Graciously specified as “Beardies,” Bearded Collies are super intelligent, energetic working dogs that were formerly bred to herd sheep in Scotland.
Nowadays, they make a great family or show dogs—as long as their owner or trainer can handle Bearded Collie’s high energy levels and exercise needs.
Bearded Collies reach maturity quite slowly and would often not reach adult size until they are 24 to 36 months old. Nonetheless, don’t be fooled by their cute little size.
Like other working dogs, The Bearded Collies are active, muscular dogs that need extensive exercise. Although they may do well in an apartment, they would be much more comfortable in a home that has a big yard to burn all their energy.
Additionally, owners with busy schedules or people who are almost always away from their homes might not be best for this dog, especially since they require plenty of attention to thrive.
They are characterized by their long, thick, shaggy fur that forms what appears to be a beard at the muzzle. Bearded Collies can come in a variation of colors. Older Bearded Collies may have white markings; however, they are never born with them.
Instead, these markings develop with time as a result of a gene that causes the dog’s coat to fade. Owners should consider making it a routine to maintain and groom their Bearded Collies’ long, thick, and shaggy fur.
Even though these dogs were formerly bred as working dogs in harsh climates, their grooming and need for exercise make them high maintenance. First-time dog owners might not be able to give them proper care, especially if they don’t have any experience with the Bearded Collies.
The breed is highly intelligent, loyal, and loving. The breed is also famous for its kid- and pet-friendliness, making them the perfect family choice dogs.
- Group: Herding group(AKC)
- Size: Bearded Collies are medium-sized. From the shoulder, male Bearded Collies can be measured 21 to 22 inches, while females could measure 20 to 21 inches.
- Weight: Can weight between 20 to 24 kgs.
- Coat and color: Coarse, straight, and rough, and it comes in colors like blue, black, fawn, or brown.
- Life expectancy: Bearded Collies can live up to 12 to 14 years.
Characteristics of the Bearded Collie
- Affection Level: High
- Friendliness: High
- Kid-Friendly: High
- Pet-Friendly: High
- Exercise requirements: High
- Playfulness: High
- Energy Level: High
- Trainability: Moderate to high
- Intelligence: High
- Tendency to bark: Moderate
- Amount of shedding: High
History of the Bearded Collie
In Europe, the Bearded Collie is one of the oldest dog breeds, and their name has been changed over time. They’ve been formerly referred to as the Mountain Collie or the Highland Collie.
Since farmers have bred herding dogs for many centuries, the precise origin of the breed is unknown. However, most people believed that Bearded Collies originated in Scotland in the 1500s.
Long-haired working dogs were depicted in pieces of art from the 1770s. These artworks were considered the initial representation of the Bearded Collies. Our very own G.O developed modern Bearded Collies.
Willison, who started breeding them for dog shows right after World War II. She also has the credit of helping to establish the Bearded Collie Club in Britain, which pushes the Bearded Collie to popularity in Europe.
These dogs arrived in the USA around the late 1950s, and the first Bearded Collies’ litter wasn’t born till 1967. The Bearded Collie Club of America was established in 1969, and in 1977 the breed was welcomed by the American Kennel Club.
Caring for the Bearded Collie
Due to their long, full, shaggy fur, the Bearded Collies would require weekly brushing, using a pin or bristle brush. Consistent brushing saves you the stress of detangling and mat, not to mention it leaves your dog’s coat healthy and shiny.
If you notice mat or tangle, it’s best to stay first with detangling spray and then detangle using your fingers. You can then use your pin or bristle brush to smoothen the hair when the mat or tangle has been fairly untangled.
Try to smoothen a tangle using a brush directly may worsen it, it could also hurt your dog’s skin or coat. At least 30 minutes may be spent brushing your dog each week.
It could take Bearded Collies two to four weeks to shed, and they shed heavily. You may want to consider maximizing the frequency of your grooming routine. Be sure to examine the ears of your Bearded Collie.
To avoid ear infections and other complications, your Collie’s ears should be checked once a week. You should gently remove any dirt in your Collie’s ears. A clean cotton pad and an ear cleaning solution should be used to get every form of dirt out.
Using cotton swabs may damage delicate interior structures. Contact your vet immediately you notice red, inflamed ear. Some may even smell foul with dirt pouring out of the ears.
As stated earlier, Bearded Collies are very intelligent, highly active dogs, which demands ongoing obedience trainers. These dogs can have kinds of their own, and can sometimes be very stubborn.
This is why obedience training is required, especially when they are just puppies. It is also critical to keep training engaging. You could incorporate playtime or food rewards to keep your Beardie interested.
Collies’ high energy levels make them excellent active households with enough outdoor spaces for playing and running around. Beardies are ideal for children, but it is critical to teach your young children how to handle and approach your dog; and like any dog breed, children should not be left unsupervised with dogs.
Common health issues
Collies are commonly healthy dogs; nonetheless, they are also susceptible to some health complications. There is no assurance that your dog won’t develop the following health issues, but owners must be aware of them Incase symptoms manifest.
Health complications that may affect Bearded Collies are;
This inborn condition can be characterized by joint weakness, pain, and stiffness. Despite the fact that hip dysplasia is hereditary, it can also be a result of injury or speedy growth.
Irregular heat cycles, obesity, and lethargy signal hypothyroidism, a health condition that upsets the thyroid gland and its hormone production. With daily medications, hypothyroidism can be treated.
Many dog experience reactions to specific foods, soap, shampoo, air freshener, or flea treatments. Dogs could be allergic to a number of things. If your dog experiences symptoms such as coughing, itchy eyes, sneezing, or excessive drooling, you need to have your veterinarian check your dog.
Diet and nutrition
The things that determine your dog’s diet include metabolism, age, and activity. Your Bearded Collie needs to be fed one and a half to two bowls of high-protein, high-quality dog food every day.
Beardies, like all dogs, can get obese if they are under-exercised or overfed. If you are not sure of how much food your dog needs, you can talk to your veterinarian about the right diet for your dog. Also, don’t forget to slow down on the treats.
- Highly intelligent, loyal and loving
- Low shedding, except for two weeks once per year
- Kid- and pet-friendly
- High energy with high exercise requirements
- Requires frequent grooming
- Not suitable for apartment living
Where to buy or adopt a Bearded Collie
Contact your local animal shelter or check for Bearded Collie’s rescue organizations close to you. Another shelter or rescue organization can be recommended if a Bearded Collie is not available.
Be sure to do some research if you do decide to adopt a Bearded Collie from reputable breeders.
Some question you should ask your breeders include;
- How many litters can you produce at a time?
- Where do they keep their dogs?
- Where are the health test documents?
- Health history report of the parent of the Beardie you are adopting.
Unhealthy dogs, unclean facilities, or highly discounted litter are significant red flags for unethical breeders. Be attentive and inquire from your breeder all the necessary information to guarantee you go home with a healthy and active dog.
More dog breeds and further research
Bearded is highly intelligent, loving, and loyal dogs that are suited for active families with large yards. Since they are high maintenance, Collies may not be ideal for first-time dog owners or families who have hectic schedules.
Ensure to do some research before including any new pet to your household. Here are some dog breeds you may be interested in if you find the Bearded Collie interesting:
- American Bulldogs
- Teacup dogs