Also called as Border Aussies or Aussie Collies, this crossbreed is quite the package.
This designer dog is a mix of two purebred dogs that are known as great herders – the Border Collie and the Australian Shepherd. They are both energetic, intelligent, and affectionate canines. But how about their hybrid offspring?
- Breed Origin: What is a Border Collie Australian Shepherd mix?
- What does a Border Collie-Australian Shepherd mix look like?
- The personality and temperament of the Aussie Border
- Taking care of a Border Collie Australian Shepherd cross
- Border Collie Australian Shepherd mix health problems
- Where to buy an Australian Shepherd-Border Collie cross puppy
- The Verdict: Is the Border Collie-Australian Shepherd mix right for you?
Breed Origin: What is a Border Collie Australian Shepherd mix?
The Australian Shepherd and Border Collie are both classified under the American Kennel Club’s Herding Group. They have a rich history of being bred to herd livestock, such as sheep and cattle on ranches and farms.
Let’s start knowing what to expect of the Border Aussie better understanding the perks and quirks of the two purebred parents.
Meet the smartest dog, the Border Collie
Found in the Anglo Scottish Border, Border Collies were initially known as the Scotch Sheepdog. They are a result of mixing the Viking’s spitz-type herders with the old Roman’s.
But the ancestry of most Borders is traced back to northern England around the 1890s. A dog called Old Hemp is quite famous for being such an obedient and intelligent sheepdog.
A lot of people noticed Old Hemp’s greatness that they wanted puppies with his genes. He fathered about 200 pups that inherited his traits. It made a significant impact on the Border Collie breed’s popularity that they got imported into the US around the 1920s. By 1995, they officially got included in the AKC Herding group.
Borders are in the medium range and have a muscular yet agile built. They have a height of 18-22 inches (46 to 56 cm) and weight of 30 to 45 lbs (14-20 kg), where females are a bit smaller and lighter.
You’d often find this breed with a black and white double coat that is medium-length with feathering. The other type of hair is shorter, coarser, and with lesser feathering. Other colors that Border Collies may have are solid (except white), merle, bi-color, and tricolors.
Although their fur is water-resistant, which is perfect for the kind of work they do, they are shedders.
Meet the incredibly focused Australian Shepherd
Nicknamed as Aussies, this sheepdog is previously called in other names such as New Mexican Shepherd, Spanish Shepherd, and Californian Shepherd. Believe it or not, this canine is NOT Australian at all!
The Australian Shepherds’ ancestors originated somewhere between France and Spain. The Basque Shepherds that they were working for traveled and lived in Australia, then later moved to Western America in the late 19th century.
Aussies are herding dogs that are a cowboy’s choice to work in a ranch. They are rugged and agile canines with a keen, penetrating look in their eyes.
They have a height of 18 to 23 inches (46-58 cm) and a weight of 40-65 lbs (18-29 kg). Australian Shepherds can be found in a straight or wavy coat. They can have moderate or long feathering on their britches and forelegs.
For hair colors, there’s black, red, merle, and a mix of black, white, and tan (tricolor). Like Border Collies, they are also shedders. They heavily shed every spring to lose that winter coat.
Although this breed is remarkably smart and has a strong work drive, they’re not for everyone, especially unsuspecting novice owners. Like Borders, some Aussies may exhibit an irresistible impulse to herd anything that moves – dogs, cats, children, and even birds. One character they have is being stand-offish with people by nature.
What does a Border Collie-Australian Shepherd mix look like?
Border Aussies resemble Borders more than the Australian Shepherd. They have floppy ears on a mesocephalic head, and eyes that can be brown, blue, and green.
This hybrid is prone to complete heterochromia (one eye has a different color than the other).
Similar to their parents’ intense gaze, the Aussie Border cross has striking eyes that speak volumes that they won’t hesitate to unleash their power.
Coat and Colors of Border Aussies
Their hair is long like Border Collies but may have the same coat texture as the Australian Shepherd. They have a double coat that is dense and waterproof.
Due to the parental breeds’ vast range of coat colors, their offspring may have varying shades, too. The Border Collie & Australian Shepherd mix can either be black and white, gray, red, red tricolor, red merle, blue merle, and sable.
