Any experience with Australian shepherd/ Border Collie mix.

Danielle - posted on 01/14/2010 ( 36 moms have responded )

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Hello ladies,

I was wondering if any one has had either one of these breeds and if you found it difficult to manage with your children.

My fiance and I are looking to adopt a surrendered dog at one of our local kennels, and I was curious what others experiences with these dogs were like.

The female we were looking at was an Australian Shepherd cross Border Collie. She was very friendly, and was gentle with my 16 month old son. That being said, I've also adopted dogs from shelters before and know that taking her home may be another story.

I've done research and know that these breeds are high energy dogs, and there is always a concern with the herding instinct.

Any stories or breed you would recommend would help.

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Sheryl - posted on 09/28/2011

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We have a BorderCollie/Australian Sheppherd Mix and have found him to be a very loyal and protective dog. Our dog "Chaser" has been more of an inside dog since we got him when he was 8 weeks old. He was not that interested in being outside. He wanted to be with the family. He is now 8 and still wants to be in the same room with one of the 3 of us al all times. He sleeps on the food of the bed with my husband and I and then moves in to our 14 year old daughters room on the foot of her bed during the night. Our daughter was 5 when we got Chaser. He is very protective of our yard and us. If he sees another animal in the yard or walking down the street he will bark constantly until the animal s out of sight. He will sometimes sleep in the hall way on the floor between our room and our daughters room thinking he is protecting us. He was also potty trained the second night we had him. When someone comes to the house he will bark for the first 10-15 minutes and then calms down and lays down beside them when he realizes they are ok. We love our Chaser and don't know what we would do without him.

[deleted account]

Both breeds are herding dogs and need a job to do and typically will 'herd' the kids and if not well trained may nip at their heels. If you adopt a Australian shepherd/border collie mix, I would immediately sign up for obedience training and start with the beginning classes and follow them through to the advanced classes. A well trained dog will listen to you and both you and the dog will be happier. Also, with a breed cross such as this, they need a lot of exercise, so plan on a good hour of walking in the morning and either an hour of hard ball playing or another walk or run in the evening. Remember, a tired dog is a happy dog and they tend to not be destructive if they are able to get their energy out by exercise! Ask your shelter if they have a trial adoption or do any adoption counseling as to what your current lifestyle and goals are as to pet ownership and they can be very helpful in matching a breed to you that will fit in your current lifestyle. Shelters have great dogs, give one a chance!

Carolyne - posted on 01/18/2010

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I grew up with an Australian shepherd/border collie mix, but then we lived on a farm. We now have a Aussie female who just turned a year and has been a handful. If the one you are looking at is older that would be better. They need a lot of exercise! A yard is not enough. A long walk in the morning and evening or a place to run and play catch is great. I am starting my little girl in agility. She loves it and it wears her out. You also will need a place to keep the dog seperate from your baby (like the kitchen or laundry room) until they both learn how to be gentle with each other. Once the boundries are set you should have a great protector for your child.

Jessica - posted on 01/17/2010

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Awww our family pet was an Australian Shepherd mix too! He passed last year. Ours was pretty snappy as well. What I found out later in his life is that they are extremely intelligent and have a need to herd. Our dog, Sidney, had a lot of his own personal quirks, but I am sure if he was given a proper environment he would have been much better socialized. I would not recommend this breed for young children, only because they have so much energy and they could knock your lil one down. You know, ANY dog who is properly socialized and trained can be a good house dog. If you have other pets at home, make sure you introduce your new dog to the home first, to see how he/she gets along with your environment. =) Good luck!

Kristy Lee - posted on 01/17/2010

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i dont have either of these dogs... but i have an english staffy and he loves and i mean loves my 10 month old son... we cannot get him away from him, he gives his kisses, and worries when dean cries why his in the backyard in his pram while were out there. it soo cute, i can trust him ith my son 100%

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Caitlyn - posted on 01/19/2010

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We actually had an Australian Cattledog mix. I know that it's not the same as a Border Collie Australian Shepherd mix but they are notorious for their energy and herding. Sadly, we ended up having to give her away b/c we live in an apartment and didn't have a yard for her to run in(they need A LOT of exercise) and once the baby was on the move she tried to play w/ him but he was just too small. I've heard that golden retrievers are great w/ kids and the majority of boxers are. Hope this helps!

