Kelpie vs. Border Collie – What’s The Difference?

We all know that herding dogs are some of the finest adoptable family pets.

Initially, the primary role of herding dogs was herding up different herds of farm animals. They had to ensure the protection of these animals from predators and that they do not stray away.

Now, herding dogs are popularly known to be the world’s most loyal, obedient, and intelligent canine companions.

Many dog owners prefer adopting herding dogs because of their joyful and energetic qualities.

Two of the world’s favorite and most popular herding dogs are the Kelpie and the Border Collie.

Although they have several distinct features, these two dog breeds are quite similar as they are somewhat related.

In this comprehensive guide, we will look at the similarities and differences of the Kelpie vs. Border Collie.

AttributesKelpieBorder Collie
Good For First Time OwnersYesNo
Good Guard DogWith Enough TraningWith Enough Training
Apartment FriendlyNoNo
Good Family DogWith Enough TrainingWith Enough Training
Barking And HowlingModerateModerate To High
Height17-20 inches (43-51 cm)18-22 inches (46-56 cm)
Average Life Expectancy12-15 Years12-15 Years


Kelpie – Appearance, Personality, Health

Officially referred to as the Australian Kelpie, this dog breed originated from Australia and is a breeding product of wild dingoes and Collies.

These dog breeds are independent in nature and highly tolerant to heat and dehydration.

As a result, the Kelpie is one of the best dog breeds that can fit perfectly and survive the harsh climate of Australia.


With an average weight of 14-20kgs, this medium-sized dog has a muscular and long build with almond-shaped eyes and pricked ears with lots of hair.

The Australian Kelpie comes in seven colors, including red, black, black-tan, red-tan, blue, fawn, and chocolate. Generally, they have a lifespan of 12-15 years.


Kelpies are brilliant and alert dogs with an immeasurable and fast learning capacity. They are known to be a workaholic breed and work full of zeal, ideal for making excellent watchdogs.

Due to their high IQ and obedient nature, it is relatively easy to train these dogs.

However, it is vital to note that they can easily get into mischief if left without any form of authority and direction.

Additionally, these dogs require plenty of exercise and attention since they are a work-oriented and energetic breed.

Their energy level is always high, meaning they cannot sit idle for long without doing any job.

So, if you are always active and enjoy going for hikes and long walks, the Kelpie is your perfect companion.

Despite their independent nature, the Australian Kelpie is very friendly.

With early age socialization and proper training, this dog grows to be very loyal to family and children.

They can also get along well with various pets. However, they may show signs of timidity towards strangers and also aggressiveness when protecting their family.


When it comes to their health, Kelpies are a healthy, hardy and energetic breed.

However, they are susceptible to a few health disorders, like Collie eye abnormality, Hip dysplasia, cerebellar abiotrophy, luxating patella, and cryptorchidism, among others.

Border Collie – Appearance, Personality, Health

Originally from the United Kingdom, Border Collies are the most famous herding dog breed in the United States.

The dog community refers to them as the world’s premier sheep herding dogs due to their many years of breeding experience.


When it comes to their appearance, Border Collies resemble the Australian shepherd with a long, athletic, and muscular body, feathered tail and mane, and standing ears with dropping ear tips.

These dogs are medium-sized and come in a variety of colors with different coat types, including a sleek or coarse one.

They are well-known for their unique ‘eye’ or intense stare.

The original role of Border Collies was to gather and manage sheep in the hilly border country that lies between England and Scotland.

As a result, they are perfect for country living.


These dogs are very intelligent and active, making them very easy to train.

They are also very alert, active, and tremendously energetic, meaning they would not do well if confined without company and activity.

Due to their natural herding instincts, this dog breed is highly protective of their home and family, ideal for being excellent watchdogs or guard dogs.

With the help of early socialization, Border Collies also get along well with children and other pets.

However, they must be socialized from a tender age to ensure complete familiarization.

When approached by strangers, these dogs can be somewhat aggressive and nip at their heels, the same way they would bite at sheep while herding.


All in all, Border Collies are a healthy breed, but like all other living things, they are prone to certain diseases.

Although not all Border Collies will experience these health conditions, their parents should know about their possible health conditions.

Some of them include hip dysplasia, epilepsy, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), various allergies, Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD), and Collie eye anomaly, among others.

Kelpie vs. Border Collie- What Are The Differences?

KelpieBorder Collie

The Kelpie and Border Collie are two herding dog breeds that have very similar personality traits.

They are both purebred dogs with similar weight, height, and average lifespan. These two dog breeds are also easy to moderate to groom as they have low-maintenance coats.

However, they also possess distinct characteristics. For instance, Kelpies hail from Australia, while Border Collies come from the United Kingdom.

Border Collies are also available in more color varieties than Kelpies.

It is also worth noting that Australian Kelpies are ideal canine companions for new or inexperienced dog parents, while Border Collies are the best fit for dog parents who know how to train and care for dogs.

The latter is an intelligent breed and may take advantage of owners who are not strict by doing various things their way.

Both dog breeds are very child-friendly, with the Border Collies being the better choice for families with extremely young children.


There is no doubt that there is immense confusion in the dog community when it comes to the Kelpie vs. Border Collie debate.

They are both herding dogs with a similar appearance, both being medium-sized dogs of the same weight and height.

However, upon analyzing them closer, you will realize that they have several distinct features, such as those outlined in this article.

But, for the most part, both these dog breeds share the same purpose and have a similar care routine.

Thus, your preferred choice highly depends on your personal preferences when looking for a canine companion.

Authored By

Madeline Wright

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