English Shepherd vs Border Collie – Is There A Difference?

When making comparisons between English Shepherd vs Border Collie, it’s clear that their beginnings are comparable. They have a lot in common and look a lot alike. However, just one of these dog breeds was created in the United Kingdom.

Let’s try to learn and discover what makes them unique from each other.

What is an English Shepherd Dog Breed?

Shepherd with brown coat

Despite their origins in the United States, English Shepherds share many characteristics with traditional British herding dogs. They are hardworking, energetic, and incredibly brilliant. This dog breed has evolved a diverse set of talents in addition to herding sheep and can execute a variety of farm duties. The English Shepherds are also fantastic family dogs and faithful companions.

What is a Border Collie Dog Breed?

Border Collies have all of the characteristics that make a great herding dog. They are dedicated, intelligent, agile, and devoted to their owners. The Collies are still one of the most popular alternatives for anyone searching for a dog that could really look after cattle. Border Collies have become one of the most famous family dogs and regular victors of canine competitions, in addition to herding.

History of English Shepherd vs Border Collie

The English Shepherd, also known as British Shepherd, is not from the United Kingdom! In fact, the development of the English Shepherd dogs originated in the United States. This breed is a cross between different varieties of Collies that British and Irish settlers have put to the new continent. Because of their great resemblance to the first collies transported from the UK, they acquired the name “English Shepherd.”

Border collie looking back on history

The Border Collie, on the other hand, descended from a number of British Collies, and its name derived from its origins on the Anglo-Scottish border. All genuine Border Collies may be traced back to Old Hemp nowadays. Border Collies have been bred in massive numbers in Australia and New Zealand ever since the early 1900s, despite their British-American origins.

Appearance of English Shepherd vs Border Collie

Known for their work ethic, the characteristics of the Border Collies is highly evident in their appearance. Their medium-sized robust bodies are slender and athletic, with plenty of strength.

They have two coats to defend them from the elements. It is available in two types: smooth and rough. The waterproof undercoat is also rather soft. As several canines may have liver, tan, or blue merle patches, the most popular variety is still black and white.

Meanwhile, in terms of the appearance of the English Shepherd it has the feature of a traditional herding dog. They have a body that is well-proportioned, thin, and muscular. This breed is medium-sized yet has a lot of strength, allowing them to handle heavy animals.

The English Shepherd has a water-resistant double coat, like other British Isles dogs. The undercoat is dense and velvety, with a silky topcoat that might be wavy or straight. Sable and white, black and tan, black and white and various colored (black, white, tan) coats are the most common color patterns for this dog breed.

Comparison Table

Body stancemedium-sized with agile bodymedium-sized with athletic build
Earslowered and often flopped ear-setdropped ears
Eyesintelligent, oval eyessmart, rounded eyes
Headwider head, shorter muzzlewide or narrow head that conforms to the body proportion
Coat Lengthshortmedium-to-long
Coat Textureless densecoarse and dense
Weight (Female) 18 - 23 kg12 - 19 kg
Weight (Male) 21 - 28 kg14 - 20 kg
Height (Female) 18 - 23 in18 - 21 in
Height (Male) 18 - 23 in19 - 22 in

Temperament of English Shepherd vs Border Collie

Border Collie owners are well aware that their dogs rarely sleep. This breed has an endless supply of energy and enjoys putting it to good use. They retained almost all their herding instincts, and in the absence of cattle, they will most likely try to herd their family.

This dog is ideal for those who enjoy being active outdoors. Border Collies are intelligent dogs who are trainable to do a number of jobs, but they do necessarily involve a guiding hand due to their stubbornness.

Behave english shepherd

English Shepherds, like Border Collies, are clever, hardworking, and hyperactive dogs. They also have a strong sense of independence and are adept of doing most things on their own. The English Shepherds are, nevertheless, relatively easy to teach and obedient.

Aside from that, they are a very gentle and friendly breed. Children and other animals get along pretty smoothly with English Shepherds. They can, however, become terribly enthusiastic and herd their “flock” with their teeth. However, they become bored quickly and may become aggressive.

Health of English Shepherd vs Border Collie

Both the English Shepherd and the Border Collie are not hypoallergenic.

It was discovered that roughly 15% of English Shepherds, just like other herding breeds, possessed a gene abnormality termed MDR1. This implies they have a negative reaction to many common dog medications and are extremely sensitive to them. This ailment can be fatal, so make sure you test the English Shepherd for it and understand what you’re up against. Also, hip dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) are some dog ailments that an English Shepherd may acquire.

