Australian Shepherd VS Border Collie

Are you confused about whether you should adopt a Border Collie or Australian shepherd dog? Don’t worry this post will help you. This article will give you a clear idea about temperament, personality, etc. of both Australian shepherds and Border Collies so that you can make the right decision between them.

Getting a new dog to the house can be an amazing experience. There are so many factors you need to keep in mind while adopting a dog of a particular breed. Your lifestyle can create a big impact on dog breed selection. Depending on your day to day activities and lifestyle, you need to figure out what personality traits you should look for in a dog.

For example, if you have a busy lifestyle, you should not be getting an active, energetic, and playful dog. Why? Due to your busy schedule, you might not give proper focus on your dog. Active and energetic dogs require good enough time from their owners. They require attention to regular exercise and physical activities. Because of your busy lifestyle, when you don’t provide enough exercise or not involve your dog in various physical activities, your dog is very much likely to become destructive.

In short, when you have a dog breed with a high energy level, it will be very important for you to help your dog burn off his energy in the right way. When you don’t do that, your dog will figure out his own way to burn off his excess energy. The lack of exercise may lead to habits such as excessive chewing, excessive barking, etc.

Energetic and active dogs are for those who have an active lifestyle. In this case, when you get a couch potato, you won’t be able to get along with your dog. In short, while adopting a dog, it is so important to consider its temperament.

This post will help you understand the differences between Australian Shepherd and Border Collie dog breeds. If you are not sure which one to adopt, this blog post will guide you. To understand which one is best, first, we have to understand their history, personality traits, temperament, etc. Let’s start with Australian shepherd breed.


Australian Shepherd

The Australian shepherd is a smart, work-obedient, and friendly dog breed. If you are finding best and loving dog breed for your family, then this one could be a good choice. Before adopting an Aussie dog, make sure you have an active lifestyle.

You may have a question, “Why it is so important to have an active lifestyle with Australian shepherd dog?”

It is important because Aussies have a high energy level. Due to their high energy level, it is so important to provide them with regular exercise and physical activities. Basically, they want you to help them with burning off their energy. Failing to provide enough regular physical activities to an Australian shepherd dog may lead to destructive and negative behavior in him.


When you want to gift a dog to your kids or family, the important thing to keep in mind is whether the dog is loving and friendly or not. Talking about Australian shepherds they are so loving and friendly. If you want to gift a puppy to your family and kids, this breed could be the best choice.

Apart from a high energy level, another trait of Aussies is affection. Aussies are very loving and affectionate toward their people. Your Aussie will easily get along with its family members, kids, as well as other dogs. However, Aussies behavior toward strangers may not be predictable. They may or may not get along with strangers.


Grooming is another important factor people consider before adopting any dog breed. The grooming requirements may differ from one dog breed to another. It is mainly about their coat type. Depending on the dog breed’s coat type, the grooming needs may vary. Talking about Australian shepherds, they are double-coated dog breeds.

This double-coated dog breed has high grooming needs. Due to its double coats, its shedding level is very high. Aussies shed all around the year. And, their shedding level gets even higher during the spring. Spring is the time when Aussies lose their winter coats.

You can take different steps for controlling the shedding level. One of the best ways to control the shedding level of Aussie dog is by doing regular brushing. By doing regular brushing to the dog, you can keep its coat clean and also reduce the shedding level.


Training an Australian shepherd would not be a stressful task. Aussies are highly intelligent and smart. In fact, they are tied for 66th smartest dog breed for obedience and working intelligence.

They have got 66th rank for obedience and working intelligence according to Stanley Coren’s dog Intelligence Ranking. The experiment by Stanley was focused solely on obedience and working intelligence.

You Aussie will be very obedient toward your command. If you want to adopt an intelligent and smart dog, you may consider adopting an Australian shepherd dog.

Physical needs

Some people also consider this factor before adopting a dog of any breed. Physical activities and exercise needs will differ from one dog breed to another. And, preference for physical needs also differs from one dog owner to another.

Australian shepherds are very energetic and active; this is the reason why their exercise requirements are very high. You need to make sure your Aussie uses the right way to burn off his excess energy regularly. To help your Aussie burn his excessive energy regularly, you can provide him with various physical activities such as walking, running, etc. The ideal exercise time for Aussies is 1 to 2 hours daily.


