It can be difficult to tell a Border Collie apart from an Australian Shepherd, even for the most eagle-eyed canine enthusiast. However, there are some major differences between these two breeds, especially when it comes to temperament, energy level, health and lifespan.
But what if you combine these two similar-yet-different dogs into an intelligent, beautiful herding hero?
Well, then you would wind up with the Border Collie Aussie Mix! Are you ready to fall in love with this intelligent and stunning hybrid? Then keep reading because that’s what we are here to discuss!
Meet The Border Collie Aussie Mix!
The Border Collie Aussie mix is a beautiful cross between two intelligent and energetic purebred parents.
A stunning combination of brains and beauty, the Border Collie Aussie Mix is a working dog at heart with two focused, energetic and athletic parent breeds. With that noted, the Border Collie Aussie Mix is certainly not the ideal crossbreed for everyone. He can easily outwit the novice dog owner and become overwhelming for those looking to live a more laid back lifestyle.
However, to the right owner and active family, a Border Collie Aussie Mix makes an excellent companion. He is a happy dog when all his needs are met, and can even be trained to help out with chores around the house.
Let’s take a quick look at an overview of this clever crossbreed.
Common Names: The Border Aussie, The Border Collie Aussie Mix, The Border Collie-Aussie Mix
Height: 18 to 23 Inches
Weight: 30 to 65 Pounds
Temperament: Highly Intelligent, Energetic, Work-Oriented, Devoted
Best Suited For: Experienced Dog Owners
Lifespan: 12 to 15 Years
Health Issues: Thyroid Disease, Hemangiosarcoma, Lymphoma, Elbow Dysplasia, Cataracts, Epilepsy, Collie Eye Anomaly, Deafness, Hip Dysplasia, and Arthritis
Breeds That Recognize The Border COllie Aussie Mix: None
The Background Of The Border Collie Aussie Mix
The Border Collie Aussie mix is a hybrid dog, and is the offspring of the Border Collie and the Australian Shepherd.
The Border Collie Aussie Mix is not a purebred dog. Instead, he is considered a hybrid, crossbreed, mixed breed or designer dog. He’s still a newer hybrid to the canine kingdom, which means his story is still being written.
There are a few pros and cons that come with investing in a crossbreed. First, crossbreeds are thought to be healthier than purebred dogs thanks to a concept known as hybrid vigor. However, breeding and selling crossbreed dogs is considered somewhat controversial, especially if breeders are breeding and selling first or second generation crossbreeds.
Furthermore, since the Border Collie Aussie Mix is not a purebred, he is not recognized by most major breed clubs. This means that the Border Aussie will not be eligible to compete in dog shows or competitions.
But where did the Border Collie Aussie mix come from? Well, because his story is still being written, the best way to learn about him is to look into the backgrounds of his parent breeds.
Similar in appearance and even size, it can be difficult to tell a Border Collie apart from an Australian shepherd. However, there are a few differences.
This video goes into detail on how to tell the difference between the Border Collie and the Australian Shepherd.
It is also sometimes assumed that the Border Collie and the Australian Shepherd are one in the same, or even related. The truth is, while they did likely come from Europe at some point in their early history, most historians believe the breeds were separately bred and perfected in different countries.
Let’s learn more.
The Border Collie:
A Scottish herding dream, the Border Collie is still one of the most popular herding and working dogs in the world. He’s also considered the most intelligent. Border Collies are older than Australian Shepherds, and while they look to have a similar coat, their fur is actually more coarse and a bit more dense. They also come in two coat types, including rough and smooth.
Border Collies come in the following coat colors:
- Blue Merle
- Black Merle
- Black and White
- Sable and White
- Blue and White
- Chocolate and White
- Red and White
Another difference between the Border Collie and the Aussie is in terms of lifespan. A purebred Border Collie lives an average of 12 years, so this is slightly shorter than the purebred Aussie.
The Australian Shepherd:
The Australian Shepherd’s ancestry likely originated in Europe and passed through Australia before coming to America. It is in the United States – California to be specific – where this breed was perfected.
Considered a cowboy’s best friend, the Australian Shepherd may look similar to the Border Collie, but his herding traits are different. This is a dog that is bred to herd cattle while the Border Collie is bred to herd sheep. Aussies are also bred to help protect livestock from predators on the ranch, which makes this dog an excellent guard dog.
