Border Collie versus Vizsla Complete Breed Comparison – Which dog is best for You?

Choosing the perfect canine companion is an exciting yet significant decision for any prospective dog owner. Two distinctive and remarkable choices often stand out in dog breeds: the Border Collie and the Vizsla.

Each of these breeds possesses unique characteristics, temperaments, and qualities that make them appealing to different types of dog lovers. In this comprehensive comparison, we’ll explore the distinctive traits, histories, and care requirements of Border Collies and Vizslas, aiding you in making an informed choice when selecting the ideal furry friend to join your family.

Characteristics of Border Collie and Vizsla

expectations from Vizsla's characteristicsThe Border Collie stands out for its exceptional intelligence and innate work drive, demonstrating remarkable responsiveness to training. These dogs are highly alert, profoundly loyal, and sensitive, making them superb companions. In addition to their role as affectionate family pets, Border Collies shine in activities such as obedience, agility, tracking, and herding. They are known as ‘people dogs,’ thriving on interaction within the family unit.

On the other hand, Vizslas are renowned for their remarkable sociability, forging strong connections with their human family members. They exhibit a natural friendliness towards people, other dogs, and even cats and thrive in social settings. The Vizsla’s pleasant nature makes them a delightful companion for those who value togetherness and shared experiences.

Breed History

The Border Collie’s history is firmly rooted in England and Scotland’s lowland and border regions, dating back to the 1700s. This breed’s development is believed to have been influenced by various collie varieties like the Bearded Collie, Scotch Collie, and possibly Spaniels. As time progressed, Border Collies earned esteem among the English gentry during the 19th century, primarily due to their exceptional herding skills and affable nature as family companions.

Conversely, the Vizsla’s lineage traces back to the Magyar tribe of Hungary. They can be traced to the ancestry of the Transylvanian Hound and the Turkish yellow dog, and later, the breed received contributions from Pointers. Vizslas were renowned for their remarkable hunting abilities, making them highly prized.

However, their association with the aristocracy posed challenges, and following World War II, the breed experienced a decline in Hungary. Many dogs were taken abroad during emigration, preserving the breed’s lineage. In the 1950s, the Vizsla found renewed popularity in the United States, where their exceptional hunting skills and friendly demeanor endeared them to hunters and families alike.

Appearance Comparison

When comparing the Border Collie and Vizsla breeds, it becomes evident that they each possess unique physical attributes that set them apart. The Border Collie, often likened to the lighter-weight Australian Shepherd, exhibits some notable distinctions. Unlike the bobtail characteristic of the Aussie, Border Collies proudly showcase a feathered tail that gracefully extends to their hocks. This long, elegant tail adds to their overall aesthetic appeal.

One striking feature is their erect ears, which, though standing upright, have tips that possess a charming sag, giving them an endearing and spirited appearance. Additionally, the Border Collie’s body is slightly elongated, creating a visual impression of being longer than tall, contributing to their agility and grace.

On the other hand, the Vizsla presents a distinct and striking physique. This breed is characterized by its lean, well-defined muscles and a square muzzle that conveys strength and elegance.

Like the Border Collie, the Vizsla’s body also exhibits a subtle lengthening compared to its height, emphasizing its graceful proportions.

The most distinctive feature of the Vizsla, however, is its ears, which are thin and silky in texture, with rounded ends that delicately drape close to the cheeks. This unique ear structure adds to the breed’s aesthetic appeal. The Vizsla’s medium-sized eyes blend seamlessly with the coat’s coloration, contributing to its elegant and refined appearance.

Size Comparison

Border Collies are known for their versatile and agile physique. In terms of size, males generally reach a maximum height of around 56 centimeters (approximately 22 inches) at the shoulder and can weigh up to 30 kilograms (about 66 pounds) when healthy.

On the other hand, females tend to be slightly smaller, with an average height of up to 50 centimeters (approximately 20 inches) and a weight range of around 25 kilograms (about 55 pounds). Their bodies are well-proportioned, with a graceful length that matches their height, and they possess a feathered tail that extends to the hocks.

Vizslas, in contrast, exhibit a more slender and elegant build. Male Vizslas typically measure 22 to 24 inches at the shoulder, which translates to approximately 56 to 61 centimeters. They generally weigh between 45 to 65 pounds, with the higher end of the range being more common for males. Female Vizslas are a tad smaller, standing at 21 to 23 inches (approximately 53 to 58 centimeters) and typically weighing slightly less than their male counterparts.

In summary, Border Collies are more prominent and stockier, designed for agility and herding tasks, while Vizslas are sleeker and more compact, built for speed and endurance during hunting activities. These sizes and differences reflect these two breeds’ distinct roles and histories.

