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Bodacion (Border Collie & Dalmatian Mix): Info, Pictures, Traits

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Bodacion (Border Collie & Dalmatian Mix)

Height: 15–22 inches
Weight: 26–40 pounds
Lifespan: 12–14 years
Colors: Black, white, brown
Suitable for: Very active owners, experienced dog owners, families with grown children, homeowners
Temperament: Hard-working, loyal, energetic, focused, loving

The Bodacion is a mix between a Border Collie and a Dalmatian, and the color patterns this breed inherits from its parents make them beautiful and striking dogs. They are medium-sized dogs that can have short to medium-length fur, and they often inherit a mix of coat colors and patterns from their parents, including the instantly recognizable Dalmatian spots.

These dogs are highly active and energetic, but they’re also loving and loyal, so they’ll be happiest when they get to spend time exercising and playing with you and your family. If they get their necessary exercise each day, they can be affectionate in their downtime.

Bodacions are wonderful dogs for owners who have the energy, discipline, and space to raise them properly, and they will make excellent companions. We’ll go over everything you need to know about this gorgeous mixed breed so you can decide if they are right for your home!

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Bodacion Puppies


The biggest thing you need to be prepared for when considering a Bodacion puppy is the energy needs that these dogs have. They inherit a high level of energy from both parent breeds, so you must be prepared to set aside between 1.5 and 2 hours of exercise time every single day. Committing to a Bodacion when you can’t provide this kind of time for getting their energy out will result in unwanted and destructive behavior.

Bodacions are also highly trainable and very obedient, but only for the right owner! They inherit a strong tendency to be stubborn as puppies from their Dalmatian parent breed, so you need to be able to commit a good amount of time and effort to proper obedience training beginning at a young age. These pups are adorable, but you must stand strong and maintain a rigid training routine if you want them to grow up to be the best versions of themselves they can be.

Lastly, Bodacions may be medium-sized dogs, but they often have the appetite of a large breed given their high activity level. A Bodacion puppy may be affordable, but you’ll also need to consider the cost of food. At an average of around three cups of dry food a day, the costs can add up! It’s important to be aware of recurring costs when purchasing a puppy, and not just the upfront cost of the dog.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Bodacion

1. Their Parent Breeds Are Famous

Both the Border Collie and the Dalmatian have had their time in the spotlight over the past few decades. Border Collies had roles in TV shows like Little House on the Prairie and movies such as Animal Farm. Dalmatians rose to popularity with their lead roles in the eponymous Disney classic, 101 Dalmatians, as well as the various sequels and spin-offs that followed.

2. They Are Extremely Hard Workers

The Bodacion’s parent breeds were both originally bred to be working dogs, so they inherit an unmatched work ethic above all else. Border Collies originated in the UK where they were bred as herding dogs for sheep and cattle. Dalmatians are believed to have originally been bred in modern-day Croatia (previously called Dalmatia) as guard dogs. They were used to protect wagons and carts full of goods, so they are accustomed to running long distances alongside cargo. They were later used as firehouse dogs to run alongside fire engines, which were then horse-drawn, and clear a path to work sites.

3. They Can Be Affectionate

Both the Border Collie and the Dalmatian get a bit of a bad reputation for being distrustful around strangers and for having a tendency to snap, especially at children. Many people believe the Bodacion will therefore not be affectionate, but as long as your Bodacion gets their energy out, they will be more than happy to snuggle up with you in the evening after a hard day of work.

Parent Breeds of Bodacion
Image Credit: Jumpstory

Temperament & Intelligence of the Bodacion 🧠

The Bodacion is moderately affectionate, but their love and loyalty are really the traits that make them some of the best companions you can find. They will stand by your side no matter what and will happily protect you, your family, and your home from any perceived danger.

Bodacions are hard workers, so they may sometimes seem a bit stand-offish if they are focused on their work. They enjoy having a job to do, so they’ll be happiest and most fulfilled when they can herd, guard your home, or participate in agility training.

These dogs can be wary around strangers which also adds to their propensity to protect, but they’re generally friendly and welcoming toward all family members.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

Bodacions aren’t for everyone, but they can make excellent family dogs for the right family. They will gladly protect you and your family, and their loyalty is more or less unmatched in the dog world. They have a lot of love, and while they aren’t abundantly affectionate, anyone in your family is likely to feel love from your pooch.

Bodacions are usually good with children, but they can become a bit aggressive if they are interrupted during work. They enjoy focusing intently on the task at hand, and if an unknowing child tries to distract them, your Bodacion may growl or nip. This breed is therefore recommended for homes with no children or grown children who understand their dog and their work ethic.

These pups have a lot of energy, and you will likely tire before they do. Bodacions can run seemingly forever, so they do well in households with multiple family members who can each take some time to run and play with your dog.

Lastly, it’s best if each member of your family can pitch in with training. Bodacions can be stubborn as puppies, so a home where multiple people work to reinforce good behavior and obedience is the best environment for them. If your family members are willing to dedicate time and energy to your Bodacion, you’ll likely find that they make a wonderful family pet.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

Many people worry about bringing a puppy into a home with other dogs, and in the case of a Bodacion you may or may not have cause for concern. Bodacions are sometimes very friendly toward other dogs, but they can also be a bit aggressive toward them. It really depends on your individual dog and which traits they inherit from each parent.

