Border Collie VS Australian Shepherd (Tips / Tricks)

border collie vs australian shepherd

For people who want a smart family dog, this decision will be a hard choice to make. It might be even harder to make that choice if you like the characteristics of both breeds. In order to help you with that decision, we have decided to make a post called Border Collie VS Australian Shepherd.

In this post, we will be comparing several important points such as financial cost, personality traits, and outward appearances. If you still can’t decide after reading this post, you can always get two dogs or a crossbreed of Border Collie and Australian Shepherd.

Cost of Border Collie VS Australian Shepherd Expenses

Let’s face reality straight off since raising a dog cost money. If you choose to buy a dog, you need to take responsibility for your actions and also be prepared financially to support that decision. Please make sure that you are financially stable if you are thinking about making this new addition.

1. Initial Cost of Purchase

The buying stage differs in a lot of ways, but there are four general methods in which you will obtain your pet. The three general methods and their prices are listed below, and the fourth is the cheapest of all, which is getting that dog for free whether through family relations or by finding a stray dog.

  • Average Cost for Border Collies – $600 ~ $1,200
  • Border Collies of Superior Lineage – $1,300 ~ $4,500
  • Cost of Adopting Border Collies – $300 ~ $600

If you want a Border Collie that has already been trained, the price range can skyrocket up to $7,500 due to the time and effort that breeders have already put into the process. For domestic purposes, buying a Border Collie from a reputable breeder would be best.

  • Average Cost for Australian Shepherds – $600 ~ $800
  • Australian Shepherds of Superior Lineage – $1,000 or More
  • Cost of Adopting Australian Shepherds – $300 ~ $600

Many first-time dog owners believe that the best deal is the cheapest one out there. Let me give you a word of advice, you get what to pay for! Puppies that are raised in a bad environment are sold for cheap while high-quality puppies are leashed out by responsible breeders.

2. Yearly Cost of Maintenance

After making the purchase, now is the time to properly take care of the puppy by providing him with food, snacks, and other needed supplies. Your first year with the puppy tends to be the most expensive year, and monthly maintenance costs will probably be your only financial concern after that.

  • Food & Snacks – $600 ~ $900 Per Year
  • Toys & Supplies – $50 ~ $150 Per Year
  • Vets & Vaccinations – $400 ~ $700 Per Year
  • Training & Group Sessions – $200 ~ $400 Per Year
  • One Time Cost for 1st Year Supplies – $200 ~ $400
  • TOTAL Maintenance Cost – $1500 ~ $2500 Per Year
  • MONTHLY Maintenance Cost – $125 ~ $215 Per Month

Instead of comparing the cost of maintaining Border Collies and Australian Shepherds, I have decided to merge it into one major section since their cost of maintenance doesn’t vary by a large amount. For easy reference, I have added up the cost for yearly fees and separated them into monthly costs.

3. Cost for Emergency Situations

Even though we don’t expect it to happen, we can never be too sure about the future. In this section, we will be first covering the four common diseases found in Border Collies down below and then talk about the implication of these acronyms.

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) – No Form of Treatment Found
  • Osteochondritis Dissecans – $2,000 ~ $4,000 Per Joint
  • Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) – No Form of Treatment Found
  • Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) – $3,500 ~ $7,000 Per Hip

For hereditary diseases in which no form of treatments can be found, DNA testing is highly encouraged to detect these chronic illnesses at a young age. If you can’t stop it, the least you can do is to figure out whether or not your dog has a chance of going blind (CEA and PRA).

  • Hip Dysplasia – $2,000 ~ $5,000 Per Hip
  • Epilepsy – $200 ~ $5000 Per Year
  • Deafness – No Form of Treatment Available
  • Cataracts – $3,000 ~ $4000

The list above were four common diseases found in Australian Shepherds, and they have similar problems as Border Collies when it comes to eyes and joints. As you can see, there is no form of treatment available for deafness, but it can be found out through screen testings.

Personality Traits of Border Collie VS Australian Shepherd

If you can keep up with the financial expenses, now is the time to test your lifestyle and the conditions of your house. In this section, we will be looking over their historical records, personal temperaments, and living patterns to see whether or not you can really take care of this dog.

1. Ancient Historical Records

Raised in Great Britain, Border Collies were first put to use in England and Scotland to herd great amounts of livestock, especially sheep. Sheep played a similar role as cattle in the US since wool and mutton provided basic necessities such as clothing and food.

  • Border Collie – Highly-Intelligent Sheep Dog

Border Collies played an important role in the lives of the British people for many centuries before being registered as a breed in the 19th century. For Australian Shepherds, they played a similar role as Border Collies, but their location of origin was somewhat different and unique.

  • Australian Shepherd – Not From Australia!

Surprisingly, Australian Shepherds were first discovered in North America and especially in states like California, Wyoming, Colorado, and Idaho. Playing an important role in California Gold Rush, the Aussies (Nickname for Australian Shepherds) became the primary herding dogs for sheep.

