Differences between the bobtail and the bearded collie

See Dogs files

These two breeds of dogs originate from UK and in ancient times they were known to be excellent shepherds. Both stand out for their docility and good temperament. Being almost the same size and similar color many people confuse them, but they can be easily distinguished if we look at some details.

In this AnimalWised article we explain the main differences between the bobtail and the bearded collie, to help you quickly distinguish between them, ¡even without seeing them! if you want to know how, keep reading.

You may also be interested in: Differences between Border Collie and Australian Shepherd Index
  1. The character of the bearded collie and the bobtail
  2. Size and coat
  3. The tail
  4. Head
  5. The way of walking
  6. The bark

The character of the bearded collie and the bobtail

As mentioned, both were sheepdogs in the beginning, accompanied by sheep in the pastures of the British Isles. Therefore, their specimens were selected looking for characteristics that would make them active, obedient, smart, loyal, easy to educate, resistant to adverse weather conditions, and bold enough to scare away wolves, if necessary.

This fact makes the two races extremely docile, yet brave..

Despite these similarities, the bobtail, also known as "Old English Sheepdog ", it is a dog with a more rustic character than the bearded collie, although this is not, by far, a delicate dog with a capricious character like dogs of other breeds.

Size and coat

Both are medium-large dogs, but, although their height is similar, the bobtail is a lot bigger, a fact that accentuates its coat, which is denser and less straight, which makes it appear even more robust.

Although of a similar color, white with grayish areas, the bearded collie's hair is smoother than the bobtail. In addition, although it is rare, there may be bearded collie dogs of various colors such as gray, brown or black. For its part, the hair of the bobtail is white with gray regions, which can present various shades, from bluish gray to almost black..

The tail

The tail is one of the most useful features to distinguish between the two races. While the bearded collie's tail is quite long, the specimens of the breed bobtail may born without a tail. In fact, its name (bobtail) refers to the absence of a tail.

On the other hand, Traditionally, when they were born with it, they were amputated, something that, incidentally, in addition to being illegal, is contrary to animal welfare. Find out in AnimalWised why dogs should never be cut off their tails or ears.


Looking at the head is one of the simplest ways to distinguish the animals of these breeds: the hair on the head of the bearded collie falls from the top of the forehead creating a kind of "eyebrows "over the eyes, and forms a " beard " characteristic around the mouth, honoring its name, which in Spanish means "bearded collie ".

On the other hand, the head of the bobtail lacks these features that we have mentioned and his hair usually forms a kind of "bangs " over the eyes, and it is a more rounded head and more powerful looking.

The way of walking

Although there are other simpler ways to distinguish a bobtail from a bearded collie, their way of walking is different, since, while bearded collie walk like other dogs, they bobtail they usually do it with a step known as "amble", this being an unusual trait in canids and very typical of Bobtail.

For those who do not know its meaning, the amble is a way of walking on all fours that consists of supporting both limbs on the same side at the same time..

This, which is common in certain species of animals, especially African ones, such as giraffes, elephants or camels, is extremely strange in dogs, as we have commented previously..

The bark

Oddly enough, a bearded collie and a bobtail can also be distinguished from a distance, and even without seeing them, paying attention to their barking.

The bark of the bearded collie is of the tone and intensity that you would expect in a dog of that size and those characteristics, while that of the bobtail has a special sound that makes it unmistakable. Although it is not easy to describe a sound using words, it could be said that the bark of the bobtail is strong, of a low tone, and with a harsh sound.

In any case, neither bobtail dogs nor bearded collie are very barking, on the contrary, they are rather silent and do not usually bark unless they detect a serious and real threat in their territory.

Leave Your Comment

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here