Collie vs Border Collie

Aside from being charming and witty, the Collie and Border Collie are undoubtedly two of the most popular dog breeds in history. Way back on its debut movie, Lassie took the Collie breed into the spotlight. And after many years, here comes the Border Collie taking its step to stardom. One of these is Fly, a black and white-coated resident farm dog in the movie “Babe“.

Both are popular, smart, and adorable. That’s why these two dogs are used interchangeably by many, especially by novice dog owners. But, what things differentiate the Border Collie vs Collie?

Border Collie vs Collie: Base Comparison

It is common knowledge that Great Britain is the home of popular herding dog breeds. One of these dog groups are the Collies that also have numerous variants under its umbrella. The Border Collie is among the well-known breeds of the said canine group, and it would be fascinating to examine how they differ from other kinds of Collies.

The Border Collie is medium built that is smaller and shorter compared to the Collie. Their weight is around 42 pounds. They have athletic and muscular stances regardless of their gender. From their shoulders, the male Border Collies have a height of 21 inches on average.

Country of OriginEnglandScotland
Weight27 - 45 lbs. 50 - 70 lbs.
Height18 - 25 inches22 - 26 inches
Coat TypeRough, Soft, Straight, ThickDense, Feathered, Short, Moderately Long
ColorsBlack & White, Brindle, Gold, Lilac, Merle, Red, Sable, Seal, Slate, Tan, TricolorBlack, White, Merle, Sable, Tan
Shedding LevelAverageHeavy
Energy LevelHigh EnergyAverage Energy
TrainabilityEasily trainableEasily trainable
Intelligence LevelOutstandingVery smart
LifespanAverage of 12 yearsAverage of 12 years

History of Border Collie vs Collie

As mentioned, the Collie group came from Great Britain and it initially appeared in Scotland 2,000 years ago. Their ancestors were the local herding dogs of Scotland and Roman dogs transferred to Britain. The resulting Collie breed had a low reputation being an assistant sheep rancher up to Queen Victoria’s time. Being a fanatic of the Collies, it gave way for the breed to gain popularity.

Black and white coated Border Collie on a snowy terrainAfter that, the American Kennel Club, which was also building up their devoted following, officially recognized the Collies. It was along with the recognition of the first other 13 breeds in 1885.

On the other hand, the Border Collie is the offspring of mating the Roman herding dogs with the Viking Spitz-type canines. Their popularity should be credited to their sturdy build and herding ability. With that, they perform best in rocky terrains. In 1995, the AKC finally recognized the Border Collie breed registration.

Appearance of Border Collie vs Collie

Although the Collie and the Border Collie belong in the same dog group category and are both considered as large dogs, they still have some differences when it comes to their appearance.

With a weight range of 50 to 70 pounds the Collie tends to be a little bigger than the Border Collie. The latter weighs around 30 to 55 pounds.

Upon standing, the Collie has a height of around 22 to 26 inches tall. That makes them taller than the Border Collie which stands at the height range of 18 to 25 inches.


One distinguishing feature separating the Border Collie vs Collie is their coat. All dog breeds under the Collie group have two coat types which are identified by rough-coated type that are very thick and looks either straight or a little bit wavy. And the smooth-coated ones that remains sleeky despite its short length.

The presence of coarse and medium-length fur around the belly, chest, and legs is a major characteristic of the rough Collie. Comparing that to the Border Collie’s coat, a shorter and smoother fur is at bay for this dog breed.


These two dog breeds display a plethora of coat colors. However, among the two, the Border Collie has dozens of colors available. From the very common sable, merle, tricolor patterns to slate, seal, lilac, and brindle shades, the Border Collie has it all.

Yet, if you are looking for a single solid-colored BC, you may get a little bit disappointed because this color is very rare to the breed. Meanwhile, the Collie canine type also has various color patterns which include blue, black, merle, tan, sable, white, and multi-colored coats.

Grooming & Shedding

Collie with white-colored fur standing outsideThe fur of the Collies and Border Collies are usually double-coated. Since these two breeds are shedders, they do shed seasonally whether it is a smooth or rough coat type.

Moreover, both of the rough and smooth Border Collies need a similar grooming requirement. Once or twice a week brushing is the ideal schedule to maintain the coat’s health of the BC. However, their coat requires everyday brushing during the shedding season.

In terms of the Collies, the smooth type needs lesser upkeep. Yet, it still needs frequent brushing. Demanding for additional care, rough Collies with long coats need it the most to prevent matting. And, just like the BC, extra grooming requirements should be given especially in the shedding months.

Personality & Temperament

Since the Collies and Border Collies are under the same canine category, their performance reflects their qualities of being working herding dogs. However, there are still some differences between them in terms of this aspect.

Aside from being an excellent herder, the Collies, in general, are also a good guard dog. However, this kind of temperament of the Collies may generally vary. Some may be very suspicious of strangers, while others have a strong urge to chase. There are also numbers of Collies that can bark extremely loudly compared to others.

If supported with proper socialization and training, the Border Collies are highly sociable and fearless. However, when it comes to strangers, this dog breed is quite slow to settle up.

