Retriever Vs Border Collie | Coach Doggo

The Retriever and Border Collie are two popular dogs with unique appearances, but they have many more differences than you may have realized before.

The Retriever and Border Collie are amazing family dogs, but they are much different. The Golden Retriever is more friendly around new people, extremely active, and fits perfectly into a family with children. The Border Collie is friendly and easy to train, but they are more territorial to new people. 

Depending on your specific needs, one of these dogs could be the perfect choice for you. If you prefer a loving dog that doesn’t put up much of a fuss, the Golden Retriever is one of the best dogs you will find as a family. The Border Collie is a better choice for households without children who like to be active outdoors.

Owning dogs is a big commitment, but we all love them as creatures because they are so kind, caring, and unique. Both of these breeds fit that description and they can be considered beautiful animals with intelligence.

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Retriever Vs Border Collie

Border Collies and Retrievers are two different breeds of dogs that share some things in common. They both have exceptional looks and they make great companions. But they also offer up some important differences which make them the perfect choice for specific owners.

Retriever

Golden Retrievers are well suited for families with children, seniors, or other pets. They are patient and eager to please their owners. With these traits in mind, they make excellent family pets due to their tendency to please people at all times.

Personality

A Golden Retriever personality is very easygoing, loyal, and high energy. They are eager to please their owner and usually get along well with other animals.

Golden Retrievers are lovable, full of life, and ready to please. They are great with kids because they love nothing more than being the center of attention.

Despite the high energy levels, they do still love to cuddle and be friendly with owners and all newcomers into their homes. They are one of the most friendly breeds you will find.

Appearance

Golden Retrievers are large dogs that are often seen as docile, friendly, and sweet. They make great family pets as they grow up to about 25 inches tall with a weight of up to roughly 75 pounds on the bigger end.

The Golden Retriever also has a thick coat that grows long. They can be a range of colors and they tend to shed quite a bit because of the long-length coat.

Grooming Needs

Golden Retrievers have a thick coat and they need to be groomed regularly. It is important to brush them multiple times a week to avoid problems.

The golden retriever’s coat is beautiful but also has a lot of loose hair that can get stuck or shed. Brushing your golden retriever regularly will keep them clean and healthy while also keeping your furniture cleaner and free of fur.

Training Requirements

Golden Retrievers are one of the most intelligent dog breeds around. They are smart and very obedient when they hear commands from an owner.

This makes them easier to train than many other breeds but still requires regular exercise and training sessions. The golden also likes to be socialized with people and other animals alike, so it’s best for this breed if you have plenty of space for it to roam.

Exercise & Activity

Golden Retrievers are notorious for their energy levels. They are unique and prefer a very active lifestyle so they need lots of exercise and attention.

This is an energetic breed that loves to play and take part in all sorts of activities. It is not a demanding breed like some others, and they are happy to spend time with their owner without too much complaint.

Border Collie

Border Collies are often considered the most intelligent of all herding breeds. Their intelligence is so high that they can train themselves to do more complex tasks with their eyes closed than some people can do with their eyes open.

They tend to be more energetic than other breeds, which makes it easier for them to work in any type of environment. Some studies say the Border Collie is the most intelligent dog in the world too.

Personality

Border collies are friendly dogs that will love the family. They are affectionate, intelligent, and eager to please. They are also herding dogs so they will likely try to command control or herd around other pets.

However, they can be seen as a little reserved but they do warm up to strangers slowly after time with them so it’s important to spend time getting to know them before bringing them home.

Appearance

The coat of a Border Collie can be short or medium-length, but it is typically dense and a bit easier to groom. They also have an extremely colorful coat that tends to have many shades like black, red, and brindle.

The Border Collie will almost always be more than one color and they have an elegant appearance that differs from the Retriever. They also are smaller and size and only on rare occasions will they grow to the same size as a Retriever.

Grooming Needs

Like all dogs, the coat length will determine the specific grooming needs of a Border Collie. But on average, you can expect to brush them at least once and ideally twice per week to keep them looking their best and clean.

Their coat is also thick so grooming is more advanced compared to other easier maintenance dogs. You should also try and bathe your Border Collie every one to two months.

Training Requirements

Border collies are the kind of dog that gets easily trained and smart. They are easy to train because, unlike other breeds, they see their job as figuring out what people want from them.

Border collies have a strong herding instinct which means they can be trained to understand what people want without instructions. Because of this, they have been used in some pretty amazing things such as finding lost children or assisting disabled individuals with mobility tasks.

Exercise & Activity

Border Collies need lots of intense exercise to keep themselves happy because they are very active. They have a high prey drive that must be satisfied with daily walks or runs around the yard to give them a good sweat.  

If border collies don’t get enough exercise, then they may bark incessantly during the night and cause noise complaints from neighbors. They also can get restless if they lounge around the house for too long.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Owning a Retriever

Owning a Golden Retriever is not a walk in the park. If you adopt them as a puppy, they require lots of work and upfront training to teach them to be good dogs that are friendly and loving around people. We highly recommend them as your next dog but if you aren't sure still, consider these pros and cons.

Advantages

Easy To Train

Golden Retrievers are easy to train because they are obedient, friendly, and intelligent creatures. They are also willing to learn tricks and games which makes them easy-going pets to take care of.

It is smart to introduce them to crate training at an early age to help with a few key things. But they will pick up on your commands fast and grow into well-behaved pets.

Lovable & Friendly

Golden Retrievers are often seen as one of the most lovable and friendly dogs to have around. They warm up to new people quickly and they will always stay loyal to you and your family as a protector. They make an excellent companion for any new dog owner too.

Perfect For Families, Children, and Other Pets

Golden Retrievers are the perfect family pet. They are friendly, patient, loyal, intelligent, and can be trained to do many different jobs.

The Golden Retriever is a large, gentle, and docile dog that is great with children. It has many personality traits that make it suitable for family life.

Disadvantages

Need Lots of Food

Golden Retrievers are big dogs and they feed on large amounts of food every day. This can add up if you don't have the time or ability to provide them with the right amount of food for their size.

Because they eat so much, they also tend to need lots of exercise and they go to the bathroom often too. It requires lots of attention as an owner.

Prone to Specific Health Problems

One of the downsides to Retrievers is that they are prone to experience some health problems that can cause frequent visits to the vet. They often have allergies at a significant rate with more risk like cataracts, epilepsy, and more possessing and even more serious risk.

However, with the proper care, you can still have a healthy dog that is still great to be around. It is not a reason to avoid this breed altogether.

Lots of Shedding

One of the biggest problems that Retrievers provide their owners is a messy home full of fur. They shed a lot and probably as much or more than every other dog breed you will find. It can build up around the house and drive homeowners crazy.  

Advantages & Disadvantages of Owning a Border Collie

Border Collies are great dogs and they provide plenty of benefits to your home. But they are a lot of work too so you can expect to experience some downsides too. But overall, this is an amazing breed to consider.

Advantages

Can Learn Just About Anything

Border collies can learn almost anything from tricks to commands. These dogs are capable of learning new things with a high success rate and