Find out how to Select Between the Border Collie and the Australian Cattle Canine

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

In case you are making an attempt to resolve 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 various similarities between these two working canines, there are additionally some distinct variations. We make the Australian cattle canine vs. border collie comparability so you’ll be able to resolve which is greatest for you, your loved ones, and your way of life.

A Brief 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 position 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 power ranges and sharp, centered intelligence, which suggests the breed wishes to work and be taught. This implies additionally they make wonderful companion canines.

Australian Cattle Canine

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

Often known 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 cruel Australian local weather. The unique Aussie was the results of interbreeding dalmatians, dingoes, and sheepdogs from England in the course of the nineteenth century and was used to herd cattle.

The breed turned wanted attributable to its stamina, intelligence, and work ethic and was named heeler because of 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, impartial, protecting
  • Trainability              Very                                                    Very
  • Vitality stage           Very excessive                                             Excessive
  • Coat kind               Thick double coat, both                     Brief double coat easy 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 power can simply confuse the 2 breeds. However whereas there are various similarities between the border collie and the Aussie, there are additionally distinct variations that may make a distinction if you’re 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 coloration

There are additionally some key variations of their coat. The border collie breed has longer and thicker fur to guard towards chilly climate and will be both easy, 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 coloration variations. These embrace brown and white, lilac, and the beautiful 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 different blue heeler and crimson heeler names. Requiring minimal grooming, the blue coat coloration 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 power 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 power means they want an energetic way of life with above-average train and stimulation to stop them from becoming bored. And as they’re each super-smart, an understimulated collie or Aussie can result in undesirable, harmful conduct.

Shifting on to different temperament traits, you see some variations between the breeds. Whereas the Australian cattle canine will be impartial, 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 susceptible to separation anxiousness than the extra self-sufficient heeler. Nonetheless, the border collie will 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 will 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 strategy that works greatest. Nonetheless, because of the variations of their personalities, how every breed responds in a coaching session can be barely completely different.

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

In the meantime, the extra impartial persona 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 process. Australian cattle canine puppies can 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, reminiscent of nipping, will be managed efficiently, particularly round youngsters and smaller animals.


Blue Australian Cattle dog runs and chases after a ball.

Each canine breeds have excessive power ranges and require common train and psychological stimulation to maintain them pleased and wholesome. A each day train, coaching, and play routine can even stop extra power from creating boredom or harmful behaviors. The border collie and the Australian cattle canine usually are not suited to residence dwelling 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’ll make wonderful 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 nicely with at the least 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 prone to sure well being points. Listed here are the principle well being points to pay attention to for every breed.

Border Collie – Potential Well being Considerations

Female vet examining a dog in clinic

The common lifespan for a border collie is between 12 and 15 years. The principle well being issues the breed will be susceptible to incorporate:

  • Collie eye anomaly: Often known 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 known as the choroid, which provides oxygen to the retina. Because the choroid thins, it could result in blindness. There’s at the moment no remedy for CEA, however surgical procedure is an possibility for extreme instances.
  • Epilepsy: One other inherited dysfunction, epilepsy, is kind of widespread in border collies and sometimes current within the first six months of a pet’s life. The seizures brought on by the situation will be handled with medicine.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA): PRA is a degenerative situation that steadily impacts a canine’s imaginative and prescient and ultimately results in blindness. PRA often 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 standard orthopedic illness in canines, hip and elbow dysplasia, will 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 infrequently progressing to arthritis.
  • Deafness: Border collies with a merle coat sample and blue eyes will be prone 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 will be susceptible 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 instances of patellar luxation to stop the dislocation from recurring.
  • Eye well being: A number of eye circumstances 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 widespread explanation for 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 will be extraordinarily painful and result in blindness if left untreated. Glaucoma can even develop into a medical emergency, so vets advocate annual screening for the situation.
  • Deafness: Deafness will 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 reside full and rewarding life.

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

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

Concerning Australian cattle canine vs. border collie, each will thrive in a family with outdoors house, loves the outside life, and has the time and power to coach, train, play with, and customarily sustain with these full-on, life-loving breeds. Nonetheless, the collie generally is a little extra upkeep attributable to its need to please and doubtlessly obsessive conduct. And Australian cattle canines even have their ‘points’, being independent-minded with an inclination to be protecting.

With all this in thoughts, it’s purely a private alternative in case you assume you could have what it takes to welcome a working breed into your private home. And offered you’ll be able to match their power 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 dog – American Kennel Membership

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