With early socialization, you probably won’t have too many issues with your Bodacion cohabitating with other dogs, but early introduction and frequent interaction are important.

Cats, on the other hand, are usually a problem for Bodacions. They inherit a fairly high prey drive from their Dalmatian parents as well as a desire to herd animals from their Border Collie parents. The result is a dog that will very likely either chase or nip at cats and other small animals like rabbits. Bodacions do best in homes without cats or other small pets.

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Things to Know When Owning a Bodacion:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

As we said earlier, Bodacions are medium-sized dogs with big appetites. They have a very high energy level, so their diet will need to compensate for that. You can expect to feed your Bodacion about three cups of dry dog food every day, and this should be broken up into two or three meals to help maintain their energy levels.

High-energy dogs need a diet high in protein from multiple sources. You should choose a high-quality commercial dog food that doesn’t have a lot of fillers, has a high protein content, and is formulated for breeds with high energy.

Exercise 🐕

Bodacions come from a long line of hard-working dogs that exercise for hours on end. As such, you should plan to dedicate between an hour and a half and two hours every single day to exercise your Bodacion. This is often best accomplished with vigorous exercise like brisk walks, runs, or some kind of work outside, like herding or agility.

Bodacions are susceptible to joint issues like many other active breeds. While these can’t be entirely avoided, exercising them on soft surfaces is best, as cement and concrete can exacerbate health problems like hip and elbow dysplasia. This is especially true for puppies, as their joints are extra susceptible as they are growing.

It’s also worth noting that Bodacions do have a fairly high prey drive, so outdoor activities like walks, hikes, and runs should be done with a sturdy harness and always on a leash. Your pooch may jump at the opportunity to chase a rabbit or a squirrel, so keeping them secure is of the utmost importance.

Training 🦮

Bodacions are very intelligent and loyal dogs, so they will pick up on new things very, very quickly. You may find that they learn new tricks and commands with just a few instances of repetition. With proper training, they can be extremely obedient dogs.

However, they also inherit a tendency to be stubborn from their Dalmatian parents. They will very likely learn what you are trying to get them to do quickly, but they may choose not to listen.

Because of this inherited trait, Bodacions are best suited for owners who have experience with dog training and obedience. New owners can manage, but they will be challenged! You should plan to implement a regimented and regular training schedule with your Bodacion so they can learn proper obedience from a young age.

In addition to obedience training, you’ll also want to train your pooch not to be so distrustful of strangers, and this is also best accomplished by starting at a young age. Early and regular socialization with strangers will help your dog grow up to be alert but comfortable around unfamiliar people.

Grooming ✂️

Bodacions can exhibit short or relatively long hair depending on which parent breed they resemble more. With shorter hair, you should brush about once or twice a week with a wire brush, and brushing should be done about two or three times a week with longer hair. This will help prevent matting and tangling, and it will also help distribute your dog’s natural skin oils which will keep their skin and coat healthy.

Bathing doesn’t need to be done often, and you can plan to give your Bodacion a bath only if they happen to get particularly dirty outside. You can bathe them about once every eight to ten weeks, but any more often will likely get rid of their skin oils and cause dry and irritated skin.

You should plan to keep your Bodacion’s nails trimmed at all times, as active breeds like this have a tendency to break or crack their nails if they grow too long. Lastly, you’ll want to brush your dog’s teeth about once a week to help cut down on tooth and gum issues, and you should wipe your pup’s ears clean once a week to prevent wax build-up and infection.

Health Conditions ❤️

Bodacions are lucky enough not to have many life-threatening health issues that are common, so you can expect your pooch to live a long, relatively healthy life. However, there are some minor health issues that can arise, so keep your eye out for the below common problems, especially as your dog gets older. Additionally, even if you believe your dog to be healthy, yearly vet checkups should still be scheduled to ensure your dog is as healthy as they can be.

Minor Conditions
  • Cataracts
  • Skin irritation
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia

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Male vs Female

Male and female Bodacions will usually be very similar in both size and temperament. Male Bodacions can be a bit taller and heavier, and they can also have a higher tendency to be aggressive toward other dogs and distrustful of strangers. Beyond these minor differences, you’ll likely find few differences between male and female Bodacions, as any variance in temperament is better attributed to which parent breed your Bodacion resembles more.

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Final Thoughts

The Bodacion is a stunningly beautiful dog that has a lot of love for and loyalty toward its owners. They aren’t the most affectionate dogs, but they will stand by your side and protect you and your family through anything—you may also be lucky enough to get some snuggles from time to time!

These dogs are highly energetic and fairly playful, so they do best with active owners who have in excess of an hour and a half each day to dedicate to vigorous exercise. If their energy needs are met, Bodacions are likely to be well-behaved and even-tempered.

These dogs can be excellent family pets, but they’re recommended for homes with grown children and those without smaller animals. For families willing to put time and effort into exercise, training, and socialization, they will be rewarded with one of the greatest companions available!

Featured Image Credit: Clement Morin, Shutterstock

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