Breed Comparison between Border Collie versus English Setter – Which is a Better Pet?

Are you looking for the ideal canine partner but need clarification on the English Setter’s sophistication and the Border Collie’s intelligence? You’ve found it! In this post, we’ll take a closer look at these two exceptional dog breeds and discuss why they matter so much to dog lovers around. We have everything you need, from the distinctive features and advantages to a comprehensive comparison from start to finish.

Characteristics Comparison Border Collie and English Setter

Border Collies are known for their intelligence, speed, and commitment. One of the smartest dog breeds, they excel in many canine activities. Their enthusiasm and herding instincts make them great working dogs. Border Collies thrive on mental stimulation. Due to their love and commitment to their people, these dogs make great companions.

The English Setter is elegant and cheerful. Their gentle nature makes them good pets. English Setters are popular pets because they are amiable and good with youngsters. Despite their calm demeanor, English Setters are energetic dogs. They thrive in houses with lots of playtime.

Border CollieEnglish Setter
OriginUnited KingdomUnited Kingdom
Height18 to 23 inches22 to 28 inches
Weight26 to 45 pounds55 to 80 pounds
Life Span11 - 15 Years10 and 12 years
Coatlong and smoothflat and silky
GroomingModerate maintenanceModerate maintenance

History of Breeds

The Border Collie and the English Setter are highly regarded in their respective industries, and both have unique breed histories that contributed to their development into exceptional dogs. They both have exciting beginnings, so let’s check them out!

Herding ability was the original purpose for which the Border Collie was bred in the 19th century on the border between Scotland and England. Their ability in border sheepherding, combined with their location, is where their name originates. This breed makes excellent shepherding dogs because of their intelligence and instinct to herd.

Border Collies rose to prominence at the beginning of the 20th century due to their participation in sheepdog competitions and agricultural shows. Shepherds and farmers adore them because they have “the eye,” which enables them to control livestock with just a glance.

The English Setter can be traced back to the 14th century in England. They may descend from the Spanish Pointer and the Water Spaniel and were developed specifically for hunting quail and pheasants. Both hunters and sportsmen admired their graceful appearance and keen sense of smell.

The “setter” moniker given to this breed references how it hunts. They assume a crouching position and “set” themselves in that position to signal approaching predators of prey. During the 19th century, English Setters successfully adapted to hunting with firearms and worked well with their human partners.

The English Setter quickly gained popularity as a hunting companion and a household pet worldwide. They were very popular as pets because they were kind and devoted.

Appearance of Border Collie versus English Setter

Border Collies are medium-sized, active dogs known for their alert and bright demeanor. Their well-proportioned body allows them to move with power and grace. The eyes of the Border Collies can be any color, from brown to blue to heterochromia. Their ears, which are of medium size and pricked or semi-pricked, give them a watchful air.

The thick double coats that Border Collies have made them resilient to cold and wet conditions. A silky undercoat protects the exterior coat, which may be straight or slightly wavy. There are a wide variety of coat colors and patterns seen in Border Collies.

The English Setter breed is revered for its elegance and mild demeanor. They have a grander, more regal appearance. They have an elegant profile and carry their heads high, complementing their proportionate bodies. English Setters are known for their warm, perceptive dark almond-shaped eyes. The length and position of their feathered, erect ears contribute to their regal air.

The English Setter is a beautiful dog with a medium-length coat with feathering on the ears, chest, belly, and legs. Their coat drapes gracefully over their torso. The coats of English Setters are typically white with various brightly colored ticking and spots.

In sum, the Border Collie and English Setter make an impression. The Border Collie is a beautiful dog due to its dense double coat and striking heterochromatic eyes. The English Setter, however, is stunning due to its graceful and royal demeanor and luxurious feathered coat. Their dark, soulful eyes and kind demeanor are a beautiful reflection of their generous nature.


The Border Collie is an active and agile medium-sized dog breed. Male Border Collies typically measure between 18 and 23 inches at the shoulder, while females tend to be slightly smaller at 18 to 21 inches on average. Male Border Collies usually weigh between 30 and 45 pounds, while females are smaller at 26 to 45 pounds.

Border Collies are known for their boundless vitality and endurance despite their moderate size. The breed’s athletic build and quick reflexes make them ideal for herding. Thanks to their well-proportioned body and alert, intelligent countenance, they have an undeniable presence.

The English Setter is a giant breed that exudes sophistication and grace. Male English Setters average 24–28 inches in height at the shoulder, while females are shorter at 22–26 inches. Male English Setters can reach up to 80 pounds, while females are smaller and weigh less than their male counterparts (55 to 70 pounds).

