Border Collie vs. Golden Retriever

Both Border Collies and Golden Retrievers are popular dog breeds known for their intelligence and friendliness. However, there are some notable differences between them.

Border Collies, originally bred for herding, are energetic, agile, and require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation. They are incredibly intelligent and excellent in obedience.

On the other hand, Golden Retrievers, bred for retrieval during hunting, are known for their friendly and tolerant attitudes. They are great family pets and also do well in obedience and agility training.

In terms of grooming, Golden Retrievers require more due to their long, dense double coat, compared to the Border Collie’s coat which is typically short to medium length.

Last Updated on September 20, 2023

Quick Summary: Border Collies and Golden Retrievers are easily distinguished. The Border Collie is a medium-sized dog, while the Golden Retriever is a large-sized dog. Both are overflowing with love for their families. They also are kind to their families and are excellent canine companions to children. One major difference between them is that Border Collies are more reserved and cautious. The Golden Retriever, on the other hand, is the golden boy of all people – he’s extremely friendly, never suspicious, and believes that everyone is a friend. Both these dogs are very easy to train, and they are both relatively healthy breeds. The Border Collie can live anywhere from 10 to 17 years, while the Golden Retriever has a shorter lifespan of 10 to 12 years.

Are you considering comparing the Border Collie vs. Golden Retriever for your new pet? It is true that the Border Collie and the Golden Retriever are two very distinct breeds. They are also very well-known dogs that most people can recognize.

If you don’t know the two breeds in detail, you may not be aware of the difference in their personalities, grooming requirements, and needs. However, we’ll guide you through everything you need to be aware of. First, know that both breeds are friendly and great with children.

If you’re interested in their differences or want to refine your options for your next pet, you’ve come to the right place. Both breeds are great choices for family pets but let’s go into the details and discover the things you’ll be able to expect when you decide to welcome either breed into your home.

Border Collie vs. Golden Retriever

Breed Background and History

Let’s go back to the very beginning of their journey, where these two guys started. Reviewing their history will reveal a lot about their lives and, more importantly, what they will be like as pets for the family.

Border Collie: An Overview

The Border Collie is a breed from the harsh wetlands in Wales and Scotland. It was the result of Roman and Viking dog breeds that herded. Following their wars, the Viking Icelandic Sheepdog was the most important component of this Border Collie breed. Since his blood is in herding, he was destined for the herding lifestyle. In contrast to many working dogs, He is used as an active dog as much as he’s an animal companion for the family.

According to canine behaviorists and veterinarians, they are regarded as one of the most intelligent breeds of dogs around the globe. In the film ‘Babe,’ which was immortalized, he is the shepherd’s dream dog. It is said that he could be the best herder dog, too. In 2020, he was the 35th most popular dog in America and is more well-known in the United Kingdom.

Their stunningly good appearance and charming personality make the Border Collies great contenders to be mixed with other breeds as parents to create a distinctive designer dog without health problems.

Golden Retriever: An Overview

The Golden Retriever also originated from Scotland; however, it is a more recent breed. It was developed in the hands of Lord Tweedmouth during the late 19th century in his search to develop the ideal firearm dog. His dog’s makeup comprises the now extinct Yellow Retriever, Tweed Water Spaniel, Irish Setter, and the Bloodhound. He is renowned for his soft mouth and his calming manner, which was perfect when hunting with his master.

It was not until 1908 that he first visited America. American sports hunters were struck with their ability that they started employing them in the United States too. It didn’t take long before people realized how affectionate and enjoyable he was as an animal companion.

Today and for a long time, it has been one of the most loved dog breeds across America. It has been featured in too many films to count. There isn’t a single individual living in America (probably!) who hasn’t met a Golden Retriever. They’re also well-known as crossbreeding parents due to their popularity as a family-friendly breed.

Appearance and Size

In contrast to the other Border Collie doppelgangers, Border Collies and Golden Retrievers are easily distinguished. The Border Collie is a medium-sized dog, while the Golden Retriever is a large-sized dog. The biggest of Borders is about the identical size as the smaller Golden. Also, Borders are smaller in a couple of inches too. This could be the reason for deciding among the breeds of certain families.

It is the Golden Retriever has a medium-length coat and comes in various Golden shades. From light white to deep red, there is an option to fit any taste. The most popular color for Borders is white and black. However, he could be blue, black and sable, merle, Lilac, brindle, red and gold, each with different designs.

If you’re looking for some color to brighten your day, the Border is also the more vibrant of these two. Additionally, it is also possible to inherit multiple-colored eyes or blue that are rarer.

The Border’s coat could be tight and short or long and medium similar to the coat of the Golden Retriever. Although they have flowing locks, both breeds look nice, each one elegant in their own appearance. Underneath their coats, they are athletic and muscular.

Temperament and Personality Traits

Breed temperaments are typically the main reason a family may select one breed over another. Let’s look at the similarities first. Both are overflowing with love for their families. It can be sweet at times and even too to be too much for those who would prefer more secluded pets. However, it’s all part of their appeal. You can expect to get pet cuddles when you’re part of the human pack.

They also are kind to their families and are excellent canine companions to children. They are a lot of fun, and you can be sure of them for endless hours of fun in the backyard. They can make anyone smile and always enthusiastic, so be ready for a good laugh when they’re around. Despite their energy demands, they’re fairly at peace in their home.

About other pets in the home, they are both very well-behaved and tolerant if they’ve been well-socialized as puppies. The main concern for the Border Collie is that he may try to herd animals. And sometimes even smaller children.

