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Border-Aussie (Border Collie & Australian Shepherd Mix): Pictures, Info, Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

border-aussie laying in grass

Height: 18 – 23 inches
Weight: 30 – 65 pounds
Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Colors: Red merle, blue merle, red tricolor, black/white, blue tricolor
Suitable for: Active families with kids, herding dog, agility dog
Temperament: Intelligent, loyal, energetic

The Border-Aussie mix is a cross between a Border Collie and an Australian Shepherd. Both breeds have a long history as working dogs, and they are highly energetic. Australian Shepherds were developed in the 19th-century farmlands of the United States from Basque shepherding dogs. Border Collies are an old breed, dating back to the Vikings in the third century. The Border-Aussie is a fairly new hybrid and a somewhat popular choice for those who can’t afford the purebred version of either parent breeds and want an extremely intelligent and active dog.

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Border Collie & Australian Shepherd Mix Puppies

Border-Aussie puppy
Image credit: OlgaOvcharenko, Shutterstock

You will be hard-pressed to find a cuter ball of fur if you get a Border-Aussie puppy. Besides being adorable, they are full of energy and highly curious because they are smart and want to know about their environment. Training is not difficult, but it takes time and patience to get your pup to focus and listen to you.

Fortunately, Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mixes don’t suffer from many major health issues if taken care of from the beginning, and their lifespan can reach up to 15 years. While they don’t mind being around other animals and people, they are loyal, preferring the company of their family.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Border-Aussie

1. They would rather be working than relaxing.

If you want a lap dog, the Border-Aussie is not the best choice. A puppy will cuddle, but once they are grown, they don’t enjoy sitting around and watching movies all day. They need exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy.

2. They are also known as Aussieollie.

You will hear this name sometimes, but the more common reference to this breed is the Border-Aussie. Since they are a hybrid, they aren’t recognized by the American Kennel Club, but they are recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club and the Designer Dogs Kennel Club if such a thing is important to you.

3. They have a strong desire to nip at heels.

Nipping at the heels can involve humans and other animals alike. The Border-Aussie doesn’t care who they are herding — in their mind, they have a job to perform and want to complete it. Teaching them boundaries can help them discern who they should herd and when it is appropriate.

The parent breeds of Border-Aussie
The parent breeds of Border-Aussie: Left – Border Collie (TheOtherKev, Pixabay) | Right – Australian Shepherd (Fotoschauer, Shutterstock)

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Border Aussie 🧠

The Border-Aussie is highly intelligent and loves to have a job to do. However, if it is the same job day in and day out, they can grow bored. When they are working, they are confident and assertive, but they are friendly with people, even strangers. They may be more reserved with those they don’t know, but they enjoy making new friends.

Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mixes are quiet and calm even though they have tons of energy coursing through the veins. Even if they are patiently waiting for something to happen, you can tell they are watching their surroundings and taking everything in. So, in that respect, they are curious and love to learn, which makes them excellent agility dogs.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

Border-Aussies make the perfect family pet if you are active and/or live in a rural area. This breed does not do well with apartment living and needs plenty of space to play and work. They are great with children, as long as they have been socialized from a young age and taught that it isn’t appropriate to herd toddlers and nip at their heels.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets? 🐶 😽

Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mixes can get along with other animals, especially dogs. But with cats, it can be difficult to control their instinct to chase them. They aren’t doing it to be mean, but it can be a challenge to teach them that it is not okay to chase the cat up the tree every time they are spotted walking across the yard.

Image Credit: Katiieanderson, Shutterstock

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Things to Know When Owning a Border-Aussie

Owning a Border-Aussie has its advantages and challenges. Thus, it is important to know how to care for this breed, not only physically but also mentally. This section goes into more detail about the requirements of keeping this breed as a pet.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The high-energy Border-Aussie will need plenty of high-quality food to keep their bodies and minds functioning properly. A food that is high in protein and fat will ensure that they receive energy and calories for increased stamina.

