Bearded Collie vs Border Collie – What’s The Difference?

If you’ve only done some casual reading about herding breeds, you may think that there’s not much difference between Bearded Collie and Border Collie.

They have similar names, come from neighboring geographical regions, and both were originally developed to help humans with the livestock.

In addition, they share many of the traits typical of herding breeds, especially since they belong to the same,

Collie type. Both breeds are active and agile, hard-working, and with strong herding instincts.

However, a closer Bearded Collie vs Border Collie look reveals several significant differences.

First of all, just by looking at them, you couldn’t mistake one for another.

As you dig deeper, you’ll discover further discrepancies in temperament, personality, and care requirements.

Below, I’ll dive a little deeper and explain what you can expect if you choose either of these breeds as your pet and companion.

AttributesBearded CollieBorder Collie
Good For First Time OwnersNoNo
Good Guard DogNo With Enough Traning
Apartment FriendlyNoNo
Good Family DogYes With Enough Training
SheddingModerate To HighModerate
Barking And HowlingModerate To High Moderate To High
Height19-22 inches (48-56 cm)18-22 inches (46-56 cm)
Average Life Expectancy14-1512-15 Years


Bearded Collie – Dog Breed Information

The long-haired Bearded Collie original job was to herd sheep and livestock on the rough terrain and in harsh weather.

They’re one of the oldest herding breeds with their origins reaching the 16th century and rural areas of Scotland.

Most likely, they were created as a mix of Scottish and Polish sheepdogs.

Although still one of the best herding dogs around, “Beardie” is now also known as a lovable family dog.


Bearded Collies are most recognizable by their long hair which hides the medium-sized, athletic body, more long than tall.

They’re known to reach full body size rather late, sometimes at three years of age.

A double, water-resistant coat covers the whole body of the Bearded Collie, including the chin, hence the name.

The undercoat is soft while the topcoat is long, straight, and thick. The coat changes its color a couple of times before they are fully mature.

The most common colors are black, brown, and fawn, commonly with white or tan markings.

The head is broad and large, while the muzzle is strong and relatively short. The hair-covered ears hang low and the eyes are wide-set and feature a soft expression.

Males grow around 19-22 inches (48-55 cm) and weigh 44-60 pounds (20-27 kg).

Females can reach 19-21 inches (48-53 cm) in height and 39-56 pounds (18-25 kg) in weight.


Beardies are hard-working dogs and thrive when being given a job to do. However, they’re also playful and enjoy any kind of activity with their owner.

They’re very social and affectionate dogs who enjoy spending time with other dogs and humans, including children.

However, if left alone, they can become unhappy rather fast and engage in all sorts of unwanted behavior.

This may include barking, digging, and chewing stuff.

If you have to leave them alone for a while, make sure to have some sort of activity before leaving.

Bearded Collies are very smart, eager to learn, and fairly easy to train. Still, they have a certain stubbornness and independence to them.

Because of this, it’s necessary to start the training early and be gentle but firm when asked to do something.

Plus, as they’re quick-witted and always curious, they get bored easily. So make sure to keep the training interesting.

Border Collie – Dog Breed Information

One of the smartest dog breeds, Border Collies are tireless workers and problem solvers.

Hailing from the Scottish-English border, they’re expert herders, and over the years they’ve become popular as family dogs and frequent champions of agility competitions.


The appearance of Border Collie reveals all the physical characteristics of a hard worker.

They’re lean, athletic, and pack a lot of strength in a medium-sized body.

The double coat covering their body can be smooth or rough, but each variant provides excellent protection against the cold and rain.

The undercoat is softer and water-resistant, while the topcoat is long and thick.

Commonly, they’re black and white.

Still, they may come in other colors, including combinations of the tan, liver, and blue merle.

Border Collie’s eyes are almond-shaped and have a characteristic intense stare.

The ears are medium-sized and erect or usually folded on the top. Rarely, they’ll be fully dropped. The long and bushy tail hangs low.

Males grow 19-22 inches (48-56 cm) and weigh 30-45 pounds (14-20 kg).

Females’ height is in the 18-21 inches (46-53 cm) range, while they weigh around 27-42 pounds (12-19 kg).


Border Collies are incredibly smart and highly energetic and active dogs. They live to please their owners and sometimes they go too far while trying to do that.

Their constant alertness, strong prey drive, and herding instinct don’t let them stand still even for a moment.

If there’s no livestock at sight, they will try to herd humans which can be an issue for families with children.

However, with proper socialization and early training, they will become wonderful, kid-friendly pets.

If you plan on getting a Border Collie, be aware that you’ll have to keep them busy and occupied almost all the time.

When they have nothing to do, they quickly become restless and sometimes destructive.

Be prepared to spend a fair share of your day with them.

On the other hand, if you’re an outdoorsy and active person, you’ll hardly find a better companion for your activities than a Border Collie.

Bearded Collie vs Border Collie – What are the Differences?

Bearded CollieBorder Collie
Bearded Collie by Blake Handley (CC BY 2.0)

The number one Bearded Collie vs Border Collie difference is, of course, their appearance.

While they have a similar build and stature, the Bearded Collie’s coat is way longer and covers most of its face.

This also means that Beardies have higher grooming needs, and you’ll have to brush them daily.

When it comes to personality, they also have a lot in common. Both breeds are active, alert, and smart.

However, Border Collies are much easier to train, which is no surprise as they regularly top the dog agility competition.

Bearded Collies are also very intelligent dogs, but their stubbornness sometimes gets in their way.

Still, the Border Collie’s trainability comes with an extreme level of energy, much more than its bearded cousin.

Bearded Collies are more easy-going and friendly.

They enjoy being a part of the group and usually get along very well with other dogs, kids, and even strangers.


If you’re planning to get a dog, you can hardly go wrong with either of these two breeds.

However, make sure that your lifestyle and living situation can take one of these two highly energetic breeds.

Each of them requires a lot of work and dedication and perhaps is not best suited for inexperienced owners.

Those who know what to expect and are prepared to set aside the time to engage with their dogs will get a fantastic companion and family pet.

Beardies are perhaps a better choice for big families as they enjoy socializing.

Just be ready for a ton of work when it comes to grooming.

Border Collies are great for people who enjoy being active themselves and are ready to keep up with their dogs.

Authored By

Madeline Wright

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