Since both breeds have an average lifespan of 11 to 15 years, the Border Collie life expectancy is 14 years old or longer if they are in good health. Although they are a healthy dog breed, there are a few canine maladies which are far more prominent in this breed, so it’s a good idea to be informed about what could go wrong, even if it’s quite uncommon with proper care. Epilepsy, collie eye anomaly, and hip dysplasia are the illnesses that you should watch for in this dog breed.

Caring & Training of English Shepherd vs Border Collie

Both the English Shepherd and the Border Collie require a lot of socialization with other people. However, there are no two dog breeds that are perfectly similar. Meaning, these two canine species have their own unique features that require different care and attention.

Taking Care of a Puppy

Getting a Border Collie puppy is a significant deal, and taking care of a Collie is crucial. You can do a lot to give a Border Collie puppy the greatest possible start in life. Perform some tasks on a regular basis like veterinary health examinations, vaccines, precautionary measures, and providing special attention. These will help to preserve your Border Collie puppy’s health in tip-top shape.

Meanwhile, the English Shepherd, as a herding breed, can easily adjust to a home setting. They are doing well in practically any home if their owner can maintain pace with them. They do, however, require continual access to a garden or outdoor place in order to self-exercise. As a result, it is not recommended that this dog be brought into an apartment.


Keep in mind that the English Shepherd is a working dog. But don’t overfeed them if you don’t use them. They need around a half cup of premium quality dry food two times a day, suited for an active, medium-sized dog.

Yet, if you plan to feed a Border Collie, give this high-energy working dog commercially prepared dog food and be sure it is of the highest quality. Raw meat will almost probably need to be added to this cuisine occasionally if you want to avoid skin problems like rashes.


Because the English Shepherd is a herding breed, they require daily exercise. Simply ensure they can do something else because they are smart and work-oriented. Bring them to a herding trail and put their instincts to the test.

The Border Collie, on the other hand, is an active dog who requires a lot of care and exercise. They won’t be happy confined up in a little space. They want plenty of room to run and play, and they would love their owners to participate in their activities.


The Border Collie takes up a considerable amount of grooming. Brushing their coats can help with shedding. Don’t forget about the flea treatment for the season. Dog nail clipping and bathing can be beneficial at times. Check the local pet store for dog grooming items and the best dog shampoo to keep the Border Collie’s coat healthy and provide a pleasurable dog bath experience.

Grooming isn’t necessary for the English Shepherd. There is a requirement for flea treatment on a seasonal basis. If you haven’t had the time, talent, or money to care for a high-maintenance dog, an English Shepherd is an excellent option. Beginners will benefit from this dog breed.

Moreover, it is not necessary for the two breeds to have their dogs’ hair clipped by a professional groomer. To prevent infections, clean their ears and eyes on a regular basis.


Just like every other dog breed, English Shepherds like playing. They do bark in enthusiasm when they want to play, and they’re not the most playful dog breed. In agility, flyball, frisbee, obedience, tracking, rally, herding, and exhibition events, put them to work.

Border collie on training

It’s critical to find games that your Border Collie enjoys playing with you, ideally outdoor ones that involve a lot of energy. Border Collies enjoy fetching. Reap the benefits of walks to play this amusing doggy classic with a ball, tree branch, or frisbee. You can also play a variety of indoor and outdoor cognitive games with your Border Collie.

Which One Is a Better Working Dog?

Border Collies and English Shepherds are two of the world’s smartest canines. They work efficiently with their brains, and their stamina appears limitless! They are purposely bred to work on farms and have a strong work ethic.

Some think Border Collies only sleep when the sun goes down! Their willingness to put in long hours makes them a favorite among cattle handlers. Border Collies have tremendous herding abilities, making them ideal for keeping sheep and other livestock under control.

English Shepherds, on the other hand, are excellent herders but are particularly equipped as a multi-purpose working dog. They’re wonderful for hunting, guarding, and being a great family dog all at the same time!

English Shepherd vs Border Collie – Which One to Pick?

Deciding which one to pick between a Shepherd and a Collie is challenging! Because their requirements are so identical, your final decision may come down to appearance and availability.

two dog outdoor

Both of these breeds are herding types, so they’ll need a household that can catch pace with their demands. These breeds have a tendency for using their teeth a bunch, but they won’t hurt you. As a result, they’re both a better choice for elders who don’t have any prey-like animals.

If you currently have a family pet but wish to have a herding dog, you will need to provide constant training and enough of exercise to make people happy and safe. Aside from that, both breeds get along well with children and enjoy having a playmate!


You could perhaps know what you’re putting yourself into before introducing one of these pets into your family. Border Collies and English Shepherds are indeed excellent workers and can become wonderful family pets, but only for people who live a certain way of life.

They share lots of similarities but their appearance may differentiate them apart. However, even if they are two different dog breeds, they could be an excellent complement to your family, especially if you enjoy being outside and participating in numerous activities.

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