Debbie - posted on 01/18/2010

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I have three aussies and they are great with my children, but all three were raised along with my kids. What you have to remember about them is that they are very smart and very active. They can get bored easily and that always leads to bad temperment. I have never had a problem with the herding instinct, except that when you walk them they tend to try to herd you where they want to go. My female aussie has gotten short tempered in her old age and has given my 6 year old some warning snaps, never made contact and the dog ended up banned from the house, but alot of that had to do with the dogs age. You have to be careful no matter what breed you end up getting but I personally LOVE the aussies and I think I will always have one. Males tend to be more patient with children and my kids can do just about anything to him and he just rolls over thankful for the attention.

Sharon - posted on 01/18/2010

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high energy = ADD dog, lol. LOTS of energy!!



I don't have experience with Border Collie Australian Shepherd mixes first hand but I had two herding dogs. They are precious and you have to understand that herding instinct and how to read your dog.



My shelties would try to round up the kids. Especially when they were screaming and yelling and chasing eachother about.



They would chase after the kids, nipping at their feet/calves. They never did more than bruise the kids and you could tell this wasn't an aggression issue. Just their instincts compelling them.



However I raised both of mine from 8weeks. Not adopted.

Claire - posted on 01/18/2010

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i have a german shepherd cross border collie n she is awsome with my 4 month old lil girl but as your gettin from local kennel be sure to check background thouroly but if you get from a pup it would be a great pet n friend to your child they just need n hour or 2 hour walk a day so you can keep energy down x

Vicki - posted on 01/18/2010

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I just gave my 8 month old puppy to the shelter..she was healer/shephard..cousins..wow..super high energy..this is why i had to let her go..was so good with babies and kids..after she got comfy with them..she liked to play hard..yet, if i had a place for her to run and let the energy out..she would have not been so hyper..they have to be walked every day..couple times..if left alone..would chew everything..i mean everything..she ate my $100 boots and $60 perfect shirt..loved them..wii cords..had to buy new laptop cord..ugh..$55..has to have full time attention..on the other hand..she was so loving and fun and a hoot..broke my heart to give her up..yet i couldnt hold her back..and couldnt afford any more money or anger from my things..she was so smart..she would open the closet doors and get into em..and open any and all water bottles and would find water all over the floors and furniture..try a yorkie..much better dogs..hope that helps..yorkies have a great rescue page too

Laura - posted on 01/17/2010

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Hi, we have had 4 Aussies and and 2 border Collies. Overall they didn't have a great love of kids--except regarding our own child. They have a tendency to herd and nip at small children, they also aren't highly tolerant of rough/painful handling by little ones. Aussies are very loyal and affectionate (BC's not quite as affectionate) As you mentioned, they do require a great deal of exercise. Just as important thought, is regular mental exercise for these breeds--so you'll need to set aside time for training as well. Ours have had a few health problems as well--as have many of the ones we've known owned by others (if veterinary bills are something you're keeping in mind) I hope this helps!

Firebird - posted on 01/17/2010

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My family had an Australian cattledog (shepherd) for 11 years and we couldn't have asked for a better dog. Yes, they are high energy animals but we have horses so that worked for us. We'd take him with us on rides, and let him run down the big hill on our way home from the ranch where we kept our horses. There was not a mean bone in this dog's body. He wouldn't even let my brother and I fight! He'd jump between us and push us away from eachother. lol We never had a reason to be concerned with the herding instinct, maybe because we used him to herd cows too. When we took him on walks he'd herd us though.lol We brought him home when he was a year and a half old. He was terrified of thunder and fireworks because he saw 2 dogs that he used to live with get shot for wandering off during a ride that he went on with his previous owner. He was so gentle and quiet, he didn't bark for the first 4 months that we had him. I truly cannot say enough great things about this dog.

Georgana - posted on 01/17/2010

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Danielle, I did dog rescue for years and can tell you ANY dog can be good around children; just never leave children and dogs together unattended. Teach a child to respect the dog, blah blah blah :)

That being said, Australian shepherds and border collies are herding dogs and as such, they like to try and corral things, sheep, chickens...children. If children are active and very mobile, these breeds may try to 'herd' them and in doing so, tend to issue nips to any body part they can reach; much as they would do with livestock. So, just remember that this is an intrinsic trait in these breeds; it doesn't make them mean or untrustworthy around children, they just need supervised if their natural instincts kick in. Good luck! Jan

Danielle - posted on 01/17/2010

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Hello,
We're actually planning on going back and take her for a walk. Before we make any final decisions we have the option of going and walking her to make sure if it a good fit. While we do that we'll see how fast she picks up simple commands like sit, and how well she walks with the family.
The kennel viewings are closed for the weekends so we are lucky that we have some time to think about it.
She was a younger dog, and was also surrendered so she had experience around people. I just love that whenever my 16 month old son approached her or walked past her she laid down and rolled on her back. Completely submissive...very cuddly dog.
I just hope we can afford her.

