20 – 21 inches
45 – 55 pounds
14 – 15 years
Black, brown, black and brown, fawn, blue, tricolored
Active families, houses with yards, outdoor adventuring
Smart, fun-loving, curious, adventurous, mischievous, loyal, friendly
The Bearded Collie is a purebred dog that thrived for centuries in the Scottish Highlands, where they were heralded by shepherds for being excellent animal herders and drovers. Today, Bearded Collies live as beloved family pets all over the world. These are medium-sized dogs with big personalities that will keep their family members on their toes throughout the day. Only the active and outdoorsy-minded should consider adopting one of these rambunctious purebred dogs.
These dogs are intelligent, but they get bored easily, so they should engage in a variety of different activities throughout the day to keep them from becoming destructive inside the house. They need a fenced yard to play in so they can expend energy while their human family members are working or resting inside. They also require a great deal of attention from their family members, and they will work to get it if it isn’t freely given.
They get along well with kids but should be supervised when around babies and toddlers due to their highly boisterous personality. If they have an opportunity to socialize as puppies, Bearded Collies can get along well with other dogs for the most part. With long, shaggy hair, this breed regularly sheds throughout the year and requires daily grooming to minimize the development of mats.
Whether you want to learn more about the Bearded Collie you recently acquired, are wondering about what your friend’s Bearded Collie is all about, or are considering buying one of these purebred dogs in the future, this guide will provide you with all the information you need.
Bearded Collie Puppies — Before You Get One
This interesting breed makes an excellent family pet, but much work must go into keeping them happy and healthy over time. This guide will cover all the aspects of owning a Bearded Collie in-depth so you have the knowledge that you need to properly care for your pooch. But for now, here is a snapshot of the basics:
3 Little-Known Facts About Bearded Collies
1. They have been featured in many movies.
These shaggy dogs have been featured in a few fun movies throughout the years. They do well in filmmaking because they’re smart, quick learners and follow directions well. Look for this breed in movies such as “Flight of the Navigator,” “First Kid,” “Hotel for Dogs,” and the 2005 “Lassie” remake.
2. They aren’t as soft as they look.
The Bearded Collie may look soft to the touch, but their coat of hair is wiry and a bit rough to the touch. The wire-like hair is to protect these dogs from the rain and other outdoor elements while they’re working on the farm.
3. They’re hilarious.
Bearded Collies are highly curious and a little clumsy, which makes for comical situations when in social environments. They like to clown around, and they have no problem making mistakes if it means having fun. These dogs are known for being the life of the party!
Temperament & Intelligence of the Bearded Collie 🧠
Bearded Collies look anything but intimidating. They typically display dreamy eyes and loving attitudes that make people want to hug them. Their easy-going demeanor makes them great pets for families with kids. That said, their rambunctious attitude can mean accidental injuries when they’re left with toddlers and younger children unsupervised. They can stand being left alone at home while the humans are out working, schooling, and playing. But they can become quite destructive if they haven’t been well exercised beforehand.
They are friendly with strangers and get excited when visitors arrive at their homes, so they don’t make the best watchdogs. However, they are loyal and won’t back down when it comes to protecting a family member. While they’re goofy, they are also sensitive, and their feelings tend to get hurt easily, which could lead to withdrawal. So, a firm yet empathetic hand should be used when handling them.
These dogs are super smart and can learn how to do amazing things like open doors and find lost keys. Without any direction, though, they may teach themselves behaviors that aren’t appreciated by their human family members, like eating holes in the couch and climbing up on the table. They’re natural herders, so they have a tendency to chase cars. Therefore, they should always be walked on a leash while in public spaces.
The Bearded Collie has a strong prey drive due to their herding and droving ancestry, but their drive can easily be controlled with socialization and training. Obedience is not the Bearded Collie’s strong suit, so patience and a firm hand are required during training sessions. Because they get bored easily, training should always be varied to ensure that it is effective. Professional training may be necessary for families without previous training experience.
Overall, this is a purebred dog that does well in a family setting. They’re fast learners, they are constant explorers, and they are loyal to the members of their pack. They also happen to make great playmates for kids. This purebred dog can be a handful if training isn’t made a priority, but their fun-loving attitude is enough to make anyone forget about any unpleasant moments that they might experience.
Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡
The Bearded Collie is an excellent family dog that asserts loyalty and affection as their top qualities. They’re smart and will quickly learn how to treat young children while still puppies. However, while they wouldn’t hurt a child on purpose, they could accidentally cause and injury due to their size and hyper personality. Older kids shouldn’t have a problem learning how to train their Bearded Collie puppy and could step in as pack leader when adults aren’t at home.
These dogs love action, allowing them to thrive in a busy household full of adults and kids. They’re always looking for attention and won’t wait long before trying to get some from the closest human in sight. Teaching the kids to ignore unwanted behavior will be important to make sure your pooch doesn’t pick up any unwanted habits as they age.
Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽
Bearded Collies are generally friendly with other dogs. They should start meeting new dogs when they are still puppies to ensure that no aggression develops. Introductions to other dogs should start taking place as soon as possible after your puppy comes home for the first time. This purebred dog can happily co-inhabit with other dogs long term, but they should be neutered to keep them from fighting for the top dog position. This is especially important if another dog in your home has a territorial personality.
