Let's talk Bearded Collies

The shaggy-haired Bearded Collie hails from Bonnie Scotland, so enjoys outdoor life come rain or shine. Once a herding dog, nowadays this affable canine enjoys family life with great enthusiasm. Early socialisation and training makes the Bearded Collie a great play-mate to children, cats and dogs - although supervision is always required due to their high-spirited nature. If 27kg (60lbs) of fur and an endless supply of affection are your thing, the Bearded Collie may be the dog that you want.

Official name: Bearded Collie

Other names: Beardie, Highland Collie, Mountain Collie, Hairy Mou'ed Collie

Origins: Scotland

Black and white portrait of a Bearded Collie
 Drooling tendencies  Very low Warm weather?  Medium
 Shedding level  Medium Suited to apartment living?   Medium
 Energy level * Moderate Family Pet? * 
 Compatibility with other pets  Very high Can stay alone? *  

 * We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.
For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs).
Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.
Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.
All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company.  However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age.  Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

Inline Image 15
Illustration of a Bearded Collie
53 - 55 cm Height
18 - 27 kg Weight
51 - 53 cm Height
18 - 27 kg Weight


 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2- 12 months
 Adult age  1 - 7 years
 Mature age  7-10 years
 Senior age  From 10 years

Bearded Collie with a pink bow in its fringe sat in front of a jasmine bush


Get to know the Bearded Collie

All you need to know about the breed

The medium-sized Bearded Collie has bundles of energy, a friendly disposition and an intelligent, if sometimes determined, approach to life. Originally bred to herd sheep, they are industrious but certainly not averse to fun and often play canine class clown. No surprise that they’re a much loved dog, right, with all that personality?

If you can handle their size and enthusiastic personality, then you’re in for a real treat. With the right training, the Bearded Collie is fantastic with children, cats and dogs of all sizes. (Supervision is always necessary, due to their size and bounciness.) Bearded Collies are not generally dominant by nature but they may try to herd smaller household members up, which could be helpful at bedtime.

This loyal canine is often confused with his English doppelganger, the Old English Sheepdog, who actually weighs a bit more (but shhh!). Nonetheless, the Bearded Collie is a lot of dog. And all that time staying active outdoors means that their shaggy double coat attracts a lot of mud. So a willingness to play hairdresser on a daily basis is essential to keep your Bearded Collie clean and resplendent!

If you hadn’t already guessed it, the Bearded Collie is not the dog for everyone. They need someone who can keep up with them, both mentally and physically, and really don’t like to be left out of any family activity. Sound like you? You’ll be rewarded with heaps of canine affection and pleasure in return.

Three Bearded Collies sat next to each other in grass


2 facts about Bearded Collies

1. What’s in a name?

Affectionately referred to as “Beardie” far and wide, the breed got their name because of the hair on their muzzle. One look, and you can see that the way their hair hangs down from the chin gives them a beard-like appearance. Just pop their hair up in a bun and you can call them a hipster.

2. Quiet time

Bearded Collies are on the vocal side, to put it politely. Excessive barking is usually a sign that something is wrong - it’s likely that your Bearded Collie not getting enough attention or exercise. Barking is one bad habit to nip in the bud with consistent training, and quickly, for everyone’s sanity. And keep the boredom at bay for your Bearded Collie by keeping him busy or getting outside for some fresh air.


History of the breed

The Bearded Collie is considered as one of the oldest U.K. dog breeds. The most credible theory is that they descend from Central European breeds, such as the Polish Lowland Sheepdog. Scottish shepherds put them to work on the rugged terrain of the Scottish Highlands, and the Bearded Collie certainly rose to the challenge, helping to competently control cattle and lead sheep to the marketplace.

The breed had a brief dalliance as an artist’s muse during the 17th century, appearing in several portraits by British painters such as Thomas Gainsborough. This strongly suggests that Bearded Collies were the dog du jour amongst the high society set.

By Victorian Britain, the breed had no official recognition despite being popular (and successful) in the show ring. After World War II, most breeds' existence was under threat, but thanks to a certain Ms. G.O. Wilson, the Bearded Collie club was finally formed in Britain, in 1955. The American Kennel Association would not follow suit until 1983 - but all’s well that ends well.

Black and white portrait of a sitting Bearded Collie


From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Bearded Collies

1. Ears

Medium-sized ears that hang down, covered with hair.

2. Eyes

Large eyes with a dreamy expression.

3. Coat

A double coat, soft underneath and shaggy on top.

4. Body

A long body with well-sprung ribs and a deep chest.

5. Tail

Tail sits low with upward curve at the tip.

Bearded Collie bounding down a country lane


Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Bearded Collie
Bearded Collie perched over a bale of hay


Caring for your Bearded Collie

Grooming, training and exercise tips

Grooming your Bearded Collie is a moment to be cherished, as they fix their devoted expression on you. They’ll require daily brushing, five to ten minutes per session, to remove any remnants of their daily rambles and detangle their shaggy double coat. Include a longer grooming session once a week, to remove dead hair and reduce shedding to a minimum and trim your Bearded Collie’s nails once a month. Daily exercise sessions are essential to keep your Bearded Collie in great shape. A leisurely walk or two, coupled with play sessions in the garden, will keep your Bearded Collie busy and mentally stimulated, a.k.a. out of trouble. Take a consistent approach to training your Bearded Collie, as they have an independent streak. They respond well to fun games and being showered with praise, as well as the odd treat. Just be sure to take any food rewards out of their daily kibble allotment.


All about Bearded Collies

Not as much as you’d think. But to be clearer on this point, Bearded Collies shed their double coat moderately throughout the year, with two heavy shedding seasons. (Shaving them is an option but they’ll look much less like a Bearded Collie then.) Daily brushing of your Bearded Collie is required, not only to keep them mud-free, but also to reduce shedding as much as possible. On the bright side, your arm muscles will be in great shape.

Yes, if we’re talking about their personality. The Bearded Collie is affectionate, loyal and fun company. But they’re not for the faint-hearted, due to their medium size (between 40-60 lbs, or 18-27 kg) and indefatigable energy, as well as their independent streak from a history of herding. The owner of a Bearded Collie must be confident and as active as them. A garden is also a plus if you decide to welcome this breed into your life.

Other breeds that might interest you.


1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/