Are you an outdoor adventurer or live on a ranch and looking for a canine companion? We may have the perfect mix for you! Meet the Australian Collie, a combination of the two most esteemed herding breeds in the world: The Australian Shepherd and the Border Collie.
The Australian Collie inherits some of the best characteristics of the parent breeds including intelligence, agility, tracking, and herding. Despite the overwhelmingly positive attributes, this breed is not a mix for everyone. This breed will need a job to do and, if you can give them one, they will amaze you with how well they do it.
If you’re looking for your next Netflix buddy, the Australian Collie is not for you. The Aussie Collie will demand you get up and get going! However, if you love the outdoors, are extremely active or live on a property that requires herding of any sort, you might want to consider adding an Australian Collie to your family.
Designer dogs are the product of breeding two different purebred parents. This practice, although frowned upon by breed “purists,” has resulted in healthier dogs and endless possibilities of adorable new breeds, including the Australian Collie which is the resulting mix of a purebred Australian Shepherd and a purebred Border Collie.
While there are many benefits to breeding designer dogs, they also come with a level of unpredictability. Their purebred parents have been bred for generations to have formularized appearances and traits. Their designer puppies can inherit different attributes from either parent, so it’s hard to anticipate how a mixed breed will look and act.
Learning about her more predictable parent breeds can help in understanding an Australian Collie. So let’s take a deeper look into the roots and examine the Australian Shepherd and the Border Collie.
The Border Collie is described by the American Kennel Club as “affectionate, smart and energetic.” This breed is classified into the “herding group” of canines and is known for their drive to work, near-endless endurance, and a reputation for being the most intelligent breed of dog. While this is high-praise, this also means the breed requires intense amounts of exercise and stimulation to remain well-balanced and happy. Border Collies span between 18 to 22 inches in height and 30 to 55 pounds, with males being slightly larger. This breed has a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.
The Border Collie originated in the hills of the English-Scottish border, hence the name, for the purpose of herding sheep in the highlands. Although recognized by the AKC in only 1995, the Border Collie has been champion of sheep herding for more than a hundred years. Border Collies excel in canine competitive sports such as agility and flyball and the impressive physical abilities have contributed to the steadfast popularity as both a working and companion dog.
The border collie is a popular purebred dog that often gets mixed with other breeds to create designer dogs. Some of these include the Border Rottweiler Mix, the Husky Border Collie, and the GSD mixed with a Border.
Like the Border Collie, the Australian Shepherd is classified into the herding group and is described as “smart, work-oriented and exuberant.” This breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1993. Australian Shepherds fall between 18 and 23 inches tall and weigh between 40 and 65 pounds. Their life expectancy is 12-15 years.
The Australian Shepherd’s origins are somewhat of a mystery. They did not originate in Australia, a surprising find considering their name, and the exact birthplace has been disputed by breed enthusiasts. However, they were likely bred from Collies in the United States for the purpose of sheep herding. The breed gained traction in the 1950s and has remained a popular breed ever since. Many Australian Shepherds work as Service Animals, search and rescue canines, and therapy dogs due to their trainability. The Aussie is also a popular designer dog, being a parent breed for other designer dogs like the Aussie Pom and the Aussiedoodle mix.
Aussie Collie Mix
Like both parents, the Australian Collie, also known as Aussieollie and Border-Aussie, is an extremely capable herding dog who thrives when they are given a job. this mix is a fairly new designer breed with unknown origins but is recognized by both the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC) and the Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC). With parent breeds of similar build and temperament, we can anticipate much about the Australian Collie. Let’s take a look!
The Australian Collie is a canine of medium build who tends to favor a Border Collie in appearance. This mix has a narrow muzzle and can either sport a long Border Collie tail or an Australian Shepherd bobtail.
Heterochromia is not uncommon for Australian Collies. This condition causes one eye color to differ from the other. Common variants are brown, blue, and green and result in a striking, multi-colored gaze.
The Australian Collie is certainly not a low-energy pup. This breed is curious, lively, assertive and, like the parent breeds, extremely hard-working. If they are given the appropriate outlet for all this energy, they can be an impressive trainee with a positive disposition who loves being around family and is excellent with children.
