Welsh Springer Spaniel versus Border Collie Comparison – Which Dog is for You?

Border Collies stands out as the epitome of loyalty and devotion in the realm of canine companions. These remarkable dogs forge profound connections with their chosen owners, reserving their affection and seeking solace solely from that special bond. Border Collies are unequivocally one-person dogs, their unwavering love and loyalty dedicated exclusively to their owner. Beyond their heartwarming affection, they possess a protective instinct that rivals other vigilant breeds, making them guardians and watchful sentinels.

Meanwhile, on a different branch of the canine family tree, the Welsh Springer Spaniel distinguishes itself with a more composed demeanor, displaying wisdom and restraint not always found in its exuberant cousin, the Welsh Springer. A robust and tireless worker in the great outdoors, the Welsh Springer Spaniel thrives on activities like running, hiking, or biking, reveling in the adventures that connect it to its human companions.

Characteristics of Welsh Springer Spaniel and Border Collie

Border Collies, renowned for their exceptional trainability and intelligence, have proven versatile athletes in many canine sports. These sports include obedience trials, flyball competitions, agility courses, tracking challenges, and flying disc tournaments. Their sharp minds and boundless energy make them stand out in these activities, solidifying their reputation as one of the most agile and intelligent dog breeds.

In contrast, the Welsh Springer Spaniel boasts a distinctive red and white coat with no variations in color. This breed is characterized by its lively and active nature, consistently radiating a joyful disposition. Furthermore, Welsh Springer Spaniels exhibit unwavering loyalty and affection towards their families, making them excellent companions. Their innate protective instincts also make them effective watchdogs, providing additional security for their homes.

History of Breeds

The Border Collie, a renowned sheep herding dog, originated in the border region connecting Scotland, England, and Wales. Many centuries ago, when dog breeds lacked precise definitions, this breed was referred to as a Collie, Sheepdog, or Shepherd’s dog. The emergence of the International Sheep Dog Society in 1906 marked a pivotal moment in fostering interest in shepherding and solidifying the Border Collie’s contemporary lineage.

On the other hand, the history of the Welsh Springer Spaniel can be traced back to as early as 7000 BC, when it accompanied hunters in their pursuits. During the Mesolithic age, these sprightly Spaniels would traverse the coastlines of Brittany, Cornwall, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland alongside hunters.

The 1700s saw a surge in the popularity of Welsh Springer Spaniels, particularly among hunters who valued their remarkable skills. Nevertheless, as the 1800s unfolded, the Welsh Springer Spaniels faced competition from the English Springer Spaniel and other spaniel breeds.

It wasn’t until 1914 that the American Kennel Club officially recognized the Welsh Springer Spaniel, acknowledging its unique characteristics and contributions to hunting and companionship.

Over the centuries, the Border Collie and the Welsh Springer Spaniel have left indelible marks on the rich canine history, each with its distinct heritage and significance.

Appearance Comparison between a Border Collie and a Welsh Springer Spaniel

dog with good stance

The Border Collie breed boasts distinctive physical characteristics that make them unique. Among these attributes are their robust, muscular legs, which testify to their inherent inclination for physical activity. Another noteworthy feature is the striking contrast in the color of the tip of their tail, which consistently remains white. The ears of a Border Collie brings a unique charm to the dog’s appearance and there are three different variation it exhibit which are:

  1. Dropped
  2. semi-erect
  3. fully erect

Each variation brings a unique charm to the breed’s appearance.

On the other hand, the Welsh Springer Spaniel is a breed that captures attention with its captivating beauty and graceful presence. These dogs possess an agile body, accentuated by their delightfully floppy ears adorned with light feathering. A charming feature often found on their muzzles is the presence of freckle-like flecks, adding an extra touch of character to their appearance. It’s common for Welsh Springer Spaniels to have their tails docked, a typical practice for this breed.


