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Border Collie & Shetland Sheepdog Mix: Info, Pictures, Facts & Traits

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By Nicole Cosgrove

border sheepdog

Height: 16 – 22 inches
Weight: 25 – 42 pounds
Lifespan: 10 – 17 years
Colors: White, brown, tan, cream, red
Suitable for: Very active people with lots of time to spare. Experienced owners with older kids.
Temperament: Active and intelligent. Loyal, playful, and loving. Independent with a strong will.

The Border Sheepdog is a great companion dog for the right pet-parent. You will need to be someone that has experience with active canines, someone who loves the outdoors, and someone who is ready to have a spunky pooch as a companion.

This designer breed has a lot to offer their prospective new owners. Dog adoption is like buying a car though, you want to know all the details before you bring it home! Of course, it’s even more important because this four-legged friend will be part of your family!

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Border Sheepdog Puppy


The Border Sheepdog is a fairly new designer breed that comes from a purebred Border Collie and a purebred Shetland Sheepdog. With such a new hybrid, there is limited information about them, yet we can glean a lot of info from looking at the pup’s parents.

Both parents are part of the working class. The Border Sheepdog comes from intelligent and agile herding canines that have passed all their best qualities to their hybrid offspring. As a puppy, you should be prepared for them to have a lot of energy. This energy needs to be channeled properly; otherwise, you will lose a few precious household items.

We will talk more about exercise needs and training more later, but for now, you should also know that this pup will likely find themselves in some trouble from following their nose and giving into their herding instincts.

For the most part, you’ll likely find yourself rolling on the floor with laughter. It’s when they become an adult it stops being so funny, but as mentioned, we will get into all that later.

Suffice it to say, the Border Dog is a standard active puppy.

How to Find A Good Breeder?

There are two key aspects to finding a good breeder. The first key aspect is research. You can start with kennels that are recommended by any canine clubs the breed is associated with. As this breed is so new, those might be far and few between for now.

You also want to look for license and registration accolades for the area you live in (or where the breeder is located). Plus, reviews for other pet owners can give you a lot of information on the kennel. With a little digging, there is a lot of info you can uncover.

The second key aspect is to speak up! This is important. When you are at the kennel, don’t be afraid to tour the location, meet your pup’s parents, and meet the other animals in residence. You will also want to have any paperwork from your pup’s vet. Purebred verification of the parents should also be included. The latter two items should be given without you asking though.

Following these two key aspects will help you find the right pooch for you. It will also ensure you have the peace of mind that your pet comes from a reputable and above-average breeder.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Border Sheepdog

1. The Border Collie

As one half of the Border Sheepdog, the Border Collie is considered one of the most intelligent herding dogs in the world. They have been known to adapt to new situations while herding with no guidance or training.

2. Two Breed Lines

The Border Collie also has two breed lines; either show or work. You can ask your breeder which line your Border Sheepdog comes from.

3. Shetland Sheepdog

The Shetland is commonly referred to as the “fairy dog” due to their fluffy coat and angelic face. They are also intelligent herding dogs, however.

Parent Breeds of the Border Sheepdog
Image Credit: Jumpstory

Temperament & Intelligence of the Border Sheepdog 🧠

The Border Sheepdog is an energetic, loyal, and devoted pet that requires a firm hand and a pet parent who is very active. If you are a novice dog owner, this might not be the best breed for you. They are constantly on the go and require a lot of mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy.

The Border Dog is probably too smart for their good. We recommend you have a fenced-in yard for them to play in along with some other activities to keep them occupied. If you are looking for a cuddle buddy to watch movies, they are not likely to corporate.

That being said, you find this breed to be very loving and loyal. They thrive on human connection and create a strong bond with the person who spends the most time with them. The Sheepdog is eager to please you, and they enjoy a nice long scratch.

On the flip side of this spunky canine is there independent, stubborn, and fearless side. This is a dog who wants to get their way. They will attempt to stare you down to get what they want. This is where a firm hand is needed. Once your position as the boss has been established, however, they are incredibly obedient pets.

