Top 12 Dogs That Are Similar To Border Collies
Border collies are highly active and intelligent herding dog breed eager to be busy with work all day. Their coats are either short or medium to long, with moderate grooming requirements. Loyal and easy to train!
In addition to all these traits, their calm temperament and friendliness make them a favorite of pet owners. Sometimes dog lovers either don’t get a Border collie or want similar traits in other dog breeds for some change, and they search for dogs similar to border collies for good companionship.
Shetland sheepdog, Scotch collie, Aussies, Belgian sheepdog, New Zealand heading dog, Welsh shepherd, English shepherd, and Koolies are major dog breeds that look like Border collies. In contrast, Australian cattle dogs, Rottweiler, German shepherd, and Rough collies have the same temperament as Border collies.
So, if you cannot decide to have a dog similar to Border collies, this detailed guide will help you find one. You will learn the dogs’ traits and explore how they resemble Border collies. So, let’s dig in!
1. Shetland Sheepdog
Shetland sheepdogs, also known as Sheltie, are recognized as a smaller version of Border coolie as both share many qualities and differ in size. Sheltie is half the size of a Border collie and is a perfect choice for the pet parents looking for a dog with all the traits of a Border coolie but is small. Shelties have long coats and are furry. You can find these dogs in different colors like fawn, black, blue, and gray; all colors look equally good.
Additionally, Shetland sheepdogs are one of the most sweet-tempered dogs that are playful, attentive, and highly affectionate. Families with kids can own these dogs without worrying about their aggression and prove a perfect addition to the family. They are even good with other dogs, cats, and seniors without your supervision. What else do you need?
Sheltie also loves to work hard and is part of the herding group to do daily chores. They remain busy with exercise and are energetic.
Easy to train Shelties can take your little time for grooming sessions. Unlike Border collies, the Shetland sheepdog’s double coat requires frequent brushing to avoid matting, and failure to do so will result in thick mats of the fur that make your dog unappealing.
2. Scotch Collie
Scotch collie, also known as Scottish coolie or Farm coolie is another dog breed that looks like border coolies. Typically, Scotch collies were bred for their working ability and had a history of herding and guarding farm animals. Their coat is attractive – the outer coat is straight and harsh to the touch, while the undercoat is soft and furry. The coat is considerably longer than Border collies, but their color range closely resembles and includes sable, black, and blue merle with white or tan markings.
Plan to parent a Scotch collie if you are active enough to take her outside and provide opportunities to exercise. She loves long walks, jogs, and other stimulating games like Frisbee, fetch, and flyball. All these games keep her fresh and energetic like Border collies. Additionally, Scotch collie will happily accompany you on long hikes and cycles.
As far as the temperament or behavior of Scotch collies are concerned, you may not find such an affectionate dog that looks like Border collies. They are super friendly and make all efforts to please their owners. If you feel sad, a Scotch collie will be there to make you feel good. It is not over here; these dogs also share their joy with you and prove themselves a remarkable family dog.
Unlike Border collies, Scotch collies need more grooming due to their long coat.
3. Australian Shepherd
Australian shepherds, commonly known as Aussies, are a beautiful dog breed. People assume from their name that they are from Australia, but it is not true. Aussies originated in the mountains of Europe and prove close cousins of Border collies. Border collies are more lean and compact than Australian shepherds but are close to the same height.
Aussies have a medium rough coat, and the patterns can be black, blue merle, or red, with or without markings.
As far as Aussies’ working habits or exercise needs are concerned, you will be glad to know that they are also herding dogs with an instinct to work. They are bright and active like your favorite Border collies. These super-intelligent dogs get into trouble if left alone for long. They will expect a playful and lively lifestyle from you. So, always consider Aussies if you are not a couch potato and can spend a bright life with them.
Aussies are not aggressive but a little shy. They will shy from strangers and prefer to stick to your side, but Border collies are not like that. Remember, it is not to be worried about; a bit of training will help your dog adjust to cats, other dogs, and children under your supervision.
The good news for Aussies lovers is they are relatively low-maintenance pets.
4. Belgian Sheepdog
Belgian sheepdogs are confident herding dogs, also called Belgian shepherds or Groenendael. They physically resemble Border collies and are highly intelligent. They have a beautiful long straight coat that is only black with no markings. Adopting a Belgian sheepdog is not easy as it is a rare dog breed, and you might not see him running around at local dog parks.
Belgian shepherds are also highly active dogs requiring regular exercise. They are also good hiking companions and enjoy long walks, mental stimulation with interactive toys, and such activities, so you cannot restrict them to one place. It’s a fact!
