Which Breed is for You? Rottweiler or Border Collie Breed Comparison

The Border Collie and Rottweiler are two exceptional dog breeds with different working and fascinating histories. The Rottweiler, intended initially to pull cattle, eventually demonstrated its adaptability by pulling carts for butchers, acting as some of the first police dogs, and serving as dignified military companions.

On the other hand, the Border Collie, classified as a breed of herding dogs, was created expressly to lead and control animals, including sheep, cattle, and reindeer. They form significant ties with the human shepherds due to their outstanding intellect and responsiveness, which makes them very trainable.

Characteristics of Rottweiler and Border Collie

A well-bred and adequately raised Rottweiler will have a calm, assured demeanor, displaying courage without being overly aggressive. These world-class guardians surprise their loved ones with their lively and occasionally foolish behavior, endearing themselves to their families despite their distant image to outsiders.

On the other hand, the Border Collie is famous for its excellent intelligence and intrinsic work ethic and is a good student. In addition to being ideal as devoted family pets, these dogs also excel in obedience, agility, and tracking and make superb sheepdogs. They make keen, attentive, passionate, and sensitive friends.

In essence, Border Collies and Rottweilers possess remarkable qualities contributing to their roles as devoted and capable companions. Border Collies’ intelligence and herding instincts complement their loyalty and responsiveness, while Rottweilers’ calm confidence and protective traits enhance their reliability as affectionate and loving family members.

History of Breeds

Germany is the origin of the Rottweiler, a unique breed of dog. History suggests it is a descendant of the droving and herding dogs used by the Romans to drive cattle to market. These dogs underwent a process of improvement and evolution over time, eventually resulting in the modern Rottweiler breed we are familiar with.

The Border Collie, on the other hand, has a history dating back to at least the 1700s and its origins are in the lowland and border regions of England and Scotland. Numerous Collie breeds, including the Scotch and bearded Collie, are believed to have descended from the Border Collie. Additionally, several breed historians have suggested a possible mix with spaniel blood in their ancestry.

The Rottweiler and the Border Collie are remarkable breeds with rich histories and unique characteristics. Their origins in different regions and distinctive roles in various tasks have shaped their traits and temperaments, endowing each species with specific qualities that endear them to dog lovers worldwide.

Appearance Comparison between Rottweiler and Border Collie

Rottweiler dogs are characterized by their sizable heads, featuring tightly positioned and slightly hanging ears. Their solid and square muzzles and somewhat loose lips contribute to a trait that some members of this breed are drooly.

Border Collies stand out with their alert appearance. Their ears are perched high on their heads and often partially folded at the tip, showcasing their heightened awareness of their surroundings. Unlike some working breeds, Border Collies retain long, bushy tails that continuously wag, displaying their energetic and enthusiastic nature. One of the most famous features of this breed is their eyes, which are oval and come in shades of brown or light blue.

Both breeds are described as having large heads, but the first breed has tightly positioned and slightly hanging ears with a square muzzle, while the Border Collies have their ears perched high and partially folded over.


The Rottweiler, known for its imposing stature, boasts an average overall height ranging from 77cm to 86cm. The withers height, the point between the shoulder blades, typically measures between 60cm to 66cm. The Rottweiler displays an impressive and powerful presence with a substantial body length of 98cm to 107cm. In terms of weight, the average Rottweiler male falls between 90 to 120 pounds, reflecting their robust build and strength.

Border Collie, in contrast, stands at a more moderate height. The males generally measure 19 to 22 inches tall, while females are slightly smaller, standing at 18 to 21 inches. Despite their smaller size than Rottweilers, Border Collies maintain a well-proportioned and agile body. The weight of Border Collies varies according to gender, with males weighing between 35 to 45 pounds and females ranging from 30 to 40 pounds, emphasizing their lighter and nimbler frame.

Coats & Colors

Rottweilers exhibit diverse coat patterns and markings, with the prevalent one resembling a saddle-like dark patch along their back. Their primary color is typically black, although certain individuals might display softer shades like gray or brown. Furthermore, Rottweilers showcase contrasting tan accents, rust, and mahogany on their face, chest, paws, and legs contributing to their unique and unmistakable visual appeal.

