Why we love Bearded Collies
I'd like to show you the two facets of this breed...
on the one hand, the qualities which are so endearing to us...
and on the other ...the same qualities which other people might regard as the downside of this breed
and which make these dogs not suitable for everyone.
The first contact
With their shaggy coats Bearded Collies are the sort of dog you can't miss. With their
fringe blowing in the wind and their athletic build you can't help but admire them. You
can approach them and they will look you straight in the eye with complete confidence.
They will hurl themselves into your arms, enjoying the physical contact and the cuddles.
From the first time you make a fuss of this dog he will captivate you with his kindly
expression. Bearded Collies are very friendly and sociable. He loves everybody, animal and
And above all he loves his family.
These dogs are yery easy to live with and very easygoing by nature. They are easy to train,
they love clowning about; they're always in a good mood; they are very hardy and rarely ill
with a life expectancy often of more than 13 or 14 years.
Training a puppy
The Bearded Collie is one of those rare breeds in which the puppy is very different from the
adult dog. You can't help but fall in love with his sweet little face.
But the Bearded Collie puppy is not a cuddly toy! He needs respect and he needs to be properly trained.
The basic training to have a dog you can take anywhere with you without any problem is easy. The
cuddly little puppy is anxious to please his master. You don't have to be the only person to
train him as he will happily learn from other members of the family, including the children.
Given his sensitivity and his ability to leam quickly I would advise training the Bearded
Collie with a positive method and clicker training. I don't think that the system of training by
punishment based on the dominant/submissive model is at all appropriate to Bearded Collies.
Take you time to train a Bearded Collie: don't use a collar which might strangle him and
don't tug on the lead or shout or smack the dog! You might think this is going rather slowly
but you'will bring out the best in your dog and more importantly you will build a strong and
confident relationship" Bearded Collies learn very quickly, have a good memory but are not
They are not the right breed for overly strict owners who require total obedience in a dog.
Bearded Collies are able to anticipate your commands, to think about whether they should
obey your command and they can take the initiative.
Some people think this amounts to the dog stubbornly disobeying your command...but I think
this shows his intelligence!
In fact the Scottish Highland shepherds prized these dogs for being so capable and responsive.
An authentic herding dog
This dog has all the qualities necessary for a herding dog. He is energetic and aware,
inquisitive, watchfirl, able to take the initiative, quiet in the home but playful, dynamic and
athletic in the open.
The Bearded Collie is cuddly and needs lots of physical contact. Some
dogs are very affectionate, some are clingy and others, exuberant.
He loves living with his owners. He will put up with their absence for a short time
but don't ask him to wait all day for you whilst you are at work.
His shaggy coat might make you think he's just soft and cute but he is a sheepdog
and not a Barbie doll...
He needs to go out for exercise every day and in all weathers.
You can do lots of activities with a Bearded Collie: he needs and adores family walks!
As far as doggy activities are concerned dog agility classes really suit them as well as HeelWork to Music. These help to develop concentration and selfcontrol and they require lots of perseverance from the owner.
But you have to admit that the ultimate would be to herd sheep, and to show what he is capable of!
The image that comes to mind is of the Bearded Collie with his fringe blowing in the wind;
you can imagine how soft his coat is when you stroke him...
Depending on the individual the coat can be thick and long or slightly shorter and it will need attention.
It's not difficult but you should count on at least one hour's brushing a week. You need to
make sure that you plan this hour into your timetable. It is an important duty but it's also a
chance to share this moment of pleasure with your dog.
It's also a great stress-buster for you after a day's work.
To sum up:
The Bearded Collie loves everybody; he is active and dynamic and he isn't afraid of getting dirty so you will need to clean him regularly...
He will never beçome a guard dog.
He can become nervous and excitable and bark a lot under certain circumstances, for example, if it's very noisy or tense in the home or if he's
lacking in exercise or frustrated by the lack of contact with his owner.