Food is another important aspect of dogs. No matter which dog breed you select, providing quality food will be very important. Talking about Australian Shepherds, they do well on high-quality food. You may provide commercially manufactured or home-prepared food to your Aussie.

No matter whether you provide ready-made commercially manufactured food or home-prepared food to your Aussie, consulting with your veterinarian is utmost important. Your veterinarian will recommend a food for your  Australian shepherd after considering its age, medical conditions, etc.

To keep your doggy happy and motivated, providing treats can be important. However, don’t give so many treats to your Aussie. Giving too many treats may lead to obesity in your Australian shepherd.


Before adopting a dog of any breed, considering its health is also very important. You want your dog to stay healthy and happy. If we talk about the health of Australian shepherds, mostly they are healthy. The good thing about getting a dog from a popular breeder is you do not get a dog with any health concern.

It is advisable that after getting an Aussie dog, you check it from a good veterinarian. It will help you know whether your Aussie has any health issue or not. For the betterment of your Aussie’s health, his ears should be checked regularly and his teeth should be brushed regularly.

After getting an Australian shepherd dog, your Aussie needs to go through some tests. Some recommended health tests from the Nation Breed Club are Hip Evaluation, Elbow Evaluation, and Ophthalmologist Evaluation.

So, here we have talked about health, food, grooming needs, physical needs, and personality traits of Australian shepherds. In short, Aussies are friendly, loving, intelligent, energetic, and great family dogs. If you are looking for a family-friendly dog breed, Australian shepherd is one of the best one.

Border Collie

Border Collie is a working and herding dog breed, developed in the hilly border country between Scotland and England. This dog breed is popular especially for herding, especially sheep.

Just like Australian shepherds, Border Collies are also highly intelligent and obedient. So, when it comes to providing training or teaching some commands, you won’t have much difficulty with a Border collie dog.

If we compare border collies with Australian shepherds, you will find so many similarities between both the breeds. Before we talk about differences between these two breeds, let’s talk about its temperament and characteristics.


Just Aussies, Border collies are also very much loving and affectionate. Border collies are people-centric and also they are great family dogs. If you are planning to gift a new dog to your family or kids, Border collie can also be a great choice.

Border collies can get along with families, kids, and even with strangers as well. This the reason why people like adopting this breed. Though they are friendly toward families, kids, and strangers, their behavior toward other dogs or cats may or may not be good.

It is more about the individual personality of the dog. Some Border collies do get along with other dogs or cats, however, some may not be good with them.


Before adopting a dog of any breed, another important thing people consider is grooming needs of that dog breed. Grooming needs differ from one dog breed to another.

Talking about collies, they have double coats. They have two types of coats. Their rough coat is medium length & feathered, while their smooth coat is shorter & coarser. Border collies shed moderately throughout the year. And, they shed heavily during the season.

As compared to Australian shepherd dog breed, the good thing about Border Collie breed is its grooming requirements are comparatively less. To keep their coats clean, you need to provide them around 2 to 3 times brushing in a week.


After grooming and friendliness of a dog breed, the next significant thing to look is trainability. Getting an intelligent and smart dog can ease the training process. This saves your time on providing training.

Another common thing about Aussies and Border Collies is both are intelligent and easy to train. In Stanley Coren’s The Intelligence of Dogs, this breed is ranked 1st. Stanley’s The Intelligence of Dogs experiment was about measuring the intelligence and obedience of various dog breeds.

As compared to Australian shepherds, Border Collies are pretty easy to train. Due to their smart and high intelligence, they learn new things easily, also they are eager to please.

Physical needs

Depending on the dog breed you select, the exercising and physical activity needs will differ. Different dog breeds have a different level of energy and this is what changes their physical needs as well. It is so important to consider this factor before adopting any dog because getting a breed that does not suit your lifestyle may lead to problems later.

For example, if you have a busy schedule, you must look for a couch potato dog breed. On the flip side, if you have an active lifestyle, you should be looking for an outgoing and active dog breed.