Micro and macronutrients are also a requirement to keep their immune and digestive systems functioning. When your Border-Aussie is a puppy, it is ideal to feed them a puppy food that is high in calories and contains DHA for brain and eye development. The same applies to senior dogs; food that contains glucosamine and chondroitin protects their joints for continued ease of mobility as they age.

Your working dog needs plenty of fresh water available throughout the day to stay hydrated, and as long as they are active, they will remain trim and fit.

Exercise 🐕

Physical and mental activity is a high priority for the Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix. If they don’t receive enough exercise, they can become bored and destructive. They excel as a working dog on a ranch or a farm, and they make excellent running and walking companions. You will need to schedule at least two hours of exercise daily for the Border-Aussie mix.

Teaching them tricks and other mental stimulation games is fun for them, and they will excel and thrive with the attention. Competitions are a great way for them to stay active and sharp and for you to bond with your dog.

Image Credit: mstover, Shutterstock

Training 🦮

Since Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mixes are intelligent, you can train them quickly and without much frustration. You will need to remain consistent and firm in your teachings so they don’t try to take advantage of you. They are eager to please and thrive with positive reinforcement. Punishment can lead to your dog becoming anxious and/or aggressive because they don’t feel appreciated and loved.

It is hard to teach them not to nip and herd children or other people, but it can be done if they are taught from a young age that it is not good behavior. Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mixes tend to be nippier if they are bored and don’t have anything else to occupy their minds, so providing distractions such as teaching them to go fetch or grab something can help dissuade them.

Socialization from a young age is important for them to learn how to interact with people and other pets and animals, and being socialized prevents other behavioral issues from occurring. Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mixes don’t like to be left alone for long periods, preferring to be with their family.

Grooming ✂️

The Border-Aussie has a medium-long coat with fringes behind the legs and along the underbelly. The hair is smooth and dense, with a double-coat that needs to be brushed at least twice per week to prevent mats and tangles. Plus, brushing distributes oils through the coat that keeps it soft and shiny.

Getting your Border-Aussie groomed regularly keeps the coat from becoming too long, as well as keeping them clean and fresh smelling. They are moderate shedders, so regular coat care keeps the shedding at bay. Don’t forget about nail clipping, teeth brushing, and ear cleaning, which needs to be done regularly.

Health and Conditions ❤️

The Border-Aussie mix doesn’t suffer from many illnesses and is generally a healthy breed. However, there are a few illnesses to be aware of, especially hip and elbow dysplasia, since they are extremely active and collie eye anomaly, which can be inherited and affects the proper formation of the retina. Keeping regular veterinarian appointments for check-ups will ensure that your dog stays healthy and helps identify potential concerns so they can be treated right away.

Minor Conditions
  • Thyroid disease
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Deafness
  • Other vision issues
Serious Conditions
  • Collie eye anomaly
  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy

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Male vs Female

Both male and female Border-Aussies are active and love to work. You may see a difference in their temperament, with males being more confident and energetic and females more laid-back and loving. This, however, can depend on the dog’s temperament because every dog is different. A male dog who isn’t neutered will act more dominant, and a female may be more protective if they aren’t spayed.

Physically, male Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mixes will be larger and weigh more, while females appear more feminine and sleeker. It is a personal preference whether a person wants a female or a male Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix.

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Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a dog who has boundless energy and loves to work and be active, then the Border-Aussie may be ideal for you. They are great family dogs because they love children, and when they have been socialized, they get along with other people and animals.

Their coat requires a little more maintenance than a short-haired dog, but when they are groomed, they have beautiful coats with eye-catching colors. You will be hard-pressed to find a more intelligent breed, which can have its drawbacks because they need plenty of mental stimulation to remain happy. But you will find that having a smart and loving dog is fun for you and your family.

Other interesting breed guides:

Feature Image Credit: mstover, Shutterstock

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