It’s important to note that without proper physical and mental stimulation, this breed can easily become maladjusted and bored. This often leads to destructive behaviors, with the most common manifestation being obsessive chewing. Because of this, first-time dog owners without the time or space to dedicate to this intelligent, athletic breed are probably not the best fit for an Australian Collie.
A well-balanced, well-socialized Australian Collie is a wonderful family dog who has a quiet and calm disposition. The Aussie Collie bonds well with all members of their family, is friendly and outgoing with visitors and loves to play!
Known for being exceptionally cooperative, an Australian Collie should give you no difficulty while training. A firm but positive training approach is most efficient in producing a well-behaved Australian Collie pup.
Don’t let this breed’s teachability fool you into easing up once they have learned the basics. This breed craves new challenges and needs daily mental stimulation, so a consistent, on-going training regiment should be observed by any Australian Collie owner.
Like their parents, the Aussie collie has an innate desire to herd and they may try and steer people by nipping at their heels. It’s important to set boundaries early to suppress this instinct. If your Australian Collie will actually be performing herding duties, you should still make sure this breed understands this behavior is only acceptable when controlling livestock and is not appropriate for human friends and family.
As always, please use positive reinforcement while training. The Australian Collie is a sensitive breed who will not respond well to raised voices or harsh reactions. This will only serve to discourage her, they may become fearful of you and could set back your training goals. This mix craves positive reinforcement and will work hard to get it!
Exercise & Living Conditions
The intense exercise requirements are perhaps the most important thing to consider when deciding whether an Australian Collie is the right fit for you. This breed thrives with an active owner who can keep up with them. If you’re not the type who enjoys intense hikes or long runs, don’t worry! Giving an Australian Collie a job can also meet this pup’s needs. True to their roots, herding livestock is a great way to get an Australian Collie moving. If you don’t have access to a farm or ranch, canine sports and agility training are another great outlet as well. This vigorous activity should be maintained for at least one hour per day.
It’s not only about physical work. The Australian Collie’s active mind needs things kept interesting or this breed will get bored quickly and you really don’t want a bored Australian Collie on your hands. You may need to get creative and come up with exercises, games, and toys that will keep them engaged. If the Border Aussie becomes bored and left with pent up energy, they have a tendency to turn destructive and the Australian Collie loves to chew.
The ability to explore their surroundings and stretch their legs are important activities for this clever and energetic breed. We don’t recommend keeping them in an apartment because the limited space restricts these pursuits. However, with an owner who is committed to keeping them stimulated and meeting or exceeding exercise requirements, an Australian Shepherd can adapt well to an apartment setting.
Both of the Australian Shepherd and Border Collie parents are considered to be medium-sized canines. Naturally, an Australian Collie will be the same, weighing between 30 to 75 pounds and 18 to 22 inches high.
The Australian Shepherd is burlier than the Border Collie, who tends to have a more slender frame. Their puppies could fall on either end of this spectrum. If small dogs don’t appeal to you but you’re worried about a large dog taking up too much space, an Australian Collie might be that “sweet spot” you’re looking for!
Good news here! Both the Aussie and Border Collie are considered to be healthy breeds in general, meaning their offspring are likely to be as well. An Australian Collie who is well cared for has an average lifespan of about 10 to 14 years.
As with any dog, there are certain health concerns to look out for. In an Australian Collie these conditions are hip and elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, collie eye anomaly, thyroid disease, and cataracts. Australian Shepherds can sometimes be born deaf, blind or, in very rare cases, both. This is something any potential Australian Collie owner should be aware of.
While most of this is simply up to the genetics lottery, understanding these conditions, looking out for symptoms and getting them prompt medical attention can save your pup from prolonged pain in the future. Pairing this diligence with regular checkups, preventative healthcare, and staying up to date with vaccines and immunizations will set you and your pup up for a long and healthy life together.
An Australian Collie’s activity level should be considered when deciding on appropriate nutrition. This breed is a considerably energetic breed who burns many calories per day so they may require more food than other comparably sized, less active dogs. Because of the high activity level, she is not prone to obesity and does not need to be closely monitored for this in the same way other breeds do.