Unlike many dogs like Border collies, Belgian sheepdogs look more serious and daring. This is true because they are watchful over their homes and observant of strangers, which only courageous dogs can do. But little attention and socialization play an excellent role in keeping them as pets.
A good way of parenting Belgian shepherds is to get pups and socialize well from an early age. Here you must not forget that an adult dog with no socializing is not the best family dog, and its prey drive can also give a tough time to other small pets.
A long coat of Belgian sheepdogs also needs more grooming time than Border coolies.
5. New Zealand Heading Dog
If you are looking for a dog breed closely related to Border collies, a New Zealand-heading dog could be your final choice as they are direct descendants of Collies. This attractive dog breed comes in black and white, a mix of both shades and copper coloration. The classic pattern of marking also takes them closer to Border collies, plus coat length is also medium with straight hair that makes them look like Border collies.
New Zealand heading dogs are also highly active and intelligent with tons of energy that keeps them running and playing. Raising them in a place with no activity can make them sick and get bored. They need active owners to play different games without getting tired.
At the same time, the temperament of New Zealand heading dogs needs to be understood before bringing them home. Unlike Border collies, they are not naturally inclined toward kids and other pets. Instead, they are born to herd, and you may even catch them herding your children, pets, or strangers, but t is usual with many dog breeds. In such cases, dog training plays a vital role, and socializing at puppyhood proves rewarding.
New Zealand heading dogs are also easy to groom, with brushing required weekly to remove loose hair.
6. Welsh Sheepdog
Welsh sheepdog, also known as Welsh collie, is a close cousin of Border collies and is one of the best dogs for people in an apartment; it may comfortably live indoors. The dog coat can be short or fairly long as this dog is mainly bred for its working abilities, not for its appearance. Still, it looks fantastic!
Most Welsh sheepdogs are usually black and white, red and white, or tricolor. You can also expect merle marking on their coat.
This herding dog requires extensive exercise, and indoor activities can keep him active. Engaging your dog in Indoor activities does not mean locking him inside without giving him exposure to the outer world. You can set daily hours or plan to go out to allow him to run, walk and play for a healthy lifestyle.
Welsh sheepdogs are ideal guard dogs, and they have a strong gaze like Border collies to protect herds. The point is they can independently work without being under strict human directions. As far as their family behavior is concerned, Welsh sheepdogs are good with children and pets, but they may try to herd them. Careful attention and proper training can help them adjust to the home, and they prove devoted, protective, and loyal companions.
You will be glad to know that Welsh sheepdogs are good to go with little brushing once a week.
7. English Shepherd
English shepherds, commonly known as Shadow shepherds, are medium-sized dogs and calling them doppelgangers of Border collies will not be wrong. They exactly share qualities with Collies – both physical and personal traits. The coat of English shepherds is medium, and you can expect them in colors like black, cream, and white.
When learning about English shepherds, recall all Border collie traits, and you will find them all in this dog breed.
English shepherds are highly active, intelligent, and energetic dogs. They do not prove to be the best fit for people living in apartments as small spaces limit their working or exercising needs. Taking them to dog parks or allowing them on-farm keeps them busy and happy as they love working.
When you are on the mission to select a dog for home, always consider friendly pets. Like Border collies, English shepherds are also great family dogs but must be trained for good manners. Typically, they were bred to watch out for herds, and they always carry genes of being alert. This may lead to weird behavior towards strangers, but training is the best solution to help them adjust to a new home.
English shepherd’s grooming requirements are also similar to Border collies’.
Koolies are one of the best Border collies like dogs, and getting multiple coat varieties is possible in this breed, which helps to narrow down the selection. They could have a short or medium coat. In fact, you can also find long coat Koolies that are more similar to Border collies. Their coat color varies, including solid red, black, gray or blue, and red merle.
When talking about the activity and exercise requirements of Kollies, they come on top of highly active dog breeds that happily participate in work. They are also best suited to farmers or active people as inactive life can prove destructive. They also enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, camping, cycling, running, etc.
There is also no significant personality difference between Koolie and Border collies. Both dog breeds are super friendly and fun-loving pets. They love children and quickly get along with other animals. Highly trainable and eager to please!
The grooming requirements of Kollies depend on their coat length. Longer coats need more brushing than short or medium ones.
9. Australian Cattle Dog
Australian cattle dogs are excellent herding dogs as Border collies, but their looks differ. Border collies are known for their medium to long coats, but Australian cattle dogs have only the short length. The colors could be red, blue, or gray with patterns.
