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Bearded Collie

Bearded Collie

Beardie at Agility Trial


According to breed legends, a Polish sea captain traded three of his Polish Sheepdogs to a Scottish shepherd for a valuable ram and ewe in the early 16th century. When these dogs interbred with the local herding stock, the Bearded Collie was born. There may have been two sizes of the breed originally: a smaller lighter one for gathering and herding in the highlands, and a heavier type for droving in the lowlands. They were used for centuries variously called Highland Sheepdog, Highland Collie, and Hairy Moved Collie.

Although shown at the turn of the 20th century the breed all but vanished. After World War II a Mrs Willison started its revival, and by the 1960s it was once again recognized and even exported to the United States.


Known for his “bounce,” the exuberant Beardie will charm you with his joyous, affectionate, happy-go-lucky ways. He is playful and lively with an always wagging tail. The perfect companion for children. Enthusiastic, stable and self-confident. Males tend to be more bold and outgoing, while females tend to be calmer and more submissive. The Beardie needs to be with people and not left alone without anything to do. If you must leave them be sure to take them for a long jog or walk prior to leaving. They are humorous and high-energy dogs and without enough daily mental and physical exercise they may get themselves into mischief. Very trainable for many activities.

An owner who displays a natural authority is a must as Beardies think a lot and will be headstrong if he sees you as meek. One needs to be calm, but firm, confident and consistent when dealing with this dog. Set the rules you wish the dog to follow and stick to them. Obedience training is recommended. The Beardie is a natural herder of people and animals. They are noisy barkers, but are not watch dogs. They should not be shy or aggressive.

The Bearded Collie, or “Beardie” as he is known to his fanciers, is a medium-sized, agile, herding dog with a shaggy coat and an ever-wagging tail. He is an ancestor of the Old English Sheepdog, and the family resemblance is obvious. The Beardie has a broad head, short muzzle and a shaggy coat all over his body, even under the chin (hence the name “Beardie”). Beneath the dense, weatherproof outer coat lies a thick, soft undercoat. Its head and teeth are large. The eyes are wide set and harmonious in color with its coat, set high on its head and pendent. The ears lie close to the head and the tail is long and carried low unless the dog is excited. The Beardie is robust, hardy and active, but not massive.

The color of the coat changes several times over the life of the dog. Puppies are generally born black, brown, fawn or blue. The puppy coat then fades to light gray or cream. As the dogs reach maturity, they darken again to their adult coat in any of the four colors, black, brown, blue, or fawn. The final coat color is somewhere between the puppy coat and the yearling coat.

For more information on the Bearded Collie

Other Bearded Collie Links – Breeders and Organizations

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