The Magical Similarities of the Border Collie vs Australian Shepherd 2024

Border collie vs australian shepherd

Every day, new people consider getting a dog as a pet. It’s easy to get a little lost in the sea of canine options, mainly when over 2,500 of them exist. The opportunities for individuals searching for a loving and enthusiastic working dog are usually limited. One of the most intelligent working breeds, the Border Collie, is full of excitement and energy. On the other hand, Australian Shepherds are devoted companions who love to play with their owners. So what kind of dog is best? It all depends. Here, we’ll take a closer look at the similarities and distinctions between the Border Collie vs Australian Shepherd dog breed. But, of course, you are free to make your own decision.

The Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd is one of the most popular canine breeds, and for a good reason. Despite their youthful appearance, they have a heartfelt and tender side.

Australians, bred to be expert herders, thrive when their senses are kept busy. These activities include long walks, jogging, frisbee, catching, and swimming. They’ll be ecstatic as long as you’re playing with them. As a result, Australian Shepherds make excellent family pets and working dogs. Aussies. Families with active lifestyles and those who live on farms (or in the suburbs) will benefit the most from these.

border collie vs australian shepherd

Because of their enthusiasm to please and high dog IQ, Aussies are highly trainable. They enjoy it because it helps keep their minds active. However, when it comes to strangers, they can be a bit distant if they haven’t had sufficient training.

If trained properly, they’re excellent with youngsters and other dogs. Aussies and cats, on the other hand, are met with varied reactions. If you share your home with a cat, consider reading the experiences of other cat owners.

The Border Collie

The Border Collie, despite being less popular than the Australian Shepherd, has seen a recent surge in popularity. Owners are now realizing how wonderful these pets genuinely are.

Border Collies are known for their high IQs, which is maybe their most remarkable quality. They’ve even been named the world’s brightest dog breed.

In all of Stanley Coren‘s dog intelligence examinations, Border Collies have consistently ranked in the top ten. In rural areas, these dogs will thrive. In the same way that Aussies need a lot of physical activity, the Border needs much more! They enjoy running and do it frequently.

border collie vs australian shepherd

Because of the lack of exercise, your Border Collie may get depressed and engage in self-destructive behavior.

Border Collies are terrific family dogs, despite their fierce work ethic. Not all of the time do they work. So, when the day’s labor is done, and it’s time to relax, you can count on them to come over for a warm embrace. They’re amicable pets that anyone would enjoy having around.

Border Collie vs Australian Shepherd


It’s no secret that Australian Shepherds and Border Collies are both highly clever dogs. The Border Collie, on the other hand, is unquestionably more brilliant. The Border Collie is the most intelligent dog in the world, coming in at number one, while Aussies are tied for 42nd place.

Your dog doesn’t, however, have to be so clever. Unless you’re training your dog for specialized police or military duties, you don’t need to use their entire intelligence. As far as the average household is concerned, having two dogs is more than plenty.

Let’s take a look at their intelligence for the sake of comparison. Just five repetitions or less is all it takes for a Border Collie to learn a new command. Amazing.

Their first-time compliance with the command is 95% accurate after they’ve learned it. The same may be said about German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers.

In contrast, an Australian Shepherd ranks 42nd in terms of IQ. Yet, with just 25 to 40 repetitions, they can learn a new command. There is a 50% success probability on the first attempt, yet they can follow that command. Even yet, it’s nothing to laugh at.

Work Ethic

The American Kennel Club categorizes Australian Shepherds and Border Collies as working dogs. This means they were bred for rigorous labor and did it well.

Remember that a dog’s work ethic can vary substantially based on the breed and the environment in which they were raised. Regardless, I’d say Border Collies are, on average, a bit more workaholic than other breeds.

If you’re looking for the hardest-working dog, Border Collies are your best bet. Factsverse, for example, put them third on their list.

Australian Shepherds do not have the exact high energy requirements as Border Collies. Since they require constant stimulation, having one is generally not something you want to do.

This in no way implies that Australians are sluggish. On the contrary, they must also engage in regular physical activity to maintain a healthy lifestyle. On the other hand, Australian Shepherds can sometimes outperform Border Collies in terms of work output. It all comes down to personal preference.

Physical Size

For the most part, Australian Shepherds are larger than Border Collies in terms of weight. For both height and weight, this holds. Both dog breeds, however, are still classified as medium-sized. In addition, when comparing typical dogs from both species, the size difference isn’t that big.

Australian Shepherds, for example, can reach heights of 18 to 23 inches. Of course, pedigree and gender will have an impact on this. As for size, Australian Shepherds typically range in weight from 35 to 70 pounds. Male Australians generally are much bulkier than females.

A Border Collie’s height ranges from 18 to 22 inches at maturity. When compared to the Australian, there isn’t much of a difference. Border Collies, on the other hand, are much lighter. 27 to 45 pounds is the usual weight for a Border Collie.

