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10 Dogs Similar to Border Collies (With Pictures)

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on May 3, 2024 by Dogster Team

border collie dog holding black toy ball in mouth

10 Dogs Similar to Border Collies (With Pictures)

The Border Collie is a dog that’s really easy to please. As long as you keep them physically and mentally stimulated, you don’t have anything to worry about. They are even-tempered, energetic, and highly intelligent. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the breeds that are similar to the Border Collie, based on temperament or appearance. We believe this information will come in handy to anyone hoping to adopt a dog with traits that are very similar to those of a Collie. Let’s dive in!


The 10 Dogs That Share Similarities to Border Collies

1. Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdog
Image By: JackieLou DL, Pixabay

The Shetland Sheepdog is commonly known as the “Sheltie.” They’re incredibly friendly and loyal, and they’re gentle around children. We like to think of the Sheltie as a miniature iteration of the Border Collie. While they’re half the Collie’s size, they have similar qualities. Shelties are not aggressive, but they’re energetic and need plenty of daily exercise to stay focused nad happy.

2. German Shepherd

black and tan German Shepherd playing with a ball dog toy
Image By: Reba Spike, Unsplash

The German Shepherd is a beloved dog with a long history of working with and protecting humans. They’re affectionate to their family and are athletic enough to compete in canine sports. German Shepherds are eager to please their owners, eager to learn, and not as stubborn as other large breeds, which they have in common with Collies. Don’t get a German Shepherd if you consider yourself a couch potato—they need plenty of exercise.

3. Scotch Collie

Scotch Collie (rough collie) running in grass
Image By: Chris Rinckes, Shutterstock

The Scotch Collie and the Border Collie are relatives. They both originated from Scotland, and they were initially bred to help herd livestock on farms while guarding families. Most of their attributes are very similar, especially when it comes to their physical features. For example, both breeds have two layers of coats: the outer and undercoat.

As you’d expect, the inner coat is usually furry and soft, while the outer one feels somewhat wiry to the touch. The Scotch Collie is an affectionate dog that requires a lot of exercise.

4. Shadow Shepherd

english-shepherd_shabawasing, Pixabay
Image By: shabawasing, Pixabay

If the Border Collie had a doppelganger, it would be the Shadow Shepherd. Also known as the English Shepherd, this medium-sized pup can have a white, cream, and black coat. They are also highly trainable, intelligent, and energetic.

You shouldn’t adopt a Shadow Shepherd if you live in an apartment or small space since they need large spaces that complement their exercising and working needs. The Shadow Shepherd is an incredible family pet, but only if you train and socialize them from a very young age.

5. Australian Cattle Dog

Australian-Cattle-Dog_Shutterstock_Best dog photo
Image By: Best dog photo, Shutterstock

You won’t be able to tell the Australian Cattle Dog is similar to the Border Collie unless you start spending time with them. They don’t have the same physical attributes but have similar temperaments. This Australian breed loves exploring the world and is very intelligent and hardy.

They usually aren’t aggressive at all, unless provoked. They love kids as much as Collies do, as well as other pets but not strangers. One other thing that most people love about them is how low-maintenance they are when it comes to grooming. Just brush their coat once a week and they’ll be fine.

6. New Zealand Heading Dog

tired New Zealand Heading Dog
Image Credit: janecat, Shutterstock

Believe it or not, the New Zealand Heading dog is a direct descendant of the Collie. They are born herders, hence the reason why they like herding kids and other pets whenever their parents are not around. They are wary of strangers but make excellent watchdogs. Their coats are medium in length and have black, white, and copper colorations. They prefer an active lifestyle full of adventure.

7. Belgian Sheepdog

Belgian sheepdog standing in the grass
Image By: icemanphotos, Shutterstock

This breed is extremely rare but is just as appealing as the Border Collie. Belgian Sheepdogs are known to be very protective of their families, which makes them the perfect guard dogs. You’ll also find them roaming around law enforcement offices and working in tandem with authorities to track down drug smugglers. Farmers love them just as much because they are natural herders and obedient. Needless to say, this Belgian Sheepdog is a ball of energy, similar to the Border Collie.

8. Rottweiler

rottweiler dog outdoors with a red collar
Image By: Kevin Seibel, Unsplash

The Rottweiler is not a typical herding dog. They love spending time outdoors but are not as active as other working dogs. We like to compare their level of intelligence to that of the Border Collie, as well as their affectionate nature.

The Rottweiler doesn’t have the same physical attributes as the Collie but a similar temperament. They are not as tough or aggressive as they seem. Once you get to know them, you’ll realize that they are calm, curious, and very sensitive. In fact, they are so sensitive that they are known to be susceptible to separation anxiety.

9. Rough Collies

Beautiful Rough Collies
Image By: Rita_Kochmarjova, Shutterstock

The Rough Collie is another Scottish breed that looks like the Border Collie. They were also bred in the United Kingdom as herding dogs, which explains why they are so energetic. These attention-seeking dogs come in two variations, courtesy of their coats.

There’s the long-haired variant, popularly known as the “Lassie,” and the short-haired breed, which is referred to as the Smooth Collie. Nowadays, Rough Collies are common among people living with disabilities who rely on assistance dogs.

10. Koolie

Koolie Australian
Image By: Tanya Consaul Photography, Shutterstock

Last but not least, we have the Koolie. They have physical and personality traits that are similar to the Border Collie and the Rough Collie. Their coat colorations vary and include blue, gray, black, and red variations.

In terms of the exercise requirements, they rank on the same level as the Collies. They are always active and thrive in busy environments. There’s really no significant difference in the Koolie and Collie personalities, as both dogs lack an aggressive attitude.

divider-dog paw

Facts About the Border Collie

male border collie standing in grass
Image By: Frank11, Shutterstock
  • The Border Collie holds multiple records. One holds the record of the fastest dog to roll down a car window! And he did so in 34 seconds.
  • The Border Collie was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1995.
  • Even though they were originally bred in Scotland, their ancestors were the dogs raised by the Vikings and Romans.
  • Unlike some dogs, you can find them in any color combination. The black and white coat coats are the most common, but they can come with lilac, blue merle, sable, and even brindle markings.

divider-pawIn Conclusion

There are so many breeds that have the same physical traits as the Border Collie. The New Zealand Heading dog, the Belgian Sheepdog, and the Sheltie are just a few examples. Some don’t look anything like the Collie, but they carry with them a level of devotion and loyalty that’s very similar, such as the Rottweiler.

Why do people like comparing other dogs to the Border Collie? It’s because they know how special this breed is.

Featured Image Credit: Julia Zavalishina, Shutterstock

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