Border Collie vs Doberman – A Detailed Comparison

Owning a dog brings a lot of joy but also comes with a lot of responsibility.

Finding the right dog for your home and your family is the key to forming a companionship that will be beneficial both for you and your pet.

Every breed brings different qualities to the table and you should be very careful in selecting one who will suit your home circumstances and lifestyle.

In this article, I’ll take a look at Border Collie vs Doberman, two breeds that are among the most popular in the US, and for a good reason.

Each of them is iconic for their respective geographical regions, Great Britain and Germany.

They’re known for qualities that make them fantastic and loyal family dogs.

Also, Collies and Dobermans share a working background.

However, throughout history, they’ve developed different traits that require a specific type of owner.

AttributesBorder CollieDoberman
Good For First Time OwnersNoYes
Good Guard DogWith Enough TraningYes
Apartment FriendlyNoYes
Good Family DogWith Enough TrainingYes
SheddingModerateLow To Moderate
Barking And HowlingModerate To HighModerate
Height18-22 inches (46-56 cm)25-28 inches (64-71 cm)
Average Life Expectancy12-15 Years10-13 Years


Border Collie – Dog Breed Information

Originally, Border Collies started out as sheepherders in English and Scottish hills, helping local farmers take care of their livestock.

Today, they’re best known as beloved family dogs and agility completion champions.

No matter what was their role, they have always exhibited high intelligence, hard-working working habits, and strong athleticism.


Border Collies feature a typical body of hard-working dogs.

They’re medium-sized, slightly longer than tall, lean, muscular, and athletic,

As the weather in their home country is often rainy and cold, they feature a double coat that serves as protection against harsh weather.

There are two coat variants found at Border Collies – smooth and rough.

The undercoat is softer and water-resistant, while the topcoat is long and dense.

Black and white is the most common color combination, although they can have patterns featuring tan, live, and blue merle.

Border Collies have almond-shaped eyes with an intense intelligent stare and medium-sized ears, usually folded at the top.

The long and feathery tail is low-set.

Males grow 19-22 inches (48-56 cm) and their weight is around 30-45 pounds (14-20 kg).

Adult females are 18-21 inches (46-53 cm) high and weigh 27-42 pounds (12-19 kg).


Hardly any other breed can match Border Collies when it comes to energy.

There’s hardly ever a moment of rest with this breed.

They enjoy being active and love engaging in activities with their owners and the whole family.

Border Collies seem on non-stop alert looking as their herding instinct is still very strong.

They enjoy spending time with kids but can get a bit nippy as they try to herd them just like they do sheep.

All this means that they need a very active owner, ready to keep up with them.

In addition, Border Collie is one of the most intelligent breeds and needs to be constantly challenged, so they don’t get bored.

Their intelligence, paired with their obedience and willingness to solve problems., makes them very trainable.

It’s also the reason why they usually rank very high in dog competitions.

Doberman – Dog Breed Information

Originally bred in Germany at the start of the 19th century, Doberman’s name honors the breed’s first developer, Karl Friedrich Dobermann.

Throughout their history, they earned the reputation of one of the finest watchdogs around.

Today, Dobermans still fulfill a lot of these duties but have also proven themselves to be great family dogs.


With their tall appearance and elegant, almost aristocratic poise, Dobermans are often considered to be one of the most beautiful dogs in the world.

Still, despite their lean stature, they’re also tremendously strong dogs.

Doberman’s body is covered with a short, smooth, and silky coat.

Thanks to this and only moderate shedding. they’re pretty low maintenance when it comes to grooming.

The most common color combination is black and rust.

Still, they can feature other colors combining with rust, such as blue, red, and fawn.

The head is characteristically long and narrow with almond-shaped eyes.

In earlier years, ears were often cropped and tails docked, but now, owners mostly prefer natural floppy ears and fairly long tails.

Male Doberman can grow up to 27-28 inches (69-71cm) and weigh 88-99 pounds (40-45 kg).

Adult females grow around 25-26 inches (64-66 cm) and weigh 71-77 pounds (32-35 kg).


Due to their somewhat menacing presence, Dobermans are often wrongly stereotyped as vicious and aggressive dogs.

In reality, they are usually gentle and affectionate dogs, who, more than anything else, enjoy spending time with their humans.

They’re especially kind and playful around kids. However, they’re also natural protectors and will do anything to protect their families.

Dobermans are not aggressive towards strangers, but if they feel the danger to their families, they will turn to fearless defenders.

This makes them outstanding watchdogs.

Dobermans look for a strong owner and dominant pack leader and it sometimes takes time to train and socialize them.

Add to that their natural desire to be challenged and kept active, and you have a pretty demanding dog on your hands.

If you prefer more of a laid-back lifestyle, then, perhaps, the Doberman is not right for you.

Border Collie vs Doberman – What are the Differences?

Border CollieDoberman

When you match Border Collie vs Doberman, the first thing you’ll notice is the glaring difference in appearance.

Dobermans are larger, heavier, and more powerful, while Collies often look bigger than they actually are because of their long coat.

Even though they have the size advantage, the German breed’s personality makes them a little more suitable for apartment living, especially if you have the time to exercise regularly.

In addition, they are much easier to groom and leave less mess behind them.

Both breeds get along great with kids, although Collie’s nipping tendencies can sometimes be somewhat annoying.

Dobermans are very trainable, but the advantage here is on the side of Border Collies.

They are among the quickest and smartest learned in the dog world.

Still, the first-time owners should probably choose a Doberman, as Collies are more independent and require more commitment and constant engagement.


As you can see, Border Collies and Dobermans have some similarities, but, overall, are very different breeds.

Each of these dogs has its own unique characteristics which you could consider if you plan on getting either one of them.

In the right situation and with proper training, both Collies and Dobermans can become beloved family dogs and faithful companions.

Furthermore, they are more than prepared to fulfill various working tasks you put in front of them.

Dobermans will protect your family and property like almost no other breed, while Border Collies excel as farmworkers.

They can be trained to follow many commands but will need to be constantly challenged.

Authored By

Madeline Wright

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