Aussies and Border Collies

Aussies may appear to be Border Collies without tails to those unfamiliar with each breed.

Generally, Border Collies are lighter and smaller in stature than Australian Shepherds, though this is more common in the working line BCs, with the show line ones converging more and more on the size and weight of show Aussies.

The most common Border collie color is Black Bi, though border collies can be many more color combinations than Australian Shepherd.

Temperament-wise, the Border collie is a little more flighty or timid, a workaholic, and far more energetic. It has a different working style than the Australian Shepherd. It has been said that a good rancher has both breeds, “the BC works better from distances, and the Aussie supplies the punch.”

So, how do you tell from that picture which is the Aussie and which is the Border Collie? You can’t sometimes. Give aways tend to be taillessness or ear set and that’s about it. There certainly is an overlap in “type” or “look” of the two breeds, but well bred Australian Shepherds and BCs should be generally discernible to the educated eye.

For more information on Border Collies, visit this site.

And how does an Aussie work compared to the Border Collie? The layman may not know to expect a difference, but there is. Both breeds were developed for a different purpose and their behavioral traits when working exhibit this. Please visit “Aussie Info” for more information about the traits of this working dog and the history of the Australian Shepherd as a ranch hand.

And what about other breeds?

Many people looking to compare breeds may want to check out these dogs, similar in function or appearance.

German Koolie (or Coolie) – Probably had a lot to do with our breed’s development

Australian Cattle Dog – aka Blue Heeler, Queensland

English Shepherd – a rare breed


Collie – there’s probably an element of the collie in the Aussie, see also Shetland Sheepdog

Miniature Australian Shepherd – originally of the same stock, this breed does exhibit some differences

Catahoula Leopard Dog – another American breed

Bernese Mountain Dog – similar coloration to the black tri

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever – This dog looks like a red Aussie with a tail, and is the only non-herding dog similar in appearance.