Border Collie vs Bernese Mountain Dog: Major Differences

Border Collies (BC) and Berners are both special breeds in their own right. The BC is known for its great energy, high level of intelligence, alertness, and responsiveness. Bernese Mountain Dog on the other hand is calmer, more patient and affectionate than BCs, which makes them a wonderful family pet.

Though they have their differences, these two dogs are somewhat reserved to strangers. But if introduced at a young age to people and other animals, they can get along just fine.

History of Border Collie vs Bernese Mountain Dog

black and white Border Collie

Border Collies have evolved into an extremely intelligent, athletic, and excitable dog breed. They have been bred for centuries in Northumberland on the border between England and Scotland to herd sheep.

The origins of the Border Collie breed are unclear. But historians believe it is related to two ancient canine breeds:

  1. Roman drover dogs that were brought to Britain two thousand years ago
  2. Viking Spitz-like dogs that invaded Britain 1200 years ago

Border Collies are now regarded as the best dogs for herding because of their innate desire to herd.

Bernese Mountain Dog on the other hand originated in Switzerland. They’re believed to be a descendant of Roman Mastiffs thousands of years ago.

These dogs were both companions and workers in the 1800s. They were used to guide livestock, protect farms, and even assist owners in pulling heavy loads. As machines replaced much of their work towards the end of the century, its popularity begins to decline. This, however, encouraged the creation of clubs to preserve the breed and its popularity.

The Bernese Mountain Dog was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1937. This was long after they came to the United States. Now, they’re among the country’s sought-after dog breeds.

Appearance of Border Collie and Bernese Mountain Dog

two dogs getting along together

Border Collies are a medium-sized athletic dog. They have this muscular physique. It conjures an image for them of having unlimited endurance and energy. These dogs could have two coats:

  1. Smooth – coarse and short
  2. Rough – feathered and medium-length

Regardless of what type of coat your BC has, it comes in different patterns and colors. At the same time, it would retain one special purpose. It’s to provide protection to them during harsh weather.

Perhaps, one of the best features that BCs have is their eyes.

It comes in light blue or brown and has an oval-shaped figure. Look into their eyes and you’ll see their focus and alertness.

Bernese Mountain Dog comfortably standing in water

When it comes to the Berners, they are pretty large and sport tri-color fur.

Complimenting their large figure is their masculine body type.

For males, they measure around 26 to 28 inches from the withers whereas for females, it’s 24 to 27 inches.

While these dogs look square-ish, their body is a tad longer and have sturdy bones. It is perfect to support their large figure.

Personality & Temperament of Borders vs Berners

Border Collies easily create a strong bond with the household. They’re awesome companions for children as well as other pets. As with Bernese Mountain Dog, they are calmer and relaxed indoors. They may not be the ideal pets for apartment living but if you have a big yard, you’ll see how fun these dogs are.

Border Collies are intelligent, active, affectionate, responsive and keen. This intelligent breed is a hard worker that is friendly but may have reservations with strangers. The Border Collie can also make a wonderful family dog for active owners who want to put in the time to exercise their dog daily. These dogs are faithful and loyal and will thrive on constant stimulation.

Another thing that dog owners love about their BCs is their response to training. It is outstanding which is the same reason why they’re frequently used for sniffing or mountain rescue.

Bernese Mountain dogs are intelligent, caring animals that love to be a part of the family. They are excellent with children and protective if necessary. They are social and require people to care for them. If you have cats or other pets, they can be great friends with them too. On the other hand, be mindful that this is likely to happen if they are given a proper introduction at a young age. Else, your Berner and other small pets would definitely have a great time.

Berners might bark on guests but will back down after a few minutes. Especially if they see that they’re with you. This could be attributed to their temperament. By the time your dog settles down, it’ll eventually show its sweet side, making them an awesome companion. Such breeds are alert, good-natured and confident. They are never shy from anything and are always alert.

Though, there is one thing that almost every Berner loves. This is to be exercised along with their owner. This is a dominant personality among these breeds so make sure you allot time to engage them in physical activities.

Training & Behavior of Border Collie vs Bernese Mountain Dog

Border collies are one of the smartest dog breeds in the world. For owners, it is vital to keep them stimulated both mentally and physically. It is critical to their happiness, well-being and health.

Border Collies excel at training. This could be associated with their determination to learn. You might just be surprised how good these dogs are when introduced to obedience training. If you wish to make the training sessions easier for the two of you, consider using positive reinforcements. Preferably, have treats available whenever they’ve done your command or shown good behavior. You’ll also never get wrong with walking on a lead and reliable recall. These two are proven methods that even experienced dog trainers do.

It is preferable if you’d refrain from using fear tactics in training your Bernese Mountain Dog. What you must do instead is to establish yourself as the pack leader. This can be done by showing thoughtfulness when interacting with them. Keep this in mind, Bernese Mountain Dogs respond easily with redirection, positive reinforcement and above everything else, consistency.

This dog is easy-going. Though they may be big, it is super easy to live with them. Training is not necessarily needed either. However, you will need to give them basic training. This ensures that they’ll be a forever reliable member of your family.

Grooming of Border Collie and Bernese Mountain Dog

smooth coat Border Collie

Almost every BC owner and expert would agree that these dogs are heavy shedders. Especially when it is their molting season. Well, it does not really matter whether your Collie has a rough or smooth coat. These Collies ought to be groomed ideally once or twice a week.

well-groomed Bernese Mountain Dog

As with Bernese Mountain Dog, it is recommended to perform grooming on a daily basis. This is essential if you want to reduce their shedding. In the process, you assure that they are tangle-free too.

Health of Border Collie vs Bernese Mountain Dog

On the subject of health between Border Collie and Bernese Mountain dog, both breeds are considered to be healthy.

When it comes to Border Collie, they can live a long and full life. Collies could grow to up to 15 years. But not as long for Bernese Mountain dog. The majority of these breeds live a max of 10 years. However, just as with any other dog breed, these two dogs are not spared from health diseases. There are certain conditions that are pretty common between these breeds.

Border Collie’s Health

It is highly recommended to have your Border Collies checked by a vet for hip dysplasia. Also, see to it that they receive a complete eye exam. There are other possible health issues that they may suffer from like:

Get them seen by a vet as soon as you get one. It is best to have these conditions averted than deal with them in the future.

Bernese Mountain Dog

For a Bernese Mountain Dog, the common health concern are aggressive types of cancers. This is primarily the reason why these breeds have a short lifespan. Similar to a Border Collie, they are susceptible to hip dysplasia as well.

But it is integral for owners to watch out for other health conditions too like Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus. This is otherwise known as GDV complex or simply, bloat. This is when the air starts to accumulate in the dog’s stomach that causing it to twist. It may sound nothing but it could be a life and death situation for your dog. As a matter of fact, it demands an emergency operation if your dog unfortunately suffered from one.

The moment that you got such dog, immediately talk to your vet to eliminate or lower the risks for the said condition.

Conclusion: Which One Is Better?

Sure, it is a tough to decide whether to get Border Collie or Bernese Mountain Dog. Both breeds have pros and cons. That’s why in the decision-making process, you have to take into account of your specific preferences and family needs. Soon enough, this will guide you on which dog is a better pick for you.

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