A Border Collie and Miniature American Shepherd are both wonderful dogs to have. However, these dogs have unique traits and characteristics that made them stand out on their own. If you need help in deciding which one to get, then you’ve come to the right place.
Characteristics of Border Collie and Mini American Shepherd
We’ll be discussing here the dog’s history, personality, training, and everything in between to come up with the right decision. Here’s a quick comparison of these two dogs before getting into the nitty-gritty part.
Comparison between Border Collie and Mini American Shepherd
|Border Collie||Mini American Shepherd|
|Medium-sized built||Small-sized built|
|Tricolor, bi-color, black and white, blue merle, brown and red||Red (liver), red merle, blue merle, black|
|Medium long coat||Medium long coat|
|Male/female weighs 18kg to 21kg and 15kg to 18kg respectively||Male/female weighs 9kg to 18kg respectively|
History of Border Collie vs Miniature American Shepherd
With Border Collie, these breeds are originally herders. Their purpose was to herd sheep. Though, they can herd almost anything and could lead even children in your family.
Border Collies come from the lowland and border regions of England and Scotland. Evidence also suggests that they may have been around since the 1700s. It is also believed that Border Collies were the culmination of other Collie families like Spaniels, Scotch Collie, and Bearded Collie.
Whereas Miniature American Shepherds or MAS, were initially bred in the US. Their primary purpose was to herd, much like a Border Collie.
It was in the late 1960s when MAS was first developed by breeding Australian Shepherds.
Then in the mid-70s, it was able to reach its full size. In several locations and clubs, these dogs stayed true to their original purpose as a working breed.
Truth is, the predecessor of this breed was also a popular type of herding dog. They can be traced back from Pyrenees Mountains by taking the route from Australia.
Since then, ranchers in California had shown great admiration to these dogs calling them Australian Shepherds, due to the path it takes. Since then, the American Kennel Club or AKC formally acknowledge this breed in 2015.
Appearance of Border Collie vs Mini American Shepherd
Border Collies are well-proportioned dogs. They are perfectly balanced and great in agility. Their coats are either smooth or medium-length. Plus, it’s covered with a water-resistant undercoat. The popular color of their coat is black and white. Then again, they can be seen sporting other colors and combinations like blue merle, red, brown, as well as tricolor.
With regards to MAS, they have a strong resemblance to Australian Shepherds. They have double coats too which are partnered with a dense undercoat. Hair is also medium in length that could either be wavy or straight. They have moderate manes around the neck area and shorter hair on their heads.
While these two breeds look almost the same, watch out for their distinctive physical traits to know which is which.
Personality & Border Collie and Miniature American Shepherd
Border Collies are intelligent dogs. Any owner can immediately see it through the dog’s eagerness to learn and work. They are sensitive, alert, and loyal companions. Working as sheepdogs is just one of the many areas they excel.
Well, aside from being a wonderful sheepdog, they are excellent as well at agility, obedience, and tracking. These dogs make excellent companions for families because love interacting with people.
Miniature American Shepherd would go down without a fight either. These dogs have awesome personalities as well. They are very intelligent dogs that are packed with enthusiasm and undying devotion to their family.
If you have children at home, it would not be a problem as they are gentle with kids. They also get along with other pets, particularly those that are raised with them.
One personality that you’d love about MAS is their energy and relentlessness. These dogs are hands-down hard-working. Just like Border Collies, these dogs would do anything to satisfy their owners. It is imprinted in them to be great problem solvers. As their owner, use this to teach your dog tricks that will hone its behavior and personality better.
Training & Behavior of Border Collie vs Mini American Shepherd
The beauty of training, especially with these two dogs is, they love learning, and they love pleasing their owners. But there are a few things you need to know to make every session worthwhile.
For a Border Collie, it is imperative to establish firm and strong leadership. This must start right from your house. Let them know who the alpha is.
Dogs follow a hierarchy as they are pack animals. Once you establish that you’re the alpha or pack leader, everything else you want them to achieve follows.
Now that you’ve established who the alpha is, your next course of action is to give them a routine. Since Border Collies are working breeds, they’d benefit if given a schedule. These dogs need to be stimulated constantly, both mentally and physically. They always look ahead to new tasks. So, give them something to do daily, and do it on a schedule.
As with Miniature American Shepherds, these dogs are super smart too. They quickly learn the basics of a new trick and can be easily housetrained. However, you must know that they have a better response to positive reinforcement. Give them treats or shower them with affection if you want to reinforce a certain behavior. Punishment and yelling would do nothing.