Heather - posted on 01/17/2010

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We adopted a 2 year old Husky/Blue Heeler mix about a year before we had our daughter. We got her from a local rescue group where the owner had been living with her for about 6 months before we came along. I was worried that she would be jealous when we brought baby home, but she immediately seemed to take on the role of second mom. She always watches the front door and lets us know when someone is coming (which she didn't do before we brought Amaya home...she actually never barked before), and she comes to get us when Amaya starts fussing if she doesn't think we're moving fast enough, lol. She's very gentle...we've just started to let Amaya (5 months) touch Karma and they both love it. Karma will give her little tiny licks and Amaya cracks up laughing. Surprisingly with her mix, Karma is very laid back and lazy (and a little prissy I think). She enjoys her walks, but prefers to stay inside and just hang out. I think she wishes she could be a lap dog. Well good luck with whatever dog you may choose...just remember, even though a certain breed is expected to act a certain way, you also have to take their own personality into account :) Try to get a good history if you can when you adopt.

Chris - posted on 01/17/2010

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I myself have a Border Collie/ Lab mix. She's a VERY loyal dog. However, the Border in her makes her extremely neurotic and nervous in nature. I had a terrible time w/ her adjusting to the addition of our son to the family. Took 2+ years for her to be "tolerant" of him. I still do not trust her fully and never will w/ him. She snaps at times. She's extremely energetic and needs a lot of stimulus. The breed gets very bored. Honestly they just don't make good family dogs. They're are best suited on farms, ect. They never loose the herding instinct. It's just what they do. Don't get me wrong she's a great dog but family wise I would never recommend a herding dog to a young, growing family.

Glenda - posted on 01/17/2010

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did you adopt the dog yet? i had an australian shepherd/blue heeler mix. the blue healer is not as hyper as a border collie is. but mine loved kids and i didn't have any trouble with her herding. she loved to play and run and 'cut' with the kids. she would run straight at them, scare them enough to think they were about to get run over, then cut away. the kids LOVED it. mine was raised with my grandkids, then i inherited her because another dominant dog would not let her eat. so she came to may house and we have goats and horses all around us. she never gave them any trouble. if you live in the city, they need LOTS OF ROOM TO RUN!!

[deleted account]

We have an australian shepherd/pit bull mix that we got from the shelter when she was a puppy. She is the most gentle yet protective dog-lots of energy, but enjoys just layin' around the house too. She loves kids becuase they give her alot of attention! Good luck!

Heather - posted on 01/16/2010

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I had an Aussie for about 8 months. It turned out my husband was horribly allergic so we had to find him a new home. He was wonderful though. He was my dog and very devoted. He followed me closely but was an angel with my then 16 month old. She could literally take the dog bone out of his mouth and eat it herself. I stared handing out one to each of them so the dog got his bone. We never had any issue with aggressive behavior toward my daughter. He did love to run though and needed good walks and jogs which was a bit difficult for me to do daily as I was pregnant. I loved him very much and was sad to find him a new home. He went to friends who wanted a dog who would not harm their rabbit and one who loved to run. Ziggy fit the bill for them and they are still very happy.

Amanda - posted on 01/16/2010

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I grew up with an Australian Sheppard. My mom liked our dog Patches herding instinct. The dog would keep us in the front yard by nudging us until we when back to the front lawn.

Maribeth - posted on 01/15/2010

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We had an Austrailian Sheepherd when we had our kids. She was about 4yrs old when Iwe bought our fistborn home. I too was nerveous about her nipping, since thats what she did to get things(our cats) moving. I must say, she was a tremendous help in raising the kids. We had two other kids within the next 3 years, and as they grew she was more attentive to them & enjoyed playing with them at their level. By the time they were old enough to play out in front on our culdesac with the neightbors, I knew which neighbors house the kids were at because Star would wait patiently outside for them.

She was a great dog, and for the most part, I like the Aussies. I find them to be very different from the Border Collies however. They & the Australian Cattle dogs are more calm, more atuned to their owners.

So, we had our dog before the kids came along. And I was speaking generally about dog breeds in comparing them. On and individual basis, things are usually different. I would ask if you could have a trail basis. I would think that you & your husband would know within days, if this particular dog will fit into your home, so ask for a week, see how it goes. Hope this helps!