Typical English Setter on a green grass lawn

The English Setter’s enormous stature does not detract from their refined demeanor. They carry their heads high and have a slightly sloping topline, indicating their bodies are proportionately developed. Their large, feathered ears and dark, expressive eyes give them an air of royalty.

In conclusion, the Border Collie and the English Setter stand out thanks to their unique physical characteristics. The Border Collie’s medium stature exemplifies the breed’s skill and adaptability, making it a good fit for herding jobs and active households. Because of their high activity level, they are excellent pets for families looking for a vibrant and exciting companion.

However, the English Setter’s somewhat larger size is a perfect match for their stately grace. They are ideally suited for several roles, including hunter and companion. Their warm personality makes them an excellent fit for any family or individual.

Coats & Colors

Both dog types are visually appealing due to their distinctive coats and color schemes. The Border Collie’s beautiful double coat protects from various climates. The undercoat is fluffy and warm, while the outer coat is dense, straight, and protects from the elements. They are versatile working dogs because of their coat.

Various coat colors can be found on Border Collies. Most people wear black coats with white designs on the face, chest, and legs. There’s also the option of a three-color pattern in black, white, and tan. Merle coats provide a mottled or marbled pattern. Red, blue, and lilac are acceptable solid colors for Border Collies. You might also find them in red and blue with white. Each Border Collie has a unique coat color that adds to its beauty.

The English Setter’s luxurious coat gives it an air of royalty. With their medium-length coats laid flat on their bodies, they are beautiful. The feathers on their ears, chests, bellies, and legs give them an air of superiority.

Spots, ticking, and flecking are common in white English Setters.

The most common style is the “Belton,” which consists of a white coat with orange, blue, lemon, or liver specks. Since the intensity of these colors varies from dog to dog, each English Setter has a uniquely beautiful coat pattern.

In conclusion, the Border Collie and the English Setter stand out thanks to their attractive coats and distinct coloring. Border Collies have a thick double coat that serves as insulation and a showcase for their distinctive color and markings. Nonetheless, the English Setter exudes sophistication thanks to its silky coat and unconventional coloring. The elaborate coat patterns of English Setters contribute to their regal air.

Difference in Personality & Temperament

The border collie breed is intelligent and diligent. They are quick thinkers and learners due to their high IQs. This breed does well with complex mental activities and obedience training. They listen to their owners and strive to do as they are told.

Border Collies have strong herding tendencies and may try to herd people or animals by nipping at their heels. Early socialization and consistent training can manage and redirect these tendencies. Border Collies require regular physical and mental activity, like all dogs, to ensure their happiness and good behavior. Border collies thrive on socialization, training, and games of herding and agility.

Home animals, English Setters are gentle and calm pets. They hold their loved ones close. This breed is popular because it is social and gets along well with other pets and kids.

The English Setter is an intelligent and obedient dog. They pick up commands and hunting skills quickly. They benefit from training that challenges their minds. Sensitive English Setters benefit significantly from positive reinforcement. Tender minds can be scared away by harsh training.

Last but not least, the Border Collie and English Setter have unique personalities and characters. The Border Collie’s intelligence, energy, and herding inclinations make him an ideal companion for active families.

The English Setter is an excellent choice for families and those looking for a companion due to its welcoming nature, calm demeanor, and versatility. Their pleasant nature and sociability endear them to their human relations.


Border Collies are admired in the workplace for their intelligence, speed, and persistence. This breed bonds with its family. They love humans and are very devoted.

Border Collies are excellent family dogs, especially in active homes with ample exercise and mental stimulation. They cherish youngsters and protect their families. They may instinctively herd family members, especially young youngsters, and nip them.

Your Border Collie needs socialization and training to get along with your family. Agility training, herding trials, and interactive play bond Border Collies to their families.

The English Setter’s gentle nature makes them perfect housemates. These canines are friendly and close to their families. They’re great companions because they’re nice to people and animals.

English Setters need recreation and mental stimulation to stay happy and well-behaved. They thrive in loving environments. English Setters respond well to positive reinforcement training. English Setters are great family dogs if allowed to walk, play, and bond.


Border Collies make great family pets. They share knowledge, loyalty, and playfulness with youngsters. They thrive in active families. Border Collies, noted for their activity, are excellent playmates for active kids. Fetch or agility training to bond with kids. Parents should watch their kids around the family dog to keep everyone safe.

