A Complete Guide To The Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix

Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix Feature
The Border Aussie is an intelligent breed with a lot of energy to burn and a lot of love to give.

Crossbreeding an Australian Shepherd and Border Collie has led to the creation of an extremely intelligent and active crossbreed; the Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix.

Both parent breeds were originally bred as working dogs (to herd cattle and sheep) and were utilized for their obedience.

The Border Collie is ranked as the most intelligent dog breed, so it comes as no surprise that the resulting mix is also very clever and fast-learning.

This medium-size crossbreed can make a wonderful addition to a family home as well as suiting the lifestyle of a working dog.

They are less suited to homes with limited space, due to their high activity levels and need for mental stimulation, however this energetic and faithful crossbreed may just be what your home is looking for.

Let’s take a look at how the loveable ‘Border-Aussie’ came to be and what they require to be happy and healthy.

What Is A Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix?

Border Collie x Australian Shepherd Mix
The Border Collie Australian Shepherd mix was originally bred for herding livestock.

The Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix is a hybrid sheepdog where both parent breeds have been historically bred for herding livestock such as sheep and cattle on farms and ranches.

With both breeds classified in the herding group, it is no surprise that a mixture of both breeds produces a focused and intelligent hybrid.

The Border Aussie is loyal, obedient and constantly on the go.

Even as a companion animal, they can often be seen trying to herd their family by running in arching loops around them before dropping to floor.

This type of behavior only amplifies what they were originally bred to do and highlights how their herding instincts are still strong.

To explore the history of the hybrid, it is important to first understand more about each of the parent breeds:

Border Collie

Border Collie in Water

Most Border Collies’ ancestry can be traced back to one stud dog called Old Hemp who lived in northern England in the 1890s.

Old Hemp was such an effective sheepdog that there was a lot of demand for his puppies who would hopefully inherit his intelligent and obedient traits.

As a result, Old Hemp fathered around 200 offspring and had a huge impact on the popularity of this breed who first arrived in the US in the 1920s.

Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd

The history of the Australian Shepherd on the other hand, is a little more ambiguous.

They aren’t Australian at all! The breed was actually developed in the West of America in the late 19th century.

This breed has previously been known by many different names:

  • Spanish Shepherd
  • New Mexican Shepherd
  • Californian Shepherd

It is largely believed that they originate from an area of land between France and Spain where they worked for Basque Shepherds who then emigrated to Australia, and later to the US.

Breed Origin

Despite the ancient history of both parent breeds being well documented, the first crossbreeding of these two breeds is unknown.

Kennel Club Recognition and Pedigree

The Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix is recognized by the following Kennel clubs:

  • American Canine Hybrid Club
  • Designer Dogs Kennel Club
  • Dog Registry of America, Inc.
  • International Designer Canine Registry

They are not recognised by the American Kennel Club, nor the Kennel Club in the UK as they are not a purebred dog.

Being a crossbreed also means that there aren’t always as desirable as their purebred counterparts.

While there are plenty of official breed clubs for purebred dogs, official clubs for crossbreeds and mixes are less common, consequently this herding mix doesn’t have a recognized breed club.

Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix Info
Size19-23 inches (male) and 18-21 inches (female)
Weight35-65 lb (male) 30-50lb (female)
Lifespan10-17 years
Breed TypeMixes and more
PurposeCompanion Dog & Herding
Suitable ForFarmers Who Require A Herding Dog, Agility/Flyball Trainers, Active Families
Color VariationsBlack/White, Red, Red Merle, Blue Merle, Red Tricolor, May Have Tan Markings
TemperamentEnergetic, Intelligent, Loyal, Focused, Loveable
Daily Exercise Medium – A 30 to 60 minute walk each day
Activity Levels Moderate
Daily Food Consumption Between 200 and 320 calories each day for a fully matured dog and 300 – 550 for the first 18 months
Known Health Issues Brachycephalic airway syndrome, Dental disease, Glaucoma, Hypoglycaemia, Lens luxation, Patella luxation and Portosystemic shunt

Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix Puppies

Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix Puppy
This dog can make a great family pet.

For Border Collies, the average litter size can be anywhere between 4 and 8 puppies and for Australian Shepherds, the litter size tends to be larger; 6 to 9 puppies.