Border Collies, whether purebred or mixed, showcase diverse characteristics in coat and fur, yet they all share a rich double coat.

This breed’s two main coat types are rough and smooth, each presenting different textures. Furthermore, Border Collies come in various distinct colors, such as:

  • Lilac
  • Sable
  • Blue Merle
  • Tricolor
  • Brown
  • White

Personality and Temperament of Rottweiler versus Border Collie

Rottweiler loving affection from its owner

Rottweilers, known for their powerful and imposing presence, are renowned for their strong personalities. Despite their commanding appearance, they are also brilliant creatures. When it comes to describing their temperament, several terms come to mind, such as “smart,” highlighting their sharp intellect, and “loving” and “affectionate,” emphasizing their warm and devoted nature towards their families.

Rottweilers are driven dogs, always eager to excel in any task. Their bravery and protective instincts make them reliable guardians, while their confidence and loyalty contribute to their strong bonds with their human companions. Moreover, they exhibit sensitivity and alertness, being attuned to their surroundings and the needs of their loved ones.

On the other hand, Border Collies possess exceptional intelligence and loyalty, making them stand out among working dog breeds. They thrive on routines and deeply enjoy partnering with their human owners. Border Collies find their utmost joy in having a purposeful task to perform, preferably alongside their human companions. However, if left without a job, Border Collies quickly invent their duties to stay occupied and satisfied.


Rottweilers have the potential to be excellent family pets, but their suitability depends on extensive training and socialization. As a result, there may be better choices for first-time pet parents who need to be firm and patient trainers. However, with dedication and effort, Rottweilers can develop into knowledgeable and affectionate companions.

In contrast, when choosing a pet, it is essential to consider how well your lifestyle aligns with the breed’s requirements. Border Collies thrive in an active environment with ample space, such as a large backyard or farm, where they can utilize their high energy and intelligence in fulfilling activities. Apartment living could be better for them, but with a commitment to training and a structured environment, Border Collies can be a perfect match for families willing to offer love, attention, and engaging activities.


Rottweilers and Border Collies are recognized as potential family pets, each offering unique qualities and considerations when living with children. However, their moderate suitability with young children demands responsible pet ownership, supervision, and proper training when integrating them into households with young kids.

Ensuring that play sessions are safe, constructive, and respectful allows for a positive and rewarding bond to form between these spirited dogs and the children.

Other People

When it comes to Rottweilers, their lineage can significantly influence their behavior, especially if they come from a long line of guard dogs. In such cases, there is a higher likelihood that these Rottweilers will exhibit heightened protective instincts. While training can undoubtedly be beneficial in shaping their behavior, it is essential to recognize that some Rottweilers may naturally display more wariness towards strangers than others.

This inherent caution can be attributed to their history as guardians and working dogs, where protective instincts were essential traits. Nonetheless, with patience, understanding, and consistent training, almost any dog, including Rottweilers, can be taught to be friendly and well-mannered around unfamiliar people.

Border Collies are one of the top breeds in terms of intelligence. They possess a remarkable work ethic and maintain calm even in challenging situations. Border Collies thrive in environments that stimulate their mental faculties, and their natural inclination to work alongside humans makes them sought-after companions for various tasks. However, despite their generally even-tempered disposition, it is essential to remember that any dog, regardless of breed, can exhibit aggression if provoked or threatened.

Dogs & Other Animals

A Rottweiler puppy’s early stages often demonstrate a positive and friendly demeanor towards other dogs. However, as they approach social maturity, which usually takes place between 2 to 3 years of age, their interactions with fellow canines may undergo a noticeable shift. During this phase, Rottweilers tend to become more selective and discerning, choosing which dogs to befriend and associate with.

On the other hand, Border Collies, as herding dogs, generally display harmless intentions when engaging with other pets. Their non-aggressive nature allows them to become amiable playmates with other animals once they develop a sense of comfort and familiarity. Border Collies can establish friendly and harmonious relationships with fellow pets in the household.