English Setters make good family dogs due to their calmness and obedience. They’re calm and patient, so kids like them. They are excellent and good at making friends with kids and family. English Setters love playing with kids in the park, though they’re less energetic than Border Collies. Obedient and tolerant to youngsters of all ages, they make great family pets.

Other People

Border Collies are devoted to their families but hesitant towards strangers. To interact positively with new people, they need early exposure. Some Border Collies are wary of strangers. They can trust their intuition and open out to new people with support.

The English Setter is friendlier to strangers than other dogs. They’re friendly and may greet guests with a tail. English Setters are sociable. To raise polite, respectful children, early education and socialization are essential.

Dogs & Other Animals

Border-Collie sheepdog watching over a flock of sheep in a field.

Both breeds interact differently with other dogs. Border Collies herd other animals, especially dogs, aggressively. Some Border Collies may herd other animals in a stimulating and bustling environment. Border Collies need early and continuous positive reinforcement from humans to socialize well.

The English Setter’s calm demeanor makes it a popular pet with youngsters and other dogs. Since English Setters are less active than Border Collies, they may be friendlier to other animals. They may coexist with other dogs and animals with proper introductions.

Behaviour Issues

Although people love both breeds for their unique qualities, it’s essential to consider their personalities and behavioral quirks when making a final decision. Let’s evaluate the behavioral challenges of these unique breeds.

The herding instincts and wits of Border Collies are well-known. This breed may therefore display herding behavior even when not around livestock. They may nip at heels or try to herd little children or other animals. The best way to limit and redirect these tendencies is through early socialization and training.

Border Collies are highly intelligent and highly motivated, which can lead to destructive actions. They may start to dig, chew, or bark if they lack mental or physical exercise. Border Collies might acquire behavioral problems like shyness or nervousness if they aren’t properly socialized. Exposure to new situations and training based on positive reinforcement might be helpful.

The kind disposition of English Setters makes them ideal pets for happy households. Like any breed, they may also have behavioural issues that need addressing through training. There may be a problem with separation anxiety. English Setters might get anxious when left alone. Training in a crate and gradually adding more time alone can help with this problem.

Some English Setters may have a high prey drive and seek out tiny animals due to their ancestry as bird hunters. Recall training and a well-fitting leash can help control this behavior and prevent accidents. Some English Setters may be difficult to teach due to their headstrong nature. Positive reinforcement and reward-based training methods work well with this breed.

Training & Exercise of a Border Collie versus English Setter

Due to its problem-solving skills and desire to please humans, the Border Collie is regarded as one of the most intelligent canine breeds. They need challenging and engaging instruction to avoid boredom and destructive behavior due to their brilliance. Border Collies love positive reinforcement training. Sweets and praise inspire them. Early socialization is essential since herding instincts make them prone to assaulting people and other animals.

Consistency and communication are crucial for Border Collie training. They perform best when everyone knows their role and respects others. Obedience, agility, and herding help dogs mentally and physically. Border Collies are energetic and need frequent exercise to stay healthy and happy.

Your dog needs long walks, fun play, and safe off-leash time. Border Collies need mental and physical stimulation to avoid harmful boredom-related behaviors. Herding trials, agility training, and puzzle toys keep dogs entertained.

The English Setter is friendly and trainable. Though less intelligent than Border Collies, they learn obedience and hunting rapidly.

English Setters need careful training and good reinforcement due to their sensitivity. They know best when their owners adore and pamper them.

English Setters need constant early socialization to become happy, friendly dogs. Mentally stimulating training sessions will benefit this breed. Though less energetic than a Border Collie, the English Setter needs regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. English Setters love outdoor activities. They’re helpful for mixed-activity groups indoors because they can slow down.

Taking Care & Maintenance Difference

If you want your Border Collie or English Setter to enjoy long, healthy lives, you must understand their specific breed-specific demands and requirements. Let’s investigate how these fantastic breeds differ in their needs and upkeep.

While the Border Collie and English Setter are energetic dogs, the two breeds have very different activity levels. The Border Collie is full of boundless energy and must regularly be mentally and physically challenged. The English Setter, on the other hand, is a good fit for people who lead slightly less active lives because of their moderate energy levels and their content with frequent walks and playing.

Early socialization is essential to guarantee both breeds mature into well-behaved, contented pets. Border Collies can benefit from socialization because they tend to be shy around strangers and may display herding behaviors. The sociable temperament of English Setters makes them generally good with humans and other animals, although early socialization is still important.