The Australian Shepherd is a good choice if you’re searching for a medium-sized dog that’s a bit larger than the average.


Australian Shepherds are currently the most popular breed of dog. As a result of this, they have been increasingly popular during the past few years. Among dog breeds in the United States, Aussies are the 17th most popular. For the past five years, they’ve been ranked among the top 20 in the world.

On the other hand, Border Collies are only the 38th most popular canine breed, despite consistently ranking in the top 50 for the past five years.

Aussies aren’t necessarily better dogs because of this significant discrepancy in popularity. But this could indicate that Australians are more manageable for the typical family.

In the US, the Border Collie is the most commonly utilized herding dog, according to I love dogs (and possibly in the world). Most owners employ them for real work since they’re so good at what they do. However, it’s not unusual for farmers to be less popular due to this expertise.

Border Collie vs Australian Shepherd: Similarities

border collie vs australian shepherd

Herding Ability

Australia and Border Collies are both excellent herding dogs, and it’s no secret. They have a lot in common in this regard. However, the Border Collie is undoubtedly a better herding dog than the Australian Shepherd because it is the most commonly utilized herding dog.

However, this is subject to change based on a variety of factors, including the animal’s breed, environment, and other factors.

For those who have no idea what a herding dog is, here is a definition: Sheep, cattle, and other farm animals are herded together by these pastoral dogs, specially trained for this purpose (or herd). When necessary, they’ve been trained to move the pack about, such as bringing livestock back to the barn after a day in the pasture.

Breeders of dogs have successfully harnessed the innate predatory tendencies of some canines and turned them into herding machines through selective breeding.

For herding skills, I’d give them a tie. Both dogs, however, serve a distinct purpose in the farm’s herding operations. Border Collies are some of the best sheepherders in the world because they can operate from a distance. On the other hand, Australians are more confident in their ability to herd cattle than other breeds.

You can’t go wrong, no matter which of the two you choose. It is widely accepted, however, that Border Collies have more incredible stamina and can thus work for more extended periods.

Temperament & Personality

Border Collies and Australian Shepherds have excellent temperaments for owners, whether or not they are used for herding. Both types of dogs are clever, loving, and full of enthusiasm. If you can give good physical activity, any breed will make a wonderful family dog for people who can.

Both dogs are excellent with youngsters old enough to treat and care for these dogs. However, these dogs are not advised for small children since they may try to herd them. Dogs with strong herding instincts, like Aussies and Borders, may become violent toward small children if they are not adequately trained.

Compared to other breeds, they are just as friendly and eager for playtime with their owners. They’ll get along wonderfully if you have energetic dogs in the house. The combination of an Australian Shepherd and a Border Collie is common and usually works out nicely.

They both have a high level of intelligence and a drive to please. As a result, both breeds respond well to training to improve their obedience or social skills.

Environment & Exercise

For both Australian Shepherds and Border Collies, adequate physical stimulation is essential. To put it another way, they’re not suitable for a small-space abode. Mostly, they won’t be able to keep themselves busy long enough to benefit from regular exercise.

At the absolute least, these dogs should be able to run about in a spacious backyard. Zoomies are common in both dog breeds. So whenever they’re on the move, they’ll be able to keep up with the pace. This is required and may happen regularly depending on the dog.

Both dogs need at least 30 minutes of daily exercise to maintain their health. So instead of strolling, I’ll be jogging or sprinting. We’re not talking about a stroll around the block. Of course, not all dog owners will go for a run with their dogs, so the amount of time spent exercising could be significantly higher than expected.

Frisbee or catch with a ball are acceptable high-intensity physical activities as well. These dogs require between 30 and 60 minutes of play each day for these exercises.

Even if additional playtime is likely to be desired by your dog, this is more than plenty. There are many alternative dog breeds if you can’t give this to your dog.

Cost & Price

Regarding costs, Border Collies and Australian Shepherds are very similar. There is a $600 to USD 850 price tag on them, on average; in other cases, they might cost as much as $1,000. For example, a dog’s pedigree and the breeder’s reputation are just two aspects that influence its value.

Border Collie vs Australian Shepherd: Differences

border collie vs australian shepherd

Watch Dogs

Both dogs have comparable temperament features, yet they are not identical. Border Collies, on average, are less fearful than Australian Shepherds. As a result, they aren’t as effective of a guard dog as the Aussie.

Certain Border Collies are indeed great watchdogs. They tend not to bark as much as Australian Shepherds, though. A typical Australian dog will bark at anything that comes near the property—a fantastic approach to notify property owners of invaders.

Dogs bark, but Border Collies will not start barking until the intruder enters the property. However, both kinds of dogs are equally alert and observant. Regarding dogs, one breed (Aussie) stands out above the rest.


Both Australian Shepherds and Border Collies need to be groomed regularly. As a result, taking care of even the most fundamental personal hygiene responsibilities is essential.

