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Bearded Collie Frequently Asked Questions

Questions on Exercise

How much exercise does a Beardie need?

As with humans, Bearded Collies are individuals. The breed has a long history as a herding dog, and therefore there is a certain built in desire for a Beardie to have a job to do. The Bearded Collie is an intelligent dog, so they also need companionship and mental exercise. They are essentially born to be active, but in some cases settle down and become couch potatoes. As with humans, this is not a healthy thing to do and they can become overweight and less healthy. Most Beardies are not hyper, but there are some that are very active. And a few that are hyper. All will enjoy exercise and are always ready to go outside for some play time.

I live in an apartment, can I still own a Bearded Collie?
If you live in an apartment, condo, or even a house with a small lot, you may need to seek out parks. If in a rural area, then there may be some field you can use. If you work all day, then you friend is going to need lots of attention when you get home (note: we personally think Beardies would better appreciate a home where there is someone home most of the time). Be prepared to devote half an hour as soon as you arrive home. The best routine would be to wake up and exercise, have someone come into your home during the day, then come home and exercise. Maybe one more session before bed time. Of course there are also doggie days care centers, but often they only kennel the dog (at least there is some distraction from the other dogs).

Do I need a Fence?

Personally I recommend a fenced yard, preferable a 6 foot privacy fence. Some Beardies can easily jump over a standard 4 foot chain link fence. They are also clever, and given the opportunity some will use some sort of platform (maybe a picnic table) will manage to go over taller fences. Of course, many will be content to just stay by their home.

OK - so what do you do to exercise your Beardie?

Most Beardies are eager to play, whether it is a game of fetch or simply running about the yard. This is an easy and fun way to provide them with the exercise they need - both physical and mental. A couple of fifteen minute (continuous) play sessions a day, along with the normal running about the yard will provide all the exercise they need. We recommend a minimum of 30 minutes at least four times a week of good continuous exercise. The more the better. And since they crave human attention, this will also result in a better mentally adjusted Beardie.

But, I will walk my Beardie - isn't that enough?

Personally, I do not really believe that just walking the dog two or three times a day provides them with the physical exercise they need. This may help with the companionship they must have, but is not really exercise. Think aerobics, if you are told you need that form of exercise by a doctor, they will tell you that walking the dog doesn't count. Why? Because you will be walking a short distance and then stopping for potty or just sniffing around, and so on. Some people jump on a bike and take their dog with them, there are even systems to attach the leash to the bike for that purpose. A Beardie can easily run a few miles.

My Beardie gets all exercise, how come he doesn't get muscular?

Running and playing provides aerobic exercise. But if you want to build strength, then the running should be up a hill. One of our Beardies was failing to build muscle and strength in the chest. His breeder suggested running him up hills, and sure enough, in a few months he had a spectacular muscular physique.

Is there any formal method of giving my Bearded Collie Exercise?

Sure. Start out with an obedience class first. But then consider getting into Agility or Flyball. These activities can be great fun for you and your Beardie.


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