Coats & Colors

The Border Collie breed is known for its two distinct coat varieties: rough and smooth. The smooth coat, in contrast to the rough coat, is shorter and tends to be coarser in texture. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes a total of 17 standard coat colors for Border Collies. These colors range from the classic black, blue, and blue merle to brindle, gold, lilac, and more.

On the other hand, the Vizsla breed showcases a single, stunning coat type known for its remarkable beauty. Vizslas typically exhibit warm russet tones, often tinged with gold, creating a distinctive and attractive appearance. Notably, they are characterized by a striking red nose and reddish skin around the eyes. What sets Vizslas apart is their complete absence of black in their coat coloring, adding to their unique allure and making them easily distinguishable among dog breeds.

Personality & Temperament Difference of Border Collies and Vizslas

The Border Collie stands unrivaled in its status as the world’s most intelligent dog breed, consistently astonishing onlookers with its unparalleled capacity to comprehend and execute tasks swiftly. Its extraordinary cognitive prowess is a testament to its remarkable herding instincts, which demand boundless energy, acute vigilance, adept independent problem-solving, and lightning-fast responsiveness.

Conversely, the Vizsla, as per the AKC Standard, exudes vitality and embodies a gentle disposition characterized by open affection and profound sensitivity. These canines have gained fame for their warm and affectionate nature, forging deep, meaningful connections with their human companions. Their affectionate demeanor and keen sensitivity make them exceptional companions, radiating an innate understanding of their human counterparts’ emotions and needs.

In essence, the Border Collie shines as a paragon of canine intelligence, while the Vizsla’s vibrant and affectionate character cements its reputation as a breed that excels in forming deep, heartfelt bonds with the humans it cherishes. These two distinct breeds, each with their unique qualities, serve as prime examples of the diverse and remarkable world of canine companionship.

Dogs Towards Family

Border Collies are a popular choice for families seeking lively and energetic pets. Their boundless energy is both a charm and a challenge, as it requires substantial time and effort to fulfill their exercise and mental stimulation needs. These intelligent dogs thrive when engaged in herding or dog sports, making them ideal companions for active families willing to invest in their physical and mental well-being.

Conversely, Vizslas can also make excellent family additions, but it’s vital to understand that they aren’t generally considered “low-maintenance” dogs. Their affectionate nature and high energy levels demand dedicated care and attention. Vizslas are known for forming strong bonds with their human family members, and they thrive on interaction and exercise. Prospective owners should be prepared to invest time in activities like vigorous play, running, and mental stimulation to ensure a happy and well-adjusted Vizsla in the household.


Border Collies are renowned for their exceptional work ethic, unmatched intelligence, and lively demeanor. While endearing, these qualities can sometimes present challenges when interacting with small children. Their herding instincts, deeply ingrained, might lead them to exhibit behaviors like nipping at the heels of running children, which can be alarming and potentially upsetting for the kids. Parents must supervise these interactions closely and provide proper training and socialization to ensure a harmonious relationship between Border Collies and young children.

On the other hand, Vizslas are often rated highly for their compatibility with kids, earning a 4 out of 5 in child-friendliness by experts. This breed is known for its gentle and affectionate nature, making them well-suited for family life. Vizslas tend to be patient with children and are less likely to display herding behaviors or excessive energy, which can sometimes be challenging for youngsters. However, it’s essential to remember that individual dog temperament can vary, so early socialization and training remain crucial for fostering a positive bond between Vizslas and children.

Other People

Border Collies are renowned for their cautious approach to strangers, often displaying guarding instincts and a preference for autonomy in interactions with unfamiliar humans. They may not readily engage in physical affection with people they don’t know well.

In contrast, Vizslas generally lean towards sociability and adaptability. It’s essential to recognize that while Vizslas are typically pleasant, some individuals within the breed can exhibit heightened excitability and may be easily startled when confronted with new or unfamiliar environments or circumstances.

These varying temperamental traits between Border Collies and Vizslas underscore the significance of comprehending their distinctive social and behavioral characteristics when choosing the right companion for your lifestyle and preferences.

Dogs & Other Animals

Border Collies, natural herders, usually have a nonaggressive disposition when interacting with other pets. They tend to view other animals, including pets, as potential playmates once they establish a rapport. However, their herding instincts, which involve nipping and directing, can inadvertently harm other pets during play.

In contrast, Vizslas rarely exhibit aggression towards other dogs, but when they do, it typically stems from dominant behavior, inadequate training, or insufficient socialization. This aggressive tendency tends to manifest more often in encounters with unfamiliar dogs.