The Aussie is also bigger boned than the Border Collie, though his coat is more sleek. Australian Shepherds are also more prone to having heterochromia, which is when a dog is born with two different colored eyes.
Like the Border Collie, the Australian Shepherd comes in a variety of coat colors:
- Blue Merle
- Red Tricolor
- Red Merle
Your Border Collie Aussie Mix could inherit any of these genetic traits from his parent breeds listed above. He could also be more like one over the other.
This is also true for his temperament. Take a look below to see what we mean.
The Border Collie Aussie Mix Temperament – Is This A Good Family Dog?
In the right home and when their needs are met, the Border Collie Aussie mix makes a wonderful family companion.
The Border Collie Aussie mix makes a great companion to the right owner, though he is certainly not the dog for everyone. This is a mixed breed that is relatively high maintenance, and could easily overwhelm and even outwit novice dog owners.
Extremely intelligent, energetic, and highly work oriented, the Border Collie Aussie Mix requires round the clock activity in order to keep him from becoming bored, depressed and destructive.
This is a mixed breed that will also have some serious herding instincts, which can be problematic for some families with young children or smaller animals.
On the flip side, if the Border Collie Aussie mix falls into the right hands, he can truly make the most wonderful dog. He is trainable and always ready to work. This is a dog that, when well trained, gets along great with people and other pets and can be friendly and playful with children.
He will also make a vigilant watch dog, alerting you to any suspicious activity going on around your home.
Considering the Border Collie Aussie Mix dog’s athleticism and energy, it should go without saying that these are not ideal apartment dogs. They are best suited for homes with large backyards or with owners who own lots of land where these dogs can run and play.
The Border Aussie will also require a hands-on owner who is willing and eager to work with him when it comes to training and socialization.
Tips On Training and Socializing A Border Collie Aussie Mix
These mixed breeds are some of the most intelligent dogs in the world, but this doesn’t always mean they are simple to train.
Although the Border Collie Aussie Mix is considered one of the most intelligent crossbreed dogs in the canine kingdom, he may also be one of the most complicated to train. This is due to his clever mind and propensity for work.
Border Collie Aussie Mix dogs are easily bored, especially if they are not kept challenged or motivated. The best type of training will include positive reinforcement training that is fun and gamelike, and that gives your Border Aussie a purpose.
Training should also begin early, from the moment you bring your Border Collie Aussie Mix home. And while it can be frustrating to build that connection with your dog and earn his trust and attention, it’s incredibly important not to use punishment or scolding during training sessions.
This can quickly erode the bond between you and your dog and may even hinder the learning process. Instead, stick with treats and praise.
Remember, Border Collie Aussie mix dogs are likely to have strong herding instincts, and this should be one of the traits you work with early on to prevent them from becoming problematic down the road.
Along with training, it’s also important to properly socialize your Border Aussie as early as possible. Properly socializing any dog is important to that dog’s health, happiness and confidence. Ensuring your dog is properly socialized includes introducing him to as many new and first time experiences as you can.
Try and help your Border Collie Aussie mix associate new experiences with something positive, and avoid trying to push your Bordier Aussie into situations that frighten him or that he’s not ready to experience.
If you have children in the home, we also recommend helping your Border Collie Aussie mix get used to being handled, played with and approached by children.
We also recommend that you work with children on how to safely and respectfully interact with your Border Aussie to ensure everyone gets along safely and happily
What Are The Exercise and Mental Stimulation Needs of A Border Collie Aussie Mix?
Both the Border Collie and the Aussie are working breeds, so it’s no surprise their offspring is going to be an energetic and focused dog as well.
Both the purebred Border Collie and the Purebred Australian Shepherd are working dogs. This means they are used to being outdoors quite a bit and staying active. They were bred for endurance and independent thinking, and being cooped up inside a home all day goes against their natural instincts and drive.
In other words, a Border Aussie Mix is going to require plenty of routine exercise each and every day in order to stay happy and healthy. This is a dog that will do best with two walks each day that are at least an hour or so long. He will also need plenty of free play time in between in a securely fenced in backyard.
A well socialized Border Aussie is an excellent candidate for dog parks, and he will enjoy having other doggy playmates in the home.
PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness
No products found.