Sue - posted on 01/15/2010

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When I first adopted Lily, I looked up the characteristics of this breed (above). One of the descriptions said that they make good apartment dogs. Well, very true. Lily can be in the apartment all day and yet when we come home she will run out to go potty and then run straight back in to be with us. She seems to not mind not having a yard to run in. I kept her at our home with a huge yard for a time and she did fine but I think she likes the apartment better. Go figure. Some dogs can't seem to get a large enough territory. Not this dog. She is awesome!!

~Jennifer - posted on 01/15/2010

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mine is a chow / collie mix, and he will 'herd' the kids back to the house if he thinks they're getting too 'far away'. He's only about 9 months old, and I never taught him to do this, he just does it. Best dog that ever owned me.
;)

Barb - posted on 01/15/2010

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Hi Danielle, my son has an australian shepherd/border collie mix and she is great with kids but you need a big yard for her to run in, and she is great at herding the kids in if I tell her to go get the baby( she thinks all the small children are babies) she herds them back to me, and they are very smart dogs you can teach them almost anything . good luck,make sure you talk to the shelter about any help they can give you after the adoption in case there are any issues. best of luck ,

Sue - posted on 01/15/2010

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I have an australian shepherd/lab/chow. The herding instinct is the character trait that I most appreciate about her. She always wants to be near me and I do not worry about her running off. She is extremely smart, a fast learner, very eager to please and gentle. However, I raised her from a pup. You never know how shelter dogs were treated as a 'child'.

[deleted account]

we have an Australian Kelpie and he was just 2 when my son was born...as crazy as a cut snake but has never put a foot wrong with my son or my daughter (who has never been very interested in him) . We had advice from Bark Busters..they came to our home in Sydney ...and they suggested having the baby present when you feed the dog so he understands the heirarchy in the family and positively associates the child with being fed. We constantly told him what a good dog he was when we were fussing over the baby and we made sure he had some people time (walks) every day. My son is now 8 and our dog an old man :) I have such happy memories of them rolling all over each other on our lawn and my son always sneaking him bits of his food. Working dogs are by nature intelligent and in-tune with humans...just make sure he/she has not been traumatised by introducing it all very gradually. good luck xx

Ellen - posted on 01/15/2010

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Yes they are 'hearders'. I know one Boarder Collie who drove the chooks mental. They stopped laying the eggs. The dog got seperated for a while and all turned out well.
Usually they are excellent company and good baby-sitters. But I know what you mean bu a rescued dog.
Ask if you can take it 'on trial' for a month.

Clair - posted on 01/14/2010

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I have a border collie x labrador and a border collie x australian kelpie which we've had both since before we had our (now nearly 20 month old) daughter and both are great with her, we had a few issues with our kelpie cross when i first came home from hospital with our daughter with him nipping at her (we got him from an abusive home and he is a very timid dog) but after alot of training and getting him used to her he is alot better now, and our lab cross has been amazing with her from the start he has a very gentle temperament, all the best i hope you get a friend for life xxx

Suzanne - posted on 01/14/2010

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We've had good experiences with the border collies. My brother in law had two border collies, brother and sister pair. They were always wonderful with my two boys. Their natural herding insticts definately kicked in though. The female collie would herd my oldest boy (when he was a toddler), to under the kitchen table or under the office desk and make him take a nap with her. The male collie would play ball with the kids. They never got agressive or nippy.

Rikki - posted on 01/14/2010

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we have one at home and they are great dogs even if she had been a working dog like ours as long as she has had good training she will know the diff of work time and time to relax....they are great dogs and im sure if she needed training it will not take her long to pick it up they learn very fast dogs are what we make them and there is such a thing as teaching old dogs new tricks :) our dog is great with kids very gentil she will jump up a bit but thats why nice long walks and good ball play are very important i think if you decide to get her you will have a great new best friend for life good luck xoxox

Nikki - posted on 01/14/2010

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never had an australian sheppard but grew up with 2 german sheppards from birth and they were amazing with me they were so protective as if I was their child, my husband grew up with a border collie, one of the most intelligent of all breeds and very caring and compassionate. We now have a Weimaraner and she is great with our son. he just adores her as well. I think having animals as part of your family as well is an amazing thing and it's so nice to see people who understand that and don't just throw away their animals b/c they have children, when the animal wasn't ever given a chance.