Border Collies and Welsh Springer Spaniels showcase distinct characteristics in terms of size and stature. The Border Collie, a renowned herding breed, exhibits variations in weight and height between males and females. Males of this breed typically tip the scales at a maximum of 30 kilograms and stand as tall as 56 centimeters at the withers. Conversely, their female counterparts tend to be slightly lighter, with a healthy weight range of up to 25 kilograms and a maximum height of approximately 50 centimeters.

On the other hand, the Welsh Springer Spaniel, a breed known for its affectionate nature and boundless energy, also presents gender-based differences in size. The male Welsh Springer Spaniel typically falls within a weight range of 40 to 45 pounds while standing at around 19 inches in height at the withers. In contrast, their female counterparts tend to be a touch smaller, weighing between 35 to 40 pounds and reaching an altitude of approximately 18 inches.

These variations in size between male and female individuals within these two breeds are fascinating examples of the diverse physical attributes found among our four-legged companions, each tailored to their unique roles and characteristics within the canine world.

Coats & Colors

The Border Collie, a renowned breed, showcases a fascinating diversity in its coat types, consisting of rough and smooth varieties. The smooth coat, characterized by its shorter length and slightly coarser texture, distinguishes itself from its rough-coated counterpart. However, these coat types share a common trait known as a ‘double coat. This distinctive feature consists of a soft, dense undercoat that provides insulation and warmth and a longer, water-resistant outer layer of fur.

Jumping into recognized coat colors, the American Kennel Club (AKC) acknowledges a rich palette of 17 standard Border Collie color variations with some of the most common like black, blue, blue gold, red, white and black, white and blue, blue merle, white with red, red and white merle. Each of these colors contributes to the breed’s visual allure and diversity.

In contrast, the Welsh Springer Spaniel possesses a distinct coat characterized by its glossy, silky, and flat texture, adorned with feathering on the extremities. However, it is noteworthy that the Welsh Springer Spaniel’s exclusive and recognized color combination is a vibrant and striking “rich red and white,” setting it apart and enhancing its unique charm within the world of canine breeds.

Personality & Temperament of Welsh Springer Spaniel versus Border Collie

The Border Collie is known for its highly playful and interactive nature, making it an excellent companion for people of all age groups. However, its boundless energy levels may pose a challenge for young children or elderly individuals who may struggle to keep up with its vigor.

This dog breed thrives on human interaction and bonds strongly with its owners. Its intelligence and eagerness to please make it highly trainable, making it a popular choice for dog owners who enjoy teaching their pets new tricks and commands. Nevertheless, it’s essential to channel their mental and physical energy effectively, as Border Collies can become restless and exhibit destructive behaviors if not adequately stimulated.

As with Welsh Springer Spaniels, they are characterized by their even-tempered disposition, loyalty, and affectionate nature. They are well-suited for families of all compositions and can quickly adapt to different living situations. Their loving and dependable demeanor makes them great companions, particularly those seeking a devoted, gentle-hearted canine friend. Whether enjoying a quiet evening on the couch or embarking on outdoor adventures, Welsh Springer Spaniels are known for their unwavering companionship and affectionate presence.


Border Collies are ideal additions to family life due to their innate affinity for constant activity. These intelligent canines thrive in environments bustling with energy and engagement. For families with active lifestyles, these dogs can seamlessly integrate into their daily routines, becoming valued companions for adventures and play.

However, the vitality of Border Collies comes with a caveat: when left unstimulated or uninvolved in family activities, they may resort to destructive behaviors to combat boredom.

Therefore, it is imperative for busy households to actively include them in their pursuits, ensuring that their mental and physical needs are met and their boundless energy is channeled constructively.

On the other hand, the Welsh Springer Spaniel stands out as a paragon of devotion and loyalty among dog breeds. These affectionate creatures possess an innate predisposition to form deep connections with their owners and family members. Their unwavering loyalty and love make them exceptional family pets. They thrive on affection and attention, constantly seeking opportunities to engage with their human companions.

