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?
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:
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.
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.
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|
|Size||19-23 inches (male) and 18-21 inches (female)|
|Weight||35-65 lb (male) 30-50lb (female)|
|Breed Type||Mixes and more|
|Purpose||Companion Dog & Herding|
|Suitable For||Farmers Who Require A Herding Dog, Agility/Flyball Trainers, Active Families|
|Color Variations||Black/White, Red, Red Merle, Blue Merle, Red Tricolor, May Have Tan Markings|
|Temperament||Energetic, Intelligent, Loyal, Focused, Loveable|
|Other Names||Border Aussie|
Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix Puppies
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:
|Age||Size of Female (lb)||Size of Male (lb)|
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
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.
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.
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
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 properly socialized, 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
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.
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
- 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
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|
|Cups of Kibble|
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.
|Daily Exercise Requirements|
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
Appropriate socialization is imperative for a friendly well-balanced dog.
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
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.
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?