Care & Maintenance of Border Collie and Mini American Shepherd
Most of the things that can keep your dog content and healthy are just plain common sense. Keep an eye on their diet, brush their teeth and coat on a regular basis, see to it that they’re getting enough exercise, and call a vet or a pet emergency hospital if anything is out of the ordinary.
See to it that you stick to the proposed schedule of vaccination and examinations for your dog. Upon visit, your vet will be checking your pet for any underlying health conditions and test them for diseases that Border Collies are prone to.
To be fully confident that your dog will be cared for no matter what, get them health insurance for pets. Through this, if there’s an emergency in the future, any procedures or tests that will be performed on your dog are covered. You’ve got nothing to worry about because you know, your dog receives the best treatment available.
As for a miniature American Shepherd, just make sure you give them at least 30 to 60 minutes of exercise daily. Take the time to bond with your dog and think of things that will activate their mental stimulation. You can do problem-solving, food puzzles, or training. These activities should do the trick in ensuring your dog is at its best while minimizing chances of anxiety and any potential behavioral issues.
Health of Border Collie vs Mini American Shepherd
Border Collies are generally quite tough and healthy animals. Responsible breeders always screen their breeding stock for any signs of health concerns issues such as:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Collie Eye Disorder
- Trapped Neutrophil Disorder
- Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis
- Progressive Renal Atrophy
You must establish a regular schedule on when to check your dog’s ears. This way, any signs of infection can be immediately mitigated. Of course, don’t forget to brush their teeth regularly.
In the subject of miniature American Shepherds, they’re generally healthy breeds. However, they’re prone to some health concerns too like:
- Hip dysplasia
- Drug sensitivity as a result of MDR1 gene mutation
- Progressive retinal atrophy
Diet & Nutrition
When it comes to your dog’s diet, whether it is a Border Collie or a miniature American Shepherd, giving them a balanced diet is the most important thing.
Raw diet that packs raw meat, meaty bones, muscle meats, fish, raw vegetables as well as dairy products like eggs go a long way to keeping them healthy. Grains are not always recommended as some dogs find it hard to digest. If you want to, supplements similar to kelp and fish oil can be added on top of their diet.
Popular dry dog foods guarantee to deliver balanced nutrition. It can be mixed with canned food, water or broth. Fruits and cottage cheese are also great addition to their diet. However, make sure to give it in regulation.
The last thing you want to be sure of is that your dog always has easy access to clean water. This ensures that they’re hydrated for whatever task they have.
Grooming of Border Collie and Miniature American Shepherd
Border Collies require regular brushing to keep their double coat in good condition. During the change of seasons from spring to fall. So long as you remove the undercoat, your dog will still get shade through its outer guard coat.
In terms of bathing, it must be done on a “need basis”. This interval is determined by the type of outdoor activity and frequency your Collie does. Also, make sure to use specially formulated shampoos.
Miniature American Shepherds look cute and adorable. All thanks to their beautiful and shiny fur. However, these dogs are known for being heavy shedders. If you want to keep them looking beautiful, you must attend to their grooming needs regularly. Here are a few things to keep in mind when grooming your MAS:
- Brushing – have control of their shedding by brushing them often.
- Frequency – miniature American Shepherd sheds heavily twice per year. When that time comes, make sure to increase brushing frequency.
- Brush type – to ensure that your brushing will be effective, go with a combination of pin brush that could reach all the way through their fur and metal comb for their mats. You may want to try different brands to know which one is best for your pup.
Cost & Puppies of Border Collie and Mini American Shepherd
If you plan of buying a Border Collie, the price could range anywhere from $750 to $1,600. However, this amount can go to $3,500 or higher for top breeds. Then again, this cost largely varies depending on the gender, age, and pedigree of the dog. Not to mention, the location of the breeder you’re talking to.
Now, say that you want a Border Collie that holds the standard of BC pedigree and comes from a champion bloodline, you are looking north of $4,500.
For the cost of a miniature American Shepherd, the average price for one is $800. But depending on the breeder, price range is from $450 to $1,500. On the other hand, if you are looking for a breed that has show quality and is complete with documentation, expect to pay $3,500 for one.
Conclusion: Is Border Collie or Mini American Shepherd Better?
Asking the question on which dog is better is kind of a gray area. Different people have unique preferences. With this said, one may find Border Collie better than the other and vice versa. But a few things these dogs have in common like their eagerness to please their owners, energetic vibe, and intelligence. Perhaps, whichever you choose, it’ll be a win-win.