Tips on how to Select Between the Border Collie and the Australian Cattle Canine

With an abundance of intelligence and vitality, the border collie and the Australian cattle canine are two phenomenal herding canines. In the appropriate palms, they will additionally make great household pets. Nonetheless, each breeds additionally want loads of workout routines and psychological stimulation to maintain them heading in the right direction.

If you’re attempting to determine between a collie or an Aussie, then it is very important know extra about every breed. Each breeds fall into the American Kennel Membership’s herding group, and whereas there are lots of similarities between these two working canines, there are additionally some distinct variations. We make the Australian cattle canine vs. border collie comparability so you possibly can determine which is greatest for you, your loved ones, and your way of life.

A Quick Historical past of the Two Breeds

Border Collie

Attentive border collie dog lying down on the grass on a sunny d

The border collie breed dates again to the top of the nineteenth century within the UK, with the identify showing round 1915. Earlier than this, a smaller sheepdog model of the collie was recognized to have been in Britain courting again to the Roman Empire and was bred for herding sheep.

The identify ‘border collie’ represents the breed’s significance within the borders between Scotland and England and the important thing function this sheepdog performed in managing massive flocks throughout large areas throughout the border.

Bred to be a flexible and strong working farm canine, the border collie is hardy and agile, with excessive vitality ranges and sharp, centered intelligence, which suggests the breed needs to work and study. This implies additionally they make glorious companion canines.

Australian Cattle Canine

Australian Cattle Dog Blue Heeler laying down in a grassy field at sunset

Also referred to as the blue heeler, the Australian cattle canine was initially bred as resilient farm canines that would herd over massive distances and stand up to the tough Australian local weather. The unique Aussie was the results of interbreeding dalmatians, dingoes, and sheepdogs from England throughout the nineteenth century and was used to herd cattle.

The breed grew to become wanted because of its stamina, intelligence, and work ethic and was named heeler due to the best way it will nip the heels of livestock to maintain them in line. The Australian cattle canine was acknowledged as a breed by the American Kennel Membership in 1980.

A Fast Comparability of the Two Breeds

                                     Border collie                                     Australian cattle canine

  • Dimension                         18-22 inches                                      17-20 inches
  • Weight                    25-45lbs                                            30-50lbs
  • Life expectancy       12-15 years                                        13-16 years
  • Temperament          Clever, loyal, curious                   Clever, unbiased, protecting
  • Trainability              Very                                                    Very
  • Power degree           Very excessive                                             Excessive
  • Coat kind               Thick double coat, both                     Quick double coat clean or tough
  • Coat colours            Brown, crimson, black, white, blue             Blue, gray, crimson, mottled, speckled bi and tri-colored

Border Collie vs. Australian Cattle Canine

Their work ethic, excessive intelligence, and off-the-scale vitality can simply confuse the 2 breeds. However whereas there are lots of similarities between the border collie and the Aussie, there are additionally distinct variations that may make a distinction in case you are selecting between the 2. We examine the 2 breeds relating to the important thing options and traits.


Each these working canine breeds are roughly the identical medium measurement, though the border collie tends to weigh lower than the Australian cattle canine. Australian cattle canines have a stockier construct, a broad head, and are usually extra compact, whereas the border collie is lither and extra athletic.

Coat and shade

There are additionally some key variations of their coat. The border collie breed has longer and thicker fur to guard in opposition to chilly climate and could be both clean, tough, or often curled. The fur of the border collie is fluffy with a shorter undercoat. The standard border collie could have black and white markings, though there are different shade variations. These embrace brown and white, lilac, and the gorgeous blue or crimson merle. Eye colours are brown, though blue eyes can be a breed function. And a few border collies are heterochromatic, which suggests they’ve eyes of various colours.

The coat of the Aussie is rougher and has quick hair in two acceptable colours – blue or crimson. This has led to the breed’s various blue heeler and crimson heeler names. Requiring minimal grooming, the blue coat shade is blacker, the crimson is browner, and the mottled look creates the blue speckled or crimson shade. Australian cattle canine puppies are born white and develop their blue or crimson coat as they develop. One other attribute of the heeler which units them other than the border collie is the black coloration on their face which provides the looks of a masks.


As they’re herding canines, the one particular attribute the border collie and Australian cattle canine share is their excessive vitality ranges! These on-the-go canines are born and bred to work and thrive on exercise – operating within the hills, enjoying with the youngsters, or engaged on a farm. And this endless vitality means they want an lively way of life with above-average train and stimulation to stop them from losing interest. And as they’re each super-smart, an understimulated collie or Aussie can result in undesirable, damaging conduct.

Shifting on to different temperament traits, you see some variations between the breeds. Whereas the Australian cattle canine could be unbiased, the border collies are usually the extra affectionate and pleasant of the 2. And the draw back of that is that the collie is extra susceptible to separation anxiousness than the extra self-sufficient heeler. Nonetheless, the border collie could be extra adaptable to alter, much less aloof than Australian cattle canines, and friendlier round strangers.

However, the Australian cattle canine is understood to be fiercely loyal and so could be protecting of their people, particularly within the firm of strangers. Early socialization of your heeler pup could make an actual distinction to their confidence in several social conditions.


As herding canine breeds, the border collie and the Australian cattle canine are extraordinarily clever and quick learners. And, as they’ve been bred to hold out instructions, their intuition thrives on being occupied and with a stimulating job to do. This all makes each border collies and blue heelers extremely trainable. And optimistic reinforcement coaching is the tactic that works greatest. Nonetheless, as a result of variations of their personalities, how every breed responds in a coaching session can be barely totally different.

