Even if you’ve never seen or met a Bearded Collie in person, you have to assume that any dog with such a “great” name has to be a lot of fun to own! And in this case, you wouldn’t be wrong. After all, the Bearded Collie puppies are just about the cutest little things you’ll ever see! And the good news is, unlike many other dog breeds, these little guys grow up to be adorable dogs, too! Dogs as well!
But looks aren’t everything…
With this guy because “the Beardie,” as he is sometimes called, is also a fun, energetic, (sometimes) noisy, and very affectionate dog that is perfect for just about any family. And yes, he is indeed a bit silly sometimes….
“But that’s also part of his or her appeal!”
However, be careful and don’t be fooled by his shaggy hair and cuteness. The Bearded Collie is a fast, athletic, and brilliant dog built to withstand the rough and rugged Scottish terrain as he was tasked to protect and corral sheep for his owner.
All that and good looks, too?
His long, shaggy coat comes in blue, black, fawn, or brown, with white streaks in between. A set of keen eyes and a short tail make this brilliant dog as cute as possible. We should also point out that these guys can jump Like, really jump. Some might even say the Beardie can stay in the air for almost as long as Michael Jordan. Ok, this might be a bit of a stretch, but if you ever find yourself chasing after a Bearded Collie, you might think the same way once you catch him.
All of this combined with…
A great temperament and friendly disposition to a fault make it difficult for many to say “No” when allowed to own a Bearded Collie. And who could blame them? The only problem is that a Beardie may not be your “right” dog. This is why, in this article, we wanted to take a moment and discuss some of the pros and cons of owning a Bearded Collie so that you might be better prepared to know if choosing a Bearded Collie is going to be the right choice for you So, without further ado, let’s dive right into it!
Bearded Collie Fast Facts
Country of Origin: Britain
Original Purpose: Companionship, used by farmers as working sheepdogs or shepherd dogs for herding sheep and cattle.
Dog Breed Classification: Herding Dogs
Height: 1 foot, 8 inches to 1 foot, 10 inches tall
Weight: 45 to 55 pounds
Life Span: 12 to 14 years
Dog Breed Classification: Herding Dogs
Origins of the Bearded Collie Dog Breed
The Bearded Collie is a British dog from Scotland and is believed to be one of the oldest breeds in the UK. As a result, you may often hear folks refer to the Bearded Collie by a variety of different names, including:
- The Shetland Sheepdog,
- A Mountain Collie,
- A Highland Collie,
- A Scottish Sheepdog,
- A Scottish Shepherd,
- Or our favorite, a Hairy Mou’ed Collie.
Regardless of what you “choose” to call your Bearded Collie, what will remain the same is that this shaggy-haired herding dog was “developed” by farmers for herding sheep and cattle hundreds of years ago, so at its “core,” it’s going to like to chase things.
A descendant of the Polish Lowland Sheepdogs, brought to Scotland by a Polish merchant in the 1500s, these dogs were bred with the local sheepdogs, and the Beardie was born out of this union. As we mentioned before, the Bearded Collie is an old dog breed “for the UK” whose presence is first documented in a portrait by an artist called Gainsborough in 1771, which shows a Shepherd lovingly embracing his “Beardie” in what appears to be a personal portrait.
The breed was then described at length in the 1818 edition of the Live Stock Journal, demonstrating how important the species had become to these farmers.
Two separate varieties of Bearded Collies existed. There was the Border strain that was brown and white and had a bit of a wavy coat, And there was the Highland strain that was gray and white and had skin more similar to what we see and know today. Eventually, however, these two breeds were merged by shepherds over many generations, ultimately creating just one “type” of Bearded Collie, which we now know and love.
The modern Bearded Collie…
Owes much of its success to one famous dog breeder named G.O. Willison, the woman behind the Bearded Collie Club who helped keep this breed around and prominent as the need for “herding” dogs diminished over time. These herding group dogs were first brought to the United States in the late 1950s, And by then, they had already been made famous by the Bearded Collie Club in Britain in 1955.
Eventually, the American Kennel Club (or the AKC) decided to register the breed on February 1, 1977. Today, the Bearded Collie dog breed is famous across the United States. We even have an organization called the Collie Club of America.
- The Beardie is a medium-sized dog ranging between 1 foot, 8 inches to 1 foot, 10 inches tall, And weighing 45 to 55 pounds.
- He has a shaggy coat and a rectangular body.
- A Beardie coat will be a “double coat” that could be blue, black, fawn, or brown. The skin may also have white markings or streaks in it.
- An unusual feature about Bearded Collies is that their eye colors can vary and usually match their coat color. So, If he has a fawn-colored skin, his eyes will likely be light brown.
And while we’re discussing a bearded Collie’s coat, we should point out that just about every Beardie takes great pride in his coat, And it’s going to be up to you to help them take care of it.
So, if you’re seriously considering adopting a Bearded Collie puppy, be aware that you will need to brush or comb his coat every day or at least every other day. The grooming can take a while, though, and touching the skin is not easy, But it has to be done if you want to keep your Beardie happy and avoid having your house covered in fur!
Personality and Temperament
The Beardie is an intelligent, boisterous, and exuberant dog. He loves being with children and is loyal to his human family because he has been bred for generations to take directions from his Sheep Herder master; they’re good at taking orders and anticipating what you may or may not want him to do.
Which is great!
The problem is that you probably won’t have a dozen or so sheep living in or around your home. This is why some Bearded Collies find themselves in trouble when they begin “Seeing” everything that moves as a “potential” plaything that should be chased and “herded.”
Now you really can’t…
Blame them, but when one of these potential playthings is a small child, we can begin to run into some possible issues. The excellent news is that with proper obedience training and socialization early on combined with plenty of daily “controlled” exercise, your Bearded Collie can, over time, “control” many of these urges; it’s up to you if you want to do the work!
He also makes an excellent watchdog because it is in his nature to watch over his flock. They are also fearless animals, another excellent reason to have one around. You’ll need to take him out often for exercise, as he quickly gets bored. Take him out on long walks where he can socialize with other dogs.
Potential Health Concerns
The Bearded Collie is a healthy dog, but like all dogs, he is susceptible to certain hereditary diseases. Not all Beardies…but it’s hard to say.
There are three conditions that a Bearded Collie is particularly vulnerable to, And treatment could set you back by anything from $ 1,500 to $ 4,000, depending on the specific condition and its severity. He could also suffer from:
- Eye diseases,
- Autoimmune hypothyroidism,
- Addison’s disease,
That’s why we here at IndulgeYourPet advise anyone who is considering purchasing a Bearded Collie puppy or, better yet, adopting a Bearded Collie rescue dog, first take a moment and see just what it might cost to buy a pet insurance policy on their new loved one so that if their dog does develop on of these conditions or is just injured at some point in their life, you won’t be on the “hook” for 100% of their medical bills.
For more information about what it might cost to purchase a pet insurance policy, we encourage you to look at our article Best Pet Insurance Companies.