Behaviour Issues

Common behavioral challenges can arise with both Border Collie and Vizsla. Border Collies may exhibit issues such as barking at strangers, reacting to vehicles in various ways (barking, lunging, freezing), displaying apprehension around other dogs or people (including children), and engaging in compulsive behaviors like chasing shadows or lights.

On the other hand, Vizslas can also face distinct behavioral challenges. These may include boredom-related problems, leading to destructive behavior, nuisance barking, chewing, and digging. Herding tendencies, while rooted in their nature, can sometimes become bothersome. Additionally, Vizslas may nip at other animals and family members, causing painful bruises. Their inclination to pursue moving objects like cars, bikes, and skateboards can pose significant safety concerns.

While both breeds have unique traits and challenges, early training, socialization, and mental stimulation are vital to effectively addressing and managing these behaviors.

Training & Exercise

Both Border Collies and  Vizslas require substantial daily exercise to stay happy and healthy. For Border Collies, 2 to 3 walks per day is recommended, with 1 to 2 hours of exercise in total, depending on their age. There are various enjoyable activities to meet their exercise needs, including playing fetch, swimming, engaging in Frisbee sessions, taking long walks or hikes, and participating in agility training.

Similarly, Hungarian Vizslas need at least two hours of daily exercise, which should be divided into multiple walks and opportunities to run off-lead in a secure area. Their acute sense of smell benefits from long walks, and in addition to physical exercise, they require mental stimulation through training and puzzle games.

Vizslas excel in canine sports like agility due to their agility and athleticism. Their love for water means swimming is an excellent option, but safety precautions should be observed.

Taking Care & Maintenance of a Border Collie and a Vizsla

Ensuring your dog’s well-being shares common principles with human care. Just as you monitor your health, watch your dog’s diet, provide ample exercise, regularly maintain dental and coat hygiene, and promptly seek veterinary attention if anything appears unusual. Consistent adherence to recommended examination and vaccination schedules is crucial for breeds like Border Collies, which are prone to specific diseases. Equally vital is enrolling in pet health insurance to cover inevitable medical expenses.

In contrast, Vizslas demand high maintenance due to their exercise requirements and temperament. They thrive with daily exercise and mental stimulation, making them less suitable for sedentary lifestyles. Their strong family bonds and quick training adaptability are remarkable traits, highlighting their eagerness to please.

Grooming Comparison between Border Collies and Vizslas

how to groom your dog

Border Collie and Vizsla require regular grooming, typically recommended every 4 to 8 weeks. The Border Collie boasts a double coat, where the guard coat is longer than the undercoat, necessitating grooming to maintain health and appearance.

Same with the other breed, Vizsla grooming intervals fall within the same 4 to 8-week range, focusing on tasks like ear cleaning, nail clipping, anal gland checks, and overall coat and skin health. In summary, while the Border Collie’s double coat demands attention, the Vizsla’s grooming routine covers various aspects to ensure the dog’s well-being.


Collies and Vizslas undergo shedding, but there are notable differences in their shedding patterns and how they affect their appearance.

Collies typically experience “shedding seasons” during spring and fall due to significant weather changes, when they require a new coat of fur for the season. Although shedding is more pronounced in these months, they drop fur year-round.

In contrast, Vizslas shed a moderate amount of hair. However, their short fur is less conspicuous on furniture and clothing compared to some other breeds. Their shedding process usually involves shedding their lighter-colored winter coats in spring, revealing a richer color for the summer. Regular daily brushing can aid in expediting this shedding process, keeping their coat healthy and tidy.

Health profile of a Border Collie and a Vizsla

The Border Collie and Vizsla breeds typically enjoy robust health, but it’s essential to note that each may have specific genetic predispositions to particular health concerns. These predispositions reflect the unique genetic makeup of each breed, and while not all individuals will be affected, it’s prudent for prospective owners to be aware of potential issues.

Life Span Comparison

The Border Collie and Vizsla breeds have reasonably long life expectancies, but there are some subtle differences to consider. Border Collies are known for their impressive longevity, with an average lifespan ranging from 12 to 16 years. Some well-cared-for individuals surpass this range, occasionally reaching up to 16 years or more, which speaks to their robust health and vitality.

On the other hand, while enjoying a relatively lengthy life, Vizslas tend to have a slightly shorter average lifespan of 12 to 15 years. This means that, on average, Vizslas may have a lifespan that’s a year or so shorter compared to Border Collies.

It’s important to note that these figures are general estimates, and individual lifespans can vary depending on factors such as genetics, diet, exercise, and overall care. Regardless of the specific range, both breeds offer long-lasting companionship and a chance to create cherished memories with your furry friend.

