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Australian Shepherd Border Collie Mix: Unveiling the Best of Both Breeds - PawSafe

Australian Shepherd Border Collie Mix: Unveiling the Best of Both Breeds

Photo of Tamsin De La Harpe

Written by Tamsin De La Harpe

Australian Shepherd Border Collie Mix

When you’re considering a new furry addition to your family, a mix between an Australian Shepherd and a Border Collie might catch your eye. These dogs, often referred to as Aussieollies, inherit a blend of traits from their parent breeds that make them unique. With their intelligence and energy, they can be perfect for active households looking for an engaging companion.

Australian Shepherds and Border Collies share a herding heritage, which gives the Aussieollie an instinctual drive to be busy and purposeful. Your Aussieollie will likely exhibit a keen intelligence and a willingness to learn, making training both necessary and enjoyable. Their eagerness to please and love for mental stimulation will have you spending lots of fun times teaching tricks and playing games that challenge their smarts.

Despite their zest for life and activity, Aussieollies also have a softer side that cherishes companionship. You’ll find that your mix will form strong bonds with the family, often becoming protective and affectionate. They thrive on interaction and, with proper socialization, can be great with children and other pets. Whether you’re on a hike or cuddling on the couch, your Aussieollie will want to be right by your side as your loyal friend.

If you’re considering bringing one of these pups into your life, you’ll want to know a few key things about them.

First off, the Australian Shepherd, often called an “Aussie,” is not actually from Australia! It’s a breed that was refined in the United States. They’re smart, energetic dogs with a love for play. On the other hand, the Border Collie hails from the borderlands between Scotland and England, known for its incredible intelligence and agility.

Put them together, and you get the Border Aussie, sometimes referred to as an Aussieollie. This crossbreed inherits the best traits from both parents:

  • Intelligence: You’ll be impressed with how quickly they learn new commands.
  • Energy: They have loads of energy, making them great for active families.
  • Herding Instinct: Strong natural instinct to herd, so watch your kids and pets!

A Border Aussie usually has a medium-length coat that may come in a variety of colors, and because both parents are working breeds, you’ll notice they’re quite athletic in build. They’re commonly medium-sized dogs, generally friendly, and often bond deeply with their families.

Your Border Aussie will need regular exercise and mental stimulation. That means long walks, plenty of play, and maybe even dog sports like agility or flyball. They’re happiest when they have a job to do or puzzles to solve, so keep their minds and bodies busy, and you’ll have a happy, loving companion.

History & Origin of The Border Aussie

Border Collie and Australian Shepherd mix dog running on grass herding black white and tan dog

So, let’s look at where this stunning mix comes from:

Border Collie History

You might already know that Border Collies originate from the Anglo-Scottish border and are known for their intelligence and herding abilities. They played a crucial role in the life of shepherds, helping to herd sheep.

Australian Shepherd History

The Australian Shepherd, despite its name, was actually developed in the United States. Aussies are also herding dogs and are cherished for their energy and intelligence.

When you mix the adaptive intelligence of the Australian Shepherd with the unrivaled herding ability of a Border Collie, you get the Border Aussie. This crossbreed is not currently recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), but it is recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club. The goal was to create a dog with the best traits of both parent breeds — the agility and intelligence of the Australian Shepherd coupled with the endurance and instinct of the Border Collie.

You can imagine these dogs as the ultimate herders, taking the pastoral legacy of the Collie lineage, melded with the versatile Aussie’s capabilities, to offer an agile, smart companion. The Border Aussie stands testament to the heritage of their forebears, where each breed contributed to the mix’s characteristics. Even though it’s a mix, many people adore the Border Aussie due to their unique combination of traits inherited from the purebred Aussies and Collies.

Aussiolie Physical Characteristics 

What Does The Australian Shepherd Border Collie Mix Look Like?

Dog lying next to combat boots. Border collie Australian shepherd mix dog, pet lying on tan veteran military combat boots.

How Big Does the Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix Get?

The Aussiolie is a hybrid mix of two purebred breeds: the Australian Shepherd and the Border Collie. As a medium-sized dog, your Aussiolie will generally weigh between 30-65 pounds and stand about 18-23 inches tall at the shoulder. Expect a sturdy, well-proportioned frame, reflecting the strong herding heritage from both parent breeds.


The facial features of an Aussiolie often show a bright, alert expression, with eyes that may captivate you with their varied colors, including brown, blue, or even heterochromia (two different colored eyes). The Aussiolie’s head is finely chiseled, and its ears are either pricked like the Australian Shepherd’s or floppy like the Border Collie’s.

Coat And Colors

When it comes to their coat, Aussiolies inherit a double coat that can be straight or slightly wavy, and it’s typically of a medium to long length. While they are not hypoallergenic and are known for heavy shedding, their fur requires regular grooming to keep it looking its best. 

