There’s no doubt, the Border Collie is a big favorite with families, as well as farmers. It grew up as a working dog and it’s got amazing intelligence. They’re very lively dogs and that means you’ll get plenty of exercise just keeping up with your Collie.
But, have you ever wondered what type of dog you would find if the Border Collie was mixed with other breeds. Well, here’s your chance to find out more. Reputable breeders have been doing just that and they have come up with some interesting Border Collie mixes that offer owners the best of both worlds.
Breeding like this is not universally popular and some owners are strongly opposed. But, if you deal with a licensed breeder with a good reputation, you should be in safe hands. It’s hard to tell which parent’s characteristics will dominate, but the mixes we list here are trusted as safe family pets. And that uncertainty could make training an interesting challenge.
These seven Border Collie mixes are in no particular order because every owner has their own personal preferences, but they are all popular successful breeds.
Golden Retriever and Border Collie
Take two of the most popular family pets and you’ve got a winning combination — the American Kennel Club found the Golden Retriever was third on their list of most popular dogs. They’re friendly dogs, extremely loyal and good looking too. Add Collie’s energy and intelligence and you’ve got a great pet. They’re easy to train and will give everyone in the family exercise and companionship.
Related: The Best Dog Food for Border Collies
German Shepherd and Border Collie
Here we’ve got two highly intelligent, hard-working dogs that make a formidable combination. The German Shepherd is well-known for its abilities as a police or security dog and that’s partly because it’s so easy to train. This German Shepherd Border Collie mix can be very successful, but breeders caution that it can keep some characteristics from both parents that need careful handling and training. Collies need plenty of exercises; if not, they’ll soon let you know. And, German Shepherds can be very protective, so early socialization is essential.
Related: Best Dog Brush for German Shepherds
Related: Best Dog Food for German Shepherds
Blue Heeler and Border Collie
Another mix of two dogs with a working background on farms. That makes them very energetic and demanding when it comes to exercise. Breeders recommend a minimum of two hours a day. This breed makes a good companion but it will take lots of early training and socialization to keep its herding instincts under control. As it’s a very intelligent dog, you’ll need to give it plenty of activities to keep it alert.
Australian Shepherd and Border Collie
Like the German Shepherd mix, you’ll also have a lively, intelligent pet with a background as working dogs on the farm. But if appearance is important too, the Australian Shepherd with its three-colored coat might have the edge. These high-energy dogs need plenty of exercises, maybe more than most mixes, and that makes them unsuitable for small homes or apartments. Breeders also suggest that their herding instincts might make them difficult to have around other family pets.
Labrador and Border Collie
Another attractive combination with the Labrador’s mellow nature and attractive coat and the Collie’s intelligence and energy. That makes them great family pets. While both breeds need plenty of exercises, Labradors also enjoy swimming, so being near water could be a consideration. Although both breeds are energetic, Labradors enjoy a treat and can easily put on weight, so breeders advise watching the diet.
Great Dane and Border Collie
How about going up a size? Breeding a Border Collie with a Great Dane will give you a larger dog, but one that’s still very energetic. The Great Dane has a more relaxed temperament than the Collie, so that’s a good mix for a family pet. The larger size could put your food bill up and you’ll need plenty of space to keep it exercised, so a small home or apartment may be unsuitable. Breeders reckon this mix can be stubborn at times, so you’ll need to be patient and firm with training.
Jack Russell and Border Collie
Or do you want to go smaller? This is a lively mix with Jack Russell’s strong character coupled with the intelligence and energy of both breeds. Breeders suggest that these dogs are prone to ‘independent thinking’, so you might have your hands full when it comes to training and obedience. This mix is very agile too so look out for some fun tricks.
Making your choice
That’s just seven possible mixes, including some you may not have heard of. There are plenty more, including unusual pairings like Pit Bull Terriers, Dalmatians, or Poodles. Whatever you choose, make sure you take all the factors into consideration and consult a reputable breeder. You can get an idea of the sort of questions to ask by looking at this very detailed profile of the Blue Heeler mix.