Are you looking for a hard-working, highly intelligent, and loving dog to join your family? The Border Collie and Australian Shepherd mix (also known as a Border Aussie or an Aussie Collie) could be the perfect hybrid breed. Just make sure you have enough energy to keep up with them!
Quick overview of the Border Aussie
- Full of energy and with a very positive outlook on life!
- Bred to be working dogs – they need to have a job to do
- Very eager to please
- Highly intelligent and don't like to get bored
- Very loving dogs that are incredibly loyal to their families
- A Border Aussie mix can look like either parent breed or a mix of both!
- Slim, muscular, and athletic bodies
- They normally have brown, blue, or green eyes and each eye can be a different color
- Border Collies can be many different colors
- They weigh between 35-60 pounds and are 18-23 inches tall
Hybrid breeds are generally healthier than purebred dogs. That being said, Border Aussies can suffer from a few eye conditions and health issues. It's important to have both parents and puppies well checked and tested.
Temperament of the Border Collie Australian Shepherd mix
Both Border Collies and Australian Shepherds are two of the best working and herding dogs in the world. So it's only natural that their cross breed would be too!
These dogs excel when they have a job to do and would thrive on a farm – but it isn't necessary. An Aussie Collie will be happy as long as they stay active. They'll enjoy puzzle games, chasing after a frisbee, and taking part in training classes.
Because they're such excellent working dogs, Border Aussies have a lot of energy that needs to be used up. They're very intelligent dogs (Border Collies are considered the most intelligent breed by many) and will put that intelligence to bad use if they're not entertained.
These dogs love to spend time with their family members and aim to please (that's part of their working dog nature). They're exceptionally loyal and will enjoy doing as they're told. Like all breeds, they need firm and regular training to ensure they stay well-behaved.
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This mixed dog breed will also benefit from early socialization. Not only will they enjoy making friends but these herding dogs can have a tendency to herd humans too! Socialization will help to reduce the chances of them nipping their owners into line.
As is the case for the Border Collie and the Australian Shepherd, these dogs don't like to be left alone for long periods. They can develop separation anxiety and be destructive. These dogs aren't usually very vocal with good training, but they won't mind barking to let you know something important is happening.
Appearance of Australian Shepherd Border Collie
With any mixed dog breed, it's harder to predict precisely what the puppies will look like – and the Aussie Border Collie cross is no different. Both parent breeds come in many different colors and coat textures, and your pup can have a combination (depending on the parent dogs).
Because both the Border Collie and the Australian Shepherd are working dogs, likely, your Border Collie Aussie mix will also have a sleek and athletic body.
Height and Weight
When it comes to coat color, the Border Collie Australian Shepherd mix can be a number of many different colors. The American Kennel Club recognizes 17 Border Collie colors and 4 Australian Shepherd ones. Your pup could be one of either, a mixture, or even tri-colored! Some of the colors include blue merle, red, spotted, beige, red merle, and black and white.
These designer dogs can have brown, green, or blue eyes. They can also have different colored eyes (a condition called heterochromia). A Border Aussie's eyes are dramatically beautiful and sure to make people stop and stare in the street!
A pure Border Collie can have a smooth (shorter) or rough (longer) coat. An Australian Shepherd generally has a mid-length and wavy coat.
Although it's not 100% possible to know, it's likely that your mixed breed will have a medium-length coat with some feathering on its tail and legs.
They'll also have a thick, double coat which will help to keep them warm in winter and cool in summer. These pups are shedders and will shed even more before the seasons change as they lose their previous coats and grow warmer or cooler ones.
Price of a Border Collie Australian Shepherd mix
Unfortunately, there are not that many breeders intentionally breeding these designer dogs. There are a few though, and if you manage to find one you can expect to pay between $600 and $850.
Suppose you get an F1 puppy (in this case, a puppy with a Border Collie and an Australian Shepherd parent), you will probably pay a little less as their appearance will be less certain. F2 or F3 puppies will probably be more expensive.
