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As I've said before, we're in the process of adopting a Border Collie. We're looking for an adult (about 2 or 3 years old) who will do well with our cats and our kids (7, 5 and 3) and do fun dog stuff with me (obedience, agility, tricks, whatever). We're working with a couple of local rescues. A few of the dogs they have available that have potential for us are BC/Aussie mixes. I grew up with a couple of Border Collies and have known others, but I've not had any significant experience with Aussies. Speaking very generally, what are some of the more significant differences in behavior and/or temperament that *might* show up in a BC/Aussie mix rather than just your average Border Collie of uncertain origin? I know that's a very broad question with no right answer, and ultimately we'll be looking at the individual dog. But I'd be interested to hear some generalities all the same, if y'all have any thoughts to share. I've read up a bit on Aussie temperament and history, but I find the anecdotal stuff helpful to thinking through how it all translates into real life, if you know what I mean.

 

Thanks again -- y'all have been endlessly helpful!

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Aussies tend to be a little bigger, a little more 'bouncy'/physical in their play - and affection, and are a sometimes a bit less soft/sensitive than BCs. And more silly/goofy, overall.


All of that is speaking stereotypically, though. You can certainly get rough and tumble, physical, and insensitive(read: hard) BC and sensitive/hands off/tiny Aussies.

 

Oh, and I think your average aussie is a bit more 'guardian like'-slash-protective than your average BC.

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The first dog I owned on my own was supposed to be a border collie x aussie. He looked like a blue merle border collie but definitely had the aussie bark and bounce. He was a great dog, and he led me to my next rescue, a purebred border collie. I guess it would depend on the dog whether it exhibits more aussie or more border collie behaviors, but in general, if you like the dog I think you'd be fine with that mix (and recognize that the rescue may not know for a fact that the dog is a mix; they are just making their best guess too).

 

J.

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One of the best dogs we've ever had was a BC/Aussie. However, his appearance and demeanor were 100% Border Collie, so he may not have been typical. He was working-bred on both sides and that may have been one reason he was not bouncy and not noisy, as so many Aussies can be. If you like a Border Collie and like an Aussie, you may well like a cross.

By the way, I think many rescues may label full-blooded Border Collies as Aussie-crosses because their concept of a Border Collie does not include the wide variety in size, build, color, etc., that Border Collies may be. Or, if the dog's tail has been docked, they assume some Aussie must be there but sometimes ranchers or farmers may dock if it's common in their community.

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I can be pretty lukewarm about aussies. Some are really cool dogs, others are guardy, barky, fools.

 

That said, I have ADORED every BC/aussie I've met. They've all had a stellar temperament. Obviously that won't be 100%, but the two breeds seem to complement each other. The border collie focused the aussie, the aussie loosened up the border collie.

 

Funny enough, a friend of mine adopted a dog who I'm pretty much positive is all aussie. But tri with a tail looks like a border collie, so he was mislabeled. Usually it's the other way around!

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We've had two Aussie/BC mix sisters who were a year and 3 months apart, same sire and dam. All I can say is that it's pretty much a crap shoot which side of the family will show up most, but if you're looking at older dogs, (over a year) then the rescue should be able to give you a good idea of their personality.

Here's what I've seen in the ranch-bred Aussie/BC crosses. They can be any size,, color or body type, again depending on the parents and the way the genetics shake out. One of our BC/Aussie girls was a big (45 lb) butch bitch with almost no femininity, while her older sister was petite-to-chubby and very girly. They do seem to have more of the Aussie bounce in their behavior - but then I've seen some working-bred Aussies who were fairly BC-like. They may tend to be more bark-warning-at-the-gate than BCs - but then our BCs are pretty mindful of things going on down around our mailbox. Aussies may be less sensitive in nature and a bit more hard-headed than BC, but mainly in a "Woops, sorry, I was having too much fun to think about that" kind of way. But I've also seen some very sensitive Aussies, so go figure.