The Bearded Collie can also get along with cats in the household, although they may tend to give chase if the cat is frisky and active. They should be taught not to chase from the time of their first interaction. It is never a good idea to allow these dogs to roam freely in the yard when a cat is nearby. When it comes to other small pets, your Bearded Collie may or may not get along with them. It depends on how young they are introduced to small pets.
Things to Know When Owning a Bearded Collie
Now that we have covered the temperament, personality, and smarts of this purebred dog, let’s focus our attention on the information that will help you keep your new puppy healthy for a lifetime. Here is the information you should know about important topics such as diet, exercise, training, and grooming.
Food & Diet Requirements 🦴
Bearded Collies aren’t huge dogs, but thanks to their active lifestyle, they typically have huge appetites. They can eat up to 3 cups of food every day and even more when they are growing puppies. Not all commercial dog food is created equally. So, if you don’t have the time or inclination to make your dog food from scratch, you should read the ingredients label on any bag of food that you consider investing in.
The first ingredient should be real meat of some kind, whether chicken, fish, beef, or bison or a combination of these. Whole grains such as brown rice, oats, or millet should come next. Your dog’s new food formula should also include plenty of fresh fruits and veggies to ensure optimal vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant intake. Popular produce that you’ll find in high-quality dog foods include peas, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, spinach, blueberries, and cranberries.
They all play a role in maintaining a healthy immune system, healthy digestion, and proper cognitive function. Choose a food that caters to your dog’s age for the best results. Food formulated just for puppies should be offered until about a year of age. Afterward, a formula designed for all life stages or specifically adults is ideal. If you aren’t sure what kind of food your dog should be eating, consult with your veterinarian for guidance.
Due to the high activity level of the Bearded Collie, the breed requires a great deal of outdoor exercise to feel satisfied at the end of the day. A daily walk is necessary to keep energy levels in check while spending time inside the house. Expect to walk your pooch for at least an hour at a time, even on days when you are particularly busy.
In addition to daily walks, this purebred dog will expect to spend a few hours playing in the yard. They will also need something to do inside, especially on rainy days. Choose toys for tough chewers to minimize the risk that they’ll get destroyed quickly. Games like hide-and-seek and short training sessions will help keep this dog’s mind stimulated.
It’s crucial to start training your new Bearded Collie to comply with basic commands such as come, sit, and stay as soon as you bring them home. Training could start as early as 8 weeks of age, so don’t worry about whether your pooch is ready for training when they look and act so young. Training should be engaging and fun, or your dog might get bored and stop paying attention, which would make for a frustrating experience.
These dogs are food-driven, so you can use treats to enhance the success of your training sessions. But they can also be stubborn if they’d rather be doing something else. Therefore, if you have never trained a dog before, it’s a good idea to consider hiring a professional trainer to get you started. Once you are comfortable controlling and managing your pooch, you can continue training them yourself in the comfort of your own home.
Bearded Collies are great at agility activities too, so consider enrolling them in an agility club in your area. They’ll have an opportunity to exercise and socialize with other dogs while learning new skills that will keep their body lean and healthy for a lifetime. If you can’t find an agility club in your community, you can practice agility in your backyard.
The long shaggy coat of the Bearded Collie should be brushed out every day to prevent the hair from matting. These dogs love to be brushed, which makes grooming time a great opportunity to bond. If mats do develop, they should be carefully combined out or treated with a detangling solution as soon as possible. Otherwise, you might end up having to shave your dog’s hair, which could leave them looking a bit funny for a while.
Nails should be trimmed every couple of months to prevent them from growing too long and cracking, which can be painful for your dog when they walk around. Bathing is necessary only after dirt buildup is evident. The ears should be gently cleaned with a washcloth, cotton ball, or paper towel weekly to prevent the occurrence of infections.
Health Conditions ❤️
The Bearded Collie is a healthy breed overall, and there are no serious health conditions that they seem to be susceptible to. However, there are a few minor conditions that they tend to be prone to, so these should be kept in mind as your puppy ages.
Male vs Female
For the most part, both male and female Bearded Collies are smart, funny, and kind. Both genders are also usually highly active. However, there are a couple of differences you should know about. First, males seem to be more outgoing than females. Second, girls tend to be more independent than boys. Additionally, females are typically easier to potty train. Males are also generally needier of attention than the girls are. No matter their slight differences, though, both genders would make awesome family pets.
If your family is outdoorsy, adventurous, and looking for a new furry addition to the family, the Bearded Collie is a purebred dog that is well worth your consideration. These amazing dogs will make you laugh, keep you company when you’re feeling down, and never let a day go by without reminding you how important it is to get active. They’ll keep the kids busy when you are trying to get chores done, and they will stay loyal throughout their entire lifetime.
We hope that our guide has provided you with the information and insight that you need to decide whether this impressive dog breed is the right one for your family. What is your favorite thing about the Bearded Collie? What attributes are you most worried about or intrigued with? We would love to hear your thoughts in our comments section below!
Featured Image Credit: Rolf Dannenberg, Shutterstock