The Difference between a Bearded Collie and a Polish Lowland Sheepdog

The Difference between a Bearded Collie and a Polish Lowland Sheepdog

There are many lovely dogs on the planet with some of them boasting quite unique looks. However, a few breeds are quite similar looking which includes the Polish Owczarek Nizinny otherwise known as the Polish Lowland Sheepdog, and the better known lovely Bearded Collie. You would be forgiven for getting the two breeds mixed up because unless you know they could be same breed. However, on closer inspection there are a few key things which sets the two breeds apart.

The Difference in Personalities

When it comes to personalities both the Bearded Collie and the Polish Lowland Sheepdog boast very friendly and affectionate natures. The two breeds are highly intelligent and extremely energetic by nature. With this said, both dogs are a great choice as family pets. The difference between them is the Polish Lowland tends to have a bit of a stubborn streak in them and they are known to be “thieves” when it comes to taking things from around the home which they like to stash them away. It's not so much food, but things like tea towels, the odd shoe and other things these lovely dogs take a fancy to.

Both breeds are pretty high energy characters which means they need lots of exercise and consistent training or they could develop a few unwanted behavioural problems which typically happens when they get too bored. They are definitely not couch potatoes much preferring to cavort around in the great outdoors.

Difference in Coats

The Bearded Collie tends to have a rougher coat to that of the Lowland which is typically denser and shaggier looking. Coat colours are different too with the Bearded Collie boasting the following:

  • Black
  • Black and tan
  • Blue
  • Brown
  • Tricolour
  • White

When it comes to the Polish Lowland's coat colours, these are as follows:

  • Black
  • Brown
  • Gray
  • White

Needless to say both breeds are high maintenance in the grooming department. Bearded Collies need a little more attention especially during the spring time when they shed their heavier coats in favour of a lighter summer one. This “shedding” period can last quite a while which is anything up to 4 weeks and it's when more grooming sessions are a must to avoid any matted hair developing which could prove much harder to brush out. But the good news is that at other times of the year both breeds are not known to shed too much.

The Polish Lowland, although they need to be regularly brushed, shed a lot less hair than the Bearded Collie. With this said, regular grooming sessions ensure a coat is kept looking at their best and tangle-free with the added bonus being that brushing helps keep their skin healthier too which reduces the risk of any skin conditions developing which a lot of heavier and shaggier coated dogs often suffer from.

The Difference in Size

Bearded Collies tend to be slightly larger than their Polish cousins. They stand at anything between 20 to 22 inches at the shoulder, whereas the Polish Lowland is a tad shorter standing at 17 to 20 inches high. However, when it comes to weight, both breeds weigh in at around the same which should be around 55 lbs, any heavier and they're carrying too much.

What about Health?

As with most pure breeds, both the Bearded Collie and the Polish Lowland Sheepdog are predisposed to certain health issues although not all dogs will develop any of them during the course of their lives. Of the two breeds, the Polish Lowland boasts fewer genetic health issues although hip dysplasia and thyroid issues seem to affect both breeds, but where the Bearded Collie is concerned, they are more prone to developing the following conditions:

  • Eye problems
  • Certain skin conditions
  • Addison's disease

With this said, the Bearded Collie generally boasts a longer life span than the Lowland which is typically anything from 12 to 14 years. The Polish Lowland's life span is a couple of years shorter being 10 years + when well cared for.


Both the Bearded Collie and the Polish Lowland Sheepdog are lovely looking dogs with kind personalities to match. It is easy to get the two breeds mixed up because they are so similar in appearance. However, the Bearded Collie tends to be slightly taller than the Lowland. Both breeds are highly intelligent and can be quite independent by nature although they are also extremely loyal and affectionate characters all of which makes them a great choice as a family pet. However, they are not the best choice for first time dog owners because they need to be handled fairly with consistent training throughout their lives or they may get the upper hand.

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