Bearded Collie (Pet Love)


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Bearded collies are very active, friendly dogs, which were developed to work independently, so are not quite as obedient as border collies. They need a fair bit of grooming, not as much as an Old English Sheepdog, which they resemble somewhat, but they do need a good brush at least once a week, and they tend to collect mud on their long coats.

Beardies have a habit of jumping up in order to greet you better, and they are large dogs which can easily knock over small people as they rush past. They are not really suitable for homes with frail, elderly people, or toddlers, unless you can train them very strictly when they are pups. They should also be trained not to nip as pups. They are usually much less nippy than Border Collies, but a Bearded Collie that does nip is much more difficult to control, because they are such fast movers. Well trained Bearded Collies are usually fine with older children, because they are so friendly and playful. They need a lot of exercise, but enjoy retrieving, so can play happily for long periods in the garden. Beardies are also good agility dogs and tend to enjoy agility, sometimes to the extent of doing jumps twice, the second time just for fun. They usually get on well with other dogs, though some dogs find them a bit large and fast moving for comfort. It's easier to match them with a relatively placid breed if you have more than one dog, since two dogs with very high activity levels can be a little wearing!

Bearded Collies can be destructive if bored, tending to strew laundry and get into the rubbish. They also bark more if bored. They are good watchdogs, since they give good alarm barks, though they are then likely to kiss any intruder. They are generally healthy, staying active throughout their lives, though some common problems that the breed can suffer from include allergies, hip dysplasia and hypothyroidism.

Bryony Harcourt-Brown gives a good description of the breed, with advice on training and general care, as well as an account of the history of Bearded Collies. This is a good introduction to the breed for a novice Beardie owner, or someone considering a Bearded Collie.