However, it is essential to be mindful of certain herding behaviors that Border Collies exhibit. These behaviors, ingrained in their nature, can inadvertently cause harm to other pets, notably smaller or more delicate animals. The strong herding instinct in Border Collies may lead them to chase or attempt to corral smaller pets, which can result in unintended accidents or distress.

Behavior Issues

Rottweilers are generally known for their friendly nature, making them great family companions. However, there are some behavioral concerns that owners should be aware of to ensure a harmonious relationship with their Rottweiler. Common issues include barking, which may be triggered by excitement or alertness, and aggression, which can arise if the dog feels threatened or inadequately trained.

Separation anxiety is another concern that Rottweilers may experience when left alone for extended periods, leading to distress and undesirable behaviors. Chewing is fairly natural. However, if this is not addressed immediately, it can damage household items if not appropriately managed. Additionally, with their strong and athletic build, Rottweilers may exhibit jumping behavior, which could be excessive or uncontrolled if not addressed through training.

On the other hand, Border Collies are renowned for their intelligence and agility, making them exceptional working dogs and beloved family pets. However, they can only develop behavioral issues with proper training and consistent mental stimulation. Given their herding background, Border Collies may display herding tendencies, leading them to nip at the heels of children or adults. This behavior requires guidance to prevent any potential harm.

Training & Exercise

exercising your Rottweiler

Adult Rottweilers, active and robust dogs, require approximately 80 minutes of daily exercise to maintain their overall health and well-being. This exercise routine can be achieved through multiple walks and playtime sessions. Taking them for regular walks provides physical activity and allows them to explore their surroundings, engage their senses, and socialize with other dogs and people.

Border Collies are high-energy dogs that thrive on play and movement. Providing structured playtime and exercise is crucial for their well-being. Here are enjoyable ways to ensure your Border Collie gets ample exercise:

  • Fetch: Playing fetch engages your Border Collie physically and mentally, teaching patience and self-control.
  • Swimming: Taking your Collie swimming allows them to indulge in their instinct and keeps them active and happy.
  • Frisbee: Frisbee is ideal for active breeds, combining running and chasing with socialization around other people and dogs.
  • Long Walks or Hiking: Taking your dog on long walks or hikes allows them to explore new places and enjoy the outdoors.
  • Agility Training: Engaging in agility training with your Collie provides mental stimulation and improves their coordination and obedience skills.

Taking Care & Maintenance of a Rottweiler versus Border Collie

Caring for your Rottweiler’s overall well-being follows common-sense principles, much like how we prioritize our health. A balanced diet, regular exercise, and proper dental and coat care ensure she stays happy and healthy. Always be vigilant and seek prompt veterinary attention if you notice anything unusual or concerning in her behavior or health.

Adhering to the recommended examination and vaccination schedule helps to safeguard her against potential health risks.

In addition to regular care, enrolling in pet health insurance is a wise step to prepare for any unforeseen medical expenses that may arise during her lifetime.

This ensures she can receive the necessary medical tests and procedures without compromising her health and well-being.

Now, turning to Border Collies, they are brilliant and energetic dogs that thrive in an active environment. As one of the most high-maintenance breeds, their well-being is closely tied to providing extensive exercise and mental stimulation. Keeping their busy minds occupied with challenging tasks and interactive play is essential for their contentment and overall mental health.

Border Collies’ intelligence and agility make them exceptional performers in various dog sports, where they can showcase their skills and energy. Activities such as obedience training, heelwork to music, and agility exercises are ideal ways to engage and challenge these bright and active dogs.

Grooming Difference

Grooming Rottweilers at home can be straightforward, but it must be taken seriously, as it requires dedicated time and attention. The Rottweiler’s short to medium-length coat may give the impression that it requires minimal maintenance. Regular brushing is vital to keep their loose hairs under control, ensuring a cleaner home and a well-groomed Rottweiler.

