The bearded collie is a shaggy breed best known for the long hair hanging over its eyes. All breeds shed some hair, so there is no truly non-shedding breed. Some breeds, such as the basenji and the standard poodle, shed very little. Other breeds, including the bearded collie, are average shedders.
The bearded collie is a medium-sized breed, standing 20 to 22 inches high at the shoulder and weighing between 50 and 60 pounds. The bearded collie's coat is long, shaggy and prone to matting unless brushed regularly. Bearded collies suffer from "shaggy dog" syndrome, where things such as food, sticks and dirt, tend to get trapped in their long coats and tracked around.
Shedding is the normal process of losing old and damaged hair. Bearded collies who spend most of their time inside the house may shed evenly all year. Outdoor animals develop a thicker coat for the winter and shed it in the spring. Compared to other breeds, bearded collies shed an average amount. By way of contrast, the Portuguese water dog sheds so little it is considered hypo-allergenic and good for allergy sufferers.
Sometimes excessive shedding is a symptom of another problem such as stress, poor nutrition or a medical issue. Bearded collies that appear to be shedding excessively should be monitored for other symptoms. Excessive shedding accompanied by skin irritations, open sores or bald spots merits veterinary assistance.
Dealing with Shedding
Shedding cannot be prevented, but the amount of hair around the house can be reduced with regular brushing. Owners of bearded collies must commit to daily brushing. Since the hair is long and shed hair tends to get caught in the long coat, there can be a lot of tangles and mats. Misting the coat with water and gently teasing out the mats with a comb helps. Regularly trimming the bearded collie's coat makes grooming easier.