Conversely, this dog breed shares many other traits with Border collies from which their intelligence, activity, and playfulness are worth mentioning.
Australian cattle dogs do not like sitting idle and prefer exploring things. It could be managing herds or roaming in the backyard. They eagerly wait for their owners to play games, run or jump. A good way of keeping them home is to fence the backyard to restrict their encounter with wildlife, and fencing is vital as they can jump as high as 6 feet when playing Frisbee or other games.
If you are looking for an obedient dog with no aggressive attitude, you can mark the Australian cattle dog as a final option because of their friendliness. These dogs do equally well with children and other pets but may take time to come along with strangers.
Similarly, taking care of Australian cattle dogs is not a big deal, and their short coat makes them less-maintenance dogs.
Rottweilers are intelligent, hardworking dogs, but they may not give exact looks to Border collies. They don’t have a long furry coat like collies, and you can expect a shiny medium-length coat. Usually, Rottweiler is black with rust markings on his face, chest, and legs.
Unlike many other herding dogs, Rottweilers are calm and don’t require you to be super active. Daily exercise or long walks is enough to keep the dog happy and healthy. Rottweilers are also perfect for people who love outdoor activities such as jogging, hiking, and swimming.
If you have seen pictures of Rottweilers, you might get an impression of rough and tough dogs, but they are not so. They are calm and curious like Border collies. Eagerly learn new things and are highly trainable dogs. Proper reinforcement training helps become great family dogs, and they do good with children and other dogs. In fact, Rottweilers are pretty sensitive, and leaving them alone at home for a more extended period may lead to separation anxiety, so if you want to have this dog, be sure to spend considerable time with him.
Rottweiler owners are quite glad about their dogs as silky smooth hair makes it easily manageable.
11. German Shepherd
German shepherds are admired among people of all age groups, and their looks and personality traits parallel to Border collies. They have a graceful double coat – coarse outer hair and soft undercoat that makes them a favorite of all dog lovers. German shepherds are primarily black and tan, but it will not be surprising to see variations like all-black, black with red, sable, and rare white combinations.
Similarly, German shepherds are highly intelligent, eager to learn, and pleasing dogs. It’s essential to consider your lifestyle before committing to a German shepherd because they don’t like dull and bored people. This dog loves spending time outdoors and is a great trail buddy. You can also think about other physical activities for German shepherds, allow daily exercise and let them have an active life like Border collies.
Don’t judge German shepherds based on their looks; they are playful and enjoy spending plenty of time with children and other pets. Proper training is necessary, and consistent obedience sessions make them loyal companions. Their quick learning abilities are also worth mentioning; they get their owner’s commands to fulfill a task. Being a watchdog, German shepherds take strangers cautiously and alert their owners.
A thick, dense coat of German shepherds requires frequent grooming; you cannot leave them without brushing daily.
12. Rough Collies
Rough coolies are one of the most beautiful and attention-seeking herding dogs that are similar to Border collies in many ways. You can have two variations in their coat; first, long hair, often called true rough collies, and short-haired, sometimes called smooth collies. Their fur colors include brown, black, white, or tan.
Rough collies are a highly active breed, but they are super calm indoors after doing required workouts. They run as hard as possible, exercise, and do other activities to be fit and healthy. On the contrary, Rough collies rest on the cough when at home. So, they are perfect for small homes, apartments, or large homes.
Rough collies are family-oriented, sweet, and friendly as Border collies, which makes them even more beautiful. They also share a strong bond with all family members.
Additionally, their long hair requires frequent grooming sessions.
Conclusion – Dogs Similar to Border Collies
Border collies are intelligent, active, and brilliant dogs. Their loyalty and devotion to owners make them the most liked breed, and people find their traits in other dog breeds. It is possible!
Many dogs look like Border coolies, including Shetland sheepdog, Belgian sheepdog, New Zealand heading dog, and others. While some dogs might not give the same impression of Border collies but carry loyalty and devotion. Rottweiler is an excellent dog with such traits, and you can find many others. So, if you cannot have a Border collie for any reason, above mentioned dog breeds can prove your best buddies and will not let you miss the Border collie.
About The Author
I'm a content writer and researcher. But bottom line, I loveee animals. I had my first animal which was a guinea pig at age 8. Later had a bunny, dog and a lot, a lot of fish. Writing about what I know about pets will allow me to share my knowledge and love for them with everyone else. Dealing with dogs my entire life, I know a lot.