Collie vs Australian Shepherd

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
12 to 14 years
Size:

Medium

Maintenance Level:

High

Shed Level:

Very High

Best For

Collies are best for active singles or families with children and homes where they'll have a fenced-in yard to roam. Pet parents searching for an intelligent and sensitive dog will love bringing a Collie into...

Collies are best for active singles or families with children and homes where they'll have a fenced-in yard to roam. Pet parents searching for an intelligent and sensitive dog will love bringing a Collie into their lives.

Collie Temperament

Collies are the quintessential extroverts. They are gregarious animals who seek companionship, love their families and are great with kids and babies. But jealous types, beware. While their love for you will be unwavering, they’ll happily spread that love to just about anyone they meet, be that strangers or...

Collies are the quintessential extroverts. They are gregarious animals who seek companionship, love their families and are great with kids and babies. But jealous types, beware. While their love for you will be unwavering, they’ll happily spread that love to just about anyone they meet, be that strangers or other pets. Naturally, they don’t have high biting tendencies and aren’t known to be a particularly aggressive breed. Collies are also big fans of play, and many love nothing better than to speed around the yard chasing a ball or Frisbee. Yes, they are the ultimate teammate you’ve always dreamed about.

Fans of fun though they may be, Collies are not classified in the American Kennel Club’s Sporting Group but are instead members of the Herding Group. That means their innate herding instinct is strong (although not always as strong as some other herding breeds, such as Border Collies, Australian Shepherds and Australian Cattle Dogs). If you own livestock, or simply want to channel your inner sheep farmer, then a Collie might be just the dog breed for you. You might even find yourself competing in a herding event or two.

Because these dogs were born to have a job to do, they’ll get noisy when they’re lonely or bored. A tired Collie is a quiet Collie. If your pup is barking a lot (and there are no strangers lurking), it’s a sign your Collie may need more exercise and time with you. Take them on extra walks and play games with them to help release that extra energy.

Herding behaviors like heel nipping or bossiness can also be intimidating to children. Of course, every dog is an individual and not all Collies display these traits. But for many parents, these concerns are outweighed by the breed’s other kid-friendly traits. After all, Collies are great family dogs. It’s literally how they became so famous.

Collies have a low prey drive and are not typically used as hunting dogs, but they do perform a variety of other jobs. They’re popular as service dogs, partly because of their versatility, partly because they retain training so well and also because of their ability to adapt to a variety of living situations and the energy levels of their families. Collies are also used as therapy dogs. They really are a well-rounded dog.

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 15 years
Size:

Medium

Maintenance Level:

High

Shed Level:

High

Best For

The Australian Shepherd is best for high-energy families with older kids and teens in homes where there is plenty of room to run. They need an experienced pet parent who has the time for training...

The Australian Shepherd is best for high-energy families with older kids and teens in homes where there is plenty of room to run. They need an experienced pet parent who has the time for training and teaching an Aussie a few over-the-top tricks.

Australian Shepherd Temperament

Because herding sheep and cattle is in their blood, the Australian Shepherd dog is always looking for a herd to round up, which may include your children or your unsuspecting neighbors on a bike ride. For this reason, it’s important to train your Aussie early so they understand app...

Because herding sheep and cattle is in their blood, the Australian Shepherd dog is always looking for a herd to round up, which may include your children or your unsuspecting neighbors on a bike ride. For this reason, it’s important to train your Aussie early so they understand appropriate behaviors and your expectations. Aussies are known for their speed, so keep that in mind before letting your untrained pup off-leash.

While your Aussie’s up-for-anything personality might make you think they are incredibly social, they tend to be more cautious around strangers at first. Start your Australian Shepherd puppy’s training and socialization early to help them get used to new environments and the people they may encounter.

Aussies are super-smart, so don’t be surprised if you get locked in a battle of wits with your pup. Cultivate their natural curiosity by implementing daily training sessions that engage their mind and their bodies. They do want to please you, so consider your daily training sessions as a way to deepen your bond.

Did we mention the Australian Shepherd dog has a lot of energy? It’s one of their best-known characteristics! So, just about any game you invent will be enthusiastically enjoyed by your pup. Aussies adore fetch and can be quite impressive with their skills. They have a well-deserved reputation as canine disc champions, so take a Frisbee with you to the park, and onlookers will be amazed at what your Aussie can do.

Bottom line: Aussies dislike downtime (except when they’re sleeping!), so have plenty of activities in mind and toys at home, including interactive chew toys, discs and balls to keep them loving their “work.”

Australian 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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