2. Personal Temperaments & Character Traits

Even though their places of origin were different, their ancestral lines were pretty similar. It is believed that Border Collies were introduced to the British Isles by the Romans, and the Australian Shepherds were introduced to North and South America by the Spanish Conquistadors.

  • Similar Bloodlines – Similar Characteristics and Appearances

Overall, they both originated from Europe, and both Border Collies and Australian Shepherds are were used to herd sheep. Even though it might be a weak conclusion to make, you can probably see my point as we compare the personal temperaments of Border Collie VS Australian Shepherd.

  • Energetic & Highly Intelligent
  • Keen, Alert, and Responsive
  • Working Dog of the Highest Degree
  • Friendly to Friends, Reserved Towards Strangers

The list above contained the common personal temperaments of Border Collies, and when it comes to herding sheep, this breed is probably the best in this field due to their high levels of energy and intelligence. Next up is the personal temperaments of their cousin, Australian Shepherd.

  • Intelligent & High in Energy
  • Friendly and Good-Natured
  • Working Dog of a High Degree
  • Reserved Towards Strangers, Not Aggressive

As you can see, the temperaments of Border Collies and Australian Shepherds are nearly identical, so it is highly likely that someone will mistake one breed for the other. They are both highly loyal and great family dogs due to their playful attitude and guardian instincts.

3. Comparison of Living Patterns

In this section, we will be looking at the shedding rate, eating rate, and exercise level for Australian Shepherds and Border Collies, and we probably can go in-depth with this by covering the recommended room space and expected noise level for people who are living in apartments.

  • Shedding Rate of Australian Shepherds – Moderate
  • Shedding Rate of Border Collies – Moderate
  • Eating Rate of Aussies & BC – Moderate to High
  • Exercise Level of Aussies & BC – Very High (2 Hrs Per Day)
  • Noise Level of Aussies & BC – High (Barking Breeds)

Due to their high exercise levels, make sure that you have the time to challenge them physically and mentally through various exercises. If a herding dog such as a Border Collie is stuck at home for long periods of time, he is going to release that energy by wreaking havoc in your home.

Outward Appearances of Border Collie VS Australian Shepherd

After looking at the financial and physical responsibilities, now is the time to look back at your personal preferences. You might prefer this look on your dog while others prefer a different look. In this section, you can basically customize your dog if you prefer a certain look or a specific color.

  • Medium-Sized Dog With an Athletic Look
  • Highly Intelligent & Have a Keen, Alert Expression
  • Coat Colors of All Varieties and in Different Combination
  • Gait That Conveys Effortless Movement and Endless Endurance

The above section covered the key outward characteristics of Border Collies, and it just conveys how they should generally look. Due to their skillset, Border Collies should be able to run long distances and also be able to change their direction and speed at a moment’s notice.

  • Medium-Sized Dog With a Characteristic Variety
  • Very Intelligent & Have a Strong Herding and Guarding Instinct
  • Coat Colors of Blue Merle, Black, Varieties of Red, White, or Tan
  • Has Either a Docked Tail or a Natural Bobbed Tail

The key outward characteristics of an Australian Shepherd were covered in the section above, and compared to Border Collies, Australian Shepherds do lack in endurance when partnered with their distant cousins. If you want a herding dog, a Border Collie would be your best choice.

Conclusion: Still Can’t Decide?

If you can’t make your decision even after reading this post, I can provide some alternative options for you. First, you can get both dogs of different breeds, and if you can’t afford them both, then you should think about getting a dog that has a mix of Australian Shepherd and Border Collie.

If you want to know more about Border Collies or Australian Shepherds, you can take a quick glance at the official standard for each breed set by the American Kennel Club. For Border Collies, their link is right here, and this is the link for Australian Shepherds. For more posts, the link is right here!

Life Expectances of Border Collies and Australian Shepherds?

The average life expectancy of Australian Shepherds is about 13 to 15 years while Border Collies are expected to live around 10 to 17 years. Don’t be fooled by average statistics since you can expect both breeds to live about the same amount of years due to similar averages.

Size Differences Between BC and Australian Shepherds?

When it comes to size, there is little to no size differences between Border Collies and Australian Shepherds, but we can dig a little bit deeper than that. When comparing the height, they are pretty similar overall, but Australian Shepherds are typically heavier than Border Collies.

Shedding Rate (Border Collie VS Australian Shepherd)

Due to harsh cold winters, both Border Collies and Australian Shepherds have a double coat to protect themselves from the environment. The shedding rate of these two breeds is similar, and you can expect them to shed a whole lot more during the summer season.

How Well Do Border Collies Get Along With Aussies?

The answer is quite well. Both Border Collies and Australian Shepherds have a tendency to be quite friendly towards dogs, and due to their similar temperament, I think they will be a great match as future companions. Also, they will look alike in many ways, so don’t get too easily confused!

Are BC and Aussies Similar in Comparison?

I would say yes! They are very similar in comparison but different in some ways. In general appearances and personality traits, Border Collies and Australian Shepherds are very similar, but when it comes down to herding sheep, Border Collies are the best breed in the world for that primary role.

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