Comparing Border Collie versus Mudi – Which dog is Better?

Dogs have always been known as man’s best friend, and when it comes to selecting the right breed, the decision can sometimes be a challenging one. In the realm of herding dogs, two breeds often come into spotlight which are the Border Collie and the Mudi. Both breeds are talented, intelligent, and energetic, but which is better suited for you?

Characteristics of Comparison between Mudi and Border Collie

The Border Collie is a breed that has, for generations, been revered for its uncanny ability to herd livestock with an almost intuitive precision. The Border Collie’s stamina and work ethic are legendary. They require not just physical but also mental stimulation, making them ideal for active families, agility sports, or rural settings where they can engage in herding.

On the other hand, the Mudi, a lesser-known but equally impressive breed, hails from Hungary. Smaller in stature compared to the Border Collie, Mudis have a curly to wavy coat and are often solid-colored, with black, brown, fawn, and merle being common shades. The Mudi is known for its versatile skill set, often used not just for herding but also for guarding, hunting, and even rodent control.

They possess the natural wariness of strangers, making them excellent watchdogs. Yet, with family, the Mudi is affectionate and loyal. Their agility is on par with that of the Border Collie, and in some events, they might surprise spectators with their nimbleness.

When contrasting these two breeds, it’s essential to recognize that while both the Mudi and the Border Collie are exceptional herders and agility stars, their origins and primary roles have crafted different characteristics.

The Border Collie, with its intense gaze and relentless stamina, is designed for prolonged herding tasks and thrives on direction and interaction. In contrast, the Mudi, with its diverse set of skills, is adaptable to various roles in rural settings, from guarding to pest control, while still excelling in the herding arena.

History of Border Collie and Mudi

The Border Collie hails from the border region between Scotland and England. They were bred for their herding abilities, particularly for sheep. The breed’s lineage can be traced back to Roman times when invading armies brought dogs with them that were then mixed with local breeds.

Over centuries, the Border Collie was fine-tuned to be the exceptional herding dog that it is today. Their name is a reference to their origin, with “Collie” believed to be derived from Celtic words for “useful” or “helpful.”

The Mudi, a less-known breed outside its native Hungary, has its origins in the 19th century. Like the Border Collie, the Mudi is a herding breed, known for its ability to manage flocks of sheep and cattle.

While its exact ancestry remains a mystery, it’s believed the Mudi resulted from spontaneous crossbreeding among local Hungarian herding dogs. The breed was officially recognized in the 1930s, and while they remain rare, they are treasured in their homeland for their versatility and skills.

mudi dog portrait

Appearance Differences and Similarities of a Mudi and a Border Collie

At first glance, one might mistake a Mudi for a Border Collie due to certain similarities in appearance. Both breeds have an alert and keen expression, reflecting their intelligence and observant nature. Their bodies are well-proportioned, lending to their agility and speed.

However, upon closer examination, several differences become apparent. The Border Collie often has a slightly broader head with a more distinct stop between the forehead and the muzzle.

Their eyes can be of varied colors, sometimes even within the same individual, with one blue and one brown eye. The Mudi’s head, on the other hand, is more refined and wedge-shaped, with almond-shaped eyes that are typically dark brown.

Ears are another distinguishing feature. While Border Collies may have ears that stand erect, fold over, or are semi-erect, Mudi’s ears are distinctly erect and slightly forward-facing, giving them a uniquely alert appearance.

Size of a Mudi vs Border Collie

The Mudi and Border Collie are medium-sized breeds, but there are notable differences in their stature. An adult Border Collie typically stands between 18 to 22 inches tall at the shoulder, with males being larger than females. They weigh anywhere from 30 to 45 pounds.

The Mudi, in contrast, is a bit smaller. They usually stand between 15 to 19 inches tall, weighing between 18 to 29 pounds. Their build is lighter and slightly more compact compared to the Border Collie, but they possess the same level of agility and athleticism.

Coats & Colors of a Mudi vs Border Collie

The coat is one of the most visually striking features where these two breeds diverge. Border Collies have a double coat that can be either smooth or rough.

