Most often people use the adjective “enthusiastic” when describing the Scottish native Bearded Collies. Other words that are also often used to describe Bearded Collies include active, bright, energetic, exuberant, hardy, reliable, and trustworthy, all of which give a good idea of what dogs from this breed are like. They are affectionately referred to as Beardies, and are the ultimate shaggy dog. They are known as Bearded Collies because the hair hanging down from their chin forms a beard.
Bearded Collies display their enthusiasm in their bouncy nature. It is said that Bearded Collies working in thick Scottish undergrowth would bounce up to spot the sheep being herded and they would get stubborn sheep to move by barking and bouncing in front of them. Regardless, Bearded Collies have a clownish, upbeat attitude and a constantly wagging tail.
Bearded Collies are medium-sized and strong working dogs. They have a lean and long body. They have a broad, flat and large head with a moderate stop, along with a relatively full, short and strong muzzle. They have a large and square black nose and medium-sized ears that are covered with long hair and hang close to their head. Their large teeth meet in a scissors bite. They usually carry their tail low unless they are excited. Their whole boy, including their chin, is covered in a shaggy and waterproof hanging double coat. At the shoulder, male Bearded Collies stand somewhere between 21 and 22 inches tall, while the females have a height between 20 and 21 inches. Generally, Bearded Collie dogs weigh somewhere between 45 and 55 pounds.
Due to the weather extremes in Scotland, Bearded Collies have a flat, harsh, shaggy and strong outer coat and furry, soft undercoat. Their coat naturally falls to either side of their body and the beard they are known for is formed by the long hair on their cheeks, chin and lower lips.
The soft puppy coat usually beings to come out when Bearded Collie puppies mature from 9 to 18 months of age. When that happens, they should be brushed twice or thrice a week so that the coat can be removed and mats can be prevented. Once the adult coat comes in, it should be enough to brush once a week.
Bearded Collies shed heavily for two to four weeks once year, and during this time they should be brushed frequently so that the level of loose hair can be kept under control.
By birth, Bearded Collies have a black, blue, brown or fawn coat that has white markings at times. A fading gene is carried by some of them, which causes their coat to lighten, then dark again a bit after they are on year old. This means that if a Bearded Collie puppy has a black coat, it may become a shade of gray somewhere between black, slate and silver. If Bearded Collie puppies are born with a brown coat, it lights from chocolate to sandy, or if in the case blues and fawns, the coat becomes a darker or lighter shade of those colors.
The coat of Bearded Collie puppies without the fading gene does not change even after they have grown up. Simply the white markings may occur as a blaze on the chest, face, feet, head, legs, neck, and the tip of the tail. Occasionally, tan markings may appear on the cheeks, eyebrows, inside the ears, on the legs and under the root of their tail.
There tends to be an air of cheerful and happy-go-lucky humor around Bearded Collies. They are affectionate, lively and playful, and can make an excellent companion for children. They are fond of being with their masters. If Bearded Collies are not exercised and left alone with nothing to do, they can become destructive or mischievous as a result of boredom. The exuberant and high-energy Bearded Collies are known for being bouncy, so sufficient mental and physical exercise should be provided to them.
Fortunately, Bearded Collies can be trained for various activities. Since Bearded Collies tend to be headstrong and think a lot, a natural authority should be displayed by their masters. When dealing with them, being confident, consistent and firm yet calm is the key. The rules should be set and it should be made sure that they follow those rules. Their barks can be quite noisy, but they do not make good watchdogs. As long as there are properly exercised socialized, Bearded Collies are never too aggressive or shy, rather they can be very self-confident and stable.
The great thing about Bearded Collies is that they make great playmates for children because of their bouncy, energetic and humorous temperament. However, teaching children how to approach and touch them properly and vice versa is important.