Border Collies are energetic, playful, and very active. In order to keep a border collie dog happy, it is essential to provide him with enough exercise. This dog breed is for active and outdoor person, and not for someone who prefers to stay indoors.

To help your border collie burn off this energy the right way, you can provide him with different exercises, physical activities, and play intense games. By regularly providing enough exercise and fulfiling collie’s physical needs, he will not become destructive.


Another important thing that comes in the list is the food of the Border Collie. This is so important because quality food you will provide will affect the lifestyle of your dog. Collies do great when they are providing with high-quality food.

You may provide home-prepared or commercially manufactured food to a Border Collie. However, before serving any of this food, it is so important to consult with a veterinarian. Your veterinarian will consider factors such as your dog’s health, age, etc. and then recommend the food.

Concentrating on the calorie consumption of a Border Collie is important because some Collies are more prone to overweight. Also, make sure you give limited treats, because too many treats may cause obesity.


Last, but not least, the health of the dog is another important thing to take into account. Before adopting any dog breed, it is a good idea to check out whether that breed is prone to any health conditions or not. Also, before taking the dog to the home, it is important to know whether it has any health issues or not.

Talking about Border Collies, they are healthy dogs. Getting the dog from a responsible breeder will make sure the dog is screened for various health conditions. It is advisable to take some health tests before taking the collie to your home. Some recommended health tests from the National Breeds Club are Hip Evaluation and Ophthalmologist Evaluation.

So, here we have seen everything you need to know about Border Collies. We have talked about health conditions, food requirements, physical needs, grooming requirements, intelligence level, friendliness, etc. of the Border Collie dog breed.

Differences Between Australian Shepherd & Border Collie

In the above section, we have the detailed instructions of both the breeds. We have seen health conditions, food requirements, grooming requirements, intelligence, etc. of Australian shepherd and  Border Collie. Now, we will understand some major differences between both the dog breeds.


The personality of both Australian shepherds and Border collies are great. Both breeds are affectionate, loving, friendly, and highly intelligent toward their owners.

By adopting an Australian Shepherd or Border Collie dog, the main thing you need to focus on is providing regular physical and mental stimulation. Aussies and Collies are happy when they have a job.

Due to high herding instincts, sometimes they may show their chasing nature toward small children or small animals.

Physical Size

Australian Shepherd and Border Collie, both are medium-sized dog breeds. However, if we compare both the breeds, Australian shepherds are bigger than Border Collies, in terms of height and weight both. If you want to adopt a heavier dog breed between these two, then you should get an Australian shepherd.

Talking about Australian shepherds, they can grow up to 18 to 23 inches in height and their weight can range from 35 to 70 pounds. Both these factors will differ based on the breeder and gender of the Aussie. Male Aussies are far heavier as compared to female Aussies.

Talking about Border Collies, they can grow up to 18 to 22 inches in height and their weight can range from 27 to 45 pounds. Again, the height and weight of a border collie dog will differ based on its breeder and gender.


Intelligence in the dog many owners consider before adopting a dog. Getting a highly intelligent dog allows you to teach him different commands without any hassle. On the flip side, when you get a dog that is less intelligent, teaching commands gets difficult.

To know the intelligence of different dog breeds, there was an experiment conducted by Stanley Coren. The two important parameters of that experiment were obedience and working intelligence. The dog breed with higher obedience and working intelligence was considered to be intelligent.

Though Australian shepherd and Border Collie both are intelligent dog breeds, Border Collies are more intelligent than Australian shepherds. In that experiment conducted by Stanley Coren, Aussies were tied for the 42nd smartest dog breed, while Border Collies got the first rank in terms of intelligence.

Hence, if you want to adopt a highly intelligent dog, then get a Border Collie. Note that Australian shepherds are also pretty smart. There are so many benefits of getting a smart and intelligent dog breed. One of the major benefits is easy training. With an intelligent dog, training your dog would be very easy and hassle-free.


Color is something that is different in both the dog breeds. Both, Australian shepherds and Border Collies come in a variety of colors. Also, their group of colors may have further variations.

Talking about Border Collies, their main color groups are – black & white, mottled, blue merle, red merle, sable/white, blue/white, red/white, and chocolate/white.