The rough coat is medium to long, with a dense undercoat and a straight or wavy outer coat. Their smooth coat variant is shorter and coarser but still retains the dense undercoat. Border Collies come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, including black and white, blue merle, red merle, and tricolor among others.

Mudis possess a curly or wavy coat that’s dense and medium in length. They do not have the extensive variety of colors that Border Collies boast, but they still come in several beautiful shades including black, brown, white, grey, and fawn. One of the unique aspects of the Mudi’s coat is its ability to form cords, especially if left unbrushed, giving them a rugged appearance.

Comparing Personality & Temperament

At first glance, the Border Collie and the Mudi may seem similar, both being energetic and keen herding dogs. However, there are subtle differences.

The Border Collie is often considered the pinnacle of intelligence in the canine world. They are quick learners, highly responsive, and have a remarkable focus on tasks. Their herding instinct is strong, and they can sometimes display this by trying to “herd” moving objects or even people.

On the other hand, the Mudi is a rare Hungarian breed, also known for its intelligence and agility. This breed is lively and courageous, often displaying an independent streak. While both breeds are known for their alertness, Mudis tend to be more reserved with strangers compared to the more adaptable Border Collie.


When it comes to family settings, both breeds can thrive, but they do have different needs. The Border Collie requires an environment that provides both mental and physical stimulation.

They are happiest when they have tasks to do, whether it’s herding, agility training, or puzzle toys. Families that enjoy outdoor activities and can involve the dog will find the Border Collie to be a perfect companion.

The Mudi, while also being active, is a bit more adaptable to a relaxed family setting. They bond deeply with their families and can be more protective. This makes them excellent watchdogs, but they might require more socialization to prevent unnecessary alertness toward friendly visitors.


Children can benefit from growing up with either of these breeds. The Border Collie can be patient and gentle, but their herding instincts might manifest around small children, leading them to try and “herd” them. It’s essential to supervise their interaction and teach children how to behave around the dog.

The Mudi is often more tolerant of kids and can be a playful companion. However, their protective nature means that they might be wary of unfamiliar children approaching their human siblings. Proper introduction and supervision are key.

Other People

For homes that often have guests or are located in busy areas, the adaptability of the dog is crucial. Border Collies are generally more accepting of strangers, especially when properly introduced. Their intelligent nature often means they can discern between a threat and a friendly visitor.

The Mudi, with its protective instinct, can be reserved or wary of unfamiliar people. Early socialization is crucial to ensure they don’t become overly suspicious.

Dogs & Other Animals

In multi-pet households, the interaction between breeds is vital. Border Collies generally get along well with other dogs, especially if they’ve grown up together. However, their herding instinct might lead them to chase or herd other pets, especially cats or smaller animals.

The Mudi, being a more dominant breed, can sometimes show signs of territoriality or jealousy. They might be best suited to homes where they are the only pets or with other dogs of a similar temperament.

Behaviour Issues

Every breed has its quirks and potential behavior issues. Border Collies, with their high intelligence, can develop obsessive behaviors if not mentally stimulated. They might start chasing their tails, shadows, or even lights. Their need for physical activity means they can become destructive if bored.

The Mudi, with its independent streak, can sometimes be stubborn. They might challenge their owner’s authority if boundaries aren’t set early on. Their protective nature can also lead to excessive barking or guarding behaviors.

Training & Exercise of a Mudi vs Border Collie

Training and exercise requirements are paramount when considering both the Border Collie and Mudi. The Border Collie, hailing from the border region between Scotland and England, is renowned as one of the most intelligent and trainable breeds in the world. Their sharp intellect and eagerness to please make them quick learners.

However, this intelligence means they require regular mental stimulation to prevent boredom, which can lead to destructive behaviors. For the Border Collie, daily exercise combined with tasks or games that engage their mind is essential.

On the other hand, the Mudi, a lesser-known Hungarian breed, is also exceptionally trainable and agile. Like the Border Collie, the Mudi thrives on challenges and requires consistent training routines.

