Border Collie vs Bearded Collie: Which One Is Better?

No two dogs are the same. It is essential to do your due diligence and determine your expectations to ensure you and your new pup will have a long and successful relationship. Especially between a Border Collie and a Bearded Collie, deciding to get one could be a tough choice. Answer the questions below to get an idea.

  • Do you have an active lifestyle or you’re more laid-back?
  • Do you have kids or planning to have one?
  • Do you have spare cash for dog expenses like vet visits, emergencies, foods, services and the likes?
  • Can spend time to socialize and train your pet?

Characteristics Comparison of Border Collie vs Bearded Collie

The Border Collie and the Bearded Collie have similarities, and distinct differences. Both have a natural herding instinct. However, when it comes to their unique characteristics, the two breeds diverge.

Characteristic/BreedBorder CollieBearded Collie
HeightMale: 19 to 22 inches
Female: 18 to 21 inches
Male: 21 to 22 inches
Female: 20 to 21 inches
Weight30 to 55 pounds45 to 55 pounds
ColorsBlue merle, blue, black, white and blue, white and red, white and red merle, seal, saddleback sable, white ticked, slate, white and blue merle, red merle, gold, brindle, white and seal, white and gold, white and black, sable merle, lilac, sable, and redBlue, brown, black and frown
MarkingsMerle markings, white markings, tan points, tickedWhite and tan markings, and white markings
Lifespan12 to 15 years12 to 14 years

History of Border Collie and Bearded Collie

how the Bearded Collie was discovered

Throughout history, breeds of canines much like the Border Collie of today have been helping farmers with their work, going as far back as the 1st century BC. However, all of the present-day Border Collies can be traced back to one single ancestor, a dog known as Old Hemp.

During the first century, the Romans invaded the British Isles. They brought dogs with them that were used to herd and manage their livestock. These dogs quickly propagated throughout Britain, as well as Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

The Bearded Collie is an ancient breed in Europe. Its moniker has evolved over the years. It has been referred to as the Highland Collie or Mountain Collie as well. Numerous farmers bred herding dogs for a long time, this makes the actual origin of Bearded Collie is unknown. Although it is thought to have started in Scotland in 1500s. This breed was brought to the United States in the late 1950s, yet the first litter of Bearded Collie puppies did not appear until 1967.

Appearance of Border Collie vs Bearded Collie

Though they may have similar names, Border Collie and Bearded Collie are two different dogs. Their appearance is distinct from each making them a unique breed of their own.

Size of Bearded Collie vs Border Collie

The Border Collie is a medium-sized dog. Its immense energy level can make it seem much bigger. Generally, these dogs can weigh 30 to 55 pounds. They usually measure from 18 to 22 inches at the shoulder. Although there can be variations, most of them fit within this size bracket.

On the other hand, a female Bearded Collie measure up to 51 to 53 cm in height at the withers, whereas 53 to 56 cm in male. Weight is usually somewhere from 39 to 59 pounds, with the female breeds being slightly lighter.

Coats & Colors

Border Collie comes with two different types of coats: rough and smooth. Both coats consist of two layers, including a thicker outer layer and a softer inner layer. The rough version has a medium length coat that includes feathers on the legs, chest, and abdomen. The smooth version has a shorter, usually coarser texture than the rough type, and the feathers are minimal.

Bearded Collies are four-colored, with the options being black, blue, brown, or fawn. They usually have patches of white. The pigmentation of their noses, eyes, and lips is the same as their coat color. For example, black Bearded Collies have black pigmentation, blue ones have greyish-blue pigmentation, and brown ones have brown pigmentation.

Personality & Temperament of Bearded Collie vs Border Collie

what's the personality of your dog

Different dogs have different personality and temperament. Luckily, the Border Collie and Bearded Collie are both loving, loyal and affectionate dogs. Packed high levels of energy, interested owners must be able to give their daily requirements.

Family of Border Collie vs Bearded Collie

Border Collie and Bearded Collie make great companions for households. However, they require a home with a spacious backyard so they can get plenty of exercise. Bred to herd and manage sheep, they are ideal for families with active lifestyle.


Border Collies are energetic, tend to be even-tempered, and love to please their owners. They can also get along with kids other animals, as long as they are properly introduced to each other. These are reasons why they can be great family pet.

However, they can also be overhyped. It would be better to have them in a home with older children. Like with any other dogs, it is important to supervise playtime between your Border Collie and the kids to ensure safety for everyone. This ensures that everyone is safe and content.

Similarly, Bearded Collies, Bearded Collies can easily get together with kids. They don’t usually show aggression towards other dogs and they love to run around with young children, puppies and smaller dogs. However, it’s critical to remember that they are bred to be herding dogs, so they could try to herd cats or get toddlers to stay in line.

