Border Collie vs. Australian Shepherd

Border Collies and Australian Shepherds are both intelligent and energetic breeds, great for active families and work as herding dogs. However, they have few differences.

Border Collies are slightly more intelligent and may be a bit more energetic, requiring lots of mental and physical stimulation. They also tend to be slightly smaller, usually weigh between 30-45 lbs and stand about 18-22 inches tall at the shoulder.

On the other hand, Australian Shepherds are known for their versatility and are great work, show, and companion dogs. They are slightly bigger, usually weigh between 40-65 lbs and stand about 20-23 inches tall at the shoulder.

Both breeds have a life expectancy of approximately 12-15 years. The choice between the two would largely depend on your lifestyle and personal preference.

Last Updated on September 20, 2023

. Curious about the similarities and differences between the Border Collie and the Australian Shepherd? Although they look similar, these active breeds are quite distinct. These two breeds have the same breeding purpose, but they are from different dogs.

Both dogs are shepherding dogs so you should be ready to give your puppy lots of energy. Both dogs make adorable pets and will be a joy to have around the family. These dogs have been popularized as designer dogs because they are . breds.

If you are looking for a smart dog, but can’t decide between the Australian Shepherd and Border Collie, then you’re in the right place. We’ll be discussing the similarities and differences between these adorable and intelligent dogs.

Border Collie vs. Australian Shepherd

Breed History

These guys may look almost identical to one another. They are both intelligent sheding dogs and could be mistaken for being from the same litter. These guys are different despite their similarities. Their histories are what separates these two breeds. The sea also divides their continents.

Border Collie

To understand the Border Collie we need a quick history lesson: the Romans invaded Britain in 43 A.D., then shortly after the Vikings invaded the Romans. This is the end!

Possibly the shortest history lesson ever but it is important here because the Border Collie was bred from the Roman’s large herding dogs and the Vikings proceeding herding dog, which we know to be the Icelandic Sheepdog.

Today’s Border Collie, bred to work the rugged terrain of Scotland and Wales, and herd horses. The Border Collie’s good nature makes them a popular breed to cross with other dog breeds in order to create “designer dogs” such as the Borador ..

The Border Collie has been ranked by Veterinarians most intelligent dog breed worldwide. If you’ve ever seen them in action, it is clear why. They are the Einsteins of dogs ! The Border Collie has been ranked by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as the 35th most popular dog in America.

Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd dog is a confused history ,. There is much debate about where he came from. Most agree that his ancestors came from the Pyrenees of Spain and the Scottish Highlands. Their shepherds then sailed to Australia looking for better land.

The settlers realized that they couldn’t farm the way they wanted due to central Australia’s arid terrain. So they set sail to North America with other shepherds from Australia. They are often compared to the Australian Cattle dog.

It is believed that it was in North America that Americans created their perfect herding dog using the previously mentioned breeds. They named him the Australian Shepherd, as they just arrived from Australia. He is not more Australian than he was Spanish or Scottish and is actually more American.

Australian Shepherds are also popular with the designer dog crowd, being bred recently with the Labrador to create the Aussiedor breed.

The Australian Shepherd is used to herd sheep and cattle alongside the tough cowboys that created them, however, this cowboy’s comrade is also a popular family dog and has been ranked as the 17th most popular breed by the AKC.


The Australian Shepherd and Border Collie look very similar. The similarities could be explained by the fact that the Australian Shepherd was probably bred from the Collie many centuries ago. However, this is not recorded.

They are both considered to be medium-sized dogs and are almost the same height give or take one inch. The Australian Shepherd is heavier at an average of 10 pounds.

