Bearded Collie in Field of Flowers

Bearded Collie Care

If a single word can describe the Bearded Collie (affectionately called the "Beardie"), that word is enthusiastic. These long-haired, intelligent, friendly, athletic dogs were originally developed in Scotland to be livestock herders, but they make excellent pets for active families as well. Overall Bearded Collie care and maintenance will take a moderate amount of work, and will consist mainly of providing the dog with a good bit of daily exercise.

Below you'll find details on caring for a Bearded Collie, including info about puppy care and development, exercise needs, and shedding/drooling tendencies. For answers to your questions about owning this lively breed, keep reading!

Bearded Collie Exercise Needs

This is an energetic, athletic breed, so Bearded Collie exercise requirements are quite extensive. Since they've spent centuries herding livestock, these dogs are used to a good bit of daily activity, and will need a variety of exercises that both stretch their legs and stimulate them mentally. Beardies make good jogging and bicycling companions; they're excellent competitors in various canine sporting events as well.

The typical adult Beardie, depending on its age and overall activity level, will need at least an hour of proper exercise per day--which you can achieve with a couple of long walks, jogs, or bike rides and a good period of play. You can start exercising your Beardie puppy when it's three months old by taking it on short (5- to 7-minute) leashed walks, then you can increase the walks' length and frequency as the puppy grows.

A few precautions to consider when exercising your Bearded Collie: first, puppies younger than nine months old shouldn't participate in activities that include a lot of jumping, running on hard surfaces, or navigating of stairs, as doing so can injure their still-developing joints and bones. And regardless of age, all Beardies will need to be leashed when in public. These dogs have very strong herding instincts, and will try to "control" moving objects--people, other animals, bicyclists, even cars--if given the chance; a leash will help you control your Beardie when the dogs tries to "herd" things. Even when exercising in your own yard, the area will need to be securely fenced to keep the dog from running off. Otherwise, Bearded Collies are healthy and hardy, and can exercise in a variety of situations and weather conditions.

Safeguards aside, it's very important for owners to exercise their Beardies every single day. These are task-oriented dogs with high barking tendencies, and without consistent activity they'll be frustrated, hyperactive, and disobedient, and will probably bark non-stop! Regular exercise is good for both the dog's and your own peace of mind. A few exercise ideas:

  • Walking/Jogging/Bicycling: Two 30-minute walks (or 20-minute jogs or bike rides) per day is a good target
  • Fetch/Frisbee: These dogs will chase a ball, stick, or Frisbee for hours
  • Tug-of-War: Excellent indoor, rainy-day activity; use a rope or old towel
  • Canine Sports: Beardies can excel at obedience and agility trials, herding competitions, and other events
  • Dog Park: If properly socialized, Beardies enjoy the company of other dogs; be sure to use a leash
  • Hiking: Great bonding activity; bonus if you can find a remote area where the dog can be off-leash

If your Beardie spends a lot of time indoors, it's a good idea to give the dog access to one or more balls or chew-toys that will allow it to burn excess energy. It's also recommended that you establish a regular exercise schedule for the dog, such as walks, jogs, or bike rides after breakfast and dinner and a play period in the afternoon.

Bearded Collie Maintenance

In terms of shedding and drooling, these dogs need moderate care. Bearded Collie shedding is fair for most of the year, and heavier during the spring (and sometimes fall) shedding season; drooling isn't an issue, but these dogs are messy drinkers.

Beardies have long-haired, flat, double-layered coats that shed moderately most of the time--but when they "blow" their undercoats each spring (and often in the fall as well), the shedding is heavier. Owners will need to brush their Beadies daily with a pin brush, both to reduce the amount of shedding and to prevent mats and tangles. Hair cleanup--vacuuming the floors and lint rollers on clothes and furniture--will be necessary from time to time (and more often, obviously, during shedding season).

And a Beardie almost never drools, but its long facial hair will collect liquid when the dog drinks, which will then drip everywhere. It's a good idea for owners to keep old rags or towels near their Beardies' water dishes to clean up excess dripping. If your Bearded Collie is actually drooling or foaming at the mouth excessively, it's probably a sign of a medical issue, in which case a veterinarian's care is needed.

Bearded Collie Diet

The Beardie diet will need to include animal proteins, healthy carbs, vitamins, minerals, and omega fatty acids--nutrients every dog needs to maintain its health in the long term. This means the best Beardie food is premium dry food, as it has balanced portions of the above-listed ingredients.

These dogs will do best with premium food that's formulated for active breeds. SportMix and Dr. Tim's are recommended brands that carry excellent lines of premium high-energy food.

Adult Bearded Collies, depending on their size, age, and activity levels, will need about three cups of premium dry food per day. Beardie puppies will need a bit less: again depending on age, about 2ΒΌ cups per day, divided into three meals (not two) until six months of age.

For more info on feeding a Bearded Collie from puppyhood through maturity, see this feeding chart:

Feeding Chart
Dog AgeDog WeightFood TypeAmountFrequency2 Months8 lbsDry (Puppy formula)0.33 cups3x/day3 Months15 lbsDry0.5 cups3x/day6 Months30 lbsDry0.75 cups3x/day9 Months40 lbsDry* (Puppy/Adult)1.25 cups2x/day12 Months+50 lbsDry (Adult formula)1.5 cups2x/day

*--Around this time, transition to adult food by mixing in adult formula with the puppy formula, in slowly increasing amounts with each meal, for one week.

Try if possible to stick to the above-listed portions. These dogs are prone to obesity, and if constantly overfed (and under-exercised) they'll quickly become overweight--and a fat Bearded Collie will have numerous health problems and a potentially shortened lifespan. You can help control your Beardie's weight by having consistent feeding and exercise schedules, by not feeding the dog table scraps, and by not leaving food in the dog's bowl all the time.

If you're worried your Beardie is overweight, give the dog this simple test: run a hand along its side, and if you can't feel any ribs, it's diet time--which means less food and more exercise!

Bearded Collie Grooming

Read the grooming requirements for Bearded Collies including coat care and other maintenance.

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About this Article

Authored by:Dog-Learn
Updated:December 18, 2019