As they can inherit one or both parents’ coat colors, Aussie Borders may or may not have tan or white markings. They can also have patterns such as spotted, brindle, and speckled.
How big do Australian Shepherds-Border Collie mixes get?
Border Aussies have a stocky build and fall under the medium to the large part of a dog’s overall range.
A Border Collie-Aussie mix puppy will reach their maturity or full size when they’re around 12-15 months old. Males have a height of 19 to 23 inches (48 to 58 cm) and weigh 35 to 65 pounds (16 to 29 kg). Females are slightly smaller at around 18 to 21 inches (46 to 53 cm) and can weigh 30 to 50 pounds (14 to 23 kg).
Whenever the Border Collie’s genes are included in a designer breed, the size and its energy level would always be a factor when considering which type of house it’s suited for.
Aussie & Border Collie crossbreeds require a lot of space to run around with you or on its own. With that said, they’re more suitable to live on a farm, ranch, or a house with a big yard. This pooch can stay in an apartment, as long as you’d be able to provide the mental and physical stimulation they need.
Watch this video of an Australian Shepherd-Border Collie mix named Secret with her owner Mary. This pooch is quite talented!
The personality and temperament of the Aussie Border
Most crossbreeds have traits that are difficult to predict as their purebred parents are different from each other.
The good thing with this hybrid is that the Border Collie and the Australian Shepherd are closely similar when it comes to their identities as herding dogs.
Sweet, lively, obedient, and loyal, Border Aussies are family-oriented canines. If you’re worried about barking and howling, this is a quiet breed that has a calm temperament. They’re not inclined to be noisy, not unless they’re reacting to something that excites them.
Although this mix is a great companion, they’re often found trying to herd members of its family – both kids and adults.
They run in an arching loop around its human before dropping down on the floor. This behavior develops what they’re bred for or highlighting how strong their herding instincts are.
This hybrid’s intense drive to herd has a good and bad side.
They can be suitable for homes with kids as they can tire each other out since the Australian Shepherd and Border Collie mix is very playful and friendly.
For some that are raised to work, they may be reluctant to interact. It’s best to be prepared when adding a pet that has a personality that oozes confidence.
Training the Australian Shepherd & Border Collie mix
Not only can they herd, nip, or be too protective of its family, they’re also curious by nature. This is why training and socialization are very imperative for Border Aussies. Early exposure and discipline will help lead to a peaceful home with children and other pets.
An experienced handler must do the training. If you have a background in dealing with dogs who’s from a working or herding line, grab this opportunity to train and bond with your pet.
No worries, since the Border Collie and Australian Shepherd are both highly intelligent breeds, so is their crossbreed offspring. They’re easy to train and loves to please.
You won’t have to worry about repeating instructions as Aussie Borders are quick learners. They can efficiently learn just from hand signals and voice commands.
Owners of this designer breed should constantly invent challenges, tricks, and puzzles. Aside from exploring new activities and places for your dog, there’s also fetch, agility, flyball, and other canine sports. These are all great as a jumping-off point to keep your pet happy and healthy.
Like their Border Collie parent, the Aussie Border Collie cross is responsive and sensitive. Don’t shout, scold, or hit as they can easily get hurt or offended. Be gentle while being firm.
If your Border Aussie mix does something that is not acceptable, demarcate boundaries. Let him know that it’s not a good behavior or is only used during work.
Taking care of a Border Collie Australian Shepherd cross
Handling a designer dog like the Aussie-Collie is very high maintenance, especially in terms of exercise.
Caring for them not only includes physical and mental stimulation, but also grooming, feeding, and keeping health problems at bay.
How to groom an Australian Shepherd-Border Collie mixed breed
This shaggy, double-coated dog should only be given a bath once every six weeks or when necessary.
For brushing, do it 4 to 5 times using a slicker brush to get those loose hair in the undercoat. This will also help prevent matting and distribute the coat’s oil.
Nails should only be clipped once or twice in a month to keep them from getting too long, which is uncomfortable for all dogs.
Brush your pet’s teeth weekly, but it would also depend on his diet. If you’re giving him dental chews, daily brushing is not needed.
A healthy diet and lifestyle for Aussie Borders
It’s essential to point out that the amount of food to feed your fur baby will vary depending on age, size, activity level. Sometimes, even health conditions become a factor.
