Border Collie vs German Shepherd

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
12 to 15 years
Size:

Medium

Maintenance Level:

High

Shed Level:

High

Best For

Border Collies are best for experienced dog parents who have ample time to train, walk and play with their pet. They'll do well in single-dog homes with plenty of space to run.

Border Collie Temperament

Intelligent and loyal, Border Collies like their routine and being a partner with their human. A Border Collie is a working dog and is happiest when given a task to do, preferably with or alongside you. If they aren’t given a job—long walks do count—they may com...

Intelligent and loyal, Border Collies like their routine and being a partner with their human. A Border Collie is a working dog and is happiest when given a task to do, preferably with or alongside you. If they aren’t given a job—long walks do count—they may come up with their own job requirements. And these requirements (think: hunting socks, digging holes, chewing furniture) may not be what you had in mind.

A Border Collie was bred for herding sheep and take their role as Herder-in-Chief seriously, which can become a problem in houses with small children or other animals. They appreciate order and may get overwhelmed in a chaotic household or a household where they can’t readily predict their next walk or play session. But that doesn’t mean the Border Collie breed isn’t a great choice for a family pet. They are happy to be part of the pack but need guidance on what their role entails. They’d also do well as the solo dog to a solo pet parent, provided their human has plenty of time for them and can make them a true partner in their lives.

Border Collies are fiercely loyal to their people, and this protectiveness can potentially lead to aggression around strangers or other dogs. On top of that, their intelligence can give them an “I know best” attitude, and they may appoint themselves Park Ranger at the dog park to make sure other dogs stay in line, which may not be appreciated. For those reasons, a Border Collie needs to be well-trained as a puppy to be primed for playing nicely with others.

Border Collie Traits

Friendliness
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Playfulness
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
12 to 14 years
Size:

Large

Maintenance Level:

High

Shed Level:

Very High

Best For

German Shepherds are best for active households and experienced pet parents who are ready to train this highly-active pup.

German Shepherd Temperament

Born guardians, the German Shepherd’s best trait is their intense, unwavering loyalty to their families. (There’s a reason they make some of the best police dogs.) The fearless breed has also been known to put themselves in harm’s way before they let a family member get hur...

Born guardians, the German Shepherd’s best trait is their intense, unwavering loyalty to their families. (There’s a reason they make some of the best police dogs.) The fearless breed has also been known to put themselves in harm’s way before they let a family member get hurt.

Not surprisingly, friendliness is not the German Shepherd dog breed’s strong suit. They can be aloof, and you definitely have to earn their trust. Naturally wary of strangers, a German Shepherd will default to “guard dog mode” if they believe their family is in danger.

Early social interactions with kids, babies and other animals is also important if you want your German Shepherd to be well-behaved around guests. With the proper education, this easy-to-train pup can be a great family dog.

German Shepherds are born talkers. They will bark when they’re bored, and they’ll bark to alert you if something isn’t quite right. But training and exercise can help curb a lippy pup and keep their barking to when you need it the most.

These dogs are incredibly smart, and they are at their best when they have a job to do, whether working as a police or military dog, doing tracking or search and rescue, serving as a guide dog or at home practicing scent work or solving puzzles for a treat. And when they’re with their family, German Shepherds will let their silly side show as they flip their toys in the air and roll around on their backs.

German Shepherd Traits

Friendliness
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Playfulness
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents
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