Bearded Collie


The Bearded Collie is a Scottish herding dog with a long, shaggy coat and an exuberant, intelligent personality. Nowadays the majority of Bearded Collies are pets or show dogs, but they are also still used for herding on farms in Britain, as their style of working is particularly suited to cattle and hill sheep.

Thankfully Beardies are a relatively healthy breed. Most live to around 13 - 14 years of age, although some live considerably longer. At present, there is no evidence in the UK to suggest that Beardies are particularly prone to specific health problems but there are inevitably some health problems that occur within the breed.

Eye Testing:

Unlike some of the other Collie breeds, Bearded Collies in the UK are not generally affected by inherited eye disease. Nonetheless, many breeders choose to eye-test their dogs as a precautionary measure, using the British Veterinary Association/Kennel Club/International Sheep Dog Society (BVA/KC/ISDS) Eye Scheme. In 2012 one of these precautionary eye tests led to a case of Collie Eye Anomaly, also called Choroidal Hypoplasia (CEA/CH), being confirmed in a UK Bearded Collie.

The DNA testing scheme for CEA/CH

Tests results can now be added to the UK KC records and health finder. The PBHF offers the test with Optigen using ADD Lab in the U.K.

Auto-immune Diseases

Auto-immune diseases such as Addisons disease, haemolytic anaemia and thrombocytopaenia can occur in Bearded Collies as in many other breeds. Such conditions can be serious and life-threatening and usually present in young to middle-aged dogs. It is difficult to say whether Beardies have a higher than average incidence of such auto-immune conditions as comparative statistics are scanty. These diseases are complex and it is thought that several genes, together with environmental influences, may determine whether or not a dog is affected by an auto-immune condition. As yet there are no genetic tests available to determine susceptibility to these conditions and it is unlikely that a simple genetic test will ever be able to tell us unequivocally whether or not a dog will be affected. That said, breeders are trying to learn more about these diseases and are supporting research into identifying the genes concerned. Dogs affected by auto-immune disease should not be bred from.

Above information taken from the Bearded Collie Club Website health section -