Bearded Collie

Bearded Collie


Group: Herding Group

Origin: Great Britain

Height: 20-22 inches (51-56 cm) at the shoulder

Weight: 35-55 lbs (16-25 kg), depending on height

Bearded Collie
Ch MyVesh Fancy’s Bravo Brio, CDX
Photo: MyVesh Bearded Collies

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Breed Profile

The Bearded Collie (sometimes called the Highland Collie or the Mountain Collie) is one of Britain’s oldest breeds. Originating in Scotland, it is believed that he was developed from the breeding of the Polish Lowland Sheepdog (Polski Owczarek Nizinny) to local herding dogs during the 1500s. A common breed in his native land, he was bred to work long hours and think for himself as a tireless sheep herder and cattle drover. By the 1940s, the breed became familiar to other parts of the world and has since become very popular.

As a herding dog, he may try to take charge from instinct and start herding whatever he considers to be his flock. Energetic and enthusiastic, but not hyper, a Beardie needs regular daily exercise. Above all, the Bearded Collie is a family dog who loves children. He is very intelligent, friendly, exuberant, fun-loving, outgoing, and he gets along well with other dogs and family pets.

With the Beardie’s intelligence and energy level, he is happiest when he is busy and there are several sports and activities that a Beardie can be involved in, including: Agility, Herding, Obedience, Tracking, Conformation, as well as working as Therapy dogs.

The Beardie’s appearance is one that conveys an impression of strength and agility. He has a harsh and long outer coat that repels rain and snow, while the undercoat is short and downy. Beardies can be seen in four colours: black, brown, blue, and fawn, with or without white markings. One unusual characteristic of the breed is the eye colour which generally should be toned to the coat colour — The Black and Brown Beardies have brown eyes, the Blues have smoky or grayish-blue eyes; and the Fawns have a lighter brown eye that may contain a hint of hazel. All Beardies are born a dark colour and as they grow, they begin to lighten. It is very difficult to predict the adult colour of a puppy.

Health Issues

The Bearded Collie breed is generally a very healthy one with an average life expectancy of about 12 to 14 years. However, as with all breeds, the Bearded Collie may be susceptible to some health concerns, including: Addison’s Disease and some eye problems.

If you are considering the adoption of a Bearded Collie puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy’s parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the General Information page.)

Recommended Health Screening:

For the Bearded Collie, the CHICNote 1 database includes health screenings for the following:

  • Eye Examination by a board Ophthalmologist every year until the age of five and every two years thereafter;
  • Hip Dysplasia; and
  • Autoimmune Thyroiditis
  • Elbow Dysplasia is also listed as optional.

Additional Health Resources:


Grooming Information

The Bearded Collie’s long coat requires regular brushing — for adult dogs, generally about one hour per week. For the transition stage between puppy to adult coat at about one year of age, considerably more brushing is required. It is not unusual for Beardie owners to keep their dogs’ coats clipped short.

  • Grooming — This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.


Training Resources

The Bearded Collie is very intelligent and quick to learn. However, he is an independent thinker and can be very stubborn. Obedience training must be fun, consistent and fair. It should also start at a young age and continue into adulthood.

  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.


Additional Information

  • Irena’s Bearded Collies Pedigree Database
  • Is a Dog from the Herding Group Right for you?
  • Herding Dogs — The Herding Dogs section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website includes training and general information about Herding/Stock Dogs; listing of Stock Dog Clubs and Associations; listing of upcoming shows and events; and more.
  • Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
  • Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.


*NOTE 1: CHIC – The Canine Health Information Center “is a database of consolidated health screening results from multiple sources. Co-sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, CHIC works with parent clubs to identify health screening protocols appropriate for individual breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the parent club established requirements, that have their results registered and made available in the public domain are issued CHIC numbers.” To learn more, visit:

*NOTE 2: The Fédération Cynologique International (FCI) is the World Canine Organization, which includes 91 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 344 breeds, with each being the “property” of a specific country. The “owner” countries write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.

Breed Listing

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