The Best And Complete Guide to Border Collie Australian Shepherds

Border Collie Australian Shepherds

The Australian Shepherd breed has its origins when Australian immigrants came to the United States in the 1800s, bringing herding dogs like Pyrenean Shepherds and Collies with them. These adaptive dogs were quickly prized for their energy, trainability, and protective guarding instincts, making them indispensable helpers on American ranches and farms as they dutifully herded livestock across vast ranges each day. Over time, these dogs evolved into the beloved Australian Shepherd breed we recognize today.

Meanwhile, the Border Collie originated centuries ago in the rocky highlands along the border between England and Scotland, where their unmatched intelligence and agility at gathering sheep made them superior herding dogs. Their stellar focus on their master’s directions allowed them to transition from general farm help to competitive sheepdog trial stars by the late 1800s.

While the playful Border Collie crossed with an Australian Shepherd has likely existed for decades already, this popular crossbreed has surged in popularity over the past 20 years thanks to growing interest in hybrid “designer” dogs. By breeding two purebreds like the tireless Border Collie and energetic Australian Shepherd rather than solely continuing closed genetic lineages, first-generation Border Aussie mixes exhibit “hybrid vigor” where their wide mix of genetics lends itself to improved health and hardiness.

The diligent tenacity of both popular parent breeds appeals to owners seeking highly driven and energetic canine companions. While accidental Aussie Border Collie mixes likely occurred sporadically before, intentional crossings of registered Australian Shepherds and Border Collies have gained momentum in the last few decades, reflecting the growing demand for these hybrids among enthusiasts of the most popular dog breeds.

A Sturdy Yet Graceful Canine Athlete

A Sturdy Yet Graceful Canine Athlete

The athletic Border Aussie exhibits physical versatility stemming from its parent breeds’ balance of substance and agility needed for all-day herding. Overall, the Australian Shepherd Border Collie mix size ranges between medium and large breeds, with males reaching 45-65 lb and females 35-55 lb. Standing around 16-20 inches tall at the shoulder, Border Collies contribute slightly finer bone structure and leaner musculature while the Aussie lends greater sturdiness to this robust hybrid.

Given the variation in parent breeds, Aussie Border Collie coats can vary widely between individuals. Thick double coats predominate, ranging from short to long and straight to wavy. Common coat colors include black and white, red and white, merle, speckled, sable, and tricolors. Occasional markings like white paws and chests or brown eyebrows offer cute character. Seasonal shedding ranges from moderate to extensive with this double-coated hybrid, a feature seen in many calm dog breeds.

Overall, the Border Collie crossed with Australian Shepherd strikes a versatile balance suitable for both brisk jogging and curled up by the fire – neither excessively slender like some Collies nor heavily boned like working line Aussies. Form follows function with these active hybrids bred from two legendary working breeds.

A Devoted and Captivating Personality

A Devoted and Captivating Personality

Hallmark traits like high energy, people orientation, trainability, protectiveness, and loyalty attract many active owners to the Border Collie Australian Shepherd’s charismatic personality perfectly suited for both work and companionship. This hybrid shares the Border Collie’s soulful gaze, intuitive connection, and exceptional devotion to their person combined with the good-natured Aussie’s high spirits and readiness for adventure.

Clever and highly observant, Border Aussies remain responsive to their owner’s needs and emotions with an empathetic sensitivity. They thrive when given plenty of positive reinforcement and consistent leadership. While lively and excitable, this is not an aggressive or hostile breed, just one overflowing with enthusiasm and brightness. There’s hardly a dull moment with these animated pups!

In terms of vocal tendencies, young Border Aussies often inherit the Collie’s inclination to bark and exhibit herding behaviors, such as nipping at heels. However, with proper training and sufficient physical and mental stimulation, these habits usually diminish. As they mature around age 2 years, a more appropriate calm confidence emerges, reflecting the centered temperament of both parent breeds—methods on how to calm a dog down can help during this training process.

All in all, the hybrid Aussie Border Collie temperament blends some of both parent breeds’ most appealing qualities for an exceptionally devoted performance partner that transitions seamlessly into family life at home. They live enthusiastically in the moment, anticipating adventures together.