I think it would depend if the cross came from working or show lines, really. The working Aussies can be a little tougher stuff while the show type are more bounce and bark. But again, throw the BC genetics into the mix and lord knows. :P

Bottom line, the BC/Aussie cross is probably going to be an athletic, happy, energetic dog who is very much into you and doing things with you, and who is apt to have a pretty well developed sense of fun and humor. They'll be awesome to take hiking or riding or camping - though they may like to chase bunnies - and they'll love going places with you. I think the cross is probably apt to be a little less serious than some purebred BCs (not saying all BCs are serious) and a little less ditzy than some Aussies (not saying all Aussies are ditzy.) I've liked the ranch-bred crosses a lot and sure loved our two girls! :wub:

~ Gloria

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Thanks, y'all! On the whole, depending on the individual dog, it sounds like a mix we could be very happy with. We try for hiking and camping when we can, and as the kids get older I think that sort of activity will increase in frequency. And with the kids in mind we're probably looking for a Border Collie (or mix) that isn't on the extremely sensitive and serious end of the spectrum anyway. A little extra bark and bounce won't hurt anything... I'd actually be pretty happy with a dog that would bark once or twice when someone comes onto the property. I was talking with a police officer the other day and he commented that in his career he's worked plenty of burglaries but only two in homes with dogs. I don't have any expectations of a dog actively guarding anything, but a polite notification that there's a dog on the premises wouldn't go amiss.

 

It helps to have the "Aussies compared to Border Collies" perspective for a baseline. It seems that the internet in general doesn't accept Border Collie as the standard by which all dogs should be measured. :D

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My bestest dog Tweed was a border collie / Aussie mix. He died in June at the age of 15 and I miss him terribly. He drove me crazy when he was younger because he was more independent and I had to work harder to get his respect than I did my border collies, but I would have another him again in a heartbeat. Less. he had all the border collie intuitiveness, but none of the weirdness/obsessive stuff that you sometimes see in the breed. He was a very level headed dog, if a bit of a goof when he felt in the mood.

 

Having said that, I have met many of that mix that I *don't* like - in general, I am not a fan of Aussies. They bark too much and are too quick to bite when afraid. I was at an agility trial recently where an Aussie attacked the judge, completely out of the blue, and it was pretty aggressive - scary to watch. I've met some nice crosses (and some nice Aussies too!) but I don't know that I'd get another myself, because they wouldn't ever be as awesome as Tweed.

 

RDM

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I am not an Aussie fan either for most of the reasons mentioned, a friend has a 3/4 aussie 1/4 border collie who is a lovely dog, she is easy to train tricks too, and is slowly turning into a nice agility dog but she has much less concept of the word team than most border collies and she has an attitude, but I do like her much better than the full Aussies I know.

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I own an Aussie and I adore her. Generally she's more resilient than a lot of BCs I know, and she rebounds from stressful situations very quickly -- it's one of my favourite things about her. She's not really super bouncy, but generally a lot of Aussies are. Mine is much more task-oriented and serious. Smart, handles repetition well, physically well balanced. She's a jack of all trades type dog.

 

She can be pretty hard headed, so most of my training works via channeling her so her desires match up with mine. I've never been one to utilize many corrections, but mild corrections don't faze her, for better or worse. She is mildly dog reactive (doesn't tolerate exuberance in her face for more than a brief period) but is bombproof with people. She tolerates children well, and will work for anybody who asks. I don't often have to leash her.

 

She's not quite as zippy as BCs while running agility, but runs at a very respectable pace. She's sometimes got a sort of bull in a china shop mentality, but we're working through that. :P She's barky while excited, which can be frustrating especially for people not acclimatized to it. But overall, she is a lot of fun to work with.

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Sometimes I think Tessa might be a Border Collie/Aussie cross, or maybe 3/4 Border Collie 1/4 Aussie. She looks like a Border Collie, but just doesn't quite act like one. Her Agility running style is more Aussie-ish, although she is lighter in her jumping than full Aussies usually are. She is definitely not an Aussie with a tail.