You’ll find them in a variety of colors, including black, white, blue, red, and the distinctive merle patterns, which manifest in patches of color spread throughout the coat. The red-colored Aussiolie might closely resemble the red Australian Shepherd, with both breeds sharing a vibrant and lush fur coat.

As a blend of two intelligent and active breeds, the Aussiolie is a happy, friendly, and energetic companion. Not only are they a joy to be around, but their intelligence and loyal nature make them highly trainable. Originating from working dog lineage, they thrive on physical and mental stimulation, so they fit in best with active families that can provide them with plenty of exercises and activities. Whether playing fetch or going for a hike, your Aussiolie will be by your side, eager and ready for the next adventure.

Temperament and Behavior of the Border Aussie

Dog on pool float. Border Collie Australian Shepherd mix dog lying on a pink inflatable float in a blue swimming pool looking relaxed, happy, goofy, funny, cute, hot, adventurous, ready for summer.

When you’re looking into the Border Aussie, a mix between an Australian Shepherd and a Border Collie, you’re looking at a dog that’s lively, smart, and full of drive. Their herding instincts are strong, and they thrive on both physical and mental challenges.

Personality Traits

Energy Level: High. The Border Aussie is a bundle of energy. If you’re dreaming of a laid-back lapdog, this mix might not be for you. These dogs are energetic and playful, ready to engage in activities at a moment’s notice.

  • Drive: Full of purpose, always on the go.
  • Intelligent: Quick learners and thinkers, known for smart decisions.
  • Eager to Please: They love to make you happy, which makes training a breeze.
  • Protective: With a natural protective streak, they keep an eye on their home and family.
  • Friendly: They’re quite sociable when properly introduced to new friends.

Herding Instincts

A Border Aussie’s herding instincts are prominent. Whether you have sheep or not, you might notice your dog tries to herd you, the kids, or other pets. Their herding background means they like order and may gently nudge things where they think they should be.

  • Herding: It’s in their genes, so don’t be surprised when they show these traits.
  • Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA): It’s important to check for this, as it’s a heritable condition common in herding breeds.

Mental and Physical Stimulation Needs

You’ve got a brainy buddy in a Border Aussie. They need plenty of mental stimulation to keep boredom at bay. Without it, they can get destructive.

  • Exercise: Daily workouts are a must. Think long walks or runs, plus dog sports like agility and flyball.
  • Games: Mind-engaging games and training can sap some of that sharp mental energy.
  • Stimulation: Keep their minds and bodies busy, and you’ll both be happier.

Remember, the Border Aussie is a dedicated, vivacious family dog that’s often the life of the party. Just make sure you’re ready for the energetic commitment they require.

Training and Exercise

red and white Border Collie Australian Shepherd dog getting exercise by jumping in the sky active

Australian Shepherd Border Collie mixes are intelligent and energetic, thriving on mental stimulation and regular exercise. Your dog’s herding instincts and eagerness to please make them highly trainable, but it’s important to keep them physically and mentally active.

Training Techniques

Training your Australian Shepherd Border Collie mix should focus on positive reinforcement. These dogs are smart and can learn quickly when motivated by rewards like treats, praise, or play. Start training early to harness their intelligence and herding instincts:

  • Socialization: Introduce your dog to various people, animals, and situations to promote well-rounded behavior.
  • Mental Stimulation: Incorporate puzzle toys and games that challenge their mind.
  • Consistency: Use clear and consistent commands to help your dog understand what you expect.
  • Short Sessions: Keep training sessions short and fun to hold their attention and prevent frustration.

Exercise Requirements

Your Australian Shepherd Border Collie mix has a high energy level and requires plenty of exercise to stay healthy and happy. These active dogs benefit from engaging in agility training or other canine sports, which also provide excellent mental and physical stimulation:

  • Daily Exercise: Aim for at least 60 minutes of vigorous activity per day.
  • Variety: Alternate between walks, runs, hikes, and play sessions to keep exercise interesting.
  • Working Dog Activities: If possible, involve your dog in herding exercises or other working dog activities that let them use their natural instincts.

Remember, consistent exercise is key to managing your dog’s energy and preventing behavior issues related to boredom and excess energy.

Grooming and Care of the Australian Shepherd Border Collie Mix

Taking care of your Australian Shepherd Border Collie mix means keeping up with their grooming needs and ensuring their diet supports their health.

Coat Maintenance

Your mix has a thick double coat that sheds. Regular brushing — a few times a week — is key to prevent tangles and mats. During shedding season, you might need to brush daily. This helps remove loose fur and distributes natural oils that keep their coat shiny.