Another major difference between Border and Standard breeds is that Borders are more reserved. Border can be in secluded manner from people outside of the family group. Even after being exposed to them, he is often cautious. Then there’s that Golden Retriever, who is the golden boy of all people. He’s extremely friendly and never suspicious. He believes that everyone is a friend.

If your family is always throwing events and gatherings, the Golden boy is better for your social and lively lifestyle. The Border Collie prefers peace and quiet, or out in nature with his family. If you have an extremely active family, then the Border can also be a more active dog. 

Exercise Requirements

The Golden Retriever and the Border Collie are energetic dogs. They both require intense exercise to stay happy and healthy. Both will be troublesome and unhappy when you don’t fulfill their fitness needs. If you don’t have enough time to dedicate to their busy schedules, please don’t get either one of them.

This is especially true of the Border Collie and is why they are frequently compared with other breeds with high energy. They are a breed of farm dog and herder and can be quite content working all day and even more. This means that Border is the most active of the two. The Golden boy requires an hour of vigorous training, the Border requires between 60 and 90 minutes even more.

Both are intelligent dogs, and clearly, the Border Collie is the most intelligent of all breeds. Both breeds require an array of toys for dogs to play with when they require to entertain themselves for a short period of time. This will not only keep them entertained and healthy, but it can also protect your furniture and possessions from getting destroyed. Think of high-end and challenging toys.

Training and Socialization

The Golden Retriever and the Border Collie are very easy to train. This is why they are ideal for first-time dog owners since they don’t require much time to learn how to get them performing tricks. Use the positive reinforcement approach, and it’s an easy task.

Both are great for the crate-training if you begin from an early age. We suggest looking into an intermediate or large-sized dog crate suitable for Golden Retrievers, and an average-sized crate will do well to use for your Border. Be aware that you’ll have to make sure you have enough space for both, and consider that when you decide to train your dog in the crate.

Note that neither dog can be trained to behave politely without your help. Many pet owners make this error believing their dogs can train themselves. However, they both require early training in obedience and socialization to become nice and polite dogs. Let them be exposed to as many as possible while they are still young, including dogs and other animals, various surroundings, and even people.

Grooming Requirements

The grooming regimens of their pets are dictated by the length of their coats. They are the Golden Retriever has a medium-length coat that requires brushing twice to three times per week to ensure that he is healthy. In addition, it helps to avoid matting. The same applies to Border Collies, who have medium-length coats. If your Border chooses to have a shorter coat, you’ll have to groom him at least every two weeks. Both breeds are covered with long or medium-length fluffy coats, and regardless of the breed you choose, be prepared for a long grooming regimen.

Both are medium to large shedders and will shed their coats during the time of shedding. It might seem that the Golden Retriever sheds more than the Border Collie; however, this is mostly due to the dogs’ sizes and coat colors. Therefore, it’s possible to conclude that if you don’t like hairy dog hair on your sofa or clothes, it is best to steer away from the two.

It is recommended to bathe both breeds every 8-12 weeks. We suggest gentle and conditioning shampoo for both breeds to reduce the chance of fur mats. Other grooming procedures, like cleaning teeth and ears, are similar to other dogs. 

Nutritional Requirements

Despite their distinct characteristics in appearance, both breeds consume almost the same amount of food each day. For instance, the Border Collie will eat approximately two and one-half cups of food while The Golden Retriever consumes approximately three cups. It may seem like they are quite similar; despite the differences, it’s not. The Border Collie burns much more calories than the Golden.

Both dogs require high-quality food that will give them the energy they require to stay energized throughout the day. Good quality food items can also give them an adequate diet. For instance, the Golden Retriever would do much better with a kibble that is designed specifically for larger breeds. While the Border can eat any breed-specific food items.

Health Issues

The Golden Retriever and the Border Collie are both relatively healthy breeds of dogs. Border Collie has the distinction of being the most healthy among the two and has an extended health span as well. The secret to healthy dogs is a high-quality diet, regular exercise, and having screened and healthy parents.

Like the other purebred breeds, Border Collies are more prone to certain health issues than other breeds. Border Collie needs to be examined to detect hip dysplasia. Along with various eye diseases like the progressive atrophy of retinas cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, and collie eyes.

It is known that the Golden Retriever is also prone to hip dysplasia. However, it is also susceptible to elbow dysplasia. Also, he should be examined for various eye issues and heart conditions, like those mentioned previously. Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis is a rare health issue that affects the nervous system.

In addition, Golden Retrievers are also known as the most cancer-prone breed in the canine world. While there isn’t much you can do to prevent cancer, partnering with reputable breeders will reduce the chance of your dog getting it. They will test for cancer in their families and won’t breed dogs who have had cancer.

Breeders and Puppy Prices

The cost of puppies from a reputable breeder is nearly identical in both breeds. It is true that the Border Collie price is slightly less than the Golden Retriever’s price just because he is not as popular and in high demand.

It is important to be aware of puppy mills, particularly on the Golden Retriever and his long list of health issues. Get your puppy from a reputable breeder to make sure that you’re getting a healthy dog. Or better yet, you can consider adopting from a rescue center or shelter


That’s the end of it, people – that’s the Border Collie against the Golden Retriever in all of their splendor. There’s no doubt that both are great pets for families, but they each prefer a different kind of family. The only thing you have to do is figure out which breed fits your needs and lifestyle.

The Border Collie has the distinction of being the most active of them all and prefers to have his entire family to himself. The Golden Retriever is the sociable butterfly of the two. It is more likely to take pleasure in an afternoon nap. Perhaps this makes him the best Netflix and chill companion.

In the end, if you can satisfy their requirements, they will both exceed your expectations and make excellent pets.

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