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10 Dogs Similar to Border Collies (With Pictures)


May 4, 2023
border collie dog holding black toy ball in mouth

The Border Collie is one dog that’s really easy to please. As long as you keep it physically and mentally stimulated more often than not, you don’t have anything to worry about. These dogs are inherently even-tempered, energetic, and highly intelligent.

In this article, we’ll be presenting some of the breeds that are similar to the Border Collie, based on temperament or looks. We believe this information will come in handy to anyone hoping to possess a breed that has 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 Credit: JackieLou DL, Pixabay

The Shetland Sheepdog is commonly known as the “Sheltie.” And yes, this cute name has been assigned to a breed that has one of the best personalities in the dog community, besides the fact that it’s a really gentle dog.

We like to think of the Sheltie as a miniature iteration of the Border Collie. While it’s half the Collie’s size, it usually presents qualities that are very similar to those of our Collie pal. This breed is not aggressive, is highly trainable, and loves to busy itself with different forms of exercises.

2. German Shepherd

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

The German Shepherd is a breed that’s revered by people from all walks of life. Being able to not fall in love with this breed is virtually impossible, seeing as they come with the best personality traits and physical attributes.

German Shepherds are often eager to please their owners, eager to learn, and not as stubborn as other large breeds. And all these are qualities that are parallel to those of the Collie. Don’t get a German Shepherd if you consider yourself a couch potato—these dogs need plenty of exercise.

3. Scotch Collie

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

The Scotch Collie and the Border Collie are like relatives. They both originated from Scotland, but that’s something that you can already tell, seeing as “Collie” is a Scottish name. Just like their kinsmen, 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 grow 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. We also have to add that the Scotch Collie is an affectionate dog that has a high exercise demand.

4. Shadow Shepherd

english-shepherd_shabawasing, Pixabay
Image Credit: shabawasing, Pixabay

If the Border Collie had a doppelganger out there, it would be the Shadow Shepherd. Also known as the English Shepherd, this medium-sized breed usually comes with white, cream, and black coats. They are also highly trainable, intelligent, and considered outdoorsy.

You shouldn’t be thinking about getting this dog if you live in an apartment or small space, as they normally 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 it from a very young age.

5. Australian Cattle Dog

Australian-Cattle-Dog_Shutterstock_Best dog photo
Image Credit: 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 similar temperaments. This Australian breed loves exploring the world, is always active, very intelligent, and looks sturdy.

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 that 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 breed 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.

This dog is usually wary of strangers, thus making it a good family watchdog. Their coats are medium in length and have black, white, and copper colorations. They prefer an active lifestyle, one full of adventure. You’ll also note that they are very intelligent and loyal to a fault.

7. Belgian Sheepdog

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

This breed is extremely rare, and it excels in almost every facet of life. They are known to be very protective of their families, and that’s what makes them the perfect guard dog.

You’ll also find them roaming around law enforcement offices, 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 breed is a ball of energy, similar to the Border Collie.

8. Rottweiler

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

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

This is one of those breeds that doesn’t have the same physical attributes as the Collie, but a similar temperament. They are not as tough or aggressive as they seem if that’s what you’re wondering. Once you get to know them, you’ll realize that they are often 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 Credit: Rita_Kochmarjova, Shutterstock

The Rough Collie is yet 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 highly active. 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 Credit: Tanya Consaul Photography, Shutterstock

Last but not least, we have the Koolie. It has physical and personality traits that are similar to both the Border Collie and the Rough Collie, hence the reason why we like to describe it as a mixture of the two. Their coat colorations normally vary, meaning you might get one with blue, gray, black, or 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 that aggressive attitude.

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Facts About the Border Collie

male border collie standing in grass
Image Credit: Frank11, Shutterstock
  • This breed holds multiple records. It has nothing to do with luck, but the fact that they are extremely intelligent and easy to train. There’s even a Collie that 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. If you go through AKC’s list of recognized breeds, you’ll find them occupying the 139th
  • Even though they were originally bred in Scotland, their ancestors were Vikings and Roman breeds.
  • Unlike some dogs, you can find them in any color combination. The black and white coat colorations are the most common, but they can come with lilac, blue merle, sable, and even brindle markings.


There are so many dog 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. For example, the Rottweiler.

Why do people like comparing other dogs to the Border Collie? It’s because they know how special this breed is. Breaking and setting new records every so often is no mean feat for a dog.

Featured Image Credit: Julia Zavalishina, Shutterstock

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