  • Weekly Routine: Brush 2-3 times.
  • Shedding Season: Brush daily; use de-shedding tools. See this article on shedding in dogs.
  • Bathing: Once a month or as needed. Over-bathing can strip away natural oils.

Diet and Nutrition

Your dog’s diet is important. A balanced diet with enough protein and fat supports a healthy coat and overall health.

  • Protein: Essential for maintenance and growth.
  • Fat: Supports skin and coat health.
  • Avoid overfeeding: Maintain an ideal weight to reduce health risks.

Provide fresh water daily and monitor food intake closely to keep your pup in tiptop shape!

How do Australian Shepherds and Border Collies Compare in Terms of Intelligence?

When you’re looking at Australian Shepherds and Border Collies, you’re dealing with two of the smartest dog breeds out there. Therefore, mixing these two breeds will leave you with a super smart pup. They can learn new tricks and commands super quickly because they’re both bred to work and think on their feet — Australian Shepherds as ranch dogs and Border Collies as herding champs.

  • Australian Shepherds: Known for their problem-solving skills and ability to handle complex tasks. Surprisingly, they are only ranked 42nd out of 138 breeds in working and obedience intelligence. They’re super good at following instructions and they can adapt to new or changing situations without missing a beat.
  • Border Collies: These pups are often called the brainiacs of the dog world and considered the second smartest dogs in the world after the Poodle in working and obedience intelligence. They need mental stimulation just as much as physical exercise. They’re famous for figuring out puzzles and are often tops in obedience competitions because they can learn new commands really, really fast.

Now, if you’re thinking about how these breeds blend as a mix, imagine an uber-smart dog combo that’s both creative and quick. Your Australian Shepherd Border Collie mix might love activities like agility or flyball, which really show off their brains and brawn.

Here’s a simple scoop on their smarts:

TraitAustralian ShepherdBorder Collie
Learning SpeedFastVery fast
Problem SolvingHighVery high
ObedienceVery compliantExceptionally compliant
AdaptabilityAdjusts well to new situationsQuickly masters new situations

Remember, while both breeds are sharp as tacks, like any dog, they need plenty of love, training, and mental challenges to be their best selves.

Health and Wellbeing of The Australian Shepherd Border Collie Mix

close up of merle white and black Border Collie Australian Shepherd mix dog

When considering the Australian Shepherd Border Collie mix, it’s important to be aware of the breed’s potential health issues and ways to promote their wellbeing. This knowledge helps ensure your dog leads a happy, healthy life.

Common Health Issues

Your Australian Shepherd Border Collie mix may be predisposed to several health conditions. Being vigilant about these can help you catch any problems early:

  • Elbow dysplasia: This condition can cause lameness and discomfort in your dog’s front legs.
  • Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA): A hereditary condition that may affect your dog’s vision, sometimes severely.
  • Epilepsy: Watch out for signs such as seizures, as this neurological disorder can be present in the breed.

Healthcare Tips

Maintaining your Australian Shepherd Border Collie mix’s health involves regular veterinary check-ups and a few key practices:

  • Diet: Feed your dog a balanced diet that suits their age, size, and activity level.
  • Exercise and Mental Stimulation: These dogs need plenty of exercises and mental challenges to stay fit and happy.

How Long Does The Australian Shepherd Border Collie Mix Live?

  • On average, a healthy Australian Shepherd Border Collie mix lives between 12 to 15 years. Regular visits to the vet and a caring, active lifestyle can contribute to a lifespan on the higher end of this range. Ensure consistent health check-ups to address and manage any potential issues early on.

How Much Does A Border Aussie Puppy Cost?

Lucy, a four month old Australian ShepherdBorder Collie mix, sitting in the snow

When you’re looking to bring a Border Aussie puppy into your home, it’s important to know the potential cost. Prices can vary widely based on several factors such as breeder reputation, location, pedigree, and whether the puppy has received initial vaccinations and health checks.

  • Breeder Reputation: Established breeders who have a track record of healthy puppies may charge more.
  • Location: Depending on where you live, prices can be higher or lower based on demand and cost of living.
  • Pedigree: If the puppy’s parents are championship-winning dogs, the price could be higher.
  • Health Checks: Puppies that come with health guarantees, vaccinations, and microchipping will likely cost more up front.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what you might expect:

  • Lower End: $400 – $800
  • Average Price: $800 – $1,200
  • Higher End: $1,200 – $2,000+

Remember, while you might pay more for a puppy with health checks and clearances, this can save you on vet bills down the line. Additionally, adopting a puppy from a rescue can be less expensive, sometimes just covering the cost of care given by the rescue organization. Look for adoption options if you’re considering this route.

Be sure to budget for other initial expenses too, such as food, bedding, and toys. Your new furry friend will thank you for making their first few weeks as welcoming as possible.