You will also notice that this pup is protective of their family. You can rely on them to be good guard dogs, though they can bark incessantly if not trained properly. For the most part, though, they will not be inclined to trust strangers right away. It will take to gain the Border Sheep dog’s trust.

Are Border Sheepdogs Good for Families? 🏡

If your family is athletic, and your kids are on the older side, the Border Sheepdog will make a great family companion. Nothing will make them happier than following the kids outside to play soccer, going on family hikes, or even following you around as you mow the lawn.

This is also why apartments are not the ideal living situation for this pet. Homes with a lot of space are good, but a big fenced in yard is what’s best. This hybrid will also make a great companion for a single person provided you have a lot of time to spend with them.

Although they are not likely to have separation anxiety, the boredom of being alone too often can cause just as many issues. We also don’t recommend this canine for homes with seniors or small children. The Border Sheepdog can be rambunctious and stubborn, so they need to be in the care of someone that can handle them.

Do Border Sheepdogs Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

When it comes to owning other pets with your Border Sheepdog, you want to proceed with caution. Again, due to their stubborn and rambunctious nature, smaller dogs or puppies are typically not the best recipe. The same goes for smaller animals like cats.

The herding instinct is strong in this dog, and they will do their best to keep other pets in a specific location of their choosing. On the other hand, older dogs of equal or bigger size tend to do better along with felines that are not easily intimidated by canine bluster.

Keep in mind, early socialization in this dog is important. If you start this training early and are consistent with it, your Border Sheepdog will likely be well-rounded and happy to engage with other pets. That being said, those who are not introduced to other animals and sounds as a puppy will have a harder time adjusting.

sheltie border collie
Image Credit: otsphoto, Shutterstock

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Things to Know When Owning a Border Sheepdog:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

A well-rounded diet for your canine friend is going to have a lot of elements. For example, they will need healthy sources of protein and fat to keep their muscles lean and strong, give them energy, and keep them flexible. Fiber is also needed to keep their digestive system working well, and it promotes positive gut health.

These three elements should be in each food item you give your dog, whether it’s their food, meals, or treats. They are not the only ingredients for a healthy meal plan, however. Most dogs also need varying levels of antioxidants, probiotics, omega fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. All of these things combined will ensure they are getting all the nutrients they need to be healthy and strong.

Diet Plans

Although all of those staples are required in your dog’s diet, the amounts of each can vary. It will depend on your Border Sheep dog’s age, health, size, and activity level. For example, this hybrid is on the high side of the energy chart, so their diet should reflect that.

Exercise 🐕

By now, we are sure you have surmised that this dog is going to need a considerable amount of exercise. We recommend taking them out for a least an hour two times a day. You can decide what activity is best; whether you jog, hike, bike, etc., but brisk walking should be the minimum.

Daily outings are not the end of it, either. This furball should also be given some additional playtime in the backyard, preferably with you. The Border Sheepdog will benefit greatly from games of fetch, frisbee, tug of war, and chase. Agility courses, specific jobs they can be taught, or other physical activities that engage their mind is also essential; which we will talk about next.

sheltie border collie
Image Credit: Alexandra Kruspe, Shutterstock

Inactivity Issues

First, though, we want you to keep in mind that a Border Sheepdog that is not exercised regularly will pick up some bad habits. They will chew on your furniture, bark consistently, dig, snap at people and other pets, and many other behaviors that are just not cool.

This is nothing compared to the mental anguish they endure, however. Inactivity will cause your pet to become bored, anxious, and depressed. Like us, this can affect their appetite, health, and mood over time. This is why you need to commit yourself to daily exercise with your Border Sheepdog.

Training 🦮

Training your Border Sheepdog should be started when they are a small puppy. The earlier you start, the better their temperament will be as they mature. Training in the areas of obedience, behavior, housebreaking, and socialization are key, but not the only areas.

Before we get into extra training, we want to touch on the basics, first. The Border Sheepdog most definitely has a mind of their own. They can be willful and stubborn at times, and they have an independent nature due to their high intelligence.

Being the Alpha Dog

Luckily, their intelligence makes them a quick study for training as long as you can appoint yourself as the leader. This will require you to become the Alpha by not giving into their stare, or their cute antics (which is their second set of defenses).