When you do walk your Border Collie Aussie Mix, it’s important to have the right equipment. These dogs are generally wonderful walking or jogging companions, but we still recommend investing in a no-pull harness to reduce potential pressure put on their neck or trachea.
The above dog harness by PetSafe is a front clip harness that not only reduces pulling, but also helps make walking feel more natural and comfortable for your dog. It’s a win-win!
Along with ensuring your Border Collie Aussie Mix is kept active physically, it’s also important to make sure you are exercising them mentally.
Border Collie Aussie Mix dogs will do well with puzzle toys that allow them to think and encourage them to work to get treats or food. They will also enjoy KONGS that they can chew on or roll around while you’re away.
However, when you’re home, your Border Aussie’s favorite type of mental stimulation will be the type you work on with him. Continue training your Border Collie Aussie mix throughout his life and teach him new cues often.
How To Groom A Border Collie Aussie Mix Dog
Grooming needs will vary depending on the coat type your Border Collie Aussie mix inherits from his parent breeds. Remember, the Border Collie specifically comes in different coat types.
Both the Border Collie and The Australian Shepherd have similar coats, however the Border Collie comes in two different coat types, which could have an impact on your Border Collie Aussie mix.
That said, brushing and grooming should still be done routinely regardless. The Border Aussie is a shedding breed who sheds year around, but sheds most heavily during shedding season in spring and fall.
Brushing your Border Collie Aussie mix once or twice a week with proper grooming tools and deshedding brushes should help reduce mats and buildup of loose hair and debris. You might also need to trim your Border Collie Aussie mix on occasion to help keep his coat under control.
Hertzko Slicker Brush
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We like the Hertzko Slicker Brush above for adding to your Border Aussie’s grooming tool kit, as it not only helps remove loose hair but it also helps detangle mats in longer coats. This brush has teeth that are curved as well, so they won’t cause pain or harm to your dog’s skin.
When used once or twice a week, this brush can also help reduce doggy odor due to buildup of loose hair that gets stuck below the surface.
The good news is that the Border Collie Aussie Mix is a relatively clean dog that only requires bathing once every six weeks or so. Anymore bathing than that and you risk stripping his coat of the natural oils his skin produces that helps to keep his fur healthy.
Outside of brushing and bathing, we also suggest you stay on top of your Border Collie Aussie Mix’s ears. His ears should be checked and cleaned regularly to keep ear infections at bay, and his nails should be trimmed often to help keep them from cracking.
Last, be sure to take care of your Border Aussie’s teeth. Dental disease is one of the most common health issues dogs face, but you can combat this by brushing your Border Aussie’s teeth once a day with a dog safe toothbrush and toothpaste.
Border Collie Aussie Mix Health Issues and Lifespan
Though they are relatively healthy, the Border Collie Aussie mix can struggle with a few genetic health issues.
The Border Collie Aussie Mix has an average lifespan of between 12 and 15 years. For the most part, both of his parent breeds are relatively healthy, and considering the Border Collie Aussie Mix has the benefit of hybrid vigor, he is even more likely to live out a long and healthy life.
That said, genetics can be difficult to predict, and it’s important to know that your Border Collie Aussie Mix could be susceptible to any of the same genetic health issues as his purebred parent breeds.
You should also note that because both the Border Collie and the Aussie carry the merle gene (the gene linked with hereditary deafness in dogs), their mixed breed offspring may be more predisposed to deafness.
Other health issues in a Border Collie Aussie Mix could include:
- Thyroid Disease
- Lymphoma, Elbow Dysplasia
- Collie Eye Anomaly
- Hip Dysplasia
- And Arthritis
While there is no way to 100% predict or prevent certain health issues in a Border Collie Aussie Mix, there are a few steps you can take to help ensure your dog lives his happiest, healthiest life possible.
Consider Having Your Border Aussie Health Screened
If you go through a reputable breeder to obtain your Border Collie Aussie Mix, you’ll likely be provided with paperwork proving that your dog has been screened and cleared of any serious health issues.
However, if you go through a rescue or you have gotten your Border Collie through other sources, you may not have any idea of his genetic history.
The best way to combat this is to invest in a doggy DNA kit. This will not only give you a backstory on your Border Aussie’s genetic history, but it can also give you an idea of any of the health issues he may be predisposed to.
