Border Collie vs. Australian Cattle Dog

Border collies are known for their intelligence and agility. They’re often used as herding dogs and need a lot of mental and physical stimulation. Australian cattle dogs, on the other hand, are also intelligent and energetic, but they’re more robust and require a lot of physical exercises.

Both breeds are loyal and protective, making them great family pets. However, Australian cattle dogs can be a little more wary of strangers, while border collies can be more sensitive and may not be ideal for families with young children because of their herding instincts.

In terms of grooming, border collies require more maintenance because of their long, dense coat. Australian cattle dogs have short, waterproof coats that require less grooming. Both breeds, however, do shed and aren’t ideal for allergy sufferers.

Both breeds also live about 12-15 years on average. They are generally healthy but prone to certain breed-specific issues: border collies can be prone to hip dysplasia, while Australian cattle dogs can suffer from progressive retinal atrophy.

Last Updated on September 20, 2023

Quick Summary: Border Collie is a breed that has been around since the latter part of the 19th century, and the name was introduced in 1915 for the very first time. The Australian Cattle Dog (aka Blue Heeler) was born from Australian ranchers breeding various breeds of dogs to create an intelligent and durable herder animal. Border Collies have a lower chance of developing behavioral issues than Blue Heelers. Although the two breeds shed hair, neither can be classified as high maintenance regarding grooming. While both breeds may have minor health issues, medium-sized dogs are more robust than other breeds and are less likely to suffer serious health problems. Border Collies have lifespans of 10 to 17 years, while Australian Cattle Dogs can live anywhere from 13 to 15 years.

Compare the Border Collie with the Australian Cattle Dog (aka Blue Heeler) to find the next dog for your farm or even a family member. These dog breeds are popular for their calm demeanors and their hardworking nature. However, they’re not always the most suitable dog breed for every family.

Collies and Blue Heelers have incredible amounts of energy and intelligence. Both are herding dogs and require intense intensity exercise. If they’re not trained properly, they could be very destructive.

When you are bringing the breeds to your home, it’s essential to understand the traits each breed is known for. This article will provide information on the two most well-known breeds for herding. We’ll examine their histories, temperaments, prices for puppies, and many more factors.

Let’s begin finding out which puppy best suits your needs.

Border Collie vs. Australian Cattle Dog

Breed Background and History

Both breeds of dogs belong to herding categories. While they were both breeds with similar goals, there are distinctive traits that make them distinguish themselves from one another. They both were utilized to herd animals. Their genetic history and their origins are, however, very different.

Border Collie: An Overview

Border Collie is a breed that has been around since the latter part of the 19th century, and the name was introduced in 1915 for the very first time. The first sheepdogs that appeared in Britain were the sheepdogs that were present many thousands of years ago. Herding dogs of the past were smaller and less flexible than the Collies of today.

Someone who played a major part in the development of this breed, a dog called Old Hemp, who lived between 1893 and the year 1901, was the ancestor of more than 200 dogs and was a key contributor to the creation of the breed.

Old Hemp was an exceptional worker. He was focused and calm on his work. The medium-sized dog with long hair and built was remarkably like today’s dogs. Old Hemp has created a brand new lineage; if you purchase a purebred dog, the dog is likely to be one of its predecessors. Then it was discovered that the Border Collie was given to differentiate this breed from other Collies.

Australian Cattle Dog (aka Blue Heeler): An Overview

The Blue Heeler, or Australian Cattle Dog, was born from Australian ranchers breeding various breeds of dogs to create an intelligent and durable herder animal. It was the American Kennel Club that officially recognized the breed in the year 1980. It was originally an element of the working group, but now it’s part of the herding group.

The growth of the Australian beef industry was helped through the Blue Heeler. The 19th century saw the first time that ranchers required aid for their business. To develop a more durable breed that could withstand the Australian climate, they crossed sheepdogs from England with Dingoes.

The breed we have today was developed by breeding a mix of Collies, Dalmatians, and Dingoes.

Appearance and Size

Although both breeds are large dogs, they have a few physical differences that should be considered when looking at the two breeds.

Border Collie has an athletic physique. The eyes and alert expressions of the medium-sized dog make it easy to recognize.

This dog is adorned with a soft double-coated coat which may feel rough or straight. The undercoat is denser as well as more fragile. Border Collies are usually black with white markings; however, they may come in a variety of coat colors, including white and brown and blue Merle.

The Blue Heeler is a medium-sized dog. But, its structure is stronger but smaller than the Border Collie. The Blue Heeler can be described as a sturdy and durable dog that can be used to herd cattle over long distances.

Blue Heeler can be described as a big-sized dog with large shoulders and a broad skull. The Blue Heeler is covered in a thick undercoat and a short, thinner outer coat. The coat is often spotted in Red, blue spots, and tan-colored. Blue Heeler has been named for its blue hue. However, Blue Heeler, as the Australian Cattle Dog name, is more accurate since some breeds might have black or red spots.

Temperament and Personality Traits

Both breeds belong to the herding class. They thrive in a setting that provides lots of stimulation and social interactions. They’re loyal and believe they are in charge. As the dog’s owner, it’s your responsibility to give your dog challenges and activities that match your dog’s temperament.

Border Collies are intelligent and quick to learn. While they’re excellent family pets, Border Collies can be timid around strangers. They are one of the smartest breeds, and they are also very affectionate. They often design their own games instead of following your instructions.

They are lively dogs that require to be taught. They can be bored and destructive if they aren’t stimulated. They frequently outwit their owners and love to play new games.

These are loyal, secure animals. However, they may become too protective of their owners when they are around strangers.

Although there are some common characteristics in herding dogs, these breeds are highly intelligent and possess their individual personality as well as. their own temperaments. A few questions regarding the parents can provide a good idea of the puppy’s temperament.