Border Collies, with their active lifestyle and thick double coats, require more frequent grooming to maintain a tidy appearance. Their luxurious skin tends to tangle and form knots, necessitating regular grooming to prevent matting. To keep their coat in top condition and free from tangles, it’s recommended to groom them approximately three times a week.

Owners should know that Rottweilers and Border Collies have specific grooming needs. Regular brushing and appropriate bathing intervals are essential for a well-maintained and healthy coat. By investing time and effort in grooming, you can ensure your canine companions look their best and feel comfortable throughout their lives. Moreover, starting grooming practices early in their lives sets a positive foundation for future grooming sessions, promoting a positive grooming experience for you and your furry friends.


Rottweilers boast a double coat, comprising a dense undercoat and a rough outer coat. This double coat is a natural temperature regulator. It provides them insulation, especially during cold months, and keeps their body cool throughout warm months. However, the double coat also leads to year-round shedding, with more substantial shedding occurring during the spring and fall shedding seasons.

Conversely, Collies experience shedding throughout the year but have two significant shedding periods in spring and fall. During these times, Collies “blow their coats,” naturally producing a thicker coat as temperatures decrease and then shedding it over an approximately 8-week period when temperatures rise in the spring.

Both breeds’ shedding patterns are influenced by seasonal changes, with Collies having specific shedding periods while Rottweilers experience shedding throughout the year. Proper grooming and regular brushing are crucial for managing shedding in both breeds, helping to keep their coats healthy and their shedding under control. Understanding their shedding patterns allows pet owners to anticipate and prepare for these natural processes, ensuring their beloved Rottweilers and Collies stay comfortable and in optimal condition throughout the year.

Health Comparison

Rottweilers are known for their robust and sturdy constitution, making them a healthy breed overall. However, like all dogs, they can still be vulnerable to health problems, and regular check-ups with a veterinarian are essential to ensure their well-being. Through these check-ups, any potential health issues can be promptly addressed, contributing to the Rottweiler’s longevity and quality of life.

While Border Collies also seem generally healthy, this doesn’t mean they are immune to developing certain genetic conditions that can be serious and common in the breed. Responsible breeders take proactive measures to reduce the risk of these diseases by carefully screening potential parent dogs before breeding. Thorough health evaluations and genetic testing are essential to minimize the chances of passing such conditions to the offspring, ensuring the well-being and long-term health of Border Collies.

Life Span

Rottweilers have a relatively short lifespan compared to humans, typically living between 8 and 10 years in dog years. However, the figures can vary significantly depending on the conversion chart used when converting this to human years. Some sources suggest that a Rottweiler’s lifespan in human years could be between 60 and 90 years. This wide range highlights the variation in calculations, but regardless, Rottweilers are considered to have an average lifespan for dogs.

On the other hand, Border Collies tend to have a longer life expectancy compared to Rottweilers. Approximately 12 years is the average lifespan of Collies. On the other hand, some can live even longer, reaching up to 17 years in some cases. This breed’s longevity can be attributed to its good health and robust constitution.

Diet & Nutrition

Ensuring that Rottweilers receive a well-balanced and appropriate diet is paramount to promoting their overall health and well-being. Their diet should be carefully adjusted based on their life stage and energy requirements to meet their needs. This entails incorporating essential nutrients, including high-quality protein, healthy fats, vital vitamins, minerals, and fiber derived from nutrient-rich sources such as vegetables and berries.

For those welcoming a Border Collie into their homes, it is essential to have a clear plan regarding their diet to ensure their health and happiness. Opting for a natural, raw diet is often considered the best approach, giving owners complete control over the food they provide to their Border Collie. This diet primarily consists of feeding raw, meaty bones and raw food, which can benefit the breed’s overall health and nutrition.

Proper nutrition is necessary for the well-being of both Rottweilers and Border Collies. These two breeds have unique nutritional needs that vary depending on their life stages, activity levels, and overall health. As responsible pet owners, selecting diets that cater to their requirements is crucial.