Diet & Nutrition

Ensuring proper nutrition is paramount for the healthy development of both Border Collies and Vizsla puppies and adolescents. However, it’s essential to recognize the specific dietary requirements unique to each breed.

For Border Collies, a well-balanced diet is crucial, emphasizing the need for a dog food formula rich in protein, calcium, and carbohydrates. These elements support their active and agile nature, as Border Collies are known for their boundless energy and athleticism. Adequate protein aids in muscle development and maintenance, while calcium ensures the health of their bones and teeth. Carbohydrates provide the necessary energy to fuel their daily activities.

On the other hand, Vizsla puppies and adolescents have their own set of nutritional requirements. Their diet should comprise approximately 22–26% protein, 5-8% fat, and 6% fiber to cater to their growth and development stages. Vizslas are a breed known for their lean and muscular build, and the specified protein and fat levels contribute to the development of strong muscles and overall physique. Fiber aids in digestion and maintains a healthy gastrointestinal tract.

In summary, while Border Collies and Vizsla puppies have distinct dietary needs, both breeds benefit immensely from a well-rounded diet that meets their specific requirements. Providing the proper nutrients is vital to ensure their overall health, well-being, and the fulfillment of their breed-specific attributes.

Health Issues

Both Border Collies and Vizslas are prone to specific health concerns. In Border Collies, common issues encompass:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Hypothyroidism

Early detection through regular checkups is crucial for ensuring their well-being.

In contrast, Vizslas commonly face health conditions such as bleeding disorders, canine epilepsy, bone and joint disorders, dental problems, infections, obesity, parasites, and various eye issues. Monitoring and addressing these issues promptly are essential for maintaining the health and vitality of these two distinct breeds. Regular veterinary care is necessary to ensure Border Collies and Vizslas’s long and happy lives.

Comparing the Cost of Breeding

When considering the purchase of a Border Collie from a breeder, you’ll encounter a broad spectrum of prices, spanning from approximately $600 to as much as $4,000. The primary factor influencing these price variations is your preferences, especially if you’re looking for a show-quality puppy. Show-worthy pedigree pups often fall towards or surpass the upper limit of this price range due to the rigorous breeding standards and their prestige.

If you’re in the market for a Vizsla puppy younger than six months, reputable breeders typically offer them within the range of $400 to around $1,700. However, if your heart is set on acquiring a purebred Vizsla with specific lineage and exceptional qualities, preparing for a higher price tag may exceed $3,000. The added cost reflects the painstaking efforts of breeders to produce dogs that adhere to stringent breed standards and exhibit exceptional traits.


Border Collies, renowned for their intelligence and herding prowess, typically undergo a gestation period lasting around 63 days. During this period, it’s common for Border Collies to give birth to litters ranging in size from 4 to 8 puppies. These puppies often inherit the breed’s agility and working instincts, making them sought-after companions for various tasks.

On the other hand, Vizslas, known for their hunting abilities and affectionate nature, tend to produce litters with a slightly larger size. A Vizsla’s typical litter size usually falls within the range of 6 to 8 puppies. This robust litter size aligns with the breed’s history as skilled hunting dogs, as they often work alongside their human counterparts in retrieving game. The Vizsla’s puppies inherit their parent breed’s keen nose and athletic abilities, making them promising hunting partners and devoted family pets.

Breeders & Centers

Adopting a Border Collie or a Vizsla offers a wonderful opportunity to provide a loving home to a deserving canine companion while considering your budget. For Border Collies, adoption donations typically range from $350 to $450 for puppies under six months and $300 for dogs aged six months to 6 years.

In the case of Vizslas, adopting one from a rescue or local shelter is both a noble and practical choice. The adoption fees for Vizsla dogs at rescue centers can vary, typically within the $150 to $500 range, depending on the dog’s age and health condition.

Conclusion: Which Is Better For Me, Border Collie or Vizsla?

The Border Collie could be an excellent fit if you’re an active individual or family seeking an intelligent and highly trainable companion with a strong work ethic. Their herding instincts and agility make them exceptional for obedience training and dog sports.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for an affectionate and versatile companion with a penchant for hunting and outdoor adventures, the Vizsla may be the better choice. Their loving nature and adaptability to various weather conditions make them great for both hunting and family life.

Remember that both breeds require commitment, exercise, and mental stimulation. Ultimately, the best choice depends on your ability to meet these needs and provide a loving home for either a Border Collie or a Vizsla. Make sure to consider your lifestyle and preferences when making this important decision.

Leave a Comment