Complete Breed Comparison between Border Collie and Weimaraner

The comparison between the Border Collie and the Weimaraner offers a fascinating insight into two incredibly diverse dog breeds. Both of these breeds have unique characteristics, histories, and roles within the household, yet there are common grounds to be found. Though these breeds share some similarities, they also possess distinct characteristics that can make one more suitable for a particular owner.

Characteristics of Border Collie and Weimaraner

When it comes to characteristics, the Border Collie is well-known for its intelligence, energy, and loyalty. Known for being incredibly smart and responsive, Border Collies require substantial exercise and mental stimulation. They often form a strong bond with their family. On the other hand, the Weimaraner is renowned for its athleticism, friendliness, and strong will. These dogs have outstanding hunting and tracking abilities and are generally good with families, children, and other dogs. However, they can be independent and may require firm training.

Characteristic Border Collie Weimaraner
Size Medium Large
Weight 27-45 lbs 50-85 lbs
Coat Rough, dense or smooth Fine
Life Expectancy 12-15 years 11-13 years
Temperament Intelligent, Energetic, Obedient Intelligent, Energetic, Stubborn
Exercise Needs High High
Grooming Moderate Low
Good with Families Yes Yes

History of Breeds

Border Collie
Originating from the borderlands of England and Scotland, the Border Collie’s history can be traced back to the Roman Empire. During that time, the Romans brought larger shepherd dogs, which later interbred with native dogs. This resulted in the developing of an agile, intelligent, and hard-working breed. Historically, the Border Collie has been utilized for herding sheep thanks to its keen instinct, agility, and trainability.

The Weimaraner, also known as the “Grey Ghost” due to its unique silvery-gray coat, hails from Germany and dates back to the early 19th century. Initially bred for hunting large game like deer and bears, this breed later became a favorite amongst royalty. Its striking appearance and strong hunting capabilities contributed to its appeal.

border collie and  weimaraner dog breed collage

Appearance Differences and Similarities of Border Collie and Weimaraner

Both breeds are medium to large-sized dogs with a muscular build, but their similarities end there. Border Collies often have a more rugged appearance, with a variety of coat colors, whereas Weimaraners are recognized for their sleek silver-grey coats and striking blue or amber eyes. The contrasting looks make them distinguishable at a glance, yet both breeds share an undeniable elegance and athleticism.


In terms of size, Border Collies generally weigh between 27-45 pounds, standing 18-22 inches tall, while Weimaraners are considerably larger, weighing between 50-85 pounds and standing 23-27 inches tall. The difference in size may influence an individual’s preference depending on their living situation and ability to handle a larger or smaller dog.

Coats & Colors

The Border Collie’s coats can be rough, dense, or smooth, coming in various colors, including black, white, red, and blue, bicolor, and tri-color. Weimaraners, in contrast, possess a fine coats, typically in shades of grey, blue, silver and copper. The distinct coat types mean that the grooming and care for each breed will vary significantly.

Comparing Personality & Temperament of a Border Collie versus Weimaraner

Border Collies are known for their intelligence, agility, and determination. They are often considered one of the most intelligent dog breeds, capable of learning complex commands and tricks. Their herding instinct makes them highly driven, often requiring physical and mental stimulation to stay content. They are often described as eager to please, and responsive to training but can be somewhat reserved around strangers.

Weimaraners, on the other hand, are known for their grace and speed. They are hunting dogs bred for tracking and retrieving games. Unlike Border Collies, they tend to be more sociable and outgoing, even with strangers. They are affectionate, often becoming attached to their owners and demanding attention. While intelligent, they are sometimes seen as more stubborn and independent than Border Collies.


Border Collies often fit well with active families who can provide plenty of mental and physical exercise. They enjoy being part of the family’s daily routine, contributing to household chores, or engaging in agility training. However, their high intelligence and energy levels may not be the best fit for families that lead a more sedentary lifestyle.