As a result, regardless of which breed is the sire or the dam, litters can be anywhere between 4 and 9 puppies.

Each Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix puppy will cost around $1,000 USD and will be ready for their new home at around seven or eight weeks.

They will reach their full size at around 12-15 months of age.

As they are a mixed breed, it can be difficult to exactly establish how big they will be at various stages of development as this will largely be based on the size of their parents.

However, looking at the average weights of the Border Collie and the Australian Shepherd, we can estimate the weights in the following growth chart:

Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix Info
Size of Female (lb)
Size of Male (lb)
8 weeks5-95-9
3 months11-2112-26
6 months20-3923-49
9 months25-5028-65
12 months28-4330-67

Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix Rescue

Below is a list of rescue organizations in the US which can be checked regularly for any new additions which may one day include a Border Aussie who would make a wonderful addition to someone’s life:

  • American Dog Rescue Foundation
  • Best Friends Animal Society
  • Hope for Paws

Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix Personality

In this case, both parents’ temperaments are very similar, and so owners can hopefully gauge a good prediction of their Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix’s personality.When discussing the temperament of a crossbreed, it is important to remember that each dog is an individual who may inherit any combination of the good traits and negative traits belonging to each of the parent breeds.

Potential owners should expect a highly intelligent dog, who is very motivated to work his brain as well as body.

Known for being highly athletic; their intelligence means they can often become bored quite quickly.

With this being said, they also suit family homes with children as they have boundless amounts of energy, and when socialized correctly, are very friendly and playful around children.

Barking and howling are very infrequent with this breed, it is only likely to occur occasionally in a reaction to something which excites them.

Compatibility with Families

Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix Feature
An intelligent breed with a lot of energy to burn and a lot of love to give.

This dog is generally a friendly mixed breed with humans; if they have been appropriately socialized and when they haven’t been allowed to become overly protective.

Border Collie x Australian Shepherd Mixes, who are well socialized, make wonderful additions to families with older and younger children due to their ability to play well and tire the children out!

As a companion dog, these herding mixes are usually very sociable and playful with other dogs too; herding and chasing them until they are all worn out.

Working Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mixes on the other hand are more reluctant to interact with unknown dogs and so care should be taken when introducing a strange dog to a normally solitary working dog.

With a strong drive to herd other mammals, some of these dogs may not be well-suited to living in a home with other family pets.

This is because they will likely want to chase them and herd them into an enclosed space.

Appropriate exposure, and effective early training (to refrain from following their herding instincts), can lead to a peaceful household with other family pets; but their herding instincts are strong so an experienced handler is required for this type of training.

The Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix is a friendly dog towards humans of all ages as well as other animals and can make a great addition to the family.


Naturally a herder, this dog has a strong motivation to round things up – whether it is a flock of chickens or a group of people.

Whilst they inherently know never to physically harm the livestock they are herding, it is possible that Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mixes from a strong working line, may have an increased prey drive.

With a history of working closely with humans, some may become quite protective of their owner and subsequently not very friendly with other people.

This can be avoided if you socialize your dog, and exposed to different situations when they are a puppy, which teaches them correct adult behavior.

Most of these dogs, who have been well exposed to the outside world, are highly competent at distinguishing between threatening and non-threatening situations.

Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix Size and Appearance

Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix Puppies
They are very intelligent and playful dogs who require lots of physical and mental stimulation.

Full Grown

With a medium sized crossbreed, it is very difficult to predict the average size of an adult.

There are many influencing factors such as sex, size of parents and genes inheritance.

Generally you could expect an adult Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix size to range anywhere between 30-50lb for a female and 35-65lb for a male.

Females can grow to around 18-21 inches, whereas the male is usually slightly larger at around 19-23 inches.


They are a muscular dog due their high energy levels.

Visually, the Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix is identifiable as a medium sized dog with a mid-length coat consisting usually of feathering on the legs, chest and belly.

They have a mesocephalic head with floppy ears and their eyes can be brown or blue.

Color Types

Due to the huge range of coat colors in both the Australian Shepherd and the Border Collie, it can be very difficult to predict the coat colors of Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix puppies.

The color ranges could include:

  • Black And White
  • Blue Merle
  • Grey
  • Red
  • Red Merle
  • Red Tricolor
  • Tan Markings

Grooming and Coat

Their hair is smooth and mid-length and so requires moderate maintenance.