Animals and kids that are smaller to them will usually gather up by the BC. For them, these creatures wandered off from where they belonged. This Border Collie personality is due to their strong herding instincts.

Border Collie & Collie Energy Level

Both of these herding dogs are great performers outdoors. They always want to roam around and explore the world surrounding them. That’s why, one distinguishable factor when comparing them is their energy level. Which among the Border Collie vs Collie has an intense energy?

Well, the Collies only demand for less exercise. They are already happy and satisfied with an everyday stroll at the park or a game night with their family. In contrast to this, the Border Collies need high-energy for them to use for flexibility and efficiency. The outdoorsy ambience and a spacious area to play in are what makes them happy.

Are They Good Family Dogs?

Collie dogs playing with their ownerWhen it comes to affection for their families, the Collies are undoubtedly a loyal dog breed. Although a herding instinct runs in their blood, they are actually calmer than the Border Collie. Their relationship among big families consists of affection, playfulness, and enjoyment. They are generally a protective member of the family and are always on the lookout for everyone.

Because of their activeness, the Border Collie is an amazing family dog. Yet, a skilled owner knowledgeable of taking care of them is what they really need. Perhaps, keeping them up with the appropriate training and socialization, the BC can perfectly make a great family pet.

Are They Good with Kids?

The calmer attitude of the Collie should be credited for their pleasant behavior towards children. Although the BC would be also good with the kids especially when they are properly trained, they can still nip the youngsters. Obviously, that is because of their herding instinct. And, this may eventually become troublesome to families with small kids.

Training & Exercise of Collie & Border Collie

The Border Collie and Collie are both smart dogs. They are easily trainable and teaching them tricks is really a breeze. These dog breeds find it boring if they do not have something to do. With that, a simple mind stimulation would greatly catch their attention.

Early socialization is crucial as they are both very cautious with strangers. These dog breeds are also highly responsive with positive reinforcement. More so, to avoid the development of their destructive behavior, advanced skills training including agility, obedience, and herding are of big help.

Why Entertainment Is Important?

Border collie running with its ownerKeeping these two working dog breeds entertained is highly crucial. Because of their intense mental intellect, challenges in training them would be immediately addressed upon. Another concern about these breeds are their herding instincts that they may even nip smaller kids and animals around them.

That behavior is generally applicable to the Border Collies. The BC always thrive to look for opportunities to learn. With that, you should never forget to offer them mental stimulating activities.


The health of the dog is one of the most important considerations to look upon when deciding to get a furry companion. Keep in mind that both the Collie and Border Collie are purebred dogs. That means that they are highly susceptible to genetic issues. 

Yet, to guarantee the best of health for your pooch, make sure that you purchase them from a reputable breeder. Dogs raised by a trustworthy breeder will eliminate the occurrence of such problems. Those facilities are knowledgeable in managing dog’s health concerns and regularly subject them for check-up.

Possible Health Issues

One may still notice some health issues to these dogs as they are purebred canines. These are the following health concerns that both Collies and Border Collies may experience:

  • Collie Eye Anomaly
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Drug Sensitivity

In addition to that, the Collies may also suffer from dermatomyositis. It is an autoimmune disorder inherent to the breed. This disorder results in lesions and muscle issues. 

Further, epilepsy may also attack the Border Collies aside from the above-mentioned canine diseases. OCD or Osteochondrosis Dissecans is another disease attacking the BC. It results in improper growth of the cartilage inside the dog’s joint.

Life Expectancy

Comparing the life span of the Border Collie vs Collie, both of them share the same life expectancy with an approximately 13 years. The Collies may enjoy their life years with you for that lifespan. Some healthy Collies can live it up to almost 17 years if provided with proper nutrition and care. Meanwhile, you can live with the Border Collies for those life years as well.

Taking Care of Border Collie or Collie

Aside from grooming, taking care of the Collies and Border Collies need you to consider their dietary demand. Both of these herding dogs require high quality kibble for canines that are grain-free. Also, look for dog food that is preservative-free and consists of all-natural ingredients.


Border collie puppy taking its restThe best thing to do when purchasing a Collie or a Border Collie puppy is to see the actual litter straight right from the reputable breeder. That will give you strong evidence that the puppy you will be going to take home is healthy enough.

Please refrain from buying puppies from pet stores. Those kinds of facilities may probably offer you pups which are usually results of commercial breeding.

How Much Do They Cost?

Although almost the same in so many ways, the cost of having the Border Collie vs Collie may generally vary. There are different considerations that may affect the price variations of these dog breeds. It includes the puppy’s bloodline, availability, and the location of the breeder.

Ranging from $600 to $800, you can already take home a Border Collie. While owning a Collie will only necessitate you to spend about $400 to $600.

Conclusion: Which Dog Is Better?

To deeply understand which one from the Border Collie vs Collie is a better dog to have, well, it is good if you would take your lifestyle into account. If you are a home buddy and are fond of taking care of domestic pets with kids around, then the Collie breed is a perfect match. However, if you are always hungry for outdoor activities and willing to invest more of your time training and taking care of a dog, the Border Collie would be the best fit.

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