This inherent loyalty and desire to please make Welsh Springer Spaniels enthusiastic participants in household activities, enriching family life with their warmth and companionship. They willingly embrace their role as integral family members, providing unwavering support and contributing to the overall joy and harmony of the household.


Border Collies have a long history of cohabitating with children, establishing themselves as suitable companions. These affectionate dogs are often an ideal choice for families with young ones. However, their exuberant nature can sometimes manifest in undesirable behaviors, such as jumping on visitors, occasional possessiveness over food and toys, and the tendency to nip at children’s heels during play if not adequately trained.

Compared to a Welsh Springer Spaniel, these dogs are renowned for their child-friendly disposition. Their calm and gentle demeanor makes them an excellent match for kids. Nevertheless, it is essential to exercise caution, especially with toddlers. Despite their generally well-behaved nature, these dogs can still display bursts of exuberance that might inadvertently lead to accidental knocks or tumbles. It is strongly advised to always supervise their interactions with young children to ensure everyone’s safety and maintain a harmonious relationship.

Other People

It is essential to exercise caution when introducing a Border Collie to unfamiliar individuals. This breed possesses a distinctive pack-oriented mindset, causing them to exercise caution when interacting with individuals beyond their immediate family circle. This inherent pack mentality can lead them to exhibit aggression if they perceive a threat to their “pack” from an outsider.

Welsh Springer Spaniel tends to be reserved in the presence of strangers. It is crucial to facilitate early socialization for this breed to counteract this tendency towards timidity. This involves exposing them to various people, environments, sounds, and experiences. By doing so, owners can help their Welsh Springer Spaniels become more comfortable and less reserved around unfamiliar individuals.

Dogs & Other Animals

Border Collies have the potential to form strong bonds with other dogs, akin to the connections found in human families. However, their human caregivers must ensure a peaceful coexistence among these dogs. This requires attentively meeting the well-being needs of each canine family member.

Border Collies generally display a friendly disposition towards other dogs, extending their warmth to those outside their immediate pack. Nonetheless, it’s important to acknowledge that not all canine interactions will lead to friendship due to various factors. Early socialization during a dog’s developmental stages significantly influences its psychological well-being and ability to establish positive connections with other dogs.

In contrast, Welsh Springer Spaniels often exhibit a friendly and accommodating demeanor, making them compatible with other dogs. Proper socialization from a young age further enhances their ability to interact positively with fellow animals.

However, it’s crucial to remember that individual personalities among Welsh Springer Spaniels can differ, and when introducing a new dog into the household, careful and proper introductions are essential.

Simply put, fostering harmonious relationships among dogs, regardless of breed, demands responsible stewardship and thoughtful socialization practices, ensuring a peaceful coexistence within the canine family unit.

Behaviour Issues

prevent behavioral issues in dogs

The Border Collie puppy demonstrates remarkable intelligence and a quick learning capacity, making it a promising companion. However, alongside its impressive ability to pick up good manners swiftly, it has the potential to acquire less desirable behaviors. Among these potential problematic tendencies are excessive barking, incessant digging, relentless chewing, and a penchant for boredom. All of which can culminate in destructive conduct from this particular breed.

Similarly, Welsh Springer Spaniels, known for their athleticism, require consistent opportunities to release pent-up energy and engage in stimulating activities. The absence of such outlets may lead to hyperactivity and boredom, which these dogs typically express through excessive barking and destructive chewing.

These two breeds share a common need for mental and physical stimulation. A Border Collie’s sharp mind craves challenges and interaction, while a Welsh Springer Spaniel’s athletic prowess demands regular exercise to stay content. Failure to meet these requirements could result in behavioral issues that make cohabitation challenging. Thus, responsible ownership involves acknowledging their intelligence and athleticism and ensuring their needs for mental and physical stimulation are met to prevent undesirable conduct from arising.