As it is a dense, weather-proof double coat, it is quite durable but, they will need a thorough brush on a weekly basis to keep the coat’s oils well distributed and prevent any matting.

A slicker brush is best suited for this job to target loose hairs in the undercoat.

They may need a full groom every few months to ensure their undercoat is free of excess loose hair and keeps them cool during summer.

Nail clipping need only occur when necessary to prevent them from becoming too long and being uncomfortable.

The frequency of teeth brushing depends on the dog’s diet and condition of the teeth. If they are in a bad condition with lots of tartar build up, daily brushing will be required.

If your dog is fed on dry kibble, with controlled access to dog dental chews, daily brushing won’t be required.

Border Aussie Care Guide

Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix Dog

In general, this dog is best suited to experienced dog owners who have lots of contact time with their dog.

The handling skills required to reduce prey drive is very high.

Their owners will also need lots of motivation to consistently come up with new activities and brain games to prevent this intelligent crossbreed from becoming bored.

Food and Dietary Requirements

Daily Food Consumption
Guide 1,100 calories
Cups of Kibble Three Bowls of Kibble Required per Day

Dry kibble, fed twice a day, is a good diet for the Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix.

However, a working Border Aussie will require food which is higher in protein to give them the energy and stamina they will require for herding.

Working dogs will require around 1,400 calories a day, 300 more each day than a non-worked dog.

Wet food may be more appropriate for working dogs (due to the added protein), though the higher fat associated with wet food may mean dry kibble is more suitable for non-working dogs.

Exercise Requirements

Daily Exercise Requirements
Minutes 90 minutes
Activity Level This is a high activity dog breed

Exercise for this dog breed should last around 90 minutes a day.

You should involve walking, running and mental stimulation for this breed, as well as exploring new places or novel scents.

Evidently great at herding, the Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix will be best suited to exercise in wide open areas where they can run as fast as they want.

With the trainability of this mix being very high, their recall is generally very good and so off leash exercise is ideal for this breed to allow them to let off steam as, let’s face it – we would never keep up!

Training A Herding Dog

Training and appropriate socialization is imperative for a friendly well-balanced dog. Here are some puppy training tips to help.

Positive reinforcement is the best known training technique for your dog.

They are very quick learners, so usually don’t require lots of repetition to learn a new behavior. They can efficiently learn from voice commands or hand signals – whichever you prefer.

A Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix will require a lot of mental stimulation so are constantly looking for new challenges and puzzles to overcome.

Owners should be willing to regularly invent, find and create new tricks for their dog to learn, new places to explore and new activities to do which will provide lots of mental stimulation for this intelligent dog breed.

Known Health Problems

Border Collie Australian Shepherd In The Woods

Collie Eye Anomaly is a hereditary eye disease affecting Border Collies and some other sheepdogs.

This is caused by improper development of the eye and can lead to blindness. There is unfortunately no cure for it, but tests can be carried out to identify whether a dog is affected, clear or a carrier.

You should ensure the Border Collie parent of your Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix is clear.

Deafness is also prevalent in Border Collies, and is therefore a risk factor for this mix. One study found a link between deafness and the merle coat color.

There is unfortunately no cure for deafness and it usually occurs when the dog is middle age (around 4 years old).

Hip dysplasia is also common in both Australian Shepherds and Border Collies and is the result of a malformation of the hip socket. This can lead to painful arthritis and lameness; although there is no cure, it can be remedied by pain killers and hydrotherapy.


Border Collie Australian Shepherd Eyes

The Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix is a medium-sized bundle of love and energy.

Loyal and intelligent, they are becoming popular as family pets due to their high trainability and obedience.

Don’t forget, they do require constant mental stimulation and large amounts of exercise which more experienced owners may be more suited to provide.

The Border Aussie is an inquisitive dog and loves a challenge so will no doubt adore spending time and playing with their owner.

The Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix is becoming increasingly popular as a companion pet and it is very clear to see why. Do you think you have what it takes to raise one?

Other Border Collie and Australian Shepherd Mixes

If you’re interested in learning about other Border Collie mixes or Australian Shepherd mixes, check out the hybrid dog breeds below.

