Easy methods 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 workouts and psychological stimulation to maintain them heading in the right direction.

In case you are 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 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 may determine which is finest 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 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 position this sheepdog performed in managing massive flocks throughout vast areas throughout the border.

Bred to be a flexible and sturdy working farm canine, the border collie is hardy and agile, with excessive power ranges and sharp, targeted intelligence, which implies the breed wishes to work and study. This implies in addition 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 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 in the course of the nineteenth century and was used to herd cattle.

The breed turned wanted resulting from 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

  • Measurement                         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
  • Power stage           Very excessive                                             Excessive
  • Coat kind               Thick double coat, both                     Brief double coat easy 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 power 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 typically 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 will be both easy, tough, or sometimes curled. The fur of the border collie is fluffy with a shorter undercoat. The standard border collie may have black and white markings, though there are different shade variations. These embody brown and white, lilac, and the beautiful blue or pink merle. Eye colours are brown, though blue eyes will also be a breed function. 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 aside from the border collie is the black coloration on their face which supplies 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 endless power means they want an energetic way of life with above-average train and stimulation to forestall them from losing interest. And as they’re each super-smart, an understimulated collie or Aussie can result in undesirable, harmful conduct.

Transferring 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 vulnerable to separation nervousness than the extra self-sufficient heeler. Nonetheless, the border collie will be extra adaptable to vary, much less aloof than Australian cattle canines, and friendlier round strangers.

Alternatively, the Australian cattle canine is thought 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 optimistic reinforcement coaching is the tactic that works finest. Nonetheless, as a result of variations of their personalities, how every breed responds in a coaching session will also 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 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 signifies that a daily coaching routine with loads of vigorous exercise is extra usually wanted to maintain this breed engaged within the activity. Australian cattle canine puppies will 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, will be managed efficiently, particularly round kids 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 joyful and wholesome. A day by day train, coaching, and play routine will even forestall extra power from creating boredom or harmful behaviors. The border collie and the Australian cattle canine are usually not suited to residence residing as they want entry to loads of outdoors area. It’s within the out of doors atmosphere that each breeds come into their very own. This implies they’ll 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 nicely with a minimum of 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 typically thought-about 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 below 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 principle well being issues the breed will 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 result in blindness. There may be 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 regularly impacts a canine’s imaginative and prescient and finally results in blindness. PRA often begins across the age of three, however there’s a screening take a look at that may be accomplished at an earlier age.
  • Hip dysplasia/elbow dysplasia: A typical 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, residing on common between 13 and 16 years. The principle genetic circumstances that may have an effect on the breed embody:

  • Orthopedic issues: Australian cattle canines will be vulnerable 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 forestall the dislocation from recurring.
  • Eye well being: A number of eye circumstances can have an effect on heelers. Like border collies, Aussies will also be vulnerable to progressive retinal atrophy. Cataracts – which trigger the attention lens to ‘cloud up’ – are one other widespread reason 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 fully. Australian cattle canines will also be vulnerable to glaucoma, which will 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 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 dwell 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 dependable – there are a lot of similarities between border collies and Australian cattle canines which might make selecting a bit of tough. However earlier than you determine, it’s additionally vital 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 area, loves the out of doors 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 resulting from its need to please and probably 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 selection for those who assume you might have what it takes to welcome a working breed into your property. And offered you may match their power ranges and excessive train wants, the Australian cattle canine and the border collie could make loving, entertaining, and dependable pets.


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


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