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Old 10-22-2012, 06:07 PM
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Default Aussies vs. Border Collies

How are they alike/different? I'm thinking about one as my next dog (not for a few years yet) and am interested in the differences in their personalities. I've met a few BC's, and many of the trainers in my obedience club have Aussies, so I'm getting to know Aussies fairly well.

From my experience it seems that BCs are more intense and serious, and Aussies have more of a sense of humor, if that makes sense. But the Aussies I've met seem a bit harder than BC's - more like ACD's in a way. What do you think? How do they compare on drive, bidability, quirkiness?

With my next dog I want to do obedience and tracking, maybe agility (I'm gonna need a lot more free time LOL).
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:17 PM
Jynx Jynx is offline
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I have aussies and have alot of friends with borders..The difference I see is what you said, my aussies tend to have a sense of humor Sometimes not appreciated but you can still laugh at their antics

My male is out of working lines and is more serious / more border collie-ish, when he focus's on something, he focus's on it, my female is more out of show lines, with alot of HOF's in her ped, and less serious, she seems to always have a smile on her face.

Biddability, well, I have gsd's to, and the difference I see is, the gsd's do things for "me", the aussies will to an extent but want to know what's in it for 'them' (aka food is a high motivator!)

My female is a softer dog than my male, but again pedigree could come into play there.

I like that they tend to be a healthy breed (atleast mine are live longer lives, mine are now 12 & 11, and still race around like little maniacs I did agility with my female for a time, she wasn't 'into' it as much as my gsd's, so switched to other things.

I like BC's, but the aussies just seemed a better fit for me. The BC's I know, tend to be obsessive/and frankly, their thought process was to far ahead of mine))

There is so much diveristy in each breed, finding a breeder than can peg their puppies for YOUR needs/lifestyle is paramount.
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:19 PM
Kilter Kilter is offline
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I would say it would depend on the lines of the dogs you're looking at. I've seen some very soft aussies and some hard border collies, and all size ranges in both. I'd guess aussies from the show lines are going to be a bigger dog as a rule.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:54 PM
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I would say it would depend on the lines of the dogs you're looking at. I've seen some very soft aussies and some hard border collies, and all size ranges in both. I'd guess aussies from the show lines are going to be a bigger dog as a rule.
I've noticed this, too. In fact, I never even considered aussies until I met several obedience aussies and they are so different from the giant, fluffy show/pet aussies I had known before.

With BC's it seems like the American show lines are smaller than the working or sport lines. I imagine the show BCs are less drivey and focused than working lines as well. I need to meet more border collies!
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:54 PM
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I've noticed this, too. In fact, I never even considered aussies until I met several obedience aussies and they are so different from the giant, fluffy show/pet aussies I had known before.
Working bred Aussies can be plenty intense and drivey for sure. And some are actually pretty small (large "mini" size)/fine boned.

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With BC's it seems like the American show lines are smaller than the working or sport lines. I imagine the show BCs are less drivey and focused than working lines as well. I need to meet more border collies!
From what I have seen, the sport lines often include both working and show lines in their pedigrees. I know several people with sport bred BCs who also show in conformation. There are some tiny, tiny sport bred BCs out there. One of our classmates has one that I think is smaller than Savvy (really cute!).
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:40 PM
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I have not owned either but one of my trainers has aussies (working lines) and the other has border collies (working lines).

Aussies are more of a generalist whereas BCs are a more specialized dog. Aussies thus have a more guardian type dog streak to them. Aussies also herd upright, BCs have the 'eye'. And whereas BCs were originally bred to herd sheep, Aussies were cow dogs from the get go. Of course there are cattle lines in BCs now too.

In sports BCs dominate and with reason, imo. They're generally lighter and more agile. Aussies in my experience vary a lot on how well they do in something like agility. A lot are just so big and very heavy boned. Jumping style is very different with Aussies tending to go vertically and BCs tend to jump very flat. Both breeds are very versatile. You see a LOT of aussie breeders focusing on obedience instead of agility. Oh and Aussies often tend to run with their mouths open.

I think both breeds are great for the average person wanting to play in dog sports. Very versatile breeds that can and should be able to pick up anything.

As far as how serious or goofy or social they are, it depends on the individual. I've been around quite a few working style aussies and while they are bouncy and playful, they know when to be serious.

I like both breeds a lot and hope to own both.
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:00 PM
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I like both breeds a lot and hope to own both.
Yeah, I might end up doing that myself!
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:41 PM
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Oh and Aussies often tend to run with their mouths open.
How would they bark with their mouths closed???