Tips about this breed
- It's essential to research your breeder well. Blue merle is a really popular color choice for Borders, Aussies, and their crossbreed. Merle pups, however, should only have one parent with the merle gene. If they inherit two, they can face all kinds of health issues.
- These dogs ideally need a lot of space to run around in and don't do well living in apartments. They have a lot of energy that they need to burn off by playing in an outdoor space!
- Because of their intelligence and energy, these pups excel in many dog sports and training. They're particularly agile and will love to put their herding instincts to practice in a competition.
Health of the Border Collie Australian Shepherd mix
These pups are generally very healthy dogs. Like most hybrid breeds, they suffer from fewer health issues than their purebred parents. They can, however, suffer from eye conditions such as Collie Eye Anomaly. This can be inherited from either Border Collies or Aussies and stops the retina from developing properly.
They can also suffer from Retinal Atrophy, Cataracts, and Epilepsy. Like both parent breeds, a Border Aussie mix can also be prone to hip and elbow dysplasia which can be quite painful.
Regular trips to the vet can help to catch any conditions early on, as can ensuring your pup is fed healthy, nutritious dog food, and that they get enough fun exercise.
As well as physical health, it's essential to make sure all dogs stay mentally engaged and don't develop any anxiety or boredom.
These dogs have a life expectancy of 12-15 years – which is excellent! Genetics will, of course, play a role in ensuring your dog is as healthy as can be, but so will lifestyle.
Border Aussies have a double coat which means they have a soft, downy undercoat and a coarser, more protective outer coat. Because of this, they shed quite a lot. To reduce the amount of dog fur around your home, you should brush your pup three times a week. In the shedding season, you'll probably want to up this to at least five times a week.
Pups with longer fur may need to have the hairs around their face and paws trimmed, and you need to make sure their ears are kept clean and dry to prevent infection. These dogs will only need a bath every so often unless they've rolled in something stinky!
History of the Australian Shepherd Border Collie mix
As is the case for many hybrid breeds, not much is known about the exact history of the Border Collie Australian Shepherd mix. However, these pups have grown in popularity (amongst families and as working dogs) in the last 20 years.
Although not recognized as a pure breed by the AKC, this breed is recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club and the Designer Dogs Kennel Club.
To fully understand the breed's development, it's best to have a look at the history of Border Collies and Australian Shepherds.
History of the Border Collie
The forefathers of the Border Collie can be traced back to the Romans and Vikings!
They're a mix of Roman herding dogs and Viking Spitzes, which came over with the settlers and which over time bred with local sheepdogs. This breed originated in the borderlands between England and Scotland, where farmers needed light-footed, fast, and hardworking pups to help them herd sheep. They also needed a dog with a thick coat that could withstand the problematic temperatures and terrain.
Border Collies can also be called Scotch Sheep Dogs or Borders. Although they date pretty far back, Border Collies were first recognized by the AKC in 1955, and they were included in the Miscellaneous class. They were fully recognized in 1995.
History of the Australian Shepherd
As odd as it might sound, Australian Shepherd dogs didn't originate in Australia. They were first developed to herd livestock on ranches in the U.S.! It's not 100% clear which dog breeds were involved in developing the Australian Shepherd, but most experts presume Collies and other Shepherd dogs played a part. These dogs were probably brought over from Australia to herd sheep in the mid-1800s – hence the name.
Aussies were loved by farmers and cowboys because they excelled in all the jobs they were given. The public began to see them in rodeos and horse shows and, of course, their attractive coats and eyes became very popular.
Like the Border Collie, this pup was recognized as a breed fairly late. The AKC accepted them in 1993.
This is an amazing mixed breed. Not only are these dogs very hard working, energetic, and affectionate, but they are also beautiful and have a very sweet nature. They're incredibly intelligent and need to be entertained as well as given plenty of exercise.
These dogs would do great in an active family who could keep up with their energy levels and that have plenty of space for them to play in.
Would you consider adopting one of these dogs?
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