Other People

Dogs that are friendly to outsiders will show their happiness by wagging their tails. Some could be affectionately rubbing against them. While other dogs are timid, uninterested, or hostile, a pup that was exposed to different types of individuals at a young age, will likely react more positively to strangers when they reach adulthood. Still, it is important to note that even the friendliest dogs should be kept on a leash when someone is around. This is applicable whether you have a Border Collie, a Bearded Collie or any other breed that you have at home.

Nevertheless, a pup that was exposed to different types of individuals at a young age, will likely react more positively to strangers when they reach adulthood.

Dogs & Other Animals

Border Collies are usually quite social. They typically appreciate the companionship of other dogs. If exposed to cats from the start, they can become accustomed to their presence.

Introducing Bearded Collie puppies to other pets can have a positive. However, owners may need to seek assistance from an expert in order to create a harmonious living arrangement. In many cases, these canines enjoy playing with cats.

Behaviour Issues

Establishing a good foundation with positive training techniques is key to having a successful relationship with a new puppy or an older dog. When it comes to behavioral issues, it’s important to take into account the entire situation. This will make you realize of what is causing it in the first place. After all, knowing why these issues arise is the initial step towards resolving and avoiding them.

  • Exercise – for dogs to be content, they need to have some form of physical activity. If you think walking them does the job, think again. With these two dogs, you need to think of something better that’ll deplete their energy. which is often not fulfilled by merely taking them on a walk while they are leashed.
  • Mental stimulation – mental stimulation can be just as exhausting as physical effort. Hiding your pup’s food or scattering it around the garden can be an enriching activity.
  • Health – when dogs suffer from health issues, they often display similar behavior to humans, such as being irritable or not behaving like usual. Examples of illnesses and conditions that can affect dog’s behavior include hip dysplasia, thyroid issues, dental pain, arthritis, epilepsy/seizures, skin allergies, ear infections, yeast infections, digestive problems, deafness, environmental allergies, blindness and cancer.

Training & Exercise of Border Collie vs Bearded Collie

In most cases, a healthy, adult Border Collie and Bearded Collie must be given a minimum of 1 hour exercise daily.

The amount of exercise a dog needs is determined by factors similar to its health, age, and overall fitness. Dogs used for work or participating in dog sports will require more exercise than those that are kept as pets. Then again, puppies and old dogs should have less exercise to protect their bones and joints.

Border Collies and Bearded Collies are more active when their minds are engaged, so they love activities that stimulate both their bodies and minds. Some activities that they’ll probably love are:

  • Flyball
  • Obedience
  • Agility
  • Trials
  • Heelwork
  • Disc dog

Taking Care & Maintenance of Border Collie vs Bearded Collie

Apart from offering love and friendship, owners should also take appropriate steps to make sure their dog is in top condition. The following six items have been advised by vets:

  1. Watch the weight of your dog
  2. Exercise your dog daily
  3. Provide them a healthy and balanced diet
  4. Bring them to vet at least once per year to check on their general health
  5. Make sure your dog is vaccinated against fatal diseases like parvo, rabies, panleukopenia and distemper
  6. Keep them free of ticks, fleas and other parasites

Grooming of Border Collie and Bearded Collie

grooming tools for your dog

Selecting the best grooming tool for your dog is a difficult process. Knowing that there are tons of dog brushes available, it’s easy to get lost in the process. Check out the tips below:

  • Slicker brush – this feature a row of thin wire pins that are placed close to each other. This type of brush is effective for getting rid of any loose fur and untangling knots, and the wires are slightly tilted to prevent scratching the skin.
  • Rake brush – designed to remove knots and old fur close to the pup’s skin. They generally resemble a shaving blade and have either one or two lines of tightly-spaced pins.
  • Stripping brush – this has narrow, high-quality stainless steel wires that are packed tightly together. This type of comb is ideal for removing excess fur without tugging on the undercoat. It’s perfect for coats that are wiry.


With regards to shedding fur, the Border Collie can be considered “average”. For the most part of the year, you’ll notice moderate shedding. This can be easily managed by brushing them once or twice every week to take away any dead hair. Every six months, your companion will experience to what they call as “shedding season”. This occurs in the spring and fall as your dog changes its coat in preparation for the weather ahead.

Bearded Collies have a lengthy two-layer coat that sheds regularly throughout the year. But it could go into overdrive the season changes. To preserve their coat and keep shedding to a minimum, frequent brushing is necessary.

