How you can 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 suitable arms, they will additionally make great household pets. Nevertheless, each breeds additionally want loads of workouts and psychological stimulation to maintain them heading in the right direction.

In case you are making an attempt to determine between a collie or an Aussie, then you will need to know extra about every breed. Each breeds fall into the American Kennel Membership’s herding group, and whereas there are a lot 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 finest for you, your loved ones, and your life-style.

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 title showing round 1915. Earlier than this, a smaller sheepdog model of the collie was identified to have been in Britain relationship again to the Roman Empire and was bred for herding sheep.

The title ‘border collie’ represents the breed’s significance within the borders between Scotland and England and the important thing function this sheepdog performed in managing giant flocks throughout vast 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, targeted intelligence, which implies the breed wishes to work and be taught. 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 called the blue heeler, the Australian cattle canine was initially bred as resilient farm canines that might herd over giant distances and stand up to the cruel 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 turned wanted on account of its stamina, intelligence, and work ethic and was named heeler due to the best way it could 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 stage           Very excessive                                             Excessive
  • Coat sort               Thick double coat, both                     Quick double coat clean or tough
  • Coat colours            Brown, pink, black, white, blue             Blue, gray, pink, 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 a lot 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 evaluate the 2 breeds relating to the important thing options and traits.


Each these working canine breeds are roughly the identical medium dimension, 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 towards chilly climate and might be both clean, tough, or sometimes curled. The fur of the border collie is fluffy with a shorter undercoat. The everyday border collie can have black and white markings, though there are different shade variations. These embrace brown and white, lilac, and the gorgeous blue or pink merle. Eye colours are brown, though blue eyes may also be a breed characteristic. And a few border collies are heterochromatic, which implies they’ve eyes of various colours.

The coat of the Aussie is rougher and has quick hair in two acceptable colours – blue or pink. This has led to the breed’s different blue heeler and pink heeler names. Requiring minimal grooming, the blue coat shade is blacker, the pink is browner, and the mottled look creates the blue speckled or pink shade. Australian cattle canine puppies are born white and develop their blue or pink 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, taking part in with the children, or engaged on a farm. And this eternal vitality means they want an energetic life-style with above-average train and stimulation to forestall them from becoming bored. 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 might be unbiased, the border collies are typically the extra affectionate and pleasant of the 2. And the draw back of that is that the collie is extra liable to separation nervousness than the extra self-sufficient heeler. Nevertheless, the border collie might be extra adaptable to vary, much less aloof than Australian cattle canines, and friendlier round strangers.

Then again, the Australian cattle canine is thought to be fiercely loyal and so might 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 constructive reinforcement coaching is the tactic that works finest. Nevertheless, because of the variations of their personalities, how every breed responds in a coaching session may also be barely completely different.

Since their capability 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 wonderful ongoing exercise for border collies.

In the meantime, the extra unbiased persona of Australian cattle canines signifies that an everyday coaching routine with loads of vigorous exercise is extra typically wanted to maintain this breed engaged within the activity. Australian cattle canine puppies may also be a handful, though they settle down as they age.

Each canine breeds additionally require socialization from an early age and correct coaching in order that their herding instincts, akin to nipping, might 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 completely happy and wholesome. A day by day train, coaching, and play routine can even stop extra vitality from creating boredom or damaging behaviors. The border collie and the Australian cattle canine will not be suited to house dwelling as they want entry to loads of outdoors house. It’s within the out of doors setting that each breeds come into their very own. This implies they will make glorious pets for the energetic 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 perfect. Border collies work effectively 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 all pure breed, they are often vulnerable to sure well being points. Listed here are the principle 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 principle well being issues the breed might be susceptible to incorporate:

  • Collie eye anomaly: Also called 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 may well result in blindness. There’s at present no remedy for CEA, however surgical procedure is an choice for extreme circumstances.
  • Epilepsy: One other inherited dysfunction, epilepsy, is sort of widespread in border collies and usually current within the first six months of a pet’s life. The seizures brought on by the situation might be handled with medicine.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA): PRA is a degenerative situation that step by step 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 take a look at that may be carried out at an earlier age.
  • Hip dysplasia/elbow dysplasia: A typical orthopedic illness in canines, hip and elbow dysplasia, might 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 might 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, dwelling on common between 13 and 16 years. The principle genetic circumstances that may have an effect on the breed embrace:

  • Orthopedic issues: Australian cattle canines might be liable to circumstances 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 forestall the dislocation from recurring.
  • Eye well being: A number of eye circumstances can have an effect on heelers. Like border collies, Aussies may also be liable to progressive retinal atrophy. Cataracts – which trigger the attention lens to ‘cloud up’ – are one other widespread 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 fully. Australian cattle canines may also be liable to glaucoma, which might be extraordinarily painful and result in blindness if left untreated. Glaucoma can even change into a medical emergency, so vets suggest annual screening for the situation.
  • Deafness: Deafness might 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 stay full and rewarding life.

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

Excessive vitality, distinctive work ethic, sensible mind, straightforward upkeep, and constant – there are a lot of similarities between border collies and Australian cattle canines which may make selecting a bit troublesome. However earlier than you determine, it’s additionally vital to take all these similarities, in addition to variations, under consideration.

Relating to Australian cattle canine vs. border collie, each will thrive in a family with outdoors house, loves the out of doors life, and has the time and vitality to coach, train, play with, and customarily sustain with these full-on, life-loving breeds. Nevertheless, the collie could be a little extra upkeep on account of its need 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 selection should you assume you could have what it takes to welcome a working breed into your private home. 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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