Linda Simon
Dr Linda Simon (MVB MRCVS, University College Dublin)
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A scruffy yet handsome crossbreed, the Beardoodle is a mix of the smart and adaptable Poodle with the sociable and cheerful Bearded Collie. Medium in size, the Beardoodle has an athletic body and long, straight limbs. With their thick, wavy fur and round dark eyes, they can be real heart-breakers.

These clever dogs can become easily bored so require plenty of exercise and interaction if nuisance behaviours are to be avoided. Their intelligence makes for rewarding training sessions but also means that owners need to come up with new and inventive ways of keeping them occupied.

About & History

In the designer dog world, the Poodle is quite probably the most used parent breed. This is down to their many wonderful attributes, including their hypoallergenic coat and sweet temperament. It is believed that the first Beardoodle was created in the late 1990s, though there are no records of this. As is the case with many new hybrids, they like to appear on the canine scene seemingly out of nowhere!

The Poodle

The Poodle is a German dog that has a number of positive qualities, including an easy-going attitude and a desire to learn. They are possibly best known for their curly fur and the unique hairstyles that they have sported over the centuries.

Interestingly though, these hairstyles were not originally meant as a fashion statement and were in fact an effort to protect their fur when out hunting in rivers and mud. Poodles have always been ‘water babies’ who enjoy swimming and were used to hunt aquatic animals, such as ducks. Poodles are currently classified within the Utility Group by the Kennel Club.

Bearded Collies

Bearded Collies are not to be confused with Border Collies; a different breed entirely. Bearded Collies or ‘Beardies’, originate from the Polish Lowland Sheepdog, a breed that was brought to Scotland in the 1500s. Incredibly, the story goes that the local farmers liked these dogs so much that they traded their sheep with the Polish sailors in order to be able to keep some for themselves!

The farmers bred this imported dog with their own local stock and the Bearded Collie we know and love today was born. For the most part, they were used to herd sheep and cattle; a job at which they naturally excelled. While Bearded Collies are not often found on farms today, they are still kept commonly as pets. Their affectionate nature means that they fit in well in most households and their working roots ensure that they are more than able to compete in local canine competitions (such as agility and obedience work) when given the opportunity.


Beardoodles are built in good proportion and are of a medium build. Their round skull is not overly large and their pendulous ears fall to the side of their face. Their kind eyes may be brown or amber and they typically have black noses with wide open nostrils. Their body should be lean and muscular with strong legs. Their long tail is covered in dense fur.

A fully-grown, adult Beardoodle will usually weigh in at anything from 16kg to 25kg and, to the withers, will measure roughly 48cm to 54cm; making them smaller than their Bearded Collie parent.

For many breed fanciers, their coat is their most appealing feature and it certainly gives them a lot of character. It is dense and wavy, often with a bit of a curl to it. It can grow quite long but many owners will keep it trimmed short for convenience. White and black are the most common coat colours seen but individuals may also have cream, red, brown and grey fur. Solid coat colours are sometimes seen but many dogs will have patches and markings, especially on their face and chest.

Character & Temperament

Affable and self-assured, the Beardoodle makes a pleasant and reliable companion who will quickly make friends with both two-legged and four-legged animals alike! They can be pleasingly affectionate and will appreciate being close to their owners in the living room at the end of a busy day.

While the Beardoodle enjoys companionship, they are equally happy when left to their own devices. This independence makes them less prone to separation anxiety and means that owners should not have to worry if they are left home alone for short periods of time.

These dogs are not lacking in brains so, with the right training, can be quickly taught how best to integrate into the family. Due to this, as well as having good manners, most have a repertoire of tricks that they can perform on demand.


Bred to work and a dog that is highly tuned in to their owner, the Beardoodle is a real treat to train. They are clever and dedicated, eager to perform to their best ability at all times. Most will be the star of their training classes as they pick up on new tasks impressively quickly.

As the Beardoodle can master new challenges with ease, trainers need to keep them engaged with varied sessions that gradually become more thought-provoking. Whenever possible, they should be given the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities, including agility, Flyball and herding lessons.


One of the main benefits of designer dogs is that, if responsibly bred, we can aim to reduce the incidence of genetic health issues that have already been established in their parent breeds. With a lifespan of 12-14 years, most Beardoodles enjoy healthy and long lives.

Addison’s Disease

A disorder of the endocrine system, Addison’s disease is a relatively rare condition and it can be tricky to diagnose as symptoms are often vague. Those with Addison’s tend to be middle-aged and female and they may have a history of having had repeated bouts of stomach upsets and of simply being ‘under the weather’.

Affected animals are unable to produce enough cortisol (the stress hormone) and typically become unwell at times of stress, such as when in boarding kennels. Most are diagnosed with a series of blood tests and can be managed well with life-long medicine.

Hip Dysplasia

Abnormally developed hips can occur in any breed but taller dogs are generally affected more. Poorly-formed hips result in abnormal movement within the joint and inevitable osteoarthritis. Arthritis can be debilitating, resulting in chronic pain and mobility issues. Most will show initial signs of being affected between 6 and 12 months of age and may develop a limp or an unusual gait.

A vet will find that they are very reluctant to fully extend their hips and will be able to diagnose the condition definitively by taking a series of X-rays. Both surgical and non-surgical treatment options are available and the therapy advised will depend on the age of the dog and how severely they are affected.

Collie Eye Anomaly

When the choroid of the eye fails to form as it should, dogs are born with abnormal eyes. Some are affected so badly that they are born blind. As Bearded Collies can carry the genes for this disease, every breeding animal should be tested prior to mating.

Exercise and Activity Levels

The best form of exercise for the Beardoodle is one where they are using their minds, as well as their bodies. Herding is a great example of this but even those who live in urban areas can have plenty of fun setting up scenting games and agility courses in their back garden.

A solid 60-minutes of daily exercise should be provided at a minimum, and outdoor hikes are always greatly appreciated. Owners may notice on days that they fail to meet their dog’s exercise needs, they start to act up and may even become destructive within the home or garden.


The thick, curled fur of the Beardoodle should be brushed every day to prevent it tangling and to keep it in good condition. They will need to be professionally groomed at least once a year and more regularly than this if owners wish to keep their fur short, meaning it will be easier to manage.

Owners should not neglect the ears of their Beardoodle, as they can be prone to infections, particularly if the ear canals contain fur. To keep infections to a minimum, ears must be thoroughly dried after getting wet. On top of this, owners should clean out any wax that accumulates. How frequently this needs to be done will depend on the dog, though every two weeks is typical.

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