Weimaraners are known for their strong attachment to their family members, often following them from room to room. They enjoy spending time indoors and are known to suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods. Weimaraners can be loving, loyal pets for families that can provide consistent companionship and moderate exercise.


Border Collies can be great with children, especially if raised with them. Their intelligence and trainability make them responsive to commands, and they can be taught to behave gently with kids. However, their herding instinct may sometimes lead them to nip or herd small children, requiring supervision and proper training.

Weimaraners are typically gentle and patient with children, making them good family pets. They love to play and can provide lively companionship for older children. However, due to their size and enthusiasm, they may accidentally knock over smaller children, so supervision and training are essential.

Other People

Border Collies may be somewhat aloof or reserved around strangers. While they are rarely aggressive, they might not be as openly affectionate or sociable with guests. Proper socialization from a young age can mitigate this trait, making them more approachable and friendly.

Weimaraners generally display a more sociable attitude toward strangers. They are often described as “friendly” dogs that enjoy meeting new people. Their hunting background does not make them shy or reserved, and with proper socialization, they can be excellent hosts when guests arrive.

Dogs & Other Animals

Border Collies often get along well with other dogs, particularly if they have been socialized early. However, their strong herding instinct can lead them to try to herd other animals, including cats or smaller pets, which can create conflicts if not managed properly.

Weimaraners, with their hunting background, may have a strong prey drive. This might lead to challenges in households with small pets like cats, birds, or rodents. They usually get along with other dogs but may require careful introduction and supervision to ensure harmony.

Behaviour Issues

The behavior of a dog is deeply influenced by breed characteristics, upbringing, training, and socialization. Though both Border Collies and Weimaraners are intelligent and energetic breeds, they have specific behavioral tendencies and potential issues that owners need to understand. Let’s dive deeper into the behavior of both breeds.

Border Collie
Border Collies, often celebrated for their intelligence, agility, and herding prowess, can present unique behavioral challenges if not properly trained and socialized.

  1. Separation Anxiety
  2. This breed often forms strong bonds with their owners. Without proper care and gradual training, separation anxiety can become an issue. This may lead to destructive behavior, excessive barking, and even self-injury when left alone. A consistent routine and gradual introduction to being alone can help alleviate this problem.

  3. Obsessive Behavior
  4. Border Collies are known to develop obsessive tendencies, such as herding everything in sight, chasing their tails, or fixating on moving objects like cars or bicycles. This behavior stems from their strong herding instincts and requires specialized training and engagement to manage.

  5. Herding Instincts
  6. Their herding instinct can extend to children, other pets, or even adults. While it may seem amusing, it can lead to nipping or biting. This behavior must be controlled through training and by providing alternatives like herding balls or agility activities.

  7. Sensitivity
  8. Border Collies are known for being highly sensitive to their owner’s emotions, needs, and even subtle cues. This sensitivity can turn into anxiety or stress if not managed with understanding and consistent handling.

Weimaraners, with their hunting background and majestic appearance, also come with their set of behavior issues.

  1. Hunting Instincts
  2. Weimaraners were bred to hunt large game, and these instincts can be strong. They may chase smaller animals or even perceive them as prey. Early socialization, consistent training, and keeping them on a leash in unsecured areas can help manage this behavior.

  3. Separation Anxiety
  4. Much like Border Collies, Weimaraners can suffer from separation anxiety. This issue can be exacerbated if they do not receive enough physical exercise or mental stimulation. Techniques like crate training and providing stimulating toys can help in reducing anxiety.

  5. Stubbornness and Dominance
  6. Weimaraners can sometimes exhibit a stubborn or dominant attitude. This trait can be a challenge during training and requires a firm yet gentle approach. Consistency and clear boundaries are vital in managing this behavior.

Training & Exercise of a Border Collie versus Weimaraner

Border Collies are known for their exceptional intelligence and willingness to learn. They excel in obedience training and can be taught a variety of complex commands and tricks. This breed thrives on mental stimulation and needs consistent, positive reinforcement training methods. However, their intelligence can make them somewhat challenging for novice owners, as they quickly learn how to manipulate situations to their advantage.

