What do you get when you cross the world’s most intelligent dog breed with the friendliest? You get a rambunctious mix that will surely steal your heart, that’s what!
They’ll also steal your shoes and get into trouble if they aren’t getting enough mental stimulation, so you do have to be aware of the needs of this pup. However, the Border Collie Golden Retriever mix has a lot to offer as a pet.
Let’s take a look at a few things you should know if you’re considering getting a Border Collie Golden Retriever mix!
The Appearance of a Border Collie Golden Retriever
First off, what does this breed look like? It can always be a little interesting to see what you get when mixing two dog breeds.
In this case, the parent breeds look somewhat similar, so there isn’t as much variety as there can sometimes be.
Both parents have a somewhat dense double-layered coat, though the Border Collie’s fur is rougher than the Golden’s silky waves. The Golden Border Retriever or Golden Collie can inherit either of these textures.
Border Collies are mostly black and white, though there can be other colors. Goldens vary in color from light yellow to deep gold or red. The cross, sometimes called the Coltriever can be any color ranging from black and white to yellow, golden, brown, deep chocolate, or red.
The Parents of the Golden Border Retriever
Crossbreeds can always be a bit of a wild card. Since they have two (or more) competing lineages it’s more difficult to predict their overall personality and characteristics.
The best way to understand a designer dog breed (a mix of two purebreds) is to take a closer look at its parent breeds. So let’s do that!
The Smart and Energetic Border Collie
The word “collie” is actually the Scottish word for sheepdog. Border collies developed on the border between England and Scotland from a mix of the old Romans’ herding dogs and the Vikings’ Spitz-type herders.
As you might expect, they were used extensively for herding sheep over generations in this area. Eventually, they developed into excellent working dogs known for their intelligence, energy, and obedience.
In fact, Border Collies have topped the list when it comes to ranking the smartest dog breeds. So you can bet any pup that’s a descendant will be quite intelligent as well.
Border Collies are medium to large size dogs standing 18-22 inches at the shoulder and weighing about 30-45 pounds. They also don’t laze around. They were made to work and require a job (or at least lots of exercise and mental stimulation) to be calm and happy.
The Loving Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever has long been popular as a family dog in addition to being used for various jobs. Their affectionate personalities and loving attitude toward everyone they encounter are downright endearing.
Interestingly, Golden Retrievers were originally developed for work. They are also from Scotland and are the result of the work of Lord Dudley Marjorbanks. He worked to produce an intelligent, hard-working dog from the extinct Tweed Water Spaniel and the Yellow Retriever.
He was successful in his quest, though he probably never imagined his new dog breed would become America’s favorite sweetheart years later. Aside from being a loving family dog, the Golden Retriever’s smarts have been put to use for a variety of jobs from search and rescue to guide and therapy dogs.
Golden Retrievers are pretty big, usually standing between 21-24 inches tall and weighing up to 75 pounds. They are typically golden in color, but the shade can range from quite pale to a deep gold or red hue.
Border Collie-Golden Retriever Mix Size
Golden Retrievers are a bit bigger than Border Collies, which means there is a size range when crossing the two. However, the Golden Collie tends to be a larger dog, standing between 24-25 inches and weighing 45-75 pounds.
Surprisingly for such a large dog, Coltrievers can handle living in small homes or even apartments — with proper exercise, of course. As descendants of the highly energetic Border Collie, these guys will go nuts if they are cooped up for too long!
Golden Border Collie Traits and Temperament
Border Collies are known for being obedient and eager to please. Goldens are famous for their easy-going, loving personalities. Cross the two and you can pretty much say you’ve got the perfect dog.
This designer dog breed is loving, playful, eager to please, and smart enough that training isn’t a huge chore. They are loyal, develop strong bonds with their families, and make wonderful playmates for children. They don’t like being by themselves and can get anxious if left home alone for long periods of time.
As with any dog, it is important to meet their needs for mental stimulation and physical exercise. Because of their smarts, they may need more mental stimulation than other breeds but there are a lot of activities that count. Playing with the kids, puzzle games, fetch, swimming, jogging, hiking, and so much more make these pups super happy!
Are Border Collie Golden Retrievers Good Family Dogs?
The last section gives you a big hint — yes, Golden Border Retrievers make excellent family dogs.
Because they need so much attention, it can be hard for a single person or even a couple who work outside the home to provide enough interaction for the dog. But you put a whole family in the house and that Golden Border Retriever is in heaven!
They will happily play with your kids and will be gentle and loving. Though energetic, they also don’t mind downtime and are happy to spend their evenings cuddled up with you or one of those aforementioned kids.
They are not aggressive dogs by nature and don’t make the best guard dog, but they are alert and aware of their surroundings. They will always let you know when a stranger is coming to visit!
The Trainability of a Golden Border Retriever
This is always a big question. Everybody wants a well-behaved dog and it takes time and patience to achieve that.
However, some dogs are easier to train than others. For busy families that may not have tons of time to dedicate to dog training, easy trainability is a big plus.
Well, the Golden Border Retriever is a great choice. They’re super smart, so understanding and remembering what you want is not difficult for them. Add to that the fact that they love to please their owners and you’ll see that they are a breeze to train!
They’ll learn all the basic stuff quickly and, when handled properly, will be well-behaved pets. They can get themselves into trouble if they are bored, so plenty of mental stimulation and exercise is a must — or your furniture could pay the price.
If you like the idea of a dog that can learn lots of cool and unusual tricks, this is a great dog to pick. Not only will they learn quickly, but also they’ll have a lot of fun doing it. They are also great dogs for competing in agility and other canine sports.
