Bearded Collie Temperament
What's Good About 'Em,
What's Bad About 'Em
Bearded Collie Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2014
Lively and playful, good-natured and stable, this animated breed is famous for the "Beardie Bounce" that represents his happy, carefree attitude about the world.
Some Bearded Collies are rowdier than others, but most tend to jump up into your face unless taught otherwise.
This athletic dog needs a good amount of exercise to satisfy his high energy, especially when young.
More urgently, he needs constructive activities (herding, hiking, agility, pet therapy, watching over other pets) to occupy his inquisitive mind.
Beardies are very sociable dogs who can become unhappy and destructive if left for long periods of time without the companionship of people or other pets.
Most individuals love everyone to the point where their "watchdog" bark is more welcome than warning. As with most sweet-natured tail-waggers, there is potential for timidity. Lots of socialization is necessary to develop the buoyant temperament.
This independent thinker can be stubborn and requires a confident owner who will establish and enforce the rules.
If you want a dog who...
- Is medium-sized, shaggy, and sturdy
- Is athletic and loves to romp and play
- Is good-natured with everyone
- Is sociable with other animals
A Bearded Collie may be right for you.
If you don't want to deal with...
- Vigorous exercise requirements
- Rowdiness and exuberant jumping, especially when young
- Destructiveness and barking when bored, left alone all day, or not exercised enough
- Strong-willed mind of his own, requiring a confident owner who can take charge
- Chasing and nipping at things that move: children, joggers, other animals, bikes, cars
- Frequent brushing and combing
- "Shaggy dog syndrome," i.e. debris clinging to the coat, water soaking into the beard and dripping on your floors
- Waiting lists and a high price tag
A Bearded Collie may not be right for you.
- choosing the RIGHT breeder and the RIGHT puppy
- or choosing an ADULT dog from your animal shelter or rescue group – a dog who has already proven that he doesn't have negative traits
- training your dog to respect you
- avoiding health problems by following my daily care program in 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy
More traits and characteristics of the Bearded Collie
If I was considering a Bearded Collie, I would be most concerned about...
- Providing enough exercise and mental stimulation. Bearded Collies MUST have regular opportunities to vent their energy and to use their busy minds to do interesting things. Otherwise they will become rambunctious and bored -- which they usually express by barking and destructive chewing.
- Mind of their own. Bearded Collies are not Golden Retrievers. The best Beardies are versatile working dogs, capable of learning a great deal, but they have an independent mind of their own and are not pushovers to raise and train. They are often manipulative, and some are willful, obstinate, and dominant (they want to be the boss) and will make you prove that you can make them do things. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.
To teach your Beardie to listen to you, "Respect Training" is mandatory. My Bearded Collie Training Page discusses the program you need.
- All the grooming. Without frequent brushing, Bearded Collies become a matted mess. If you can't commit to the brushing, you have to commit to frequent trimming to keep the coat short, neat, and healthy.
- Shedding. Bearded Collies definitely shed, though some of the shed hair gets caught in the long wavy coat rather than ending up on your floor. Thus, frequent brushing is essential not only for keeping the coat mat-free, but for removing shed hair.
- "Shaggy dog syndrome." Like all shaggy dogs, the Bearded Collie is a messy dog. Leaves, mud, snow, fecal matter, and other debris cling to his rough coat and ends up all over your house. When he drinks, his beard absorbs water, which drips on your floors when he walks away. When he eats, his beard absorbs food so that when he sniffs your face or presses his head against your leg, YOU end up dirty, too. Shaggy dogs are not suited to fastidious housekeepers.
- Finding one and paying the price. In the United States, less than 1000 Bearded Collie puppies are registered each year. (Compare that to over 60,000 new Golden Retriever puppies!) And many Bearded Collie breeders are charging $1200 and up.
To learn more about training Bearded Collies to be calm and well-behaved, consider my dog training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words.
It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will make your Bearded Collie the smartest, most well-behaved companion you've ever had.
Teaches your dog to listen to you, to pay attention to you, and to do whatever you ask him to do.
My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a healthy Bearded Collie. Health problems have become so widespread in dogs today that this book is required reading for ANYONE who is thinking of getting a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog.
If you'd like to consult with me personally about whether the Bearded Collie might be a good dog breed for your family, I offer a Dog Breed Consulting Service.
Once you have your Bearded Collie home, you need to KEEP him healthy -- or if he's having any current health problems, you need to get him back on the road to good health.
My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy is the book you need.
Raise your dog the right way and you will be helping him live a longer, healthier life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.
Please consider adopting an ADULT Bearded Collie...
When you're acquiring a Bearded Collie PUPPY, you're acquiring potential -- what he one day will be. So "typical breed characteristics" are very important.
But when you acquire an adult dog, you're acquiring what he already IS and you can decide whether he is the right dog for you based on that reality. There are plenty of adult Bearded Collies who have already proven themselves NOT to have negative characteristics that are "typical" for their breed. If you find such an adult dog, don't let "typical breed negatives" worry you. Just be happy that you found an atypical individual -- and enjoy!
Save a life. Adopt a dog.
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