The Bearded Collie is one of Great Britain’s most ancient breeds. This shaggy, humble herding dog is still prized by shepherds because it is smart, strong, focused, agile, and willing to put in a good day’s work. Butchers and cattlemen/cattlewomen in Great Britain and elsewhere also value their assistance in herding and moving cantankerous cattle.
Beardies are happy dogs, with an adorable, inquisitive personality. They bond firmly with their people but are not particularly possessive or protective. They are attentive, stable and self-confident, and should show no signs of shyness, fearfulness or aggression.
Beardies are active, athletic animals. They have been bred for centuries to be persistent and tireless, and therefore they normally do not flourish without a regular job to do. They probably are not the best choice for apartment-dwellers with full-time jobs outside of the home, unless daily dog-walkers are part of the picture.
There are a multitude of activities that Beardies enjoy. With their intelligence and energy, a busy Beardie is a happy Beardie. They can excel in agility and in the conformation ring. Herding can be an enjoyable pursuit for both dog and handler. Many Bearded Collies have been certified as therapy dogs and regularly visit hospitals, nursing homes and rehabilitation centers. This can be a rewarding experience for owners as well as dogs, and perhaps especially for the patients. Beardies seem to thrive with this type of attention.
Bearded Collies are trainable and thrive with obedience, agility, herding, utility and/or other performance tasks. Their enthusiastic personality makes them stand out in the conformation show ring as well. Obedience training can be a wonderful performance activity for both owner and dog. However, Beardies do have an independent spirit that can make them challenging to train. They are easily bored, so keeping the training interesting is important. When done with patience and good attitude, the results of training Bearded Collies can be incredibly rewarding.