The colors available for the two breeds vary. The Border Collie is available in a wider range of colors:

  • Black
  • Blue
  • Blue Merle
  • Brindle
  • Gold
  • Lilac
  • Red
  • Red Merle
  • Sable
  • Sable Merle
  • Saddleback Sable
  • White and Black
  • White and Blue
  • White and Blue Merle
  • White and Red
  • White and Red Merle
  • White Ticked

The Australian Shepherd can be officially recognized in just four colors:

  • Black
  • Blue Merle
  • Red
  • Red Merle

Further to the variety of colors, there are also several different markings that their coat can take on; the Collie has seven different markings and the Australian Shepherd has only three. Although the Collie wins the color contest, there are so many color options for both breeds that you will be spoiled for choice.

The Collie’s hair can be either short or rough. His tail is long, plumed and plumed. The Australian Shepherd’s hair is usually long, dense and has an undercoat and an exterior coat that protect him from the elements. Although the Australian Shepherd’s tail is typically long, it can sometimes be bobbed.

The Australian Shepherd’s eyes can come in many different colors and he is more likely to have one eye of each color compared to the Collie, this is called heterochromia.


Both the Border Collie as well as the Australian Shepherd are intelligent workers. Their minds are constantly stimulated and they must be active throughout the day. High energy can also be a lot !of fun You will never run out ideas with these guys as long as you keep your energy up. These guys are the champions of all things, whether you’re playing frisbee or football.

The Border Collie and Australian Shepherd are sociable animals . Like the Australian Shepherd, the Border Collie can be very attached to their family, and they are loving. The Border Collie will be wary of strangers , and those with whom he is unfamiliar yet. The Australian Shepherd is generally the life and soul of the party. He gets along with everyone instantly.

The Collie is believed to have superior herding instincts than the Australian Shepherd and have been known herding small children and other pets. This is something you should consider if your family has young children or pets. But, this is possible if they are stimulated and trained correctly.

The Australian Shepherd is more dependent on his masters than the Collie and can suffer from separation anxious . Although anti-anxiety medication and soothing music can be helpful, this dog is best suited for those who are able to spend more time with him.


The Border Collie and the Australian Shepherd are high-energy dogs! You might consider other breeds if you are unable to give these dogs time and intense activity. You can train the dogs to herd to ensure they are never bored. However, if you don’t live on a farm, there are still other activities you can do for them.

Firstly, they both need at least 60 minutes of high-level exercise a day. They will also need stimulation throughout the day through activities such as doggy assault courses or sociable tug-of-war games.

If you have to leave your dog alone for a while, make sure you leave a puzzle treat. Because if one of these dogs gets restless, it will be mission to destroy !.


Because the Australian Shepherd and Border Collie are intelligent dogs, they are easy to train and pick up commands quickly. These guys aren’t for the beginner .. As they are so intelligent, they require to be worked a lot, so if you do not rise to the challenge then it will not be long until they outsmart you or become bored.

The Border Collie is sometimes known to have a protective streak. Border Collie can be wary of other animals and strangers. Socialization from a young age is important to raise any well-mannered pup, but particularly important for pooches who can be over-protective or aggressive.

In order to raise an obedient canine companion, positive reinforcement training is the key. These are the four steps to follow:

  • Choose short words, such as ‘sit’, ‘come’, ‘stay’ etc. You can use these words to teach the behaviors you desire. Consistency is essential , so make sure everyone interacts with your dog the exact same command words.
  • As soon as your pooch performs the desired behavior, treat him immediately with a small treat and verbal praise. Treats should be available at all times and make a positive fuss in the beginning.
  • Gradually reduce the number of treats once your dog begins to learn the command, but continue to verbally praise him every time.
  • Positive reinforcement training should be consistent and maintained to ensure he keeps up the good work.


As with many dogs, both breeds are susceptible to Elbow or Hip Dysplasia later on in life. This is when the affected joints become abnormally formed and can lead to painful arthritis. They are also susceptible to eye problems such as Progressive Renal Atrophy, Cataracts, and Collie Eye Anomaly (which is actually more prevalent in the Aussies than the Collies).

Another health issue that affects both breeds is Multi-Drug Sensitivity. This is when the gene responsible for transporting certain prescribed drugs out or away from the brain is defective, and the toxicity of these drugs poisons them .. To be safe, remind your veterinarian that you are a patient of MDS when you visit them.

