The Bearded Collie, or Beardie, is a herding breed of dog once used primarily by Scottish shepherds, but now mostly a popular family companion.
Bearded Collies make excellent pets for those willing to accommodate their high energy level and grooming requirements. Weekly brushing is mandatory for keeping their long hair mat-free. Some Bearded Collie owners opt to keep their pets in a “puppy cut” haircut, which reduces (but does not eliminate) the need for brushing. Bearded Collies are an energetic breed, originally intended to work in the Scottish Highlands herding sheep; they also excel at dog agility and Obedience trials. A loyal and family-friendly dog, the Beardie can add years of pet-ownership enjoyment to the home. They have keen problem-solving abilities, and are entertaining to watch.
Beardies coat changes during various periods of its life. Puppies are born either black, blue, brown or fawn, with or without white markings. As it matures, it darkens to black, brown, blue, or fawn. The Beardie’s final coat color is somewhere between the puppy coat and the yearling coat.
The Bearded Collie may have earned its nickname “bouncing Beardie” because the dogs would work in thick underbrush on hillsides; they would bounce to catch sight of the sheep. Beardies also have a characteristic way of facing a stubborn ewe, barking and bouncing on the forelegs. Whatever the reason, a typical Bearded Collie is an enthusiastic herding dog which requires structure and care; it moves stock with body, bark and bounce as required. Very few Beardies show “eye” when working; most are upright.
Herding instincts and tractability can be assessed in noncompetitive herding tests. Beardies exhibiting basic herding instincts can be trained to compete in herding trials.
The Bearded Collie is prone to hip dysplasia and the most common health problems were hypothyroidism, cancer, Addison’s disease, arthritis and skin problems.