Training & Exercise

The Collie, a breed known for its boundless energy and intelligence, demands at least two hours of daily exercise. However, it’s worth noting that when it comes to Collies, more training equates to a happier and healthier dog. To ensure their well-being, it is advisable to divide this exercise regimen into several sessions throughout the day, incorporating off-leash playtime in a secure environment.

In addition to physical exertion, Collies thrive on mental stimulation. Owners should allocate ample time for interactive play, training sessions, and the creation of mentally challenging games. These activities not only prevent boredom but also nurture Collie’s cognitive abilities. Puzzle feeders are valuable for engaging their sharp minds, providing entertainment and a rewarding challenge.

Switching gears to the Welsh Springer Spaniel, maintaining their health and happiness requires around two hours of daily physical activity. This can encompass a variety of activities such as field training, hunting exercises, agility training, playing fetch, brisk walks, or a combination of these engaging pursuits. Adequate exercise for a Welsh Springer Spaniel wards off undesirable behavior and helps alleviate anxiety, contributing to a well-balanced and contented pet.

Taking Care & Maintenance of a Border Collie versus Welsh Springer Spaniel

Incorporating a Border Collie into one’s daily routine is essential for ensuring the overall well-being and longevity of this intelligent and energetic breed. Proper care is the key to your Sheepdog companion’s happy and healthy life. Emphasizing the significance of a balanced diet and a regular exercise regimen cannot be stressed enough.

To ensure your Border Collie’s safety and prevent any mishaps, it is imperative to supervise them with the diligence one would employ when watching over a curious toddler. This entails keeping doors secured, maintaining a tidy living environment, and, if necessary, restricting access to certain rooms.

These measures will help prevent your furry friend from engaging with potentially hazardous objects. Oral hygiene should also be a priority, with teeth brushing at least twice weekly to ensure dental health. In addition to these routine care practices, it’s crucial to consider specific needs based on your dog’s breed.

For Welsh Springer Spaniels, regular paw trimming, including the area beneath the pads, is essential. Moreover, their ears require careful attention. Trimming the edges, beneath the ears, and around the ear canal opening is crucial for preventing infections and maintaining proper air circulation.

Grooming Difference

The Border Collie boasts a dual-layered coat, characterized by its guard coat being notably longer than its undercoat. Proper grooming is essential for this breed, requiring attention every 4 to 8 weeks. This regular maintenance ensures that the Border Collie’s coat remains healthy and visually appealing.

Similarly, the Welsh Springer Spaniel, renowned for its striking red-and-white coat, necessitates consistent grooming efforts to maintain its pristine appearance. For this breed, weekly grooming sessions are recommended to keep its fur in optimal condition. A thorough soft brush session should be the cornerstone of this grooming routine. Additionally, using a slicker brush or a metal dog comb becomes essential to work through any mats or tangles meticulously.

Both of these canine breeds have distinct coat care needs. While the Border Collie’s longer guard coat calls for less frequent grooming sessions, the Welsh Springer Spaniel’s vibrant coat demands more regular attention.

In either case, diligent grooming practices keep these dogs looking their best and contribute to their overall well-being and comfort. By adhering to these grooming guidelines, owners can ensure that their furry companions remain healthy and presentable.


Border Collies typically experience shedding due to their double-coated long fur, a characteristic common among this breed. Shedding is inevitable for these dogs and becomes significantly noticeable during certain seasons. In particular, Border Collies tend to molt the most during the spring and autumn months. During these periods, owners can expect a significant increase in hair shedding.

In contrast, Welsh Springer Spaniels exhibit a different shedding pattern. While they are not heavy shedders, they cannot be classified as minimal shedders either. Instead, they fall into the category of moderate shedders when compared to other breeds. This means that Welsh Springer Spaniel owners can anticipate a reasonable amount of shedding from their pets throughout the year.