Health Issues

Rottweilers are susceptible to various health issues, with a significant focus on bone-related conditions, viral infections, and eye problems. Examples of these health problems are:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Osteochondritis Dissecans
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Parvovirus
  • Entropion
  • Retinal Atrophy

The leading causes of death in Rottweilers are generally attributed to old age, cancer, and cerebral vascular afflictions, which can impact their quality of life later.

On the other hand, Border Collies have their own set of common health conditions, and these include:

  • Collie Eye Anomaly
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Hearing loss
  • Elbow Dysplasia

These conditions should be monitored and managed through regular veterinary care to ensure the best possible health outcomes for both Rottweilers and Border Collies throughout their lifetimes.

Cost of Breeding a Rottweiler and Border Collie

When considering getting a Border Collie as a family pet, the cost can vary depending on the breeder’s reputation, lineage, and geographical location. On average, the price of a Border Collie bred to be a family companion falls within the range of $500 to $1,800. This price point can fluctuate based on various factors, including the breeder’s experience and specific qualities.

In contrast, obtaining a Rottweiler is typically done through a breeder, as this is the primary source for getting puppies of this breed. However, it is essential to know that acquiring a Rottweiler from a breeder can be significantly more expensive than other methods. A Rottweiler from a reputable breeder is usually between $1,500 and $2,500. The price can even surpass this range for those seeking Rottweilers with exceptional pedigrees and bloodlines.

When considering a Rottweiler from a breeder, choosing a reputable breeder who prioritizes the dogs’ health, temperament, and well-being is crucial. Additionally, remember that responsible breeders invest time and resources in providing proper care, socialization, and early training for their dogs, which contributes to the overall cost. While the upfront cost may be higher, the assurance of a well-bred and healthy Rottweiler can be a worthwhile investment for a lifetime of companionship.


cute Rottweiler puppy

Rottweiler puppies are naturally intelligent and possess remarkable trainability, though they may occasionally demonstrate stubbornness depending on the circumstances. Early socialization is crucial for them to learn how to interact with other dogs, as it establishes essential social skills and boundaries for future interactions. By engaging in playful interactions with other canines from a young age, Rottweiler puppies can develop into well-adjusted and friendly adult dogs.

Border Collie puppies exhibit distinctive characteristics, such as elongated legs, bushy coats, and immense energy levels. Renowned as some of the finest herding dogs globally, they excel in working with sheep and can handle larger livestock and small fowl equally effectively. These brilliant and inquisitive pups are curious, eager to acquire new knowledge and skills.

Breeders & Centers

Adopting a Rottweiler, whether it’s from a shelter or rescue center, is more affordable than purchasing one from a breeder. The adoption cost, typically around $300, is primarily used to cover the expenses incurred in caring for the dog before the adoption process. Rescue organizations specializing in Rottweilers are an excellent avenue to find and adopt these loyal and loving companions, making the process more accessible and cost-effective.

In like manner, adopting a Border Collie puppy is a budget-friendly choice, with adoption fees ranging from approximately $200 to $400. Many shelters and animal rescue centers often have these adorable and intelligent dogs available for adoption. Prospective pet owners save on costs by adopting a Border Collie and providing a loving home to a deserving pup needing care and affection.

Conclusion: Which is Better, Border Collie or Rottweiler?

The choice between a Rottweiler and a Border Collie ultimately comes down to personal taste, way of life, and capacity to accommodate the distinctive requirements of each breed. A Border Collie could be a great fit if you lead an active lifestyle, enjoy engaging with your dog in various activities, and have the time and commitment to meet their mental and physical needs.

However, if you can provide consistent training, time for regular exercise, and the ability to manage their protective instincts, a Rottweiler can make an excellent addition to your family. Prospective dog owners must consider their degree of experience, their ability to control the specific features of the breed, such as the protective nature of the Rottweiler or the need for mental and physical activity in the Border Collie, and their availability for training and exercise.

Both breeds may bring their families happiness and affection when given the proper care, training, and socialization. Each breed has characteristics that can make them adored and cherished companions, whether it is the devotion and protective temperament of the Rottweiler or the intellect and agility of the Border Collie.

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