The main color groups of Australian shepherds are – black, blue merle, red, and red merle.

There is a myth that the personality or temperament of dogs affects depending on the color of the dog breed. This is totally false. No matter whether you adopt an Australian shepherd or a Border Collie, the color of your dog does not determine the personality of the dog. The individual personality may differ from one dog to another, however, the dog’s coat color is not the reason behind it.

If you have heard that different color Aussies or collies have different personality traits from any breeder or anyone, either they are lying you or they are misinformed. The personality or temperament of the dog is mainly affected by its breed, and not by its coat color.


Border Collies and Australian shepherds both are bred to work hard. Both of them are the part of working dog group as categorized by American Kennel Club. No matter whether you choose Aussie or Collie both will have a very high energy level.

Even though both dog breeds are hardworking and they are bred to work, however, the work ethic may differ from one individual dog to another. This varies based on the environment the dog is raised. When the dog is raised by an active family and provided regular intense exercise, it is obvious the dog will get very hardworking.

As we have seen, both Australian shepherds and Border Collies are hardworking dog breeds and they were bred to work. Now, the question may come in your mind, which one out of these dog breeds is more hard working. The answer is Border Collies. Between Australian shepherd and Border Collie, Border Collies are slightly more hard working.

As Border Collies are more hardworking than Aussies, their physical activity requirements are also high as compared to Aussies.

In short, both dog breeds are hardworking and both of them require regular intense exercise and physical activities. When you don’t provide enough exercise, the dog will become destructive. Hence, if you are finding a couch potato, neither Australian shepherd nor Border collie is for you.


Based on popularity, both breeds have different rankings. Between these two breeds, Australian shepherd is more popular than Border Collie. According to Americal Kennel Club, Australian shepherd is ranked 17th most popular dog breed in the United States.

Talking about Border Collies, they are ranked 38th most popular dog breeds in the United States. Aussies have been in the list of top 20 popular dog breeds for the last five years. And, Border Collies have been in the list of top 50 popular dog breeds for at least the last five years.

Higher ranking of Aussies in terms of popularity does not mean that they are better than Border Collies. However, we can say that Aussies are easy to take care of for families.


No matter whether you pick an Australian shepherd or Border Collie dog, both of them have medium to high grooming requirements. To keep an Aussie’s fur good, you need to provide him regular grooming.

Border Collies coat is a bit tougher as compared to Aussie’s. Due to this, a Border collie dog requires more attention to coat maintenance.

The shedding level of Border Collies is higher than Aussies, due to their tough fur. Due to this, you need to provide them with regular grooming and coat brushing. In a nutshell, Aussies have medium to high grooming requirements, while Border Collies have high grooming requirements.

Life expectancy

Life expectancy also differs from one dog breed to another. When a particular dog is taken care of properly, you can expect a longer life. For taking care of the dog, you need to provide him healthy & nutritious food, focus on its physical needs, provide physical & mental stimulation, etc.

Generally, Border collies live longer than Aussies. There isn’t a big difference in the life expectancy of both these breeds. Talking about Australian shepherds, they have the life expectancy of around 13 to 15 years. And, Border Collies have a life expectancy of around 10 to 17 years.


The cost and price of any dog are based on various factors. It varies depending on the dog breed you select, your breeder, breeder’s reputation, pedigree, color variation of the dog (Aussies and Collies both have different color variations), your location, the demand of the breed, etc. These are the factors that will be affected when it comes to pricing of an Australian shepherd or Border collie dog.

On average both, Australian shepherd and Border collie will cost you somewhere between $600 to $850. This is an average price. As we have said, the price could vary based on different factors.

Final Thoughts

Here we can see there are no major differences between Australian shepherds and Border Collies. To help you understand the differences between these two breeds, we have talked about their personality, temperament, cost, life expectancy, grooming needs, maintenance needs, intelligence, trainability, etc.


Tab Winner

Hello my name is Tab Winner. My wife and I have been around Australian shepherds for 20+ years and we definitely love them. We currently have a pair of Toy Aussies one is a Tri-color and the other is a blue merle that are both 10 and 11 years old.

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