Many dog food brands will have a feeding guide listed on their product which can be helpful when deciding what’s appropriate for your individual Australian Collie. In general, 2 to 3 cups of quality, grain-free dry food per day should be sufficient. This is just a guideline and every individual Australian Collie’s needs will vary. It is important to speak with a vet to make sure you’re covering all essential nutrients with an adequate amount of protein and calories.
Coat & Colors
An Australian Collie tends to sport a double coat, with a medium-length topcoat and a thick undercoat for colder weather. This pup gets its length from their Border Collie side, but the texture of her coat tends to resemble that of their Australian Shepherd parent. Like their Border Collie parent, this breed is a moderate-to-heavy shedder.
The coat colors for an Australian Collie can come in many variations, color combinations, and patterns. These colors include black, white, red, brindle, blue merle, red merle, and tan. The merle pattern is one of the most popular colorings for this breed and is usually accompanied by the signature multicolored or marbled eyes.
You won’t find much difficulty when grooming an Australian Collie, they tend to be clean dogs and only require weekly brushing and monthly bathing. Brushing can be increased during shedding season to help reduce the amount of hair it sheds. This regiment may vary based on the length and thickness of their coat.
The Border Aussie is prone to ear infections so this area should be kept clean and checked regularly. This breed’s nails should be clipped once or twice per month to maintain clean and healthy paws. Tteeth should be brushed a few times a week.
This breed loves the outdoors so maintaining a proper grooming schedule is important in making sure it doesn’t bring home any souvenirs from their adventures. You should pay special attention that ticks haven’t made a home in their dense coat. If possible, this routine should begin when the breed is just a few weeks old in order to temper any fear or anxiety associated with the Aussie Collie’s grooming routine.
As Family Pets
Australian Collies have an impressive resume, but is the Aussie Collie right for you? Let’s take a look at what we’ve learned:
- They are both eager to please you and easy to train.
- This is a very intelligent breed that requires high levels of mental stimulation.
- The Breed descends from working dogs and thrives when given a job.
- This breed is also great with herding or canine sports.
- If not exercised properly, this breed will most likely exhibit destructive behaviors.
- This mix is a wonderfully loving and affectionate family dog that does exceptionally well with children.
- The breed should not be left alone for long periods of time due to the propensity for separation anxiety.
- Their high activity requirements make them better-suited for an active family.
- Although the Aussie Collie can adapt to apartment living with exercise, they prefer a backyard.
- This mix is not recommended for first-time dog owners.
- The Aussie Collie is the ideal companion for joggers, outdoor adventurers, farmers or ranchers.
Finding Your Border Aussie
When looking for an Australian Collie, it can be helpful to speak with your local Australian Shepherd and Border Collies clubs who can point you in the direction of a reputable breeder.
However, you can easily search the internet and find a breeder who specializes in Australian Collie mixes. Do your due diligence before reaching out. It’s very important that you find a reputable, trusted breeder that operates ethically and in the best interest of their dogs.
When choosing a breeder, you can ask to see the health certificates for the parent dogs and meet your puppy and the parents in person. A legitimate breeder should never object to these requests. Reading reviews of the breeder can also give you peace of mind that you are purchasing from a respected breeder. Never purchase from puppy mills or puppy farms. They are becoming illegal in many states due to inhumane practices and many of the dogs bred from these facilities are unhealthy.
Before shopping, consider adopting! Australian Collie mixes are very handsome, however many people purchase them without understanding the physical and mental demands of this breed. Because of this, it is unfortunately quite common for Australian Collie mixes to end up in animal shelters. Thanks to online rescue sites, finding an Australian Collie mix is almost easier than adopting a designer dog puppy. Rescuing saves lives – please consider adoption!
Puppies & Prices
The average litter size for an Australian Collie is between 5 and 7 puppies. These puppies can vary in cost usually increased based on the pedigree of the parents, the location of the breeder, and the coat colors of the pup. On average, an Australian Collie will fetch anywhere from a couple hundred to a thousand dollars.
The most popular coloring is the signature merle markings and puppies will this unique coat will be more expensive, as will puppies purchased from breeders in locations where this mix is very popular.
