The Border Collie and the Australian Shepherd have a lot of things in common. They both belong in the herding group and they have nearly identical built and facial features. Physically, they actually have a number of differences but it’s not always easy to tell because they sometimes share the same coat color.
Given their resemblance, how can you tell if a dog is actually a combination of the Aussie Shepherd and the Border Collie? Do they have similar sets of traits, too? Read on to know how and what it is like to own this mix.
The Aussie Shepherd’s physical similarities with the Border Collie have something to do with the fact that the Collie is one of the Aussie Shepherd’s direct ancestors. Both breeds were first bred during the mid-1800s. The origins of the Border Collie Aussie mix, however, are unknown but as with the majority of crossbreeds, it is possible they originated in the United States.
You’ll know a dog is a Border Collie Aussie mix if it has the same body type as a Border Collie but has the coat color of an Australian Shepherd. However, the ears can be upward like the Border Collies or downwards similar to an Aussie Shepherd’s ears.
These dogs fall on the same height, ranging from 18-23 inches so it’s likely their offspring would be this tall as grownups. However, Aussie Shepherds are heavier than Border Collies because they weigh anywhere from 40-65 lbs while the latter have an average weight of 27-45 lbs. so these mixes can grow from 30 lbs -60 lbs.
These medium-sized dogs have a long coat that can be straight or wavy in texture. Border Collies may have a blue merle pattern but they don’t usually have copper and white trims as you can see in Aussie Shepherds. Border Collies also have more acceptable coat colors than them. Aussie Shepherds may only come in black, blue merle, red or red merle.
Border Collie Aussie mixes like the sense of belonging in a pack. They will treat their owners as the leader of the pack and they will love them unconditionally. They are affectionate dogs that will try to please their humans with their loving attitude.
They are good around kids, but it’s possible they are not so friendly around other pets just like many Aussie Shepherds. Because of that, it helps to enroll them in obedience training that will allow them to socialize with other dogs. But if you are thinking of buying or adopting one to welcome to your family, these dogs are no doubt a perfect addition to the brood.
Expect to have a highly clever buddy because both the Aussie Shepherds and the Border Collies are known for their intelligence. These dogs are easy to guide so they often ace their obedience training.
Since these dogs got the coat length of Border Collies, they require professional grooming four times a year. Their paws, hocks, and the area around the ears need to be trimmed occasionally so they can look tidy.
Brushing should be done weekly to prevent tangles. The best brushes for dogs with long coats are a slicker brush and a de-shedding rake specially made for long coats. A pin brush will also work with these dogs.
It’s recommended to bathe them only four times a year, unless they got exposed to mud. This should be done using lukewarm water. To make the bath session easy on your part, brush the coat beforehand so you will not have to worry about tangles and mats when washing your dog.
This mix may not be ideal for you if you have an allergy to pet dander. They are not hypoallergenic, meaning they tend to shed more than other dogs. Pet dander is made of dead cells coming from the dog’s skin that causes humans to be hypersensitive.
A Border Collie Aussie mix has a lifespan of 12 to 15 years. While it is fairly healthy, it can inherit a few hereditary traits from its parents, like the following:
- Heterochromia – more prone to Aussie Shepherds, but can also occur in Collies. It’s having two different-colored eyes caused by a lack of melanin in one eye. Treatment is not required because their vision is not impaired and contrary to myths, it does not result in deafness.
- Epilepsy – prevalent in both breeds, the exact cause of inherited epilepsy remains unknown. It is treated with anti-seizure medications. It can be alarming to watch a dog having seizures but owners always need to stay calm throughout the situation.
- Hip Dysplasia – the symptoms can be pretty obvious with these dogs because they are constantly active. If you noticed them walking around like they are doing a bunny hop, they need to be taken to the vet for diagnosis. While they are strong, you also need to limit their physical activities to less strenuous ones to prevent hip dysplasia.
- Collie eye anomaly – it is a condition wherein recessive genes defect affects the retina, choroid, and sclera. It may result in blindness in advanced stages. Although it cannot be reversed, it’s possible to lessen its effects using laser surgery.
When you are decided to offer your pet dry dog food, check first if it contains all the vitamins and minerals appropriate for a highly energetic dog. Foods rich in calcium are ideal for these dogs because it strengthens their bones. As with any dog, they also need to take lots of protein.
The best protein sources are chicken, beef, salmon, bison, venison, and beef. When buying dog food, always check the main ingredient first. If it’s an animal by-product or if it is not clearly stated, better avoid it.
Better check with your veterinarian before deciding to offer human food. These mixes are quite prone to allergies. If your vet approves, consider healthy choices and stay away from salty treats and sugary snacks.
This crossbreed is as energetic as its parents and requires at least two hours of exercise per day. It needs daily walks to help burn energy and prevent obesity. If you have this dog, it matters that you dedicate time for outdoor activities. You may also need a yard where your buddy can run freely.
If you don’t have a lot of time to spare outdoors, consider playing with your dog to help him burn the excess energy. It can be a simple game of fetch or hide and seek in your yard. Because it’s a smart dog, this mix will appreciate dog puzzles that will keep him occupied for hours.
The Border Collie Aussie mix is ideal for people with an active lifestyle. These dogs are highly energetic and they appreciate times outdoor. They are also suitable for pet parents who are interested in training their dogs. This crossbreed is easy to train and if socialized early on, can also be a great addition to families with young children.