What are the Differences between a Border Collie & Australian Shepherd?

Border Collies and Australian Shepherds are two of the most popular dog breeds in Australia. While they share some similarities, they also have distinct differences that set them apart.

Let’s explore the differences between Border Collies and Australian Shepherds:


Border Collies originated in the border region between Scotland and England. They were bred to be working dogs, particularly for herding sheep. Australian Shepherds, on the other hand, were developed in the western United States during the 19th century. They were originally used to herd livestock, particularly sheep and cattle.


Both Border Collies and Australian Shepherds are medium-sized dogs with a muscular build. Border Collies typically stand between 18-22 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 30-55 pounds. They have a distinctive black and white coat, although they can also come in other colors such as red and blue merle.

Australian Shepherds are slightly larger, standing between 18-23 inches tall and weighing between 40-65 pounds. They have a longer coat than Border Collies and can come in a wider range of colors, including black, red, blue merle, and red merle.


Border Collies and Australian Shepherds are both highly intelligent and energetic breeds. They require plenty of physical and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy.

However, there are some differences in their temperament.

Border Collies are known for their intense focus and drive, making them excellent herding dogs. They can be reserved with strangers and may be prone to anxiety if not given enough exercise and mental stimulation. Australian Shepherds on the other hand are known for their loyalty and affectionate nature.


Both Border Collies and Australian Shepherds are highly trainable, but they respond differently to training methods.

Border Collies thrive on structure and consistency and excel in training programs that are highly organised and (usually) predictable. They also respond well to positive reinforcement training methods.

Australian Shepherds are also highly trainable, but they require a more creative and varied approach. They respond well to training which incorporate games and puzzles.

Both breeds need a great deal of mental as well as physical stimulus, and can quickly get bored with repetitive training methods.


Both Border Collies and Australian Shepherds are generally healthy breeds, but they may be prone to certain health issues. Border Collies may be prone to hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and Collie Eye Anomaly. Australian Shepherds may be prone to hip dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy.

Conclusion: Border Collie & Australian Shepherd Showdown

Border Collies and Australian Shepherds are two popular dog breeds that share some similarities but have distinct differences in their origin, appearance, temperament, training, and health.

If you are considering one of these breeds, it is important to do your research and make sure their needs and personalities best fit your lifestyle and needs. With both breeds it is strongly advised to provide proper training, exercise, and nutrition to ensure their health and happiness.

Do you have a Border Collie or Australian Shepherd? Say so in the comments!



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