Adoption is always a worthwhile option to consider and the drop in price alone may be worth finding an Australian Collie rescue. Rescue organizations usually only require a donation fee to cover a portion of your new pup’s medical costs, a fraction of what you’d pay from a breeder.
The Australian Collie is beautiful, athletic, friendly and loving. This mix is a real stunner and an excellent family dog. Their energetic spirit will bring endless amounts of joy to your home. If you are willing and dedicated to meeting this amazing breed’s physical and mental requirements, they may be just the companion you’re looking for!
March 4, 2023 at 6:35 pm
I recently had a Boarder Collie and Australian Shepherd I knew nothing about these two beautiful breeds. I rescued this beautiful boy his name was Koda. I rescued him when he was a year and a half.I miss him terribly and I wish I knew about this beautiful breed I wish I could of done more for him. Love you Koda R.I.P
December 13, 2022 at 3:01 pm
I have had my ASBC for 3 years now. I got her when she was 12 weeks old (long story). Hopefully without being too pretentious, I can say this is the best dog I have ever seen and certainly the best dog I’ve ever owned. We do live in town, but have a fairly large back yard. She’s in the house quite a bit but loves reigning over her backyard domain. She Will not tolerate rabbits, squirrels or other small invaders - lol. Although we have none at home, she is simply excellent with kids, and seems to know the difference in kids ages. Younger ones, including babies, are treated very gently while she will play hard with older kids. Although fenced, she won’t leave home if gates are left open (and they usually are). She seems to understand English and is way ahead of other dogs when you issue commands. Easiest dog to train I’ve ever had. Just tell/show her and she’ll do it - and will never forget the command. She will only chew toys that we give her so it’s fine to leave her alone in the house (for short periods). I say short periods because she’s really happy when you return and thinks she’s due a treat for staying home. She inherently knows which humans (and dogs) she should interact with and which to pass on, and seems to have a goal of being everyone’s best friend. Definitely a “wow” dog. Others who know/meet her agree. I recommend this breed (daaaa).
October 4, 2022 at 4:18 pm
I have 2 of them.... Aussie Collies.. So far so good. I have property and will be ordering an agility training course for them. They are litter mates 41/2 months old. I picked my Rossco and Rusty needed a home. No one picked him so I brought him home a week later. I had my concerns but so far it's been a rewarding experience. Their already trained to do their duty outside...2 pee accidents and that's it! They sit, give paw and lay down on command (and of course I give them treats) and now their fetching. If anyone has any further advice,I'd appreciate it. Am I nuts for getting 2...and from the same litter. I had a purebred Aussie prior and he passed at 15 yrs old. I loved him and I got him as an adult dog. He was a rescue...mistreated as a pup. He came home with me and turned out to be the best. Had trust issues at first but then he was home...and loved. Even as an adult dog he was easy to train which is why I opted for another breed similar. Just didn't expect 2 😁 should I have separate time with them as well as time altogether?
January 21, 2021 at 7:34 pm
I have had a Border-Aussie since she was age 1 year and she is now 8. She is the most loyal and attentive dog I have ever had. She is very much a one-person dog, although she gets along with other adults quite well. The only thing in your article I strongly disagree with is that this breed makes "an excellent family dog."
My pooch doesn't understand children. My guess is that she thinks they are "small animals." When my grandkids come over (ages 1-4) I have to crate her because she gets too excited around them. At 50 pounds, this dog is very strong and athletic. She can easily knock a child down without any malicious intent. I think it is the Aussie part of the breed.
I also have experience with a pure Border Collie who was very gentle around young kids.
January 22, 2021 at 4:01 am
Hi David! Thanks for the feedback! The Border Aussies I've met were all great with my kiddos. I think there's always some dogs that are a little more excitable around kids. I think it's very much dog dependent, especially for mixed breeds. I do appreciate your feedback though, always good for potential owners to hear about experiences from all sides.
January 8, 2021 at 12:01 am
We lost our ASBC Gabby 2 years ago. She was truly the best dog ever. Amazing breed and would give anything to find another one.
January 9, 2021 at 6:35 am
Thanks for the comment Sarah, and sorry for your loss. Hopefully, you can find a new canine companion sometime soon. Good luck!