Border Collies vs. Australian Shepherds (and maybe a few other herding breeds...)
#1
I apologize if this is in the wrong forum, or if this isn't even allowed on these forums. While looking for the differences, I stumbled across a post from almost six years ago regarding the differences, but I wanted to be able to possibly ask some questions and get some more opinions.

I would like a working dog. We have goats currently but will be getting sheep and cattle within the next few years, so I'm looking for the perfect breed to fit our special situation.
Originally, I had planned on an Aussie but with further researching, they are actually starting to look more hyper than Border Collies!
I'm also willing to look at other herding breeds, so if anyone has experience with other breeds, I would appreciate it. Big Grin

Basically, I am looking for a dog that can:
- Work as a good herder and can adapt to different species. This work would mainly involve moving them from one pasture to another, gathering them, and probably keeping them away from the door (I'm tired of fighting back goats and getting run over. Haha.).
- Children. My parents just had a baby (twenty year difference) and chances are, the dog will spend a LOT of time around him. Although I understand needing to train the dog not to bite, nip, etc., one that is inherently better with children would be nice.
- Good stamina... but don't all dogs have that? I want it to be able to work, then go for hikes, swimming, and practice in some dog sports.
- Good with other dogs! I already have a large dog (27 inches, 75 pounds... that's too much for me) that loves other dogs, although he does have some food aggression problems that we would work on.
- Family pets. Again, I know that they chase after cats and other things because it's in their blood. But if there's one herding breed that is a little bit better, I would prefer that.
- Off-switch. I don't need them jumping around all the time. Sometimes I need to relax and if we can't do a lot one day, I need a dog that won't freak out for that.
- Family dog. Although I love one-person dogs, I think I need something that is more of a family dog. I don't really care how they feel about strangers, but I do want one that will listen to everyone. I'm currently dealing with that with my current dog. He is a single-person dog and thus, he listens to no one... but me.
- Shedding. Although I don't really care either way, does one breed or the other shed less?
- Noise. I want a dog that barks when someone knocks. NOT over every little thing. Again, my current dog does this and although sometimes it's cute, it also gives me a headache when it's early in the morning and he throws a barking fit because he didn't get his way. Haha. Of course, this would not be a deciding factor. Just a little preference.

Although I'm sure I'm going to get a lot more pro-BC answers from this place naturally, I think this forum will be my best help in deciding. This decision is, quite possibly, another year or two away... But I wouldn't mind starting to look.
Thank you! And if anyone has links to helpful articles, that would also be much appreciated!
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#2
I can't help you from a place of having any first hand experience with herding however I am passionate about working breeds. For me and with your needs I would be considering either a BC or Kelpie. Talking in terms of both being working lines rather than show lines I tend to think of Kelpies being BC's on Steroids in that they excel in respect to stamina and heart. In respect to your points Work, Children, Other dogs, Family pet, Off switch, I would consider them equal in respect to achieving these things as it is largely up to your experience and effort in raising the pup. Of course the breeding of either will influence their capability to work.
With shedding I would consider a short haired BC or Kelpie for cleanliness and easier maintenance. We have some nasty weeds with masses of seeds that stick to the dogs.
Noise- Well again you can to a high extent train your dog when barking is appropriate and how long it should go on for. My BC Max has a tendency to bark at anything but he responds immediately and stops as soon as I acknowledge him. My BC Jasper is more of a watcher. I think Kelpies can be a little more guarded and suspicious and it is very much a trait of one of the founding breeds the Dingo.
I would like to own and train a Kelpie but I am too old for the sports and don't have a resectable job to offer a Kelpie.

Gideons Mum currently works with her BC's and has also owned a Kelpie. She is very experienced and I would value her thoughts in respect to a comparison of these two dogs for the tasks you have in mind.
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#3
There are discussions one recently on these two breeds as pets though.
As working dogs, I have not seen too many working line Aussies just bench lines.
My concern with cattle is I have seen BCs back down. They often don't have a plan B. However if you research your lines I'm pretty sure you could find some "Harder" lined BCs. The Aussies have a plan B, though not as aggressive as the heeler.
Ah but the BC is soooo beautiful to watch. Finesse.
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#4
If you want a BC that will work all of those different animals, get one from working cattle lines. BCs from sheep herding lines will be easily backed down by cattle. My cattle bred BC works chickens, goats, sheep, but is still a bit too shy on cattle. He can back me up, but he can't do the job by himself. My sheep bred dog can't even work goats well. They have their own set of challenges.
Gotta love 'em.
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#5
you can also have a look for a Kelpie....what i heard that they can work a little more independent.
My mother have a border collie x kelpie, and I can see that tiny difference in compare with my full bc.
She is also easier with unnown people en children than my bc

http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/australiankelpie.htm
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