Bearded Collie

Canis lupus

Last updated: April 11, 2021
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff

Weekly brushing is mandatory!

Bearded Collie Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Canis lupus

Bearded Collie Conservation Status

Bearded Collie Locations

Bearded Collie Locations

Bearded Collie Facts

Loving, lively and playful
Should be trained from an early age and respond well to harsh techniques
Average Litter Size
Common Name
Bearded Collie
Weekly brushing is mandatory!

Bearded Collie Physical Characteristics

  • Brown
  • Grey
  • Black
  • White
  • Tan
Skin Type

Bearded Collie Images

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The bearded collie is known to make a great family and show dogs and is also a great sheepdog.

Bred in Scotland to herd sheep and cattle, the Bearded Collie is a purebred dog and is trained to survive and herd cattle in any weather or terrain.

Despite being purebred dogs, bearded collies can be found in shelter homes and/or rescue centers. These dogs are extremely energetic and are well known for participating in different kinds of dog sports like rally or agility.

Three Pros and Cons of Owning a Bearded Collie

If you are looking to own a Scotland-developed sheepdog bearded collie, there are some things that you would like to keep in mind.

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Pros! Cons!
Bearded collies are known to be intelligent dogs and are often used for watchdog purposes due to their vigilant nature.
High maintenance
Bearded collies are high maintenance and are often difficult to groom. You would need to do a lot of work on the dog to keep it in a decent condition.
Bearded collies are also very adaptable and can easily adjust to new environments – making them a desirable pet option.
Excessive shedding
These dogs are known to shed a lot which oftentimes becomes a tedious task to clean after for the dog owner.
Easy to train
Bearded collies are easy to train and are known to pick up commands faster, which is another desirable characteristic for this dog breed.
A great demand for social interaction
Bearded collies demand a great deal of company. They can often feel lost and have behavior issues if left alone for a long time.
Bearded Collie standing with its handler

Bearded Collie Size and Weight

The breeding of the bearded collie in Scotland has led the breed to reach a medium size with a rectangular body shape. The bearded collie has a shaggy coat that comes in different colors like fawn, blue, brown, and black. Sometimes, the fur also has some white markings. These dogs have the same eye color as their coats.

Male Female
Height 20 to 22 inches 20 to 20.8 inches
Weight 87.3 to 131.2 lb 87.3 to 131.2 lb

Bearded Collie Common Health Issues

Much like other animals, the bearded collie also suffers from a lot of health complications. Some of them include hip dysplasia, which is the abnormal formation of the hip bone. They can suffer from this same developmental issue in the elbow bone as well.

Beardies are prone to eye diseases as well, like progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). While this condition is not painful, the inherited condition eventually causes the dog to go blind and it cannot be cured. In fact, bearded collies are more likely to see this genetic decline than most other breeds.

Autoimmune hypothyroidism is another major risk to a beardie, affecting the thyroid gland. The condition prevents the body from creating the hormones that this gland ordinarily would, leading to behavior changes (i.e. aggression or fearfulness), weight gain, and hair loss.

Health and Entertainment for your Bearded Collie

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The adrenal glands can also be impacted, leading to a condition known as Addison’s disease. The endocrine disorder can lead to a lack of appetite, depression, weakness, and sometimes increased water intake. Most often, this condition will occur as the immune system attacks the adrenal glands, which are supposed to release cortisol to calm the dog if it becomes stressed.

Therefore, some of the health issues that these dogs suffer from include:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Addison’s disease
  • Autoimmune hypothyroidism

Bearded Collie Temperament

These dogs are witty and are also known to be very lively. Bearded collies are smart and active dogs. However, they can be very stubborn and independent.

They are extremely athletic and intelligent and are very easy to train as they are firm and patient with the owners. These dogs are usually friendly with other dogs and are very hard working. They usually also compete with other dogs in various dog sports.

However, because these dogs are very active, they need a particular amount of exercise every day, the lack of which can cause bad behavioral issues in these dogs. Such issues can also occur in these dogs due to a lack of attention.

They are usually great with children. However, sometimes, these dogs can be too active for young kids.

How to Take Care of Bearded Collies

While considering the option of petting an animal, you have to keep a few things in mind which would include how to take care of the pet. Here are some of these things for the bearded collie.

Bearded Collie Food and Diet

The usual diet of the bearded collie includes meat, quinoa, shrimps, eggs, bread, and salmon. It is recommended that you feed your bearded collie about 1.5 to 2 cups of high-quality dog food per day. The quantity, however, can be divided into two meals.