Considerations for Potential Owners

When considering an Australian Shepherd Border Collie mix, it’s important to factor in their specific needs related to living space, family dynamics, time commitment, and the process of purchasing or adopting one of these active dogs.

Living Environment

Your Australian Shepherd Border Collie mix will thrive in an environment with ample space for exercise. Ideal living conditions include access to a fenced yard or proximity to open spaces like parks. If you live on a farm or ranch, this mix will likely excel, as their herding dog instincts will have ample room for expression.

Compatibility with Children and Pets

This breed mix is typically excellent with children, often being a loyal family pet. Early socialization is crucial to ensure they get along with other pets. Their herding instincts may kick in around smaller animals or children, so guiding them on appropriate behavior is key.

Time and Commitment

These dogs require significant time and commitment from their owners. They have high energy levels and need plenty of attention and exercise — mental and physical. Lack of activity can lead to unwanted behaviors, so be prepared to spend time training, playing, and possibly engaging in dog sports.

Purchasing and Adoption

The price of puppies can vary, so consider your budget. When looking to bring one of these dogs into your home, research reputable sources, whether you’re purchasing from a breeder or adopting. Assess the health and temperament of the puppy’s parents when possible, as these can influence your future pet’s characteristics.

Best Activities and Sports for the Border Collie Australian Shepherd Mix?

The Border Collie Australian Shepherd mix is an energetic and intelligent dog, known for its agility and stamina. Keeping them both mentally and physically active is key to their well-being. Here’s a list of activities and sports that are a great fit for this mix:

Agility Training: These dogs often excel in agility courses. Navigating obstacles like tunnels and jumps, it’s an ideal way for them to use their quickness and smarts.

  • Why it’s good: It provides exercise and mental stimulation.

Obedience Training: Regular obedience training is not just for good behavior. It gives your dog a sense of structure and purpose.

  • Advantages: Strengthens your bond and keeps their minds active.

Herding: It’s in their blood. Herding activities mimic the work they were bred for. Even if you don’t have sheep, herding trials or simulation games can get their instincts going.

  • Benefit: Satisfies their natural herding instinct.

Disc Dog: This is like playing fetch to the next level. Your dog catches flying discs and shows off impressive leaps.

  • Why try it: Good for exercise and building coordination.

Flyball: This relay race involves hurdles and retrieving a ball. It’s fast-paced and works great for active breeds.

  • What’s great about it: Enhances agility and promotes teamwork.

Remember, mental stimulation is just as important as physical exercise for your Border Collie Australian Shepherd mix. Regular interaction and engagement with these activities will help keep your furry friend happy and healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When considering an Australian Shepherd Border Collie mix, affectionately known as an Aussie Collie, you may have questions about their size, personality, and the adoption process. Here’s what you need to know.

What’s the typical size of an Australian Shepherd Border Collie mix?

The typical size of an Aussie Collie can vary, but they generally weigh between 30 to 65 pounds and stand about 18 to 23 inches tall at the shoulder. Since they are a mix of two medium-sized breeds, their size can often be somewhere in-between that of their parents.

Can you describe the personality traits of an Aussie Collie mix?

Aussie Collies are known for their intelligence, energy, and affectionate nature. They inherit a strong work ethic and are often eager to please, making them highly trainable. Keep in mind that this mix can be quite active and enjoys engagement through exercise, playing, or working tasks.

What’s the process for adopting an Australian Shepherd Border Collie mix?

To adopt an Aussie Collie mix, start by reaching out to local shelters or breed-specific rescues. The process usually involves an initial application, a meeting with the dog, a home visit, and sometimes a fee. Plan to spend some time finding the right match, as rescue organizations prioritize the well-being of the dog and the suitability of their new home.

Final Thoughts

When you’re considering an Australian Shepherd Border Collie mix, you’re looking at a dog with a blend of traits that could fit well in an active home. These dogs are known for their intelligence and energy, which means you’ll need to give them plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.

Here’s what you should remember about your Aussie-Border Collie mix:

  • Exercise: Daily walks, runs, or play sessions are a must.
  • Training: Start early, as these dogs learn quickly and love to please.
  • Companionship: They thrive on human interaction and can be great family pets.

Remember, every dog is an individual and may not fit every generalization. For instance, noise reactivity can vary widely among individual dogs, so you’ll want to get to know yours. And, like all breeds, they can have health concerns, which means regular vet check-ups are important.

In caring for your Aussie-Collie mix:

  • Keep them physically active.
  • Engage them with training challenges.
  • Prioritize their health and wellbeing.

If you make the commitment, you’re likely to have a loyal and loving companion for years to come.

Meet Your Experts

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Tamsin De La Harpe


Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.