Activity Level and Exercise Needs

Activity Level and Exercise Needs

Few breeds can keep up with the Border Collie Australian Shepherd’s sheer stamina, energy reserves, and athletic prowess! Purpose-bred for enduring miles trotting across hilly pastures herding livestock tirelessly, both parental breeds lend exceptional fitness. Thus, this energetic hybrid thrives best with active owners able to provide vigorous exercise and sporting outlets daily.

On average, the high-octane Aussie Border Collie requires 60 to 90 minutes of hard exercise daily encompassing intense running or hiking, rigorous games of fetch, challenging dog sports, backpack jaunts, or even jogging beside a bike. Additionally, they should enjoy substantial off-leash free running in a securely fenced area to unwind and channel their ancestral herding instincts in healthy ways. With pent-up energy or inadequate activity outlets, Border Collies and Australian Shepherds alike grow restless and engage in nuisance behaviors like excessive barking or destroying property.

Providing this athletic hybrid ample daily physical and mental stimulation fosters steadier energy levels for focusing and bonding within the home for the remainder of the day. That said, Border Aussies also relish lazy snuggles on the couch after tuckering themselves out! In summary, aspiring Border Aussie owners must commit to providing vigorous, purposeful exercise and plenty of outdoor adventures to share with these tireless canine companions.

Trainability and Intelligence

Trainability and Intelligence

The exceptionally bright Border Collie crossed with Australian Shepherd unsurprisingly produces one of the smartest, most attentive working dog breed hybrids in existence! Both parent breeds shine brightly among global intelligence and trainability assessments, responding remarkably well to positive reinforcement like treats, praise, and toys. This innate yearning to closely cooperate with their beloved person makes training activities quite enjoyable.

From basic good manners to advanced canine jobs or dog sports, the Border Aussie hybrid excels at virtually anything requiring keen intelligence, athleticism, focus, and work ethic. Their versatility suits them well for agility training, obedience trials, scent detection work, search and rescue, assistance roles for the disabled, competitive disc dog events, skijoring, and of course herding farm stock.

Additionally, the Aussie Border Collie’s high trainability empowers owners to readily teach good behaviors at home to establish trust and strengthen bonding. With well-timed redirection from unwanted puppy antics paired with rewards for calm self-control, this quick study garners household manners faster than most other breeds. Overall, training forms a pivotal opportunity for necessary mental stimulation while reinforcing a cooperative human-animal bond each day. When afforded plentiful positive outlets for their heightened drive and energy, the clever Border Aussie truly shines as both an athletic partner and affectionate pet.

Grooming and Care

Grooming and Care

While the weather-resistant double coat of Border Collie Australian Shepherd crosses enables them to focus while working outdoors, it does demand extra upkeep through strategic grooming to minimize heavy seasonal shedding inside homes. Expect year-round light shedding that intensifies during spring and fall blowout seasons. Slicker brushes and undercoat rakes help remove loose fur to keep it under control both inside and from matting or felting together outside.

Most Border Aussies only need bathing every month or two as needed, relying on regular brushing between to distribute coat oils and refresh coats. Additionally, many enjoy swimming and can take occasional dips instead of traditional bathing. Take care to thoroughly dry waterlogged coats afterwards though to prevent matting and skin irritation.

Beyond shedding management, check and trim fast-growing nails monthly, wipe over ears and eyes gently weekly while inspecting for infection, and brush teeth with dog-safe toothpaste several times each week to promote dental health and sweet-smelling doggie breath! Lastly, always reapply flea and tick medication monthly during warmer seasons for comprehensive parasite protection.

Finding a Reputable Breeder

Finding a Reputable Breeder

For the best shot at finding a happy, healthy Border Collie and Australian Shepherd mix puppy to welcome home, conduct extensive breeder screening. With designer hybrid dogs remaining popular targets for careless mass production breeders and puppy mills seeking to profit from their skyrocketing popularity, buyers must thoroughly ask questions upfront to avoid supporting substandard breeding practices which often produce behavioral and health issues long term.