Health of Border Collie vs Bearded Collie

Dog owners who are devoted to their pets aspire to give them the best care. When you adore your dog, you want them to be healthy and content. Help them to stay fit by sticking to some general health rules, such as:

  • Regularly visiting a vet
  • Ensuring they get the right nutrition
  • Exercising them routinely
  • Having their dental health examined
  • Doing consistent grooming

Life Span of Border Collie and Bearded Collie

Border Collie and Bearded Collie generally live a long life. The average life for these dogs are at least 12 to 13 years and 14 to 15 years respectively. Of course, they can only achieve these figures if you will be able to care for them and attend to their needs.

Diet & Nutrition

It is important to provide your Border Collie with a balanced diet. This could comprise of raw meat, vegetables, bones, fish, muscle meats, eggs, and other items. However, it is not advised to include grain in their diet. It is hard for them to digest and often results in allergies. To ensure optimal health, you can also give them supplements such as kelp and fish oil.

No matter if you give your Bearded Collie a store-bought or homecooked meal, it should have all the necessary nutrients. Here is an outline of the components that should be included in your pup’s diet.

  • Protein – this is an essential nutrient for a healthy diet. It is the main component of skin, muscles, connective tissue, hair, and nails. Beef, fish, eggs, and lamb are some of the primary sources of protein for dogs. It is recommended that a Bearded Collie consume 20%-22% of protein daily.
  • Fat – fat is vital for your dog to have enough energy. Not only does it fuel them, but it also keeps the skin, coat, and kidneys, function normally. Too much fat, though, can be the cause of obesity. So only give them 5 to 8 percent of fat in their diet.
  • Fiber – including fiber in your pup’s diet can keep their weight in check. Also, it helps in improving their gastrointestinal health. It is also beneficial for dogs with diarrhea and constipation. It is recommended to give your dog 2-5 percent fiber in their daily nutrition.

Health Issues

No matter how old your dog is, you have a major part to play in aiding them to fight sickness and stay healthy. Your pup can’t tell you what’s wrong. They can only demonstrate to you signs of illness. Being aware of the signs is one way to reduce the chances of your pet getting affected by them.

  • Drooling or foul breath
  • Change in appetite along with sudden weight gain or loss
  • Constant urination or drinking
  • Change in their activity like losing interest in things they usually love
  • Difficulty in moving
  • Labored breathing, excessive panting or coughing
  • Sores, shaking of the head, lumps, itchy or dry skin
  • Dry, cloudy or red eyes
  • Change in their bowels

Cost of Border Collie vs Bearded Collie

When you search for Border Collies that were specifically bred to be family pets, the cost usually falls between $500 and $1,800. However, you can sometimes find them online for as low as $250 and up to $1,000. On the other hand, if you search from the American Kennel Club, a pup may cost you from $1,500 to $2,500.

If you decide to get a Bearded Collie however, the average price for a pup is at least $1,300. Depending on the breeder and location, that can range anywhere from $850 to $2,600.


getting a Bearded Collie

Cost of puppy ownership doesn’t end on buying the actual dog. There are long-term expenses that must be foreseen to become well-prepared of what lies ahead. Following are common costs that you may encounter in the future:

  1. Dental check – around 1/3 of dogs develop some sort of dental problems as they reach 3 years old. Dental check is vital to prevent this from happening.
  2. Vaccination – vaccines are essential part of dog ownership. It prevents viruses from hitting your dog.
  3. Neuter/spay – unneutered dogs have the possibility to show aggression as they grow. Neutering or spaying significantly lowers this odd.
  4. Medications – similar to humans, dog will inevitably suffer from health problems. Preventive medications play a role in keeping your dog healthy for as long as they can be.
  5. Flea control – fleas are very common in dogs. If you see one in your dog, have it treated ASAP. These creatures spread fast and that’s the last thing you want for your beloved dogs.

Breeders & Centers

Perhaps, you’ve come to a decision to get a new Border Collie or Bearded Collie from a rescue center. There are lots of good reasons for doing it like the fact that rescue animals are already house trained. Meaning, you have more time to cuddle and walk with them without spending much time on training.

There’s also the fact that you’re giving the animal a second chance in life. If you can give them love and affection and a nice home, why not get one from a rescue center?

Conclusion: Which Is Better, Border Collie or Bearded Collie?

When it comes to choosing between a Border Collie or a Bearded Collie, it is important to consider the qualities of each breed. Border Collies are known for their intelligence, agility, and energy. They make excellent working dogs, as they are highly trainable and have the stamina to work all day long. On the other hand, Bearded Collies are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and playfulness. They make great family dogs, as they are affectionate and gentle.

In terms of physicality, Border Collies are known for their medium-sized builds and long, double-layered coats. With Bearded Collies, they’re larger than Border Collies coupled with a long single-layered coat.

Ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide which breed of dog is the best fit for them. At the end of the day, Border Collies and Bearded Collies are wonderful breeds of dogs and make great companions.

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