Border Collie or Australian Shepherd: Which One to Choose?

Size, character … It’s not easy to differentiate the Border Collie from the Australian Shepherd. Yet these two dog breeds are quite distinct. Explanation.

they Border Collie and the Australian Shepherd are two breeds of shepherd dogs especially popular. Originally intended for herding sheep and cattle, these two breeds of dogs are now appreciated for their intelligence and obedience.

Shepherd dogs of different origins

The Border Collie and the Australian Shepherd are both shepherd dogs, they belong to group 1 : Berger and Bouvier dogs. These are excellent working dogs known for their herding skills. With great adaptability, they are also used as a hunting dog or as a service dog.

Although belonging to the same group, the Border Collie and the Australian Shepherd both have different backgrounds. The Border Collie is a dog from Scotland. And contrary to what its name implies, the Australian Shepherd is not from Australia, but from the Basque Country. The Australian Le Berger was recognized as a race at the American Kennel Club in 1991, and the Border Collie was recognized in 1995.

Dogs with very active temperaments

The Border Collie and the Australian Shepherd are considered to be very intelligent dogs. Reputable loyal and affectionate, they are very pleasant companions for the whole family. Active and energetic, these dogs need to learn and spend themselves physically. They are not really made for an apartment life. Their instincts as shepherd dogs predispose them to large green spaces rather than urban life.

Of a sociable nature, they are seldom quarrelsome, but may be somewhat reserved in the first encounters. However, they are very good alert dogs, with great courage. Praised for their adaptability and obedience, the Border Collie and the Australian Shepherd must be educated from an early age firmly but without violence. Their good learning ability allows them to participate in many canine sports.

Physical: how to differentiate them?

The Border Collie and the Australian Shepherd are medium-sized dogs. The Australian Shepherd is generally heavier and more robust than the Border Collie, which has more finned features. However, their general physiology remains similar: a well-marked stop, almond-shaped eyes, a square head and a naturally drooping tail.

Table of differences between the two races
Border Collie Australian Shepherd
Size 45 to 55 cm 46 to 58 cm
Weight 18 to 28 kg 19 to 34 kg
Life expectancy 10 to 14 years 12 to 15 years
Award 800 – 1200 euros 700 – 1500 euros

One can still notice a difference in the coat. The Australian Shepherd has straight, slightly wavy hair, while the Border Collie can have long, medium-long, short, and much denser hair. Finally, there is also a difference in the ears. Le Border Collie can have dressed or semi-dressed ears, then those of the Australian Shepherd are tombantes.

Adopting an animal commits you is a decision you need to think about. Do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian or the nearest shelter before you start. They will be able to give you their advice on the dog breed that will work best for you.


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