Mine is from show lines, but she seems to have the temperament of a working line dog. Her coat is thin, her frame is slight, and her energy is boundless. She's wonderfully biddable - it wouldn't occur to me in a million years to describe her as stubborn. She's resilient, recovers quickly from stressful events, and is always ready to repeat a sequence just one more time while I try hard not to trip over my feet. She's very forgiving of my mistakes.

She's mildly reactive and nervous around strange dogs, but when she's working you would never know.

And she barks. A lot.
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:41 PM
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Generally: border collies are more serious, aussies are more playful/bouncy, aussies tend to be slightly more protective, although BCs aren't like labs or pits with strangers, either. Both are high energy breeds, but from my experience BCs are more prone to OCD or anxiety issues if not given all the exercise they need, where an aussie would just get kind of obnoxious and wild like most under-stimulated pets. The aussies I've known have been less DA/DR than the border collies but that's not a major issue in either breed. Both are very biddable but in different ways. Border collies are slightly more intelligent (Ie capable of getting into trouble) but aussies aren't far behind.

Keep in mind I've never owned either, this is just from day care/grooming and working with friend's dogs.

My best comparison between the two are my best friend, who had a BC and now an aussie. The BC was from a working farm, and came to live in the suburbs with a family with limited dog experience. She was INCREDIBLY intelligent, learned hundreds of tricks, loved her family, but also had major issues...chewed through the laundry room wall during a storm (fear of thunder), was hardcore (aggressively) protective of her personal space such as under the table or bed or her crate, chewed her own feet when she got anxious, did not get along with other dogs (poorly socialized).

Their aussie now is from a show breeder, and she's pretty watered down. She's still a high energy dog (was worse as a puppy) with a good herding instinct, but loves everyone, and is not NEARLY as smart as Norma (the BC) was. Trainable, sure, intelligent, yes, and biddable, but she's not about to solve a murder mystery.
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by milos_mommy View Post
Generally: border collies are more serious, aussies are more playful/bouncy, aussies tend to be slightly more protective, although BCs aren't like labs or pits with strangers, either. Both are high energy breeds, but from my experience BCs are more prone to OCD or anxiety issues if not given all the exercise they need, where an aussie would just get kind of obnoxious and wild like most under-stimulated pets. The aussies I've known have been less DA/DR than the border collies but that's not a major issue in either breed. Both are very biddable but in different ways. Border collies are slightly more intelligent (Ie capable of getting into trouble) but aussies aren't far behind.

Keep in mind I've never owned either, this is just from day care/grooming and working with friend's dogs.

My best comparison between the two are my best friend, who had a BC and now an aussie. The BC was from a working farm, and came to live in the suburbs with a family with limited dog experience. She was INCREDIBLY intelligent, learned hundreds of tricks, loved her family, but also had major issues...chewed through the laundry room wall during a storm (fear of thunder), was hardcore (aggressively) protective of her personal space such as under the table or bed or her crate, chewed her own feet when she got anxious, did not get along with other dogs (poorly socialized).

Their aussie now is from a show breeder, and she's pretty watered down. She's still a high energy dog (was worse as a puppy) with a good herding instinct, but loves everyone, and is not NEARLY as smart as Norma (the BC) was. Trainable, sure, intelligent, yes, and biddable, but she's not about to solve a murder mystery.
LOL. Very interesting, thanks. I know nothing about show lines BC's but want to look into those...a slightly watered-down BC might be a good fit for me. That's kind of what Sienna is in a way.

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And Aussies can be huge stubborn buttheads, border collies trip over themselves to please you. Oh and Aussies have no tail an their bunny butts freak me out. :P
My parents have a tailless ACD (I guess technically she's a Stumpy Tailed Cattle Dog) and I know what you mean. Her bunny tail is adorable, but I love Sienna's plume, even if I don't love brushing it. I would miss a fluffy tail. Then again, it wouldn't be knocking things over wagging LOL.

I'd definitely choose the "tripping over themselves to please me" dog. But I also love a dog with a sense of humor. And I'd love a dog with a bit more confidence than Sienna - I love her, but sometimes I wish she would talk back at me instead of getting her feelings hurt and sulking. She's definitely part Sheltie.

LOL @ "Handler Mistake Amplifier"

You know, this researching a breed thing is really fun. More people should do this before they get a dog! And no, I didn't research at all when I rescued my shelter mutt. Just got lucky.
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