Exercise Requirements

Both breeds require lots of exercise because of their active lifestyles. They don’t enjoy living in apartments and would be happy in a large backyard. Both breeds need physical and mental challenges for them to stay healthy and happy. They love being outdoors and see exercise as an opportunity to bond with their pet owners.

If you have a Border Collie, you should give them an hour of exercise daily. The dog may require up to two hours of physical activity per day. Run or do agility exercises, or even teach your pet new games.

A Blue Heeler requires between one and two hours of exercise every day. Go for walks, play games or give a training session and look for additional exercises to keep him entertained.

Border Collies have a lower chance of developing behavioral issues than Blue Heelers. Blue Heelers are known to be playful but tend to suffer issues with their behavior. Both breeds require a vigorous lifestyle to be successful.

Although these two dogs require lots of exercise, the levels will differ with age. Senior dogs do not require more than two hours of exercise each day.

Training and Socialization

Both dogs are intelligent breeds that are well taught. It is crucial to form bonds with your dog’s herding companion, giving them the stimulation they need.

Be consistent and begin with your puppy’s training early. They are both quick to master new commands and responsive when trained. Both breeds are happy to be loved by their owners and strive for it.

Borders Collies can concentrate on their work up to the areas of obsession. They must be able to find an equilibrium between obedience, training, and simulation. Agility training is an excellent option since it lets dogs be active and learn new things.

Blue Heelers are more likely to exhibit negative behaviors and can become bored if they aren’t given enough stimulation. While they can be difficult to handle as young, they usually slow down as they grow older.

The dogs are naturally herding. It is essential to teach them how to behave this way. Both breeds tend to herd pets and even children if they are bored.

Herding dogs bite livestock and nip them to control them. These unacceptable behaviors must be dealt with when training puppies of any breed.

Socialization is an essential aspect of the training process. Border Collies are shy. However, the right socialization can help with this. Blue Heelers are often overprotective of their owners and are required to be social.

Grooming Requirements

Although the two breeds shed hair, neither can be classified as high maintenance regarding grooming.

Border Collies can be tangled or filthy due to their long coats. It is recommended to brush their coats two to three times per week to remove dead hair as well as Reduce the amount of shedding. They should clean their coats daily and get them cleaned twice a year, based on the time of year. They must be cleaned at least once every two months.

Blue Heelers require only minimal grooming. The breed is characterized by a short, tough outer coat that is resistant to water and dirt. They require a brush every week or once. In addition, they’ll have their coats blow-dry twice per year.

Both breeds require trimming their nails. The dog that herds should be cut at least once a month. The two breeds mentioned above don’t require trimming to keep their coats in good condition.

Nutritional Guide

Border Collies are a lively breed. If they lead an active lifestyle, Border Collies require more protein and fat than other breeds of dogs. A high-quality diet that’s easy to digest is essential – lamb and salmon, for example. Healthy carbohydrate sources like peas and oatmeal are also essential. Weight gain is often due to foods containing soy or wheat as the primary source of carbohydrates.

Border Collies usually need two meals a day. It is important that your Border Collie diet must be in line with their activity level and age. Dogs who exercise regularly require more protein and fat. But dogs that are not as active will require more energy and be restless if their diet is awash with protein.

Blue Heelers have similar nutritional needs. Some owners prefer to give them raw food items. Some diet includes ingredients like prepared brown rice, cooked meat, raw vegetables, and fruits. Regular kibble diet is ideal for active dogs and working all day long.

You should consider including supplements in the diets for both breeds. Eggshells that have been crushed are high in calcium and are beneficial to both breeds. Supplements with glucosamine can be an alternative for dogs with a high risk of developing hip dysplasia.

Health Issues

There aren’t any major distinctions in the breeds in terms of health. While both breeds may have minor health issues, medium-sized dogs are more robust than other breeds and less likely to suffer serious health problems.

You can prevent serious health issues by choosing breeders that screen parents for health issues that are common to these breeds.

Border Collies can develop health issues such as hip dysplasia, seizures, heart defects, progressive retinal atrophy, and other eye issues. Border Collies are most likely to exhibit obsessive behavior as compared to other breeds.

In the Blue Heelers group, hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, and deafness are among the most frequent health problems.

Reputable Breeders and Puppy Prices

It is recommended to invest at least $1,000 to purchase the Border Collie puppy. The breed is popular for agility shows and training. Breeders can employ champions to breed puppies. This means that the cost of breeding can be higher depending on the breed’s lineage.

If you’re looking for an AKC-registered puppy, AKC documents, and parents with show-quality temperaments, you can expect to pay anywhere between $1,000 to $3,000. It’s possible to pay up to $3,000 for a puppy that comes from an AKC championship line.

Blue Heeler puppies are costly. All puppies less than $1,000 must be carefully studied. They are usually from backyard breeders who may not have been properly vetted or screened for health.

Reputable breeders usually sell between $1,000 and $1,200 for a Purebred Blue Heeler puppy with AKC documentation. Breeders with good reputations will test parents for health issues like deafness or hip dysplasia. It’s worth the extra money.


Border Collies are medium-sized dogs that look similar to Blue Heelers. They are athletic and abrasive. They are loyal and herding dogs with innate intelligence. They are excellent for pet owners who want to give their dogs lots of exercise, attention, and interaction.

The principal disadvantage for Border Collies when comparing them is that they tend to be timid and herding animals when bored. Blue Heelers can be protective and playful if they don’t get enough stimulation.

The two breeds are ideal for families since they need little grooming, suffer from a few health problems, and have a long and healthy life. Both breeds are excellent pets if you can meet their energy requirements.

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