 

Then sometimes I think she might be an English Shepherd. Their breed characteristics describe her almost perfectly and she looks like one other than being on the small side.

 

But chances are probably better that she is a Border Collie with some Aussie in her.

 

Or, she just might be an oddly bred Border Collie. She certainly looks like a Border Collie. She just doesn't act like one.

 

I'd consider a Border Collie/Aussie cross if I were looking for a rescue. I love having a Border Collie mix or two in the house, and I think that is a mix I would enjoy if I liked the personality and temperament of the dog overall. I would likely be drawn to mixes who favor the Border Collie in them, as my Border Collie/Lab mix was.

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Then sometimes I think she might be an English Shepherd. Their breed characteristics describe her almost perfectly and she looks like one other than being on the small side.

 

I used to think ESes were all bigger than border collies. My friend's 3 certainly are. But then I ran into an adult male who was about 32 pounds I think they said (definitely less than 35). I looked at this dog and commented to the owners about him -- I thought he might be a border collie or border collie mix, though he didn't look quite right -- and they said his lines produce smaller dogs. My male border collie (about 42 lbs.) was quite large beside him.

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I own an Aussie and I adore her. Generally she's more resilient than a lot of BCs I know, and she rebounds from stressful situations very quickly -- it's one of my favourite things about her. She's not really super bouncy, but generally a lot of Aussies are. Mine is much more task-oriented and serious. Smart, handles repetition well, physically well balanced. She's a jack of all trades type dog.

 

She can be pretty hard headed, so most of my training works via channeling her so her desires match up with mine. I've never been one to utilize many corrections, but mild corrections don't faze her, for better or worse. She is mildly dog reactive (doesn't tolerate exuberance in her face for more than a brief period) but is bombproof with people. She tolerates children well, and will work for anybody who asks. I don't often have to leash her.

 

She's not quite as zippy as BCs while running agility, but runs at a very respectable pace. She's sometimes got a sort of bull in a china shop mentality, but we're working through that. :P She's barky while excited, which can be frustrating especially for people not acclimatized to it. But overall, she is a lot of fun to work with.

 

I actually follow Cohen's page on Facebook -- seeing her pictures in my news feed always makes me smile. :wub:

 

 

I'm waiting to hear back from the rescue about a couple of specific dogs, one of which is (or at least supposed to be) a BC/Aussie mix. We'll see what they say!

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I actually follow Cohen's page on Facebook -- seeing her pictures in my news feed always makes me smile. :wub:

 

 

I'm waiting to hear back from the rescue about a couple of specific dogs, one of which is (or at least supposed to be) a BC/Aussie mix. We'll see what they say!

 

:ph34r: Haha! Now I'm embarrassed. But yes, I love my little monster.

 

Good luck!!!

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Hey, as someone who next expected to be dogless for eight long years, I appreciate it when I can get a good, quality dog fix! You're going to have to tell me what you've found works well for keeping her coat so nice. When I was a kid we had one of those basic slicker brushes and our Border Collie hated it. I'm not sure if it was the brush or if we used it wrong or he just needed to be trained to put up with it, but I've vowed to myself that I WILL find a grooming routine that works better than that. Preferably without buying and discarding 47 different brushes in the process. :rolleyes:

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I use a few things on Cohen, but mostly a metal slicker brush and a high quality kibble diet does does most of the work. Genetics likely play a role in her coat too. Other than that, a curry brush and/or a shedding rake when shedding gets intense is basically all I use. Some people swear by coconut oil, but I don't use it myself.

 

I do a teeny tiny bit of trimming behind her ears and on her feet. She's pretty low maintenance. At least coat-wise.

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The Aussies I have been around are really nice dogs but they are more aggressive at guarding their property than my border collies ever were.

 

I used to take care of my neighbor's Aussie because he pretty much just abandoned him. He was a beautiful, really nice dog but you wouldn't go into the back yard with him back there. He could be aggressive if a stranger was around.

 

Funny thing about that dog. He disappeared one night and reappeared the next day at a friend of mine's house. Where he finally had a decent owner.

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