[deleted account]

Hi Danielle! We have 7 kids. We have had 2 Australian Shepherds, 1 Sheltie and 2 Great Pyrenees. All have the same great personalities with kids and are very protective of their families. Our first A.S. was the absolute best with our small kids. The second one is still with us and was a shelter adoption when she was 3 years old. She is great also. Our 2 Great Pyrenees are sisters and are the best dogs with children that you can have. Yes they are large dogs, but they have the mildest temperment and our 4 boys can do anything with them and their is never any agression. They are loyal and guard your kids just like they do goats. lol. Our A.S used to herd our kids, but in a very non-agressive way. All of these breeds are highly intelligent, and yes, the A.S. and border collies have to have a job. They are working dogs. I would not recommend a border collie unless you have a big yard and livestock. They just have too much energy and will become property destructive if not kept busy. Shepherds are better in that dept. and Great Pyrenees turn into couch potatoes when they become adult. Ours still play (they love to "pretend" fight and can look very mean) but that is natural to the breed and they are very loving to one another. I don't think our two could live separated from one another. Good look with your search for a border collie Australian shepherd mix. and hope this helps.

Kathryn - posted on 01/14/2010

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I have an Australian Shepherd and she is the most caring, compassionate, loving dog in the entire word. She was a rescue dog and was beaten when she was a puppy so she is very timid. She loves my 9 month old, even when my daughter is climbing all over her and pulling on her hair. I would recommend this breed of dog to anyone! They're so loving!

[deleted account]

Well I don't have an Australian shepard, I have a German shepard. My son is a year old and they get along so well. Shepards and collies are extremely intelligent and very devoted. They have high energy because the have active minds just like toddlers. I did a ton of research and shepards are make great family pets and often develop strong bonds with children in their "pack". Good luck, I hope this helps your decision on getting a border collie Australian shepherd mix.

Kathleen - posted on 01/14/2010

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I have seen both these breeds snap at children. However, that was after the dogs had been traumatized somehow. Be sure to get a good history on the animal to be sure you are not inheriting someone else's bad judgement.

Caitlyn - posted on 01/19/2010

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We actually had an Australian Cattledog mix. I know that it's not the same as a Border Collie Australian Shepherd mix but they are notorious for their energy and herding. Sadly, we ended up having to give her away b/c we live in an apartment and didn't have a yard for her to run in(they need A LOT of exercise) and once the baby was on the move she tried to play w/ him but he was just too small. I've heard that golden retrievers are great w/ kids and the majority of boxers are. Hope this helps!

Sharon - posted on 01/18/2010

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high energy = ADD dog, lol. LOTS of energy!!



I don't have experience with Border Collie Australian Shepherd mixes first hand but I had two herding dogs. They are precious and you have to understand that herding instinct and how to read your dog.



My shelties would try to round up the kids. Especially when they were screaming and yelling and chasing eachother about.



They would chase after the kids, nipping at their feet/calves. They never did more than bruise the kids and you could tell this wasn't an aggression issue. Just their instincts compelling them.



However I raised both of mine from 8weeks. Not adopted.

Barb - posted on 01/15/2010

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Hi Danielle, my son has an australian shepherd/border collie mix and she is great with kids but you need a big yard for her to run in, and she is great at herding the kids in if I tell her to go get the baby( she thinks all the small children are babies) she herds them back to me, and they are very smart dogs you can teach them almost anything . good luck,make sure you talk to the shelter about any help they can give you after the adoption in case there are any issues. best of luck ,

[deleted account]

Hi Danielle! We have 7 kids. We have had 2 Australian Shepherds, 1 Sheltie and 2 Great Pyrenees. All have the same great personalities with kids and are very protective of their families. Our first A.S. was the absolute best with our small kids. The second one is still with us and was a shelter adoption when she was 3 years old. She is great also. Our 2 Great Pyrenees are sisters and are the best dogs with children that you can have. Yes they are large dogs, but they have the mildest temperment and our 4 boys can do anything with them and their is never any agression. They are loyal and guard your kids just like they do goats. lol. Our A.S used to herd our kids, but in a very non-agressive way. All of these breeds are highly intelligent, and yes, the A.S. and border collies have to have a job. They are working dogs. I would not recommend a border collie unless you have a big yard and livestock. They just have too much energy and will become property destructive if not kept busy. Shepherds are better in that dept. and Great Pyrenees turn into couch potatoes when they become adult. Ours still play (they love to "pretend" fight and can look very mean) but that is natural to the breed and they are very loving to one another. I don't think our two could live separated from one another. Good look with your search for a border collie Australian shepherd mix. and hope this helps.

[deleted account]

Well I don't have an Australian shepard, I have a German shepard. My son is a year old and they get along so well. Shepards and collies are extremely intelligent and very devoted. They have high energy because the have active minds just like toddlers. I did a ton of research and shepards are make great family pets and often develop strong bonds with children in their "pack". Good luck, I hope this helps your decision on getting a border collie Australian shepherd mix.

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