A Border Collie requires intense physical exercise. Originally bred for herding, they have high energy levels that need to be channeled through regular activities such as running, playing, and agility training. Without sufficient exercise, a Border Collie may become bored and develop destructive behaviors.

Weimaraners, on the other hand, are intelligent and trainable but can be more stubborn and independent compared to Border Collies. They require firm and consistent training from an early age. Positive reinforcement and patient handling are essential, as harsh methods can lead to distrust and fearfulness.

Weimaraners are high-energy dogs that need regular exercise. They enjoy running, hiking, and playing fetch. Unlike Border Collies, they may not require as much mental stimulation but still benefit from engagement and consistent physical activities.

Taking Care & Maintenance Difference

When it comes to caring for and maintaining two distinct breeds, the Border Collie and the Weimaraner, understanding the unique requirements of each is vital for the well-being of the dog. Both these breeds have specific needs that must be met to keep them healthy, happy, and well-adjusted.

Border Collies may become bored and develop behavioral issues like chewing, barking, or digging if not mentally stimulated. Providing toys that are interactive will do the trick.

A strong bond with their owner can be fostered through play and training, and they often excel in activities that involve teamwork between dog and owner. Having a yard or access to a park where the dog can run and play is beneficial but optional if the owner is committed to providing ample exercise.

On the other hand, Weimaraners are high-energy dogs that require regular and vigorous exercise. Activities such as running, biking, swimming, or even participating in dog sports like dock diving can be suitable for this breed.

Without a consistent exercise routine, a Weimaraner may become restless and engage in unwanted behaviors like chewing or excessive barking. Weimaraners should have access to a secure yard where they can run and play freely. They enjoy spending time outdoors, so hiking, camping, or other outdoor adventures can be an excellent way to fulfill this need.

It’s essential to understand their prey drive, given their hunting background, and take precautions when off-leash, especially in areas with small animals. Training a Weimaraner may require a firm but gentle approach, with early socialization being key to helping them become well-behaved members of the family. Proper socialization with other dogs and people is also critical to develop their friendly and well-mannered nature.

Grooming a Border Collie versus Weimaraner

Border Collies are recognized for their double coat, consisting of a dense undercoat and a coarser outer coat. The texture and length can vary widely, ranging from rough to smooth and long to short.

Brushing them at least once a week is necessary to remove loose hair and avoid matting. They may require more regular grooming during shedding season to control extra loose hair. Regular ear checks and nail trims are also essential. Some owners opt for professional grooming a few times a year, especially if the dog has a longer coat, to keep it neat and manageable.

On the other hand, Weimaraners have a smooth, short coat that is known for its unique silver-gray color. They are considered low-maintenance in terms of grooming. Weekly brushing with a bristle brush is generally sufficient to keep their coat healthy and shiny. Regular ear cleaning and nail trimming are necessary, but professional grooming is usually unnecessary for a Weimaraner, as their short coat doesn’t tend to mat or tangle.

In contrast to the Border Collie, the Weimaraner’s grooming needs are minimal. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance breed in terms of grooming, the Weimaraner is a more suitable choice. However, the luxurious coat of the Border Collie has its unique appeal for those willing to invest time in regular grooming.


Border Collies have a dense double coat that sheds year-round, with increased shedding during the spring and fall. During the shedding seasons, daily brushing might be required to manage loose hair, and the amount of shedding may be a concern for those with allergies.

Weimaraners, on the other hand, are minimal shedders. Although they shed less overall, Weimaraners do shed consistently throughout the year. However, due to their short hair, the shedding is less noticeable and easier to manage. The Weimaraner would be the preferable choice for those concerned with shedding and potential allergies. Their shorter and less dense coat means less time spent on managing loose hair.