They excel in obedience, agility, and herding tasks. Due to their herding instinct, both breeds may tend to herd other animals or even children, which is a behavior that can be managed with proper training.

When it comes to exercise, both breeds demand an active lifestyle. While Border Collies may require slightly more exercise due to their boundless energy, the Mudi is not far behind. Regular walks, play sessions, and training exercises are crucial for both breeds.

border collie lying on the grass

Taking Care & Maintenance Difference

While training and exercise are vital for both breeds, there are differences in their care and maintenance needs. Border Collies have a high energy level and require ample space to run and play. A large yard or access to open spaces is ideal. Without proper exercise, a Border Collie can become restless and exhibit behavioral issues.

The Mudi, though still an active breed, can be slightly more adaptable to varied living conditions. They’re known to be more independent than the Border Collie and can manage with moderate exercise if they’re engaged in other ways, like play or training sessions.

In terms of health, while both breeds are generally healthy, they each have their breed-specific concerns. Regular vet check-ups and being aware of potential health issues unique to each breed are essential.

Grooming a Mudi vs Border Collie

Grooming needs differ somewhat between the two breeds. The Border Collie’s coat can be rough or smooth, but in both cases, it’s dense and needs regular brushing to keep it free from mats and tangles. This becomes especially important during the shedding season. Bathing is required occasionally, and it’s essential to ensure they’re dried properly to prevent any skin issues.

The Mudi, with its curly or wavy coat, has a slightly different grooming regimen. Their coat is less dense than the Border Collie’s and can sometimes be easier to maintain.

Regular brushing, about once a week, is usually sufficient to keep their coat in good shape. Bathing requirements are similar to the Border Collie, and due attention should be given to drying them thoroughly.


Shedding is a natural process for most dogs, and both the Border Collie and Mudi are no exceptions. The Border Collie, with its double coat, sheds throughout the year, with a more intense shedding season usually in the spring and fall. During these times, more frequent brushing might be required to manage the loose hair.

Mudi’s tend to shed less than Border Collies. Their coat, being curly or wavy, holds onto dead hair more effectively, which means less hair around the house. However, this also means that regular brushing is essential to prevent their hair from matting.

Health Comparison of Border Collie vs. Mudi

Border Collies and Mudis are both known for their high energy levels and athleticism, which can translate to overall good health. Being active breeds, they both need regular exercise to maintain their muscle tone and cardiovascular health. However, the environment in which they are raised, their genetic makeup, and the care they receive play significant roles in their overall health profile.

Border Collies are often considered one of the most intelligent and responsive breeds. This not only makes them excel in herding and agility but also means they are keenly aware of their surroundings and any changes to their health or routine. Similarly, Mudis are smart, and lively, and tend to be well-balanced animals, both mentally and physically.

Life Span

Typically, the average lifespan of a Border Collie ranges from 12 to 15 years, with many factors contributing to this duration. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, routine veterinary check-ups, and a nurturing environment can all contribute to a Border Collie reaching the upper limits of this lifespan range.

Mudis have a slightly broader lifespan range. With good care, a Mudi can live anywhere from 12 to 14 years. Their relatively low profile in the mainstream means that there’s less overbreeding, which can sometimes lead to health issues. Like the Border Collie, the longevity of a Mudi is influenced by its lifestyle, diet, and the quality of care it receives.

Diet & Nutrition

Diet plays a crucial role in the health and well-being of all dog breeds. Both the Border Collie and the Mudi require a diet rich in proteins, fats, and essential nutrients to maintain their energy levels and overall health.

Border Collies, due to their intense activity levels, often need a diet that can sustain their energy requirements. High-quality dog foods that prioritize real meat sources, wholesome grains, and vegetables are ideal. It’s also essential to monitor their food intake to avoid obesity, which can be a concern for some Border Collies, especially if they are not as active.

Mudis, while also active, may have slightly different dietary needs. Their metabolism and body composition may dictate a more tailored approach to their nutrition.