Generally, feeding a Border Collie and Australian Shepherd mix twice a day with dry kibbles is a good diet. They’d also enjoy vegetables and fresh fruits as treats. However, if you’re getting this crossbreed to do work, they’d need a dog food that is suitable for herding canines. It should be higher in protein to sustain their stamina and energy for herding.
Working Border Aussies require about 1,400 calories a day. That’s 300 more every day when compared to feeding this breed as just a house pet.
It may be appropriate to feed a working canine with wet food because of the added protein. Keep in mind that they have higher fat. That’s why dry kibbles are more advisable for feeding.
Be prepared to reserve at least 90 minutes every day for your dog’s exercise. It should be more than just the usual walks and run, like hiking.
They’d thrive best if they can run in wide-open areas to be able to run as fast as they want.
Once you’ve trained your mixed dog to come to you during exercises or training, off-leash can be done as humans won’t be able to keep up.
Border Collie Australian Shepherd mix health problems
Aussie Borders are generally healthy, but as with any crossbreed, they may inherit health issues from their parents.
One of the common illnesses that Borders may pass on to this mix is Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA). It’s a hereditary eye disease that can also affect other sheepdogs. This is due to the eyes not developing correctly and can lead to blindness.
Deafness is also common in Border Collies and Australian Shepherds. This illness, including blindness, is mostly connected to the merle gene. It usually occurs when a canine is about four years old, and it can’t be cured.
And there’s joint problems or hip dysplasia. It’s also prevalent in Aussies and Borders that often leads to painful arthritis and lameness. Even if this isn’t curable, hydrotherapy and pain killers work as remedies.
By making sure your Aussie Collie has a healthy diet and lifestyle, then they can live between 12 to 15 years. Their average life expectancy is 13 years.
Where to buy an Australian Shepherd-Border Collie cross puppy
When you combine Borders with Aussies, their average litter size is between 4-9 puppies. Each pup costs about $1,000. You’d usually be allowed to take home a puppy when they’re around 7-8 weeks old.
Before you get ready to pay to take home a Border Collie & Aussie mix, do thorough research about the breed and the people who want to sell or rehome them.
Get all the essential information about the Australian Shepherd and Border Collie parents. Ask to visit, observe the environment, and how the parents and their litter are acting. This will allow you to get a glimpse of how they’re treated and cared for.
Request to see health documents signed by a certified vet that the parental breeds passed eye tests and have low elbow and hip scores.
Border Collie x Aussie mix breeders
Most Aussie Borders are sold by breeders who breed the Australian Shepherd and the Border Collie.
To help you start your search for a family companion or a working dog, check out some of these Border Collie and Australian Shepherd breeders’ websites:
- Milky Way Border Aussies
- Kittelson Kennel (Dufur, OR)
- Hilltop Farm (Crete, IL)
Border Collie Australian Shepherd mix Rescue and Adoption
Whenever someone wants a pet, adopting or rescuing fur angels are always best. A lot of them end up in shelters because their previous owners couldn’t take care of them anymore, or they couldn’t handle how the dog turned out once they’re past that puppy phase.
Choosing to adopt saves a life. You’ll be giving another loving pooch a chance to do what they do best, be your best friend.
These sites have Border Collie mixes and Australian Shepherd crossbreeds that would surely make you fall for them:
- Aussie And Me Animal Rescue (Sarasota, FL)
- Midwest Border Collie Rescue (Midwest US)
- Aussie Rescue SoCal (Perris, CA)
- Utah Herding Breed Rescue
The Verdict: Is the Border Collie-Australian Shepherd mix right for you?
Loyal, highly intelligent, easy to train, and obedient, it’s not surprising how this mixed breed is becoming more popular with families.
Just be prepared to deal with a canine that is confident, curious, and highly energetic.
Don’t let this doggo get bored, or it will end up in chewing around the house. They require large amounts of exercise, mental stimulation, and an owner who will try to keep up.
They’re suited for owners who have experience in handling working or herding dogs, as well as homes that offer a lot of space. They should be able to move around safely by themselves to avoid pent-up energy.
Don’t be afraid to challenge your Aussie-Border Collie cross. They’d thrive trying new things, places, and experiences.
Do you have what it takes to own a Border Collie Australian Shepherd mix? Share your opinion about this hybrid in the comments below.