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Bearded Collie

The Bearded Collie is not so well known as other collies in the United Kingdom, and was almost extinct after World War II. Now, however, numbers of this delightful breed are increasing. It is a lovable dog, Ideally suited for family life but retaining its herding capabilities. It is easily trained, reliable with children and a lively playmate.

Although intended as a sheep herder, the Bearded Collie is not as popular with the shepherd as some of the other collies. Temperamentally it appears to be more suited to simple cattle driving than heavy, persuasive sheep steering.

Origin and history

The lovable Beardie bears a keen -resemblance to the Old English Sheepdog, or Bobtail, and is reckoned to be one of the oldest herding dogs in Scotland. It is said to be of Polish origin, being derived from purebred Polish Lowland Sheepdogs – two bitches and a dog were exchanged on a trading voyage to Scotland in 1514, for a ram and ewe. It has also been said to have Magyar (Hungarian) blood.

Luckily the survival of the breed was assured when Mrs G. Willison, of the former Bothkennar Kennels, acquired a Beardie bitch puppy (then without pedigree) in 1944,and, after a fruitless search for a Beardie dog, found one playing with its owners on the beach at Hove, Sussex. They were willing to sell, and from this pair, ‘Jeannie’ and ‘Bailie’, all today’s Beardies are descended.

Good points

  • Devoted pet
  • Good with children
  • Intelligent
  • Natural herder
  • Playful

Take heed

  • Needs plenty of exercise


Ideal height at the shoulder: dog 21-22in (53-56cm), bitch 20-211n (51-53cm)


Not suitable for a confined existence. Needs plenty of exercise, including off-the-Iead runs.

General appearance

An active dog with a long, lean body and none of the stumpiness of the Bobtail. Though strongly made, it shows plenty of daylight under the body and does not look too heavy. The face should have an enquiring expression. Movement should be free and active.

Slate grey or reddish fawn, black, all shades of grey, brown and sandy with or without white collie markings.

Head and skull
Broad, flat skull with ears set high; fairly long foreface with moderate stop. Nose should be black except with brown or fawn coats, when brown is permitted.

Set low, should be moderately long with abundant hair or brush; carried low when the dog is quiet with an upward swirl at the tip; carried gaily when the dog is excited, but not over the back

Oval In shape, soles well padded, toes arched and close together; well covered with hair, including between the pads.

A dog that bears a fairly strong resemblance to the Beardie IS the Dutch Schapendoes, which has Beardie blood in its veins, as well probably as that of the Bergamasco, Puli and Briard. It is a popular sheepdog, guard and house-dog in the Netherlands but IS little known in other countries.


Frequent brushing. Bathing and chalking are necessary for show.


Thirteen-200z (369-587g) of a branded, meaty product with biscuit added in equal part by volume, or 13/4-3 cupfuls of a dry food, complete diet, mixed in the proportion of 1 cup of feed to V2 cup of hot or cold water.