Roughly 10% of Border Collie’s are said to be born with Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome, this is where white blood cells are not released correctly from his bone marrow, which in turn prevents his immune system from fighting diseases. This condition can lead to death in Collies as soon as they are seven month old. This syndrome can be diagnosed early by a DNA swab.

Ensure that before you purchase any pup you ask the breeder for the parent’s health certificates, particularly regarding the health issues above, as this is the best way to identify any health issues in your pup. This is a sign that something is wrong.


The Australian Shepherd and Border Collie are very similar in terms of nutrition. They will both eat approximately 2.5 cups a day of good quality high-calorie food. They may require slightly more if they are active or less if not.

Both the Aussie and the Collie are not food-oriented. They would rather work for a reward like a ball. Therefore, neither one of these dogs is likely to become obese.


Being active dogs, both Border Collie’s and Australian Shepherds will get dirty. Each breed will need a monthly bath in order to keep their coats clean and in good condition. Regular bathing can cause damage to their natural oils which can lead to dry skin and itchy skin. To keep your dog’s skin smelling fresh between baths, you can use doggy shampoo or doggy wipes.

These guys are likely to spend many hours per week running around forests and fields, so they are more likely to attract ticks or other harmful critters .. Ticks feed on the blood of dogs and attach to them. They can also carry Lyme Disease, which can be dangerous to dogs. If you notice ticks in your dog’s skin, they will appear like warts. Your veterinarian can help you remove them.

The Collie needs a little more care because he has a longer, rougher coat than the Aussie. To keep his coat healthy and shiny, he will need to be brushed two to three times per week.

The Australian Shepherd’s longer , hair is longer, but it is less noticeable so he doesn’t need as much care. This pooch will look great with a weekly brush.

The Aussie sheds about as much as a Border Collie, with just a different feel to their coat. Just like any other dog, they need to be bathed, brushed their teeth, and nails trimmed.

Puppy Price

The Border Collie, on average costs around $700, as does the Australian Shepherd. You will pay more for desirable traits or colors such as the Merle coat or different colored eyes. Working dogs are more expensive than those with male dogs. They tend to be slightly faster than their female counterparts. If they are of high quality, you should expect to pay a lot more.

If you like the Australian Shepherd’s look but are worried about his size, don’t be! Since the creation of the Aussie, American farmers also wanted a smaller version of him, and so they created a mini version at 31 inches tall and weighing 30 pounds.

This little dude is known as a Miniature American Shepherd. He is sometimes still called Miniature Australian Shepherd. However, only the Miniature American Shepherd may be registered with AKC. They are one and the same dog. They cost on average $900, which is more expensive than their counterpart.

Final Thoughts

The Border Collie and the Australian Shepherd have got it all going for them; brains, beauty, strength, stamina, and much, much more, if they were on a dating website both these guys would round up all the ladies for sure!

These guys look almost identical, with a similar height and long hair, as well as their wide range of wild colors. The Aussies have similar facial features, possibly because they were bred from Collie dogs.

They have the same energy levels and need at least 60 minutes of high-level activity daily. They won’t accept you if you don’t do this regularly. They are both loving and sociable creatures that will love you and your family.

They do differ in weight, with the Aussie being on average 10 pounds heavier, and the Border Collie has a rougher coat and so he requires a bit more grooming than the Aussie. While the Aussie is more friendly to strangers, the Collie is less open-minded. However, this can lead to separation anxiety in the Aussies.

They are both very trainable and can pick up commands quickly. Both dogs need to be socialized from an early age, especially with children and other pets. The Collie may try to herd them.

If you are still unable to decide between the two breeds you can always search for a Border Collie cross with an Australian Shepherd. Do you want double brains and double cuteness! Check it out for yourself on Pingis’s Instagram.

Both of these breeds are intelligent and fun. Whichever breed you choose, you will be sure to have a family ranch that is entertaining and loved by your pet.

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