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How one 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 canine. In the precise palms, they will additionally make great household pets. Nevertheless, each breeds additionally want loads of workout routines and psychological stimulation to maintain them heading in the right direction.

In case you are attempting 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 lots of similarities between these two working canine, there are additionally some distinct variations. We make the Australian cattle canine vs. border collie comparability so you possibly can resolve which is finest for you, your loved ones, and your life-style.

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 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 study. This implies additionally they make glorious companion canine.

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 canine that would 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 in the course of the nineteenth century and was used to herd cattle.

The breed grew to become wanted as a result of its stamina, intelligence, and work ethic and was named heeler due to the way in which 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

  • 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, purple, black, white, blue             Blue, gray, purple, 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 concerning 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 canine have a stockier construct, a broad head, and are usually extra compact, whereas the border collie is lither and extra athletic.

Coat and colour

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 might 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 colour variations. These embrace brown and white, lilac, and the gorgeous blue or purple merle. Eye colours are brown, though blue eyes can 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 purple. This has led to the breed’s various blue heeler and purple heeler names. Requiring minimal grooming, the blue coat colour is blacker, the purple is browner, and the mottled look creates the blue speckled or purple shade. Australian cattle canine puppies are born white and develop their blue or purple 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 supplies the looks of a masks.


As they’re herding canine, the one particular attribute the border collie and Australian cattle canine share is their excessive vitality ranges! These on-the-go canine 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 life-style 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 habits.

Transferring on to different temperament traits, you see some variations between the breeds. Whereas the Australian cattle canine might be impartial, 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 liable to separation nervousness than the extra self-sufficient heeler. Nevertheless, the border collie might be extra adaptable to alter, much less aloof than Australian cattle canine, and friendlier round strangers.

However, the Australian cattle canine is understood 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 optimistic reinforcement coaching is the tactic that works finest. Nevertheless, as a result of variations of their personalities, how every breed responds in a coaching session can be barely totally different.

Since their potential to focus can border on obsession, the border collie requires a constant coaching routine that permits 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 impartial persona of Australian cattle canine signifies that an everyday coaching routine with loads of vigorous exercise is extra typically wanted to maintain this breed engaged within the job. 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, akin to nipping, might be managed efficiently, particularly round youngsters 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 comfortable and wholesome. A each day train, coaching, and play routine will even forestall extra vitality from creating boredom or harmful behaviors. The border collie and the Australian cattle canine usually are not suited to condo residing as they want entry to loads of exterior house. It’s within the out of doors 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 perfect. Border collies work properly 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 canine are usually thought-about wholesome breeds, and their working heritage makes them extra resilient than many different breeds. However as with every pure breed, they are often inclined to sure well being points. Listed below 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 primary 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 might probably result in blindness. There may be at present no treatment for CEA, however surgical procedure is an possibility for extreme circumstances.
  • Epilepsy: One other inherited dysfunction, epilepsy, is kind 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 steadily 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 achieved at an earlier age.
  • Hip dysplasia/elbow dysplasia: A standard 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 inclined 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 canine might be liable 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 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 canine. Relying on the extent of sight loss brought on by the situation, surgical procedure can be utilized to take away cataracts utterly. Australian cattle canine can be liable to glaucoma, which might be extraordinarily painful and result in blindness if left untreated. Glaucoma may change into a medical emergency, so vets advocate 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 help and coaching, deaf Australian cattle canine can nonetheless reside 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 canine which might 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 exterior 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 as a result of its want to please and probably obsessive habits. And Australian cattle canine even have their ‘points’, being independent-minded with a bent to be protecting.

With all this in thoughts, it’s purely a private selection in the event you suppose you may have what it takes to welcome a working breed into your property. And supplied 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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