Life Span

Border Collies are known for their longevity and typically live between 12 to 15 years. Some may even live longer with proper care and a healthy lifestyle. Regular check-ups and an active lifestyle can contribute to a Border Collie’s long life.

In contrast, Weimaraners have a comparable life span, generally living between 11 to 13 years. They are prone to certain genetic health issues, such as hip dysplasia, and regular vet visits and a proper diet can help maintain their health. Both breeds have a similar lifespan, although Border Collies might have a slight edge in longevity. Both require attention to health and regular veterinary care.

Diet & Nutrition

Border Collies are highly energetic dogs that require a well-balanced diet to support their activity levels. They need a diet rich in protein, fats, carbohydrates, and essential vitamins and minerals. Feeding them high-quality commercial food or carefully planned homemade meals twice a day is generally recommended.

Weimaraners also need a nutritious diet, but their needs are slightly different due to their build and energy levels. They require a diet that supports their muscular body and is rich in protein and healthy fats. Care must be taken not to overfeed Weimaraners, as they are prone to obesity. Both breeds require careful attention to their diet, but their needs are tailored to their unique physical characteristics and energy levels. Proper research and consultation with a veterinarian can guide the best dietary choices for either breed.

Health Issues

Both breeds face some common health issues, such as hip dysplasia. Border Collies may also suffer from eye conditions, while Weimaraners are prone to gastric torsion. Understanding these potential health issues and the costs associated with them can assist in making an informed decision.

Cost of getting a Border Collie versus Weimaraner

The cost of acquiring a Border Collie generally ranges from $600-$1,200 from a reputable breeder, while a Weimaraner may be slightly more expensive, ranging from $500-$2,500. Budget considerations, including ongoing care, training, and health, should be taken into account.


The Border Collie typically has a litter size ranging from 4 to 8 puppies. Various factors such as genetics, age, health, and overall care can affect this number. Regular veterinary check-ups and a healthy diet contribute to the overall fertility of the Border Collie. Breeders often plan and monitor these litters carefully to maintain the health of both the mother and the puppies.

On the other hand, Weimaraners usually have a larger litter, ranging from 6 to 8 puppies. This breed often requires additional care during pregnancy due to the larger litter size. Like the Border Collie, the mother’s overall health, age, and care significantly impact the number of puppies in a litter.

In comparing the two breeds, one can note the Weimaraner’s larger litter size. This is an advantage for breeders seeking more puppies, though it also entails additional responsibilities and care.

Breeders & Centers

Border Collies are widely available through various breeding centers and individual breeders. Since this breed is known for its intelligence and agility, breeders often focus on preserving these qualities. Many breeding programs also emphasize herding abilities and adhere to specific standards and guidelines to ensure the health and temperament of the dogs. Adoption from rescue centers is also popular for those looking for Border Collies.

The Weimaraner’s unique appearance and noble history have created a demand that has led to specialized breeding centers. These centers often adhere to stringent standards regarding the breed’s appearance, temperament, and health. Some breeders are mainly focused on preserving the Weimaraner’s hunting capabilities. Like Border Collies, Weimaraners are also available through rescue and adoption centers, though they may be less commonly found.

Conclusion: Which Is Better, Border Collie versus Weimaraner?

The Border Collie may be the ideal choice for an intelligent and easily trainable dog that thrives on work and mental stimulation. They are well-suited for families with an active lifestyle and ample time to dedicate to training and play.

On the other hand, the Weimaraner offers a majestic and loyal companion for those who appreciate a more robust and energetic dog. They may best suit experienced owners who can handle their independent nature and provide proper socialization.

Both breeds are loving and loyal but require specific care and attention to their unique needs. The key to a successful relationship with either breed lies in understanding their particular characteristics and ensuring they align with your lifestyle and capabilities.

Whether you choose the intellectual agility of the Border Collie or the noble elegance of the Weimaraner, either breed can provide a fulfilling and rewarding companionship when matched with the right owner.

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