The way they groom their coats is where they diverge. The skin of Australian Shepherds needs to be groomed regularly to keep it in good condition. The shedding of these dogs ranges from moderate to heavy. Find out what actual Aussie owners have to say about shedding. To avoid tangles and other problems, they must be brushed at least once a week.

Border Collies shed more than Aussies, according to a new study. Their more challenging coats necessitate more frequent brushing to maintain healthy skin. These dogs should be brushed at least twice a week to keep their coats healthy.

Grooming requirements for Australian Shepherds range from moderate to high. Grooming requirements for Border Collies are stringent. As you choose a dog breed, keep this in mind.

Physical Appearance

Generally, Australian Shepherds are larger than Border Collies in height and weight, as has been indicated. The physical distinctions between the two canines don’t end there. To the untrained eye, they appear to be the same. On closer inspection, though, they appear to be extremely distinct.

As compared to an Aussie, the coat of a Border Collie isn’t quite as lustrous. Denser and having a rougher exterior texture, they’re more common. When it comes to cuddling, Australian Shepherds are the best option.

As a result of the higher incidence of heterochromia in this population, Australians tend to have more distinctive eye coloration. Brown and blue are the most common hues seen in this disease. Heterochromia can occur in Border Collies, but it is far less common.

They both offer a variety of coats to choose from when it comes to style. Black/white, mottled, blue merle/red, sable/white, blue/white, sable/white, red/white, chocolate/white, or chocolate/white Border Collies exist.

On the other hand, Australians come in a variety of hues. Here is a comprehensive guide to Australian Shepherd colors. There are four traditional coat colors for Aussies, each with a variety of variations. Black, blue or red merle are the only options for classification. Although white and tan/copper accents are possible.

Life Expectancy

Many Border Collies have lived longer than Australian Shepherds. They have a 10- to 17-year life expectancy. In general, the lifespan of an Australian Shepherd can range from 13 to 15 years. In comparison to other breeds, both dogs are healthy and can live a long life if properly cared for.

Final Recommendation: Border Collie vs Australian Shepherd

In my opinion, Border Collies and Australian Shepherds are both excellent choices. Size, temperament, attitude, intelligence as well as grooming demands, and herding tendencies are remarkably similar between the two breeds of sheep. Regardless of the Border Aussie mix, both breeds will be extremely similar.

Exercise capacity is the most critical consideration when deciding between two dogs. Keeping both species physically active is essential because of their seemingly limitless energy.

It’s important to know what kind of animals you’ll be trying to herd before getting a dog for that purpose. Cattle owners should consider getting an Australian Shepherd as a pet. Border Collies are an obvious choice for herding sheep.

When herding smaller animals, Border Collies are more effective because they do so from a distance. With larger animals, Australian Shepherds may become more violent.

Finding a Border Collie vs Australian Shepherd

Because both kinds are so popular, you shouldn’t have any trouble locating one of them. Finding a Border Collie or an Australian Shepherd is easy because of the large number of breeders.

border collie vs australian shepherd

Local Animal Shelter – Adopting a puppy is the finest solution for everyone, in my opinion. This is especially true at animal shelters for Australian and Border terriers. These dogs, as we’ve already stated, do not enjoy being kept in tight spaces, which they are almost probably forced to endure in a shelter.

Please remove them as soon as you locate them if you chance to be a volunteer at an animal shelter. They’re likely to be really dissatisfied in this situation.

However, it is possible to discover one of these purebreds in your shelter. As a general rule, it’s best to do some preliminary research before moving on to additional options.

Pet Adoption Websites – It is easy to find trustworthy adoption resource websites online. Isn’t it the best? Border Collies and Australian Shepherds are two breeds that are frequently seen here. They’ll appear in due time if you’re patient enough.

Check out Petfinder, Adopt A Pet, and Petango to get a taste of the options. There are a plethora of additional choices available to you online. Many results should appear after a short internet search.

Find a Reputable Breeder – For those who can’t take in an animal, there’s no guilt in purchasing one from an established breeder. A smart place to start is with someone you know who already has an Aussie or Border Collie of their own. After that, you’ll have a valid recommendation and some details about the health of their dog.

The American Kennel Club maintains a merit scheme for respectable and responsible dog breeders. You can use their database to find and contact specific merit breeders.

Finding Australian/Border breeders on sites like Dog Forums or Yelp can also be a great resource.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)


The Border Collie is a more reserved dog than the Aussie Shepherd, but both are hard-working and energetic.


Border Collies have a long natural tail, while Aussies have a docked tail. To someone who isn’t familiar with either breed, they might appear to be nearly identical. As a matter of fact, there are numerous breeds, each of which has a distinct personality and set of skills.

Are Border Collies more expensive than Australian shepherds?

Collies are generally more affordable than Australian Shepherds. Although both species are vulnerable to a few comparable health conditions, Border Collies typically live a few more years than other breeds. These two types of herding dogs are distinct and one of a kind.