Unofficial description of the Bearded Collie or Beardie by a
Bearded Collie - reasons you may not want to own one (or
have it own you)
So you may want a Bearded Collie. You have seen some really
cute puppies, or the wonderful graceful adult Beardie on TV or in a book or
magazine. You are told they are wonderful with people, kids and even other
animals. But - here we are listing off reason you may not want a Bearded Collie.
Why? Because the cute puppy grows up. You may not have the background or temperament
to own this dog breed. Do you know what you are getting into? Did you investigate
the breed, and if you did - did you really read those little comments sometimes
quickly said but not wanting to give a bad impression of the breed. As a herding
breed, the Bearded Collie has some built in traits. As a breed, it has some
characteristics. How often I have heard, with fondness, the Beardie owner
laughing at how the 50 pound bouncing pet of theirs herds the kids, cats,
other dogs - all the while leaving behind a trail of hair or mud. Or how their
wonderful pet managed to outsmart them. We Beardie owners love these stories,
we have experienced them ourselves. We have the right temperament or have
taken the necessary time and training to become worthy of being owned by our
Beardie. If you are reading this you are already making a good decision to
educate yourself about the breed - congratulations. You should do this with
any breed you are thinking of owning and many of these cautions apply to many
other breeds as well.
- Beardies need lots of grooming. And this is no joke. Either you will
have to learn to groom like a professional, have them groomed by a professional,
or clip all that beautiful hair. Under 2 years is the worst time. Grooming
can be once or twice a week. Later this can be every two or even three weeks.
But it is hard work and can take a couple hours or more a week! You need really
good combs, brushes, mat rakes and so on. Good grooming keeps the extra hair
from ending up on the carpet. Not that Beardies shed more than other dogs
- in fact short hair dogs tend to shed a lot more. But the long hair will
wrap itself up in the rollers of the vacuum cleaner. You want it to end up
on your brush instead. If you don't keep the matts out, their skin and health
- With their long hair, Beardies can track in mud, leaves, all sorts of
unusual materials stuck in their coat. Even a rainy day can result in the
need for lots of extra attention to keep your floors (or furniture) clean.
For that matter, they may just rub it off on you. Also, if a Beardie does
get an upset tummy and diarrhea - it can get caught in the long hair under
their tail and on their rump.
- Beardies need exercise. If you want a dog that just lays around forget
it with most Beardies. A half hour of exercise 3 or 4 times a week of romping
- Do you have room for a Bearded Collie? Although some have them in smaller
homes with small lots, or even apartments, those people usually like to go
for long walks or to the park frequently. Beardies live a long time, so be
prepared to do this for many years to come (day after day). The ideal home
would have a large yard with a 6 foot privacy fence. Beardies like to romp
and run ... and jump. Many can easily jump a standard fence (4 feet) and some
climb. They sometimes display genius in getting loose. Some even recommend
a top be put on the fence that slants back in towards the yard. And, Beardies
can dig (famous for excavating) so you made need stone under the fence. Of
course many are content with just staying put - it gets back to the training.
- Beardies need people. Personally I don't think it is a real good idea
to own a Beardie if you aren't home most of the time. This is especially true
for the younger Beardies (my opinion). Sure some of the best Beardie owners
are those who work during the day. But one must assume they had enough time
away from work (maybe summer vacation) to allow their Beardie to be comfortable
in its home. Most arrange for someone to be around, visit them, or use doggie
day care. Left alone they may bark (neighbors complain) or get into mischief,
or worse yet develop anxieties. Many rescues come from homes that were not
prepared to give their Beardie the attention it needs.
- Bearded Collies are known for their antics, meaning they have lots of
intelligence and need things to do. This is related also to those who can't
be home. Beardies have been known to open cupboards and take food, open doors,
counter surf (they are tall enough to remove items from the counters). They
can also rearrange your clothing, grab the remote control for your TV and
make little pieces out of it and so on. Basically they can get bored and need
something to do. They were bred over centuries to work, to use their energy.
Of course many dogs do these things .. are you ready for a dog.
- Beardies like to jump up and great you. You will have to train them not
to do this. We always recommend puppy kindergarten or obedience classes (are
you able to do this?) If you have someone who is very old in the family, Beardies
can be great companions with training - or they can knock those people over
with their friendliness. The same is true with toddlers - a Beardie can easily
knock them over.
- Beardies sometimes like to bark. this is especially true if someone comes
to the door. Other barking is a result of bordom, being left alone or isolated
in the yard for too long a period of time. Of course, each beardie has its
own personality and you can train them if you have the time and are available
- so experiences may vary. Do you have the time and patience to work with
a Beardie? Remember, barking is a form of comunication and almost all dogs
want to bark - just that some beardies want to get your attention because
they love humans (and other animals).
- Bearded Collies are not cheap to own. First, a well bred healthy Beardie
puppy can cost you $1000 or more. Then you will have all the veterinary costs
to maintain vaccinations and good health, then grooming supplies or visits
to the groomer every few weeks. Much of this is the same for other breeds
- so the point is: Can you afford to be a good dog owner?
- Do you have the right temperament? Bearded Collies respond to positive
methods of training and not to negative. What does this mean? Beardies respond
to rewards not punishment! If you or anyone in your home is prone to "fly
off the handle" or shout, or worse yet take it out on the family pet,
then don't get a Bearded Collie. Many can not tolerant this sort of treatment
or behavior and you will end up with a neurotic dog.
- As you can see, Bearded Collies need to be trained. They can be independent,
stronger than you think, and sometimes stubborn. They are smart and respond
to positive reinforcement in obedience training very well if you take the
time. Will you take the time? If not you may have a furry bundle of uncontrolled
energy on your hands.
- We'll add to this over time. The point is - are you prepared to own a
Beardie? Does this sound really negative? If it does, I should also say that
if you are willing to spend the time with training and companionship a Bearded
Collie is well worth it - once you own one you will want more. Beardies are
smart, and so can be trained. They are loving, and so can be the best companion
you ever had. But if you are not right for the breed, then you should consider
Have you read the following?