Keep Up With Routine Vet Visits
Wellness exams and vet visits are an important tool you can use to help keep track of your pets health, especially as your dog ages. Vets recommend that medium sized dogs under the age of seven be seen at least once a year for routine checkups while dogs over the age of seven be seen twice a year.
Ensure Your Border Aussie Is On A Quality Dog Food
There are plenty of brands and types of dog food on the market these days, and the right dog food for your Border Collie Aussie Mix will be up to you, your vet, and your dog’s particular lifestyle and overall health.
That said, most experts agree that a quality dog food rich in real meat protein, carbs, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and a good source of water is best.
Avoid dog foods that contain fillers, additives, corn, gluton, soy, or wheat, and try to make sure that your dog’s food is specified for his age, weight and activity level.
Keep Up With Routine Grooming, Exercise and Mental Stimulation
Grooming not only helps your dog look and feel better, but it also gives you an opportunity to check his body over for lumps, bumps, and other abnormalities on a routine basis. Grooming also helps prevent matting and a buildup of debris and lose hair that can lead to skin issues and infections.
Exercise and socialization work similarly in helping ensure your dog is not only better behaved, but also mentally and physically healthy. Ensuring your dog has his needs met when it comes to physical and mental exercise helps reduce the chances of him becoming bored, depressed and anxious, all of which can weaken the immune system and lead to illness.
Do You Have The Ideal Home Type For A Border Collie Aussie Mix?
The ideal owner of a Border Collie Aussie mix will have plenty of time to commit to exercise and mental stimulation.
We spend most of our time wondering whether or not a certain breed or mix would be right for us. But it’s also important to consider if we are the right owners for a certain breed or mix. Many people are attracted to dogs like the Border Collie Aussie Mix because they are beautiful and intelligent.
However, some don’t realize the commitment they are making when investing in this type of dog, or just how high maintenance a Border Collie Aussie Mix can be.
In a nutshell, the Border Collie Aussie Mix is not the best dog for the novice dog owner. Instead, he will do well with experienced dog owners who have a strong understanding of working breeds.
This is also not the ideal apartment dog, as Border Aussies require lots of space and exercise each and every day. A home with a large backyard or lots of land will be best, as will an owner who has plenty of time to commit to training, socialization, exercise, play and affection.
When raised properly, the Border Collie Aussie Mix can make a wonderful addition to homes with active families and other pets. They get along well with people and dogs when well socialized, though they may have serious herding instincts that will need to be worked with.
Where To Find A Border Collie Aussie Mix Puppy Or Rescue Dog
It’s important to go through reputable sources like a responsible breeder or shelter you trust.
Hybrid dogs are very popular these days, though the Border Collie Aussie Mix is still a newer hybrid to the scene. This could mean that finding a Border Aussie through a breeder might be difficult, but it’s important not to become impatient and to ensure you are going through reputable sources when looking for a Border Collie Aussie Mix.
When looking for a Border Aussie puppy through a reputable breeder, prepare to spend between $600 and $800. This is a pretty decent price in the canine kingdom, considering many crossbreed dogs sell for thousands these days.
There are some pros and cons of forking over a few extra bucks to go through a breeder. Some pros include the fact that you are able to get paperwork proving health. Many breeders can also point you towards other resources for your dog’s care, and you might even be able to get a look at your puppy’s parents to see how big he or she might become.
If you would prefer to rescue, there are a few shelters throughout the US that focus on Border Collies and Australian Shepherds, as well as some of their mixes. Picking a shelter or rescue that focuses on these breeds means you will be more likely to find a Border Aussie.
When you go through a rescue, there is going to be a fee of around $250 to $500. This fee usually covers the initial cost of what it took to care for your Border Aussie, as well as potential vet checkups or vaccination updates he may have needed.
One of the benefits of going through a rescue, aside from price, is there are often hidden savings. Some older Border Collie Aussie mix dogs may have already been spayed or neutered, have undergone some prior training, and may have even been microchipped.
Of course, choosing to adopt a dog or choosing to go through a breeder is a personal one, and it is completely up to you.
We just hope that you now have a solid idea as to whether or not the Border Collie Aussie mix is right for you and your lifestyle.
So, what do you think? Is the Border Aussie the dog of your dreams? Drop us a comment below and share your opinion about this dynamic dog.
Thanks for reading!
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.