Keep in mind, being the leader does require you to intimidate your pet. Yelling, hitting, or abusing the animal is not only going to have the opposite effect, but it is also a crime in most places. Instead, dogs respond well to positive reinforcement in the most literal sense of the phrase.

It is essential that you reinforce all of your commands and rules, but in a positive way. Praise and treats work wonders with this hybrid, but you have to be consistent and firm. You should also be prepared to repeat these lessons over and over.

Other Training

If you start training early and you successfully get over the first hurdle of training, teaching them other things will be a lot easier. As we mentioned above, this pooch does well with mental stimulation, so teaching them tricks, games, responsibilities, and other fun things will not only be in their best interest, but they will love doing them!

Besides that, you will also want to get them used to being groomed.

Grooming ✂️

The coat on your Border Sheepdog can vary depending on which parent they take after. That being said, they will typically have medium length straight fur. Each of them will also have an undercoat that you will need to contend with. This hybris is also a moderate shedder with some heavy fur loss twice a year.

During the “normal” times of the year, you will need to brush your pooch two to three times per week, but here’s where it gets tricky. You need to use a combination of three brushes. First, you will need an undercoat rake to release and shed and remove any tangles from their soft inner fur.

You will then need a pin brush for the outer layer along with a slicker brush. You want to use the undercoat rake each time you groom then alternate the other two. The pin brush will help remove the shed and keep mats from forming. The sticker will also remove excess fur while simultaneously smoothing and shining their coat. During heavy sheds, you want to increase brushing to five to seven days a week.

Bathing, Cleaning, Clipping, and Brushing

Thankfully, taking care of their coat is the most time-consuming grooming ritual, but you will still need to take care of baths, teeth cleaning, nail clipping, and ear cleaning. Let’s start with the bath. This should only be done when they need it.

Bathing your Border Sheepdog too often can cause their fur to lose some of its natural oils which keep their coat shiny and strong. Also, drying them completely can take a considerable amount of time, so warmer weather bathing is better.

Twice a week, you will also want to inspect their ears for mites, redness, and excess ear wax. Even if you don’t see anything, you still need to wipe their ears clean with a cotton ball and a canine ear cleaning solution. Your vet can recommend one that works well.

You will also want to brush their teeth regularly. Now, teeth cleaning is typically not going to be appreciated by your pup, so try to get in there at least once a week. You can supplement brushing with dental treats and regular doggie dentist check-ups.

Finally, you will need to trim their nails. This should be done on an as-needed basis, but as your pup is especially active, they can usually go longer than the average pup. A good rule of thumb, however, is if their nails are tapping the floor, it’s time to trim. A guillotine clipper is best, but a grinder can also work well to smooth the edges if they are jagged.

Health and Conditions ❤️

Did you know that eliminating health issues is one of the more popular reasons for crossbreeding purebreds? Some experts believe that due to the amount of purebred canine inbreeding, crossbreeding can actually keep disease and hereditary concerns low.

That being said, there is yet to be any conclusive proof that this theory is true. What’s more, any issues a dog’s ancestors had can be passed down through genetics. Be that as it may, there has been a clear pattern of healthier mixed-breeds, so it seems will tell.

For the most part, the Border Sheepdog is a healthy pet, but there are some health concerns you should be aware of before adopting it. We have broken these issues into serious and minor with some minor issues being less likely to occur.

Minor Conditions
  • Cataracts
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Paninis
  • Eye-lid defects
  • Corneal dystrophy
Serious Conditions
  • Von Willebrand’s disease
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosos
  • Collie Eye anomaly

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Final Thoughts: Border Collie Shetland Sheepdog

If you are an avid outdoorsman, live on a farm, loving spending time with your dog, and constantly on the go, this designer breed could be the right pet for you. Not only are they willing to keep up with you during all types of activities, but they will provide you with companionship that is loving, protective, and fun!

The Border Sheepdog is a medium-sized pet with a lot of personality and spirit. They thrive with human connections, plus they are spunky, independent, and alert. We hope this article has given you all the details you need about this designer hybrid!

See also:

Featured Image: Shutterstock

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