A diet rich in lean proteins, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals, often found in premium dog foods, is typically recommended for Mudi. It’s always crucial to consult with a veterinarian to ensure that the specific dietary needs of your Mudi are being met.

Health Issues

Border Collies, due to their widespread popularity and expansive breeding history, are unfortunately predisposed to certain hereditary health concerns. Among the most prevalent is hip dysplasia, an ailment that affects many dog breeds and can lead to mobility challenges as the dog ages.

Additionally, these agile canines can be susceptible to eye disorders such as progressive retinal atrophy, which may cause vision loss, and collie eye anomaly, a congenital condition that impacts the development of the eye. While these health concerns can be alarming, early detection through regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced and nutritious diet, and a well-informed awareness of these potential issues can go a long way in managing their effects and ensuring the dog’s well-being.

Mudis, on the other hand, are considered a relatively healthy breed, likely due to their limited breeding pool. However, they can be prone to some of the common health issues found in many dog breeds, like hip dysplasia.

As with any breed, regular veterinary care, a good diet, and a keen eye for any changes in behavior or health can ensure that your Mudi remains healthy for many years.

Cost of getting a Mudi vs Border Collie

When considering the cost of purchasing a purebred dog, a multitude of factors come into play, including the dog’s lineage, health screenings, training, and geographical location.

Historically, the Border Collie has been more popular and well-known, especially in regions outside of the Mudi’s native Hungary. This popularity often means that Border Collies are more readily available, which can affect the price.

On average, a Border Collie puppy from a reputable breeder might cost anywhere from $800 to $1,500. However, if one is looking for a show-quality Border Collie with a notable pedigree, the price can go significantly higher.

Mudi, being rarer especially outside of Hungary, can be a tad more expensive due to their relative scarcity. Price for a Mudi range from $1000 TO $3000, depending on various factors.

Bear in mind, the initial cost of purchasing the puppy is just the beginning. Both breeds will have ongoing costs including food, healthcare, training, and grooming.


Litter size can vary based on the individual dog, her health, age, and genetics. On average, a Border Collie can produce a litter of 6-8 puppies. The Mudi, on the other hand, typically produces smaller litters, averaging around 5-7 puppies.

It’s important to note that these are averages and actual litter sizes can vary. A larger litter might seem appealing to some, especially breeders, but it’s essential to remember that more puppies mean more responsibility in terms of care, time, and financial resources.

Breeders & Centers

The significance of choosing a reputable breeder or center cannot be overstated for both breeds. Responsible breeders prioritize the health, temperament, and genetics of their dogs, ensuring that puppies are bred in optimal conditions and receive necessary health screenings.

This not only guarantees the wellness of the puppies but also ensures that buyers receive dogs that are true to the breed’s standards. When selecting a breeder, potential buyers should look for transparency in health records, the conditions in which the dogs are raised, and the breeder’s knowledge about the specific breed.

For rarer breeds like the Mudi, it’s even more crucial to ensure that the breeding practices are ethical, given the smaller gene pool and the potential for genetic issues.

Adoption centers and rescue groups are also valid options for those who aren’t necessarily looking for a purebred puppy but want to provide a loving home to a dog in need. Both Border Collies and Mudis end up in rescue situations and adopting can be a fulfilling way to find a furry family member.

Conclusion: Which Is Better, Mudi or Border Collie?

The question of which breed is “better” depends largely on individual preferences and circumstances. Both the Mudi and the Border Collie are intelligent and active and require ample stimulation and exercise. They both thrive in homes where they can be mentally and physically challenged, and they are known for their loyalty to their families.

If one is looking for a more common and slightly larger dog with a well-documented pedigree, the Border Collie might be the choice. For those seeking a rarer breed with a unique history and appearance, the Mudi stands out. Ultimately, the decision should be based on which dog fits best with one’s lifestyle, environment, and personal preferences.

Remember, regardless of breed, every dog deserves a loving and committed home. Whether you choose a Mudi, a Border Collie, or any other breed, the most important factor is the dedication to providing a safe, loving, and stimulating environment for your furry friend.

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