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The main differences between the border collie and the Australian Shepherd Dog


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When we think of the different sheepdogs, automatically comes to mind the image of a border collie, whose dew splashes its spotted coat, guiding a flock of sheep in the early morning. Or we think directly of this proud Australian shepherd, whose eyes sweat with mischief and authority managing a large flock of sheep. Not to confuse them is not easy because their similarities are not dreamt of. And if at the time of the adoption the hesitation lives in you and that the doubt seconds you, in this article of PlaneteAnimal we are going to help you in your choice. So that you can adopt either one or the other, we will show you the main differences between the border collie and the Australian shepherd. We wish you a nice and good reading! Hopefully our article will help you in the realization of this cornelian choice.

What are the main differences between the border collie and the Australian shepherd?

The main differences between the border collie and the Australian Shepherd are:

The Australian Shepherd is a descendant of the border collie.
The border collie has a wider range of colours accepted.
The ears of the border collie can be erect or semi-erect whereas the ears of the Australian Shepherd Dog must be drooping.
The coat of the border collie is denser.
The border collie can live up to 17 years whereas the Australian Shepherd Dog has a longevity of 15 years.
We invite you to continue reading our article The main differences between the border collie and the Australian Shepherd Dog because we will go into more detail on what we have just started to explain to you.

History of the Border Collie and the Australian Shepherd

The border collie is not a very young breed, its origins date back to the fifth century BC to the first century BC, when Celtic tribes brought to the British Isles the dogs that are unequivocally the ancestors of this breed. Already at that time it was used as a sheepdog, and centuries have passed, but some things remain immutable, engraved, sacred, among these, the border stuck to the post of sheepdog. He remains one of the best sheepdogs thanks to his intelligence and his incredible capacity for work.

The origin of the Australian Sheepdog is more obscure, uncertain and many theories flourish with the passing of time. However, one thing everyone agrees on is that the Australian Shepherd Dog was developed in the United States in the 19th century when a group of Basque people emigrated to America. These people intended to produce a breeding of its sheepdogs, they brought them to America after having made a stop in Australia. This leads us to believe that the Australian Sheepdog is the result of crossbreeding between the border collie and other sheepdogs. This is the first of their differences, one descends from the other.

The physical characteristics of the border collie and the Australian Shepherd Dog

Although these dogs are very similar, as can be seen in their coats, they have characteristics that allow us to differentiate them. A clear and precise example is the difference in colour that these two breeds can have. The border collie may have a wider range of colours than the Australian Shepherd Dog. Here we detail the colours that these two breeds of dog can have.

Colors found in border collie:

  • Black
  • Blackbird Blue
  • Grey
  • Blue
  • Brown
  • Sable
  • Mouchet√©
  • Blackbird Red
  • Tricolor blackbird
  • Australian Red

Although we have just listed the so-called most common colours of the Border collie, it is important to know that all shades are allowed but that white must never prevail.

Colours found in the Australian shepherd’s home

  • Blackbird Blue
  • Blackbird Red
  • Red
  • Tricolor Red
  • Tricolor Blackbird
  • Black
  • Copper

In the same way as for the border collie, the white cannot predominate its hair.

In addition to the colour of the hair the other main difference between these two dogs lies in the garment of their coat. Indeed, that of the border collie is much denser than that of the Australian shepherd (which is softer). Also, the Australian Shepherd Dog has slightly shorter head hair than the Border Collie. On the other hand, the ears of the border collie can be erect or semi-erect whereas in the Australian Shepherd the erect ears are considered an aesthetic mistake.

In general, the Australian Shepherd is favourable to have minnow eyes (having eyes of different colours) whereas in the Border Collie, this characteristic is much rarer.

The size of the Border collie and the Australian Shepherd Dog

The size of the Border collie and the Australian Shepherd Dog
Although both dogs are medium sized, the Australian Shepherd Dog is slightly larger and heavier than the Border Collie.

An average adult Border Collie weighs around 20 kg and measures between 46 and 53 cm at the withers. An Australian Shepherd Dog weighs approximately 24 to 30 kg and measures 56 to 58 cm at the withers. In our two furry friends, the female is generally smaller than the male.

We invite you to continue reading our article The main differences between the border collie and the Australian Shepherd Dog so that you can learn more about these incredible animals.

Character of the Border collie and the Australian Shepherd Dog

If you want to train your dog to protect your home and alert you in case of intrusion, the Australian Shepherd Dog will meet your expectations. Thanks to his innate abilities, he won’t hesitate to protect you or watch over your home. The border collie is a less vigilant dog, of course, with proper training the border collie could alert you in case of an intrusion but it is not in his character and he would not do it in a natural way as the Australian shepherd can do.

On the other hand, although both breeds of dogs are considered to be sheepdogs, both have been developed to serve similar purposes! This way of having “developed” them is nothing more than a mirror of their respective characters. Indeed these two dogs are true professionals when it comes to guarding a flock of sheep!

Apart from what we have just seen, there are not only differences between the border collie and the Australian Shepherd Dog. Indeed they are two affectionate, loyal and active dogs. This means that both the Australian Shepherd Dog and the Border Collie need a good dose of daily exercise and also to play games to stimulate their intelligence. They will not adapt well in small apartments because of their very active temperament.

If we respect the character of each dog and cover all his needs, the border collie can live up to 17 years, while the life expectancy of the Australian Shepherd Dog is around 15 years. This gives us a new difference between the two.

Border collie and Australian shepherd care

Basic care in terms of nutrition, exercise, hygiene, vaccination and de-worming are the same for both dogs. The difference between the Border Collie and the Australian Shepherd Dog lies in the care of the coat. Brushing the Australian Shepherd twice a week is more than sufficient. A small cut to which a bath can be added when necessary. The border collie needs a routine that reflects its coat, which is denser and more intense. Ideally, it should be brushed every day or every other day to obtain a shiny and silky coat. As you can imagine, this is due to the fact that the Border Collie’s coat is much denser than that of the Australian Shepherd. In addition, the hair of the border collie is rougher, so it needs more care so that it doesn’t get too thick.

On the other hand, although both dogs need daily exercise, games and activities to keep them mentally well stimulated. This characteristic is even more accentuated in the border collie and in the rest of this article we explain why this is so.

Dressing of the border and the Australian Shepherd

Considered to be the most intelligent dog in the world according to Stanley Coren, his training is only made easier by the use of appropriate techniques. Indeed, the border collie does not need to be told a command many times so that he does not have to internalize it, which allows him to learn his job as a shepherd much more quickly. As for the Australian shepherd, he needs a little more time, although he generally does not present difficulties throughout his course.

In both cases, the most recommended dog training techniques are those that use positive reinforcement as they keep the dogs motivated while achieving better results. Especially in the border collie, due to its active character and great intelligence, if we opt for punishment (with this term we speak of positive punishment or negative reinforcement) it could lead to behavioural problems and consequences for the dog’s health, such as stress, anxiety, disobedience, destruction or aggression in the most serious cases. In addition, and as noted in the previous section, it is necessary to constantly teach new tricks and commands to the border collie to prevent boredom and keep his mind active.

And if you liked this article The main differences between the border collie and the Australian shepherd and we invite you to discover the following links:

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