Health Comparison

Certain canine breeds have robust physiques, resilient immune systems, and resistance to prevalent canine maladies. Among the fortunate breeds, the Border Collie stands out as an exceptionally sturdy and healthy canine, designed to engage in work, frolic, and energetic play without health issues. Nevertheless, this doesn’t imply that these affectionate and agile pups are impervious to health challenges.

On the other hand, Welsh Springer Spaniels are generally recognized for their durability and overall health. These dogs possess a commendable level of hardiness and well-being, making them a reliable choice for those seeking a robust canine companion. Their physical constitution and immune systems are well-suited to various activities and environments.

While they may not be utterly immune to health issues, Welsh Springer Spaniels are typically considered a robust and resilient breed, capable of enjoying an active and vibrant life with proper care and attention from their human companions.

Life Span

Border Collies typically enjoy a lifespan ranging from 10 to 17 years. Yet, it’s noteworthy that most of these diligent herding dogs live closer to the midpoint of this lifespan spectrum. While it’s not unheard of for Border Collies to reach the impressive age of 17, such longevity is relatively rare but not entirely impossible.

In general, dogs from this breed are predisposed to live at least 12 years, demonstrating their resilience and vitality. Nonetheless, it’s important to acknowledge that certain genetic lines within the Border Collie population are susceptible to health issues that can truncate their lifespan to a mere decade.

In comparison to Welsh Springer Spaniel, they typically have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years. However, depending on their overall health and well-being, their time on this Earth may be considerably shortened.

Both these breeds, with their unique characteristics and traits, have their variations in lifespan, highlighting the importance of responsible breeding and diligent care to ensure they live long, healthy, and happy lives.

Diet & Nutrition

what's the best diet for your dog

The ideal diet for Border Collies emphasizes a balanced and tailored approach that considers their specific life stage and energy requirements. This diet includes high-quality protein, healthy fats, essential vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber from vegetables and berries, crucial for canine nutrition.

It’s essential to recognize that a dog’s digestive system isn’t well-equipped to handle carbohydrates, the primary component of commercial kibble. Even grain-free kibble often contains substantial starchy carbs like rice, potato, legumes, and lentils. Feeding kibble can strain a dog’s digestive system, leading to fluctuations in insulin, glucagon, and cortisol levels, potentially stressing the pancreas. This raises concerns about the suitability of kibble for Border Collies.

When considering the dietary needs of Welsh Springer Spaniels, it’s vital to understand their canine anatomy and digestive processes, which have changed little since their wolf ancestors. Their digestive system thrives on fresh, protein-rich diets, including meat, bones, and organ meats, aligning with the concept of ‘species-appropriate nutrition,’ akin to a natural, raw diet.

In summary, the ideal diet for a Welsh Springer Spaniel should be finely tuned to their life stage and energy requirements, following the principles of the dog’s appropriate nutrition.

This approach ensures that Welsh Springer Spaniels receive nutrition tailored to their evolutionary heritage and individual needs.

Health Issues

Border Collies are typically considered a hardy and healthy breed. However, there are specific health concerns that prospective owners should be mindful of. The breed is genetically predisposed to several common health issues, including hip dysplasia, collie eye anomaly, progressive retinal atrophy, lens luxation, and epilepsy.

One ailment, Gray Collie Syndrome, is unique to collie breeds. In addition to these, Border Collies may also suffer from hereditary disorders exclusive to their lineage, such as specific genetic forms of intestinal cobalamin malabsorption and neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

A crucial point to emphasize is that any Border Collie afflicted by one of these named disorders should not be used for breeding purposes to prevent the transmission of these conditions to future generations of the breed.

Turning attention to Welsh Springer Spaniels, they also have health conditions that potential owners should be cautious about when selecting a breeder. These concerns include the possibility of hip and elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, autoimmune thyroiditis, and various eye diseases like entropion, glaucoma, and hereditary cataracts.