Since their capacity to focus can border on obsession, the border collie requires a constant coaching routine that allows them to channel their vitality and intelligence positively and productively. Agility coaching is a superb ongoing exercise for border collies.

In the meantime, the extra unbiased character of Australian cattle canines implies that a daily coaching routine with loads of vigorous exercise is extra typically wanted to maintain this breed engaged within the activity. Australian cattle canine puppies can be a handful, though they relax as they age.

Each canine breeds additionally require socialization from an early age and correct coaching in order that their herding instincts, resembling nipping, could be managed efficiently, particularly round kids and smaller animals.


Blue Australian Cattle dog runs and chases after a ball.

Each canine breeds have excessive vitality ranges and require common train and psychological stimulation to maintain them joyful and wholesome. A each day train, coaching, and play routine will even forestall extra vitality from creating boredom or damaging behaviors. The border collie and the Australian cattle canine will not be suited to condominium residing as they want entry to loads of outdoors house. It’s within the outside atmosphere that each breeds come into their very own. This implies they will make glorious pets for the lively proprietor or household. Though each breeds do have wanderlust potential.

The grownup Australian cattle canine would require barely extra train out of the 2 breeds, with round two hours a day the best. Border collies work nicely with not less than 90 minutes of train per day.  Mixing this time up with walks, cardio actions, play, coaching, and agility can profit each breeds and provides them the number of psychological stimulation they want.

Well being

Each border collies and Australian cattle canines are usually thought of wholesome breeds, and their working heritage makes them extra resilient than many different breeds. However as with every pure breed, they are often vulnerable to sure well being points. Listed here are the primary well being points to concentrate on for every breed.

Border Collie – Potential Well being Considerations

Female vet examining a dog in clinic

The typical lifespan for a border collie is between 12 and 15 years. The primary well being issues the breed could be inclined to incorporate:

  • Collie eye anomaly: Also referred to as CEA, this situation is seen in younger collies as much as the age of two. Collie eye anomaly is an inherited dysfunction that impacts the attention tissue referred to as the choroid, which provides oxygen to the retina. Because the choroid thins, it will probably result in blindness. There may be presently no treatment for CEA, however surgical procedure is an choice for extreme circumstances.
  • Epilepsy: One other inherited dysfunction, epilepsy, is sort of frequent in border collies and usually current within the first six months of a pet’s life. The seizures brought on by the situation could be handled with medicine.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA): PRA is a degenerative situation that progressively impacts a canine’s imaginative and prescient and finally results in blindness. PRA normally begins across the age of three, however there’s a screening check that may be finished at an earlier age.
  • Hip dysplasia/elbow dysplasia: A typical orthopedic illness in canines, hip and elbow dysplasia, could be seen within the border collie breed. With dysplasia, the joints don’t develop correctly and put on down over time, inflicting ache and stiffness and sometimes progressing to arthritis.
  • Deafness: Border collies with a merle coat sample and blue eyes could be vulnerable to deafness linked to the merle pigmentation gene.

Australian Cattle Canine – Potential Well being Considerations

Close portrait puppy of the australian cattle dog

The Aussie has a barely longer life expectancy than the collie, residing on common between 13 and 16 years. The primary genetic situations that may have an effect on the breed embrace:

  • Orthopedic issues: Australian cattle canines could be susceptible to situations affecting their joints, together with hip and elbow dysplasia and patellar luxation, the place their kneecap slips misplaced. Surgical procedure could also be wanted in additional extreme circumstances of patellar luxation to stop the dislocation from recurring.
  • Eye well being: A number of eye situations can have an effect on heelers. Like border collies, Aussies can be susceptible to progressive retinal atrophy. Cataracts – which trigger the attention lens to ‘cloud up’ – are one other frequent reason behind blindness within the breed, particularly in older canines. Relying on the extent of sight loss brought on by the situation, surgical procedure can be utilized to take away cataracts utterly. Australian cattle canines can be susceptible to glaucoma, which could be extraordinarily painful and result in blindness if left untreated. Glaucoma also can grow to be a medical emergency, so vets suggest annual screening for the situation.
  • Deafness: Deafness could be an inherited situation within the breed, which is why it’s important the breeders have screened your new pup. Congenital deafness can’t be cured, however with assist and coaching, deaf Australian cattle canines can nonetheless dwell full and rewarding life.

Border Collie vs. Australian Cattle Canine – Which One is Best for you?

Excessive vitality, distinctive work ethic, good mind, simple upkeep, and constant – there are lots of similarities between border collies and Australian cattle canines which might make selecting slightly tough. However earlier than you determine, it’s additionally essential to take all these similarities, in addition to variations, into consideration.

Relating to Australian cattle canine vs. border collie, each will thrive in a family with outdoors house, loves the outside life, and has the time and vitality to coach, train, play with, and usually sustain with these full-on, life-loving breeds. Nonetheless, the collie generally is a little extra upkeep because of its want to please and probably obsessive conduct. And Australian cattle canines even have their ‘points’, being independent-minded with a bent to be protecting.

With all this in thoughts, it’s purely a private alternative when you assume you could have what it takes to welcome a working breed into your house. And offered you possibly can match their vitality ranges and excessive train wants, the Australian cattle canine and the border collie could make loving, entertaining, and constant pets.


  1. Border collie – American Kennel Membership
  2. Australian cattle canine – American Kennel Membership

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