What Dog Is a Good Companion for a Border Collie Mix?

By Ann Compton

If you want a pal for your dog that is part Border Collie, consider one of the American Kennel Club (AKC) Herding Group breeds. Border Collies are high-energy, intense dogs that like a job and plenty of exercise. They are the workaholics of the AKC Herding Group and need a companion that can match their energy. A dog with the same nature is good company for a Border Collie mix and will help to provide the exercise the dog needs.

Topping the list of breeds that fit this bill are Australian Shepherd, Australian Cattle Dog and Belgian Tervuren. They match a Border Collie's drive and size. Although the Herding Group contains 25 breeds, many are happier on the couch than chasing sheep.

Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd is a perfect match for a Border Collie mix and has a similar appearance. It averages 18 to 23 inches at the shoulder, comparable to the Border Collie's 18 to 22 inches. Males generally weigh 50 to 65 lbs. and females 40 to 55 lbs.

Like the Border Collie, this dog needs lots of exercise to be happy. It is a very intelligent breed and excels in canine performance sports such as agility and herding. It also is very attached to its owners and family members and has a strong instinct to herd and guard. Its coat is similar to the Border Collie's coat in texture and requires weekly brushing. The breed includes a variety of colors with shades of gray, called merle; sable and solid colors.

Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dogs like a job to do.

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The Australian Cattle dog shares similarities with a Border Collie but is different in appearance. It has a shorter coat than a Border Collie and stands 17 to 20 inches at the shoulder. A full-grown Cattle Dog weighs 44 to 62 lbs. This breed requires less grooming than a Border Collie, and an occasional bath and brushing keeps the breed's members looking good.

This dog loves affection and is very loyal to family members but cautious with strangers. It is very trainable, but it requires an alpha owner to be head of the “pack.” As its name suggests, it is considered a wonderful herding dog, and it also excels at sports such as agility, herding and obedience.

Belgian Tervuren

Belgian Tervurens are easily trained.

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The Belgian Tervuren, also known as the Belgian Shepherd, matches the Border Collie in intelligence and courage, and it is very devoted to its owner and family. Slightly larger than the Border Collie at 22 to 26 inches, a full-grown Belgian Tervuren weighs about 65 lbs. Its coat ranges from light brown to mahogany, usually with black shading. This kind of dog needs frequent brushing – a few times a week -- to remove loose undercoat. The dog is lively, has a personality considered wonderful and trains well. It loves a job and excels at performance sports such as fly ball, agility and herding.

AKC Information

The AKC's Herding Group includes dog breeds of various sizes and temperaments. These dogs are known for their instinct to “herd” and control movement. In the absence of a sheep or cow to herd, they frequently try to herd their family members. They are considered excellent family dogs, intelligent and loyal.

Photographs and descriptions of the more than 100 dog breeds recognized by the AKC are on the organization's website, which is linked in the Resources section. The AKC divides the breeds into seven groups: Herding, Sporting, Hound, Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting and Working.