Border Collies and Australian Shepherds are both known for being incredibly bright and needing a lot of stimulation. Both are also skilled herders and need jobs to keep them entertained and happy.
By mixing the two breeds, you get a dog that’s driven to work hard, while still being a loving family dog. However, that doesn’t mean this dog is a great one for new pet owners. They need a lot of stimulation, and can easily get nippy and destructive when bored or upset.
Keep reading to learn more about the Australian Shepherd, the Border Collie, and their offspring, the Border Aussie.
Border Collie, Australian Shepherd, and the Border Aussie
|Border Collie||Border Aussie||Australian Shepherd|
|Height||18-22 inches||18-23 inches||18-23 inches|
|Weight||30-55 pounds||30-65 pounds||40-65 pounds|
|Life Expectancy||12-15 years||12-15 years||12-15 years|
|Colors||White ticked White and red merle Saddleback sable Lilac White and blue merle White and blue Red merle White and red White and red White and black Sable merle Sable Red Gold Brindle Blue merle Blue Black||Liver Tan Merle Brindle Sable Red Black Red merle Blue merle||Black Blue merle Red Red merle|
|Coat Type||Double wavy coat Medium length||Double coat Medium length||Double coat Medium length|
|Affection levels||Very affectionate Very playful||Fairly affectionate Very playful||Average affection levels Fairly playful|
|Shedding Level||Average shedding||Average shedding||Average shedding|
|Temperament||Average protectiveness||Average protectiveness||Average protectiveness|
|Health Issues||Hip dysplasia Progressive renal atrophy Deafness Epilepsy Collie eye anomaly Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis Trapped neutrophil syndrome||Deafness Progressive retinal atrophy Cataracts Hip dysplasia Collie eye anomaly Epilepsy Bloat||Hip dysplasia Epilepsy Cataracts cancer|
|Trainability||Very easy to train||Very easy to train||Very easy to train|
|Exercise||Very high energy||Very high energy||Very high energy|
|Friendliness to People||Pretty friendly||Fairly friendly||Average friendliness|
|Friendliness to Dogs||Average friendliness||Average friendliness||Average friendliness|
|Drooling Levels||Little to no drool||Little to no drool||Little to no drool|
|Mental Stimulation||Needs a lot of mental stimulation||Needs a lot of mental stimulation||Needs a lot of mental stimulation|
|Barking Level||Fairly large amount of barking||Fairly large amounts of barking||Average barking levels|
About Border Collies
Border collies are incredibly energetic and smart, and make great herding dogs, especially for sheep. However, they are also great in dog sports such as agility, obedience, disc, and of course, herding. They are considered one of the most intelligent domesticated dog breeds, being easily in the top ten, with some charts even putting them at number one.
Despite their loving and playful nature, this dog needs an owner with strict discipline and a lot of time on their hands, as they need a lot of training and exercise, and mental stimulation. For this reason, it is best if new dog owners don’t go looking for a Border Collie unless they can train with a firm hand, and be patient with their dog. They must also have the free time to provide their dog with ample stimulation.
About Australian Shepherds
Australian Shepherds have a misleading name. They are thought to have come from Spain and then were taken to Australia before being brought to America. However, the dog breed we know and love today are fully American dogs, developed and bred here in the United States.
They were originally made to be herders but were frequently used in rodeos as they could put on a show for the crowd and guide the bulls.
Like Huskies, they also often have two different colored eyes, one often being a pale blue.
The Australian Shepherds can be medium-sized dogs but tend to be more on the large size, weighing anywhere between 40 and 65 pounds and 18-23 inches tall. They can be mostly black or red but tend to instead have a merle color, which is where it is thought they get their name, as most Australian dogs have that unique pattern.
These dogs are smart and very loving, due to their high levels of exercise needs, anywhere between one and two hours a day. They are likely to nip without proper training or stimulation. For these reasons, this dog isn’t considered to be the best dog for new owners.
About Border Aussies
Due to the similarities between the parent breeds, it is fairly easy to guess how the mix will turn out even though the breed is new. Since both parents are smart, active, loving, and great herders, it stands to reason that Border Aussies will be the same.
They can range between medium and large dogs, weighing anywhere between 30 and 65 pounds and having a minimum of 18 inches in height once fully grown.
How Much Activity Does a Border Aussie Need a Day?
Border Aussies need quite a bit of mental and physical stimulation every day. It is recommended that they get around 2 hours a day of stimulation, with a roughly 50/50 mix between physical activity such as running, and mental activity such as puzzles.
On days when you want to work to train your dog or need them to be a bit more tired, you can do a little more exercise so they are worn out.
What Kind of Job is Good for a Border Aussie?
Both the parent breeds are herding dogs, so this is where the Border Aussie excels as well. Due to their high level of intelligence, they tend to get bored, so it is best to give them jobs where things change a little and aren’t the same day in and day out.
If they have a high activity job, such as herding, this can also count for a part of their daily exercise, and perhaps mental stimulation. Having your Border Aussie as a hiking or running partner is also a decent job for them.
Are Border Aussies Family Dogs?
Despite the friendliness and how easy it is to train these mixed breeds, they are not recommended for beginners or as a standard family dog. They can be great dogs for a family, as they are loving and patient. However, without proper exercise, they are often destructive.
They may also nip at ankles if not properly trained or stimulated. This is due to their herding background, where they would nip the heels of animals to get them to move. If it isn’t established that you are the alpha in the house, they will try to herd you and your family more to where they want to go.
Unless you have experience with being firm but loving with a pet, it might be hard to keep the upper hand with an intelligent dog such as a Border Aussie.
Border Aussies are incredibly loyal dogs that are eager to help out in a rodeo or at a farm. With a proper job and stimulation, they can be great for any family to have. However, these dogs are not made for apartments or city-living where they are not given enough to do.
If you can work a dog hard and give them a daily job, the Border Aussie might be for you, or either of its parent breeds.