface should be equal in length to the distance between the stop and the occiput. The nose is large and should be in tone with the coat colour, lighter or darker as the coat is. A scissor bite is required and the tongue will be extensively used in affectionate licking. The eyes are large and wide set with a soft and expressive appearance. Level with the eyes are medium sized, dropped ears that will lift slightly at the base when the dog is alert. The neck should be slightly arched and lead into well laid back shoulders. Shaggy forelegs should be strongly but not heavily boned and the elbow should form a right angle with the highest point of the shoulder. The chest is deep, reaching to the elbows and the ribs should be well sprung. Longer than tall, the back should be level. Muscular and powerful hindlegs should have low hocks that are perpendicular to the ground. The oval feet should be well padded with close, well-arched toes. To complete the picture, the tail is low set and fairly long, reaching to the hocks. It should be carried low with an upward lift at the tip. Well feathered, the tail is often wagged furiously. The above make-up should allow for free and supple movement.  
Country Of Origin
Famous Examples
Records Held
Overall Exercise
60 - 80 minutes per day.
This is a very active breed and needs to be strenuously exercised accordingly. Beardies love a good game of Frisbee or football and have been known to do well at agility, obedience and even tracking. 
Distress if Left Alone
Personal Protection
Guard Dog Suitability
Risk of Sheep Worrying
Tendency to Bark
Level of Aggression
Compatibility With Other Animals
Suitable For Children


General Character And Temperament
The breed is eager to learn and likes being around people. These are gentle dogs who love to be included in all aspects of family life. Beardies also tend to get along with other dogs and household pets. Strangers will be greeted excitedly with lots of barking but are generally given a warm reception. It is inadvisable to leave the Beardie home alone for long periods or it will get bored, bark to itself for company and may cause other mischief. This breed needs a substantial amount of both physical and mental stimulation. The strong herding instinct can manifest in a home situation where the dog will try to herd children and even adults together into one room. When there are small children in the household, care should be taken as Beardies do enjoy 'rough' play! 
Coat Length
Grooming Requirement
Every Day 
Requires Professional Groomer
Grooming is an extensive operation in the Bearded Collie. It is recommended that the dog be thoroughly groomed AT LEAST once a week. It is essential to lift up the coat and get right down to the skin. Just brushing the topcoat is useless and hideous matts will form unless each layer is meticulously brushed through, preferably with a pin brush. The hair between the pads of the feet should be trimmed regularly. Toenails may also need trimming and it is wise to clean the ears on a regular basis. Beardies do shed but if groomed properly will not shed excessively. However, during the period when puppy coat is blown, at 9 - 18 months of age, the grooming schedule should be upped to 2 - 3 times per week or there will be a tremendous amount of shedding and matting. The dog tends to look a bit ragged during this period of changing coat. 
Coat colours can come in black, blue (a dilution of black), brown, fawn (diluted brown) and grey. Most coats have white markings on the nose, neck, chest, legs, and feet. Tan markings can occur on the eyebrows, cheeks, inside the ear, on the underside of  
Suffers From Allergies

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