Foremost, visit potential Aussie Border Collie breeders’ homes and kennel facilities in person for transparency before committing to a new puppy. Meet at least one parent dog to better understand the temperament being passed down. Ask about lineage, hereditary conditions screening status, litter-raising protocols, and overall breeding program goals like multi-purpose potential or active family companions.

Reputable small hobby breeders invest tremendous time, effort, and care striving to better both parent breeds with thoughtfully selected pairings. They health test extensively, whelp at home underfoot, and raise sociable, well-adapted pups through extensive “biosensor” stimulation and early neurological enrichment programs. They also stand behind what they produce for life with support. These best practices justify the higher initial outlay for a Border Aussie puppy, saving buyers thousands in potential healthcare and training expenses down the road.

Alternatively, with overcrowded shelters overflowing with discarded pets of all ages, consider Border Collie Australian Shepherd mix adoption. Shelter dogs exhibit profound gratitude and make wonderful companions too with appropriate training. Ultimately, supporting responsible practices promotes better long-term outcomes for hybrid dog welfare.

Health Considerations

Health Considerations

As mixed breed dogs boasting remarkable hybrid vigor when ethically bred, the Border Collie Australian Shepherd mix enjoys exceptional health overall, especially within earlier life stages. However, without careful genetic screening of parent stock, certain prevalent conditions affecting both Border Collies and Australian Shepherds may still affect descendants.

  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia: malformation of these joints causes arthritis and lameness over time. X-ray screening of parent dogs helps minimize risk. Maintain lean body condition through proper diet and exercise.
  • Eye Defects: Various inheritable eye issues like Collie Eye Anomaly, cataracts, or progressive retinal atrophy may cause blindness if not carefully screened against in breeding dogs. Schedule vet ophthalmology exams annually.
  • Deafness: White-coated Aussies with bright blue eyes risk being born fully or partially deaf. Always verify hearing during puppy checks.
  • MDR1 Drug Sensitivity: A genetic mutation leaves Border Collies unable to metabolize many common medications. DNA testing helps identify this in advance.

Reputable breeders conduct all available screenings on parent stock and work diligently to eliminate other potential issues through selective breeding. Still, new owners benefit enormously from purchasing pet insurance, scheduling annual vet exams, and staying vigilant about preventative care. Overall though, the Border Collie crossed with the Australian Shepherd enjoys longer lifespans reaching 12-15 years.

Who Should — or Should Not — Own Border Aussies

The high-spirited Border Collie Australian Shepherd mix breeds suits:

✅ Active singles, couples, or families able to exercise extensively daily through running, hiking, agility training, etc. This breed thrives with owners embracing regular outdoor adventures together.

✅ Responsible dog lovers are drawn to exceptionally intelligent, agile working breeds and are interested in advanced training activities or canine jobs/sports. Task-focused Paws love having jobs!

✅ Experienced pet owners familiar with herding-type behaviors and sensitivities. Persistence, redirection, and positivity pay off in shaping young Aussie Border Collies.

✅ Adaptable households with reliably calm leadership and the flexibility to better support a boisterous pup should children join the family later. This hybrid nearly always does wonderfully with respectful kids and a proper introduction.

Conversely, this particular mix likely suits the following candidates less well:

❌ Busy professionals away for over 8 hours daily without day care assistance. Border Aussies require substantial companionship.

❌ First-time dog owners. The intensity, exercise needs and trainability can overwhelm novices regardless of the best intentions if experience managing smart herding breeds.

❌ Sedentary pet owners unable to provide adequate outlets for high energy. These breeds thrive on substantial vigorous exercise!

❌ Those seeking primarily casual companions rather than a working partner. This mentally energized hybrid yearns for purposeful activity.

Final Thoughts

In summary, few other hybrids compete with the distinctive versatility and vigor of the Australian Shepherd Border Collie as both devoted companions and exceptional working canine partners. Blending the intelligence of traditional sheepdogs with protective loyalty and high spirits befitting modern family life, the Border Aussie delights active homes able to exercise them well and channel their intensity positively. They promise spirited fun, wholehearted bonding, and years of treasured memories together!


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