Outside the home, Golden Border Retrievers are fantastic for use in a variety of jobs. Their smarts and obedience make them easy to use for herding, retrieving, and everything in between.
Caring for a Golden Border Collie
There’s a lot to love about a Golden Border Retriever, including their beautiful coats. They can be a little rough like a Border Collie’s or silkier like a Golden’s. But one thing is certain, they have a lot of hair and will shed frequently.
If you don’t like the idea of pet hair all over your couch or someone in your home has allergies, you may want to consider a more hypoallergenic pet. Because these dogs are certainly not it.
To keep their coats somewhat under control, expect to brush their hair at least once a week. You’ll probably have to step this up during blowout season and even so, your house will not be pet hair free. It’s just impossible.
Baths only need to happen about once or twice a month. Be careful not to bathe too frequently or their skin can dry out. And make sure to keep those floppy ears clean and dry to help avoid ear infections.
Diet and Exercise for the Golden Collie
Every individual dog’s nutritional requirements will vary to some extent. Just as with humans, it depends on their age, size, activity level, and other factors.
Start by following the recommended amount of food according to your dog’s size and keep an eye on your dog. Adjust accordingly if you notice they are getting thinner or putting on more weight.
For exercise, remember these guys are quite the energetic pups! It is best to provide your pup with at least 90 minutes of vigorous exercise daily. Though if your schedule allows, these pups will happily go strong for 180 minutes a day and still race you to the front door!
Health Concerns for the Golden Retriever and Border Collie
Unfortunately, all dogs can get sick, regardless of their breed. Designer dog breeds are sometimes extolled as being “healthier” than purebreds because of the influx of fresh genes.
That may be somewhat true for the breed as a whole, but individual dogs could also be susceptible to the health problems of both their parent breeds. For Coltrievers, this means they can be plagued by the health problems of both the Border Collie and the Golden Retriever.
Both dog breeds are susceptible to bloat and allergies. Elbow and hip dysplasia are also common and may be passed on to their designer dog offspring.
Border Collies can pass on progressive retinal atrophy and collie eye anomaly. Both of these conditions can cause loss of eyesight if not treated. Deafness and epilepsy are also common issues.
Golden Retrievers contribute heart problems, other eye conditions like pigmentary uveitis, and, unfortunately, cancer. It’s always a good idea to screen Goldens for heart and eye problems before using them for breeding.
When choosing your dog, it’s important to get it from a reputable breeder who can provide health information on the pup’s parents. If that’s not possible, you should at least take your pup for a veterinary exam and get their opinion on the pup’s overall health.
All in all, Golden Border Retrievers are generally healthy dogs and can be expected to live a long life with proper care. The average life expectancy of the crossbreed is around 12-15 years.
Other Border Collie Crossbreeds to Consider
Being known as the world’s smartest dog has given the Border Collie a lot of attention. Breeders love the idea of mixing their intelligence and obedience with the looks or other characteristics of different dog breeds.
Thus, there are quite a few options for Border Collie crossbreeds to choose from.
The Border Aussie is very similar to the Border Collie in smarts and personality. However, the Australian Shepherd contributes interesting color patterns to create a stunning dog that is a little more eye-catching than the Border Collie’s typical black and white pattern. Plus, this dog is smarter than the average toddler, so watch out and get ready to teach him lots of tricks!
The Border Collie Chihuahua mix is a designer dog breed that has become quite famous in the last few years. That's because these dogs are smart, playful, and active. They also make great pets for people who live in small apartments or homes.
The Border Collie German Shepherd mix, also known as the Shollie, is a unique and intelligent breed that combines the workaholic nature of the Border Collie with the protective instincts of the German Shepherd. These dogs are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and versatility, and they excel in a wide range of activities, from herding to search and rescue.
And what if you’re looking for a Border Collie that doesn’t shed quite so much? A Bordoodle is a great option. With the right mix, the Poodle contributes a slightly curly, low-shed coat. And since the Poodle ranks right up there with the Border Collie in terms of intelligence, you’ll still have a super smart companion!
Is the Golden Border Collie Right for Me?
The Golden Border Collie makes a fabulous companion for the right family. They can be content in an apartment or small home, but only if you have the time and energy to exercise them daily.
And a quick walk around the block won’t cut it. They need to run at the local dog park, go on a hike, explore new areas, or participate in agility or other canine sports to get enough exercise.
For this reason, they can be a better option if you have a house with a sizeable yard or live on a farm. If you need a working dog, these little guys will be tirelessly by your side and happy to come and cuddle with you in the evenings when the day’s work is done.
If you have kids, these are great dogs to consider. They make loving and playful companions and your dog and the kids will help tire each other out. They may try to herd people around, which can be intimating for small children, but gentle correction usually takes care of that quite easily.
If your house sits empty while you’re at work most of the day, a different type of dog may be a better choice. These guys crave attention and love companionship so they will get lonely and anxious on their own for more than 6 hours every day.
They are friendly and loving, even with strangers, so you can have guests over without worrying about your dog being suspicious or aloof.
All in all, the Golden Border Retriever is a wonderful companion dog for active families. With such a loyal pet, there’s no doubt you’ll have years of love and companionship!
Find more helpful articles on pet-parenting at the Off Leash blog at TryFi.com.
Also, be sure to check out TryFi's Fi Dog Collar, a cutting-edge GPS tracking collar that keeps you updated on your dog's location, activity, sleep, and alerts you if they escape the backyard. Try the Fi Dog Collar today!