However, how much your bearded collie eats also depends on its age, size, and physical capabilities. Bearded Collie puppies usually eat three to four times a day in comparison to the adult ones as they can’t digest a lot of food in one go.

Some foods are very harmful to your beaded collie, which include chocolates, raisins, grapes, garlic, and onions. You should avoid feeding these to your dog.

Bearded Collie Maintenance and Grooming

Bearded collies are high maintenance dogs which means that these dogs require a lot of grooming and maintenance. This need arises especially due to its long coat hair which makes grooming a costing task.

The fur often collects a lot of dirt which must be removed with a hairbrush. It has been said that brushing a bearded collie’s fur could take up to an hour sometimes and that it should be done at least three times a week. These dogs also have high shedding capabilities.

Bearded collies should be bathed every 6 to 8 weeks and a dog-shampoo should be used for the same. Dog shampoos are usually available at many pet shops.

Bearded Collie Training

Since these dogs are physically very active, it is often easy to train them. They work best with human company and often help humans herd sheep. Bearded collies can quickly pick up commands. However, they do require proper training and attention.

These dogs, however, can be shy and therefore need to be introduced to a social circle early on in their life. To start training your bearded collie puppy, you should first set a particular time and place and let the puppy get familiarized with it.

After the connection has been built, you can start introducing simpler training commands before shifting to more complex ones over time so that the dog can easily pick it up.

Bearded Collie Exercise

These dogs are known to have high energy levels and usually need about one to two hours of daily exercise. Bearded collies are active dogs and often enjoy playing games. They enthusiastically join in while playing which also makes them great family companions.

Bearded Collie Puppies

While taking care of a bearded collie puppy is mostly the same as taking care of an adult bearded collie, you would have to be very careful with feeding the dog puppies.

The adults must be fed about twice a day. However, bearded collie puppies have to be fed around three to four times a day as they are unable to digest so much food in one go.

A bearded collie puppy running around in the grass

Bearded Collie and Children

Bearded collies are very active and are especially playful around children. They are also very fond of warm hugs and enjoy a lot of attention. However, their energy levels could also prove a little harmful around young children.

Dogs Similar to Bearded Collies

Some dogs that are very similar to the bearded collie are:

  • Australian Cattle Dog: These dogs are also herding dogs and are medium-sized, much like the bearded collie. They are also known to be intelligent and can efficiently handle cattle herds on their own.
  • Border collie: These dogs are also known for helping humans in herding sheep and livestock. They are intelligent as well as athletic and are known to participate in a lot of dog sports activities like the bearded collie.
  • Australian Shepherd: These dogs are medium-sized and are often found in the United States. They are highly intelligent and are known to be a great family and herding dogs.

Famous Bearded Collies

Bearded collies have often appeared on screens for their fluffy physique and ability to learn proper training. Some of the characters involve Chiffon, Wilby’s pet in the 2006 Walt Disney classic The Shaggy Dog.

A bearded collie is also used in the 2001 film Agent Cody Banks to walk alongside the main character. You can also find one of these dogs in the old television show Please Don’t Eat the Daisies. One of the most famous beardies to ever grace the stage was in the original production of Peter Pan, playing the role of the family dog Nana.

Some of the popular names for this sheepdog are:

  • Milo
  • Buddy
  • Sully
  • Odie
  • Coach
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Bearded Collie FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Are Bearded Collies herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?

Bearded Collies are Omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and other animals.

What Kingdom do Bearded Collies belong to?

Bearded Collies belong to the Kingdom Animalia.

What class do Bearded Collies belong to?

Bearded Collies belong to the class Mammalia.

What phylum to Bearded Collies belong to?

Bearded Collies belong to the phylum Chordata.

What family do Bearded Collies belong to?

Bearded Collies belong to the family Canidae.

What order do Bearded Collies belong to?

Bearded Collies belong to the order Carnivora.

What genus do Bearded Collies belong to?

Bearded Collies belong to the genus Canis.

What type of covering do Bearded Collies have?

Bearded Collies are covered in Hair.

How many babies do Bearded Collies have?

The average number of babies a Bearded Collie has is 7.

What is an interesting fact about Bearded Collies?

Weekly brushing is mandatory for Bearded Collies!

What is the scientific name for the Bearded Collie?

The scientific name for the Bearded Collie is Canis lupus.

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  2. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals
  3. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia
  4. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals
  5. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals
  6. Dogtime, Available here:
  7. American Kennel Club, Available here:
  8. Aubrey Animal Medical Center, Available here:
  9. Dog-Learn, Available here:
  10. Michelle Welton's Honest Advice about dogs, Available here:
  11. PDSA, Available here:

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