Therefore, when considering acquiring a Welsh Springer Spaniel, it’s vital to choose a responsible and reputable breeder who conducts thorough health screenings to minimize the risk of these hereditary conditions affecting the dog’s well-being.

Regular veterinary check-ups and proactive health management for both dog breeds can also contribute significantly to ensuring overall health and longevity.

Cost of Breeding a Border Collie versus Welsh Springer Spaniel

Border Collies, sought-after for their intelligence and versatility, are popular as family pets. Depending on lineage, breeder reputation, and location, these canines have varying price tags. Typically, the cost of a Border Collie bred for family life ranges from $500 to $1,800, catering to a broad spectrum of budgets.

For those scouring the internet for their future furry companion, there may be opportunities to find puppies priced between $250 and $1,000. However, buyers should exercise caution and thoroughly research the breeders to ensure the well-being and health of the puppies.

Alternatively, if one prefers to acquire a Border Collie through the American Kennel Club marketplace, the price tends to be relatively higher, with most puppies falling from $1,500 to $2,500. In this case, the higher fee may reflect the breeder’s commitment to maintaining breed standards and the dogs’ health.

Similarly, prices across North America vary between $1,500 and $3,500 for those considering the delightful Welsh Springer Spaniel. Currently, most Spaniel breeders charge around $2,000 to $2,500. However, these figures can fluctuate, influenced by factors like breeder location, shipping costs, and the specific genetic qualities of the puppy. Thus, potential buyers should conduct diligent research and discussion with breeders to find the perfect match for their preferences and budget.


The Border Collie, a popular and intelligent breed known for its herding abilities, typically has litters consisting of 4 to 8 puppies. This range signifies the variability in the number of offspring a female Border Collie can produce in a single litter. While four puppies represent the lower limit, eight puppies mark this breed’s upper limit of the usual litter size.

Compared to Welsh Springer Spaniel’s reproductive patterns, it is slightly different. These charming dogs tend to have somewhat larger litter compared to Border Collies. A typical Welsh Springer litter can include 6 to 8 puppies, showcasing a relatively more consistent range in their reproductive capacity.

This diversity in litter sizes among these two distinct breeds reflects the natural variation in canine reproduction. Genetics, age, health, and individual differences significantly determine the precise number of puppies born in each litter. Breeders and dog owners must be prepared for these variations and provide appropriate care to ensure the health and well-being of both the mother and her puppies during the birthing and early rearing stages.

Breeders & Centers

where to get a Border Collie

When considering adopting a Border Collie puppy through a rescue organization or shelter, one can expect to incur an average cost ranging from $200 to $500. This fee encompasses several essential services, such as initial vaccinations, spaying or neutering surgery, and, on occasion, microchipping. The precise amount within this range is contingent upon several factors, including the particular rescue group one engages with and the extent of medical care the puppy has received before finding its forever home.

Adopting a Welsh Springer Spaniel generally hovers around $250 for those who opt for adoption instead of purchasing from a breeder. However, it’s worth noting that some rescue organizations may charge as much as $500. This variance in fees is influenced by the specific facility’s policies, the range of services they provide, and the resources allocated to the care and rehabilitation of these dogs.

Conclusion: Which Is Better, Border Collie or Welsh Springer Spaniel?

Choosing between a Border Collie and a Welsh Springer Spaniel as a pet should not be a matter of which is “better,” but rather a decision tailored to individual preferences and lifestyles. Border Collies are renowned for their intelligence, energy, and herding instincts, excelling in agility and obedience training, but they require an active owner for proper mental and physical stimulation.

Conversely, Welsh Springer Spaniels are affectionate, friendly, and adaptable, making them excellent family dogs. They need regular exercise and outdoor activities. Prospective dog owners should assess their activity level, living situation, and training/exercise commitment. Adoption from rescues and shelters is also an important consideration.

Ultimately, the choice between these breeds hinges on one’s unique circumstances and desired canine companion, requiring thorough research to make an informed decision.

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