The Quintessential Shaggy Dog

The quintessential shaggy dog, the Beardie, as he is affectionately known, appeals to owners who enjoy an intelligent, responsive and energetic dog. Thriving on human companionship and easily bored, they can become destructive if left alone all day and are known to give a good bark!

Generally they love children and other animals, but as a herding dog, they may chase and nip when excited so playtime with young children should be supervised. They also have lots of coat which may be pulled by toddlers; unfair for any dog.

The breed is very trainable and they are most versatile and compete in many disciplines, including agility, herding and obedience. They do not respond well to harsh training methods being very sensitive to human moods and behaviour inconsistencies. Firm, confident and kind, rewards based training with clear communication, will result in a very engaging and amenable companion. As lateral thinkers they are not predictable and programmable, and may become bored or challenge their owner or trainer, believing they have a better solution to a problem or situation (they often do!) A sense of humour is recommended for a Beardie owner!

Living with a Beardie

Answer the following questions before you consider a Beardie:

  • Am I prepared to have muddy feet through my house?

  • Do I want an indoor dog that will be integrated as a family member?

  • Am I prepared to take a dog for basic obedience training and ensure that regular exercise, stimulation and companionship is provided?

  • Am I prepared to commit to at least 1 hour of grooming a week, or at the very least, 10 minutes a day tidy up? The coat changes continuously, in both colour and texture, until about 3 years of age and age determines the time needed to invest in grooming, to ensure that the coat remains matt free. It is not recommended that a Beardie be shaved to the skin; the coat has a purpose and insulates and protects the skin against our harsh climate.


There are 4 main colours; all of them vary in shade and most of them fade to a greater or lesser degree as the dog matures: Black (slate); Brown; Blue and Fawn (the last two being dilutes of black and brown).


A medium-sized breed, males are between 24 to 26 kg and 53 to 56cm at the withers.Females are between 21 to 23 kg and 51 to 53 cm at the withers.


There is generally a waiting period for a Beardie puppy in South Africa; they are not readily available. Once discovered, it is true to say that they are indeed like peanuts; one simply is not enough!

Article and Photos Provided by:

Eileen Ashton

Ashvale Bearded Collies (Kusa Registered)

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