Border Collie Mixes

Australian Shepherd Mixes

About John Woods 301 Articles
John Woods is the founder of All Things Dogs, member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, graduate in Animal Behavior & Welfare and recognized author by the Dog Writers Association of America.


  1. The above article is really good. Gives an insight of how to take care of each breed. Can you please also share an article about the German Shepard dog?

  2. We recently acquired a 6 month old Border Ausie. This article is right on the mark. Now if I can figure out a way to keep this new dog busy!?!?

    • My Border Aussie is 12 years old, a stray that adopted us. The things he loves most are puzzle games (although rotate them as that catch on quickly), sniff n’ nom (we break a soft treat into tiny pieces and throw it down the hallway for him to sniff out and eat), and a sniff mat. Additionally, as the article suggests, keep inventing new tricks (play dead is always a crowd pleaser) and that will help. Hope that helps.

  3. Last year, we received Bo. He is beautiful black and white mix. One blue eye and one brown. We have an acre for him to run and I walk him 3 miles a day. He plays fetch with the grandkids and sleeps on our couch. We also have 2 older dachshunds that from day 1 has never had a problem with them. A great family addition. I would be so sad if anything happened to him and would look for this breed again.

  4. I have a border collie/kelpie mix. She only took three months to train us. All kidding aside, She is so smart it’s almost frightening. Smartest dog I have ever had.

  5. I have a Border Aussie mix. I got her as a pup. I kept her in the house while a pup and until I had her spayed. Big mistake not knowing her physical activity level. She destroyed a lot before figuring out I need to buy toys and keep her active with different games. She taught me the game of catch by bringing a ball, laying it down and backing up. When I tossed in the air, she jumped up to catch it. A great activity outdoors along with frisbee. She also loved tug of war and would pull me along after dragging me off the couch. I figured this would be a life saver, if I needed her to pull me to safety. Her favorite, among others was for me roll or toss about six balls consecutive or all together. She would round each up and put them together in a pile. Her natural instinct to herd. She took on two strays at once and both turned to tail. She also learned to unlatch and open the sliding doors, on her own. Although totally amazed, I fussed and told her I wished she would learn to close them. I never blocked them from opening because I felt safer thinking if there was a fire, while I was away, she could escape. Yes, I came home from work, with the sliding door open but had chain link fencing around the back yard, she never tried to dig out from under or jump. She never bit but was cautious to strangers by instinct. She is 14 years old today, has a brown eye and a blue eye, with the blue eye filmed over with a cataract and blinded. Her hearing is impaired unless close to her and her hip is slanted to one side. She struggles to stand but does pretty good when stands and walks. I’ve always kept her veterinarian visits regular and shots updated. She is the most naturally intelligent dog, and fastest moving, I ever had. It breaks my heart to see her now that she’s gotten old and I know she’s close to her life span. I love her more than ever and pray daily that God has mercy on her.

  6. Beautiful! Thanks! We just bought an almost 9 week pup home today. Day 1 Prepared rice with veges and evening oatmeal with carrots and sweet potato. He ate it! Some dry food as well. Finding ways to train him with his nature calls. So far every 2 hrs take him out. Wondering how often at night. Also he is choosing to sleep on floor with blanket rather than his bed. Will need a tons of help. My girls 11 and13 so far so good with playing and taking him out. What should be next steps?

  7. My now 8-year-old Border-Aussie female that I got from a shelter/rescue when she was one year and one week old (after having been tried and rejected by probably at least 4 humans in that short time). I cannot imagine this dog living anywhere but in a virtually unrestricted rural location. I reside on 37 acres of which 26 are pasture-type land. This dog would be unhappy in an urban setting unless the owner was an avid long-distance runner. Even then, this breed really hates to be constrained by a leash. But even with all this energy both physical and mental, my girl is incredibly sweet and loyal toward her master. She is very “at home” and well-behaved as an inside dog – and I wouldn’t have it any other way. One caution to families with small children I wish to point out: my girl simply doesn’t understand small children It is as if she believes they are just “animals” that are about her same size. My grandchildren, I discovered, simply move too fast, perhaps outnumber my dog, and like to play with toys my dog wants to play with too. A family reunion at my home simply didn’t work for my dog with the young children. My girl didn’t mean to but she could easily knock down the youngsters without any agressiveness intended. Obviously, I had to protect the children

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