The welfare of both breeds must be protected at all costs. They need to see the vet regularly, eat well, and get plenty of exercise to stay healthy. It’s essential to watch for unusual symptoms in both breeds and get them to the vet as soon as possible if you suspect they have a health problem.

The best way to ensure the health and happiness of your Border Collie or English Setter is to familiarize yourself with their quirks and requirements. You may strengthen your relationship with your pet by giving it lots of attention and activities (such as walks, brushing, training, and playtime). Remember that the time and effort you put into caring for them will be amply rewarded with their undying devotion.

Grooming a Border Collie versus English Setter

The Border Collie’s beautiful double coat requires frequent grooming. They have a straight, weatherproof coat and a thick, warm undercoat. Because of their coat, they can work in many climes. Healthy coats and mat prevention require regular brushing, especially during shedding seasons.

Brush your pet weekly to remove stray hairs and avoid matting. Shedding may necessitate further brushing. Only bathe when required to avoid stripping the coat’s natural oils. Use dog-friendly shampoo and blow dry your pet’s coat after every bath. Border Collies need regular nail trimming, dental brushing, and ear cleaning. Keep their teeth, ears, and nails healthy.

A female dog groomer is trimming an English Setter's coat in a grooming salon

Grooming maintains the English Setter’s luxurious, medium-length coat. Their feathered ears, breasts, belly, and legs make them more royal. Brushing an English Setter regularly prevents mats and tangles. Since feathering is most likely to get tangled, pay attention to it. Brushing distributes their natural oils and keeps them healthy and shiny.

Give your dog a light dog shampoo to protect its natural oils when needed. After every bath, dry their coat like a Border Collie. English Setters need frequent nail clipping, dental brushing, and ear cleaning. To stay healthy, trim nails, wash teeth, and clean ears.


The Border Collie’s thick double coat protects and insulates it at every temperature. Border Collies’ double coats shed moderately to excessively. Maintaining their grooming regimen is vital for keeping the house clean during heavy shedding.

Frequent brushing reduces pet shedding. Weekly brushings remove loose fur from the house. Regular grooming can reduce this breed’s shedding.

The English Setter’s feathered ears, chest, abdomen, and legs identify its medium-length coat. English Setters shed like Border Collies. To control shedding, English Setters need regular brushing. Daily brushing removes stray hairs and prevents matting and tangles. Maintaining their coat reduces shedding and improves aesthetics.


The Border Collie and the English Setter have individual health considerations, each with particular characteristics. The health of these two breeds may be at risk. They will live longer and healthier lives if you give them the care they deserve, encourage them to adopt a balanced lifestyle, and take them to the vet regularly.

Life Span

The Border Collie is a highly intelligent dog with exceptional agility and natural herding skills. Border Collies can live up to 15 years if raised and cared for properly. Their health and longevity can be improved via regular exercise, a nutritious diet, and visits to the vet.

The English Setter’s welcoming nature and elegant beauty have earned it widespread acclaim. The average lifespan of an English Setter is between 10 and 12 years, making it slightly shorter than a Border Collie’s. It’s crucial to their well-being that they get the nutritious food, physical activity, and veterinary care they need.

Diet & Nutrition

Border Collies are intelligent, agile, and enthusiastic. Border Collies need high-quality protein to maintain their trim physique and active lifestyle. Muscle upkeep and repair require protein.

Complex carbs like brown rice and sweet potatoes benefit Border Collies. These carbs support their high activity levels. Fish oil and flaxseed help Border Collies maintain their double coats. Omega-3 fatty acids keep their skin and coat healthy and vibrant.

English Setters make great pets due to their friendly nature and eagerness to please. They require nutritious food for moderate exercise and health. Like Border Collies, English Setters need protein for healthy muscles and organs.

A balanced diet with some high-quality animal protein would boost their health. To maintain their lovely coats, English Setters should consume fish and flaxseed. These fatty acids help their skin and coat shine.

Health Issues

Before adopting either breed as a canine friend, knowing the various health issues that may affect a Border Collie or an English Setter is crucial. Let’s dive deeply into a detailed comparison of the potential health issues in both breeds.

Border Collies are hardy and healthy dogs, but they are susceptible to the same health issues that can affect dogs of any breed. Border Collies tend to suffer from the following health issues:

  • Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA), a hereditary eye condition, causes varying degrees of visual impairment.
  • Hip dysplasia is a painful and debilitating genetic disorder caused by improper hip joint growth.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), another genetic kind of blindness that affects the retina and causes vision loss over time.
  • Border Collies may be predisposed to epilepsy because of their genetic makeup, making them more likely to experience seizures.
  • Allergies – This breed is occasionally affected by skin allergies and dietary sensitivity.

While the English Setter is a generally healthy breed, there are some health issues to which they may be predisposed.

  • Like Border Collies, English Setters are susceptible to hip dysplasia, leading to pain and movement issues. A genetic disorder that causes lameness and arthritis in the elbow joint is called elbow dysplasia.
  • Hypothyroidism is a hormonal disease that causes fatigue, sluggishness, and sometimes noticeable skin changes.
  • Bloat (Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus) is a life-threatening ailment characterized by a stomach twist that necessitates urgent veterinary care.

Some English Setters may have a higher risk of developing heart disease than others.

Cost of getting a Border Collie versus English Setter

The significance of considering money when adding a dog to your family when deciding between a Border Collie and an English Setter, factoring in the financial commitment is essential. The price of puppy training lessons varies based on the region and type of training program chosen. A well-adjusted and obedient adult dog results from proper training and socialization.

Feeding and caring for your dog will constitute a sizable portion of your recurring costs. Depending on their size, age, and degree of activity, Border Collies and English Setters have varying nutritional needs. To maintain peak health, canines require a diet of high-quality food, appropriate supplements, and the odd reward. Depending on the brand and the size of the portions, the monthly cost of food for either breed might be anywhere from $50 to $100.

The health of both breeds depends on preventative measures such as annual checkups, immunizations, flea and tick control, and dental care. The expense of any necessary medical treatments or drugs should also be considered, as they have been discussed in prior articles regarding potential health issues in each breed. Finally, include the cost of accessories like dog beds, collars, leashes, and toys. The price of owning a pet may also have contingency plans, such as pet insurance or emergency veterinary care.


border colle pups

Consideration must first be given to the financial commitment required to purchase a new puppy. Compared to the English Setter, the Border Collie often sells for somewhere in the middle of the price range. The cost of a Border Collie puppy can range from $600 to $1,200, while an English Setter puppy can go anywhere from $800 to $1,500. However, pricing may shift depending on several factors, including the breeder’s reputation, the animal’s ancestry, and its geographic location.

Possessing a dog, whether a Border Collie or an English Setter, maybe a gratifying experience; nevertheless, doing so demands careful financial preparation and unwavering dedication. Although the initial purchase cost may differ between the two breeds, cautious consideration should be given to ongoing expenses like feeding, grooming, veterinary care, and other necessities. Remember that the time and effort you put into your four-legged companion’s health will pay you through a love-filled, joy-filled relationship that will last a lifetime. Therefore, make an educated choice, and may the person you spend the rest of your life with bring you unending joy.

Breeders & Centers

Consider breeders and adoption facilities as the primary suppliers of these valued companions when comparing the costs of purchasing a Border Collie against an English Setter.

Many people turn to reputable breeders for a purebred Border Collie or English Setter puppy. These breeders meticulously pick out mating pairings to make sure their children are healthy, well-behaved, and accurate to the breed’s ideals. Therefore, puppies from reputed breeders are likelier to have health and lineage documentation.

Puppies from respectable breeders can range in price from several hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the breeder’s reputation, the parents’ lineage, and the regional demand for the particular breed. Puppies from respectable breeders can cost anywhere from $600 to $1,200; those of the English Setter can cost $850 to $1,500.

Rescue organizations and animal shelters provide a loving alternative for individuals on a tighter budget. These groups provide a haven for strays and often have adoptable Border Collies and English Setters. Rescue facilities typically have more reasonable adoption fees, usually between $50 and $500, including vaccinations, spaying/neutering, and even microchipping.

It’s essential to consider breeders and rescue centers when deciding where to get your new furry pet, whether a Border Collie or an English Setter. While reputable breeders can provide you with a healthy puppy from a pedigreed litter, rescue groups can help you find a dog needing a forever home.

Conclusion: Which Is Better, Border Collie or English Setter?

Finally, the Border Collie and English Setter are great breeds with unique traits that win dog owners’ hearts. Choosing a breed relies on your lifestyle, preferences, and capacity to meet its needs.

If you have an active lifestyle, enjoy canine sports, and can provide mental and physical challenges, the Border Collie may be the right pet for you. Their intelligence, agility, and herding instincts make them great working dogs and wonderful household pets. However, the aristocratic and sophisticated English Setter is friendly, gregarious, and good with youngsters and other dogs. Their calm, kind nature makes them great pets.

Both breeds need early and ongoing socialization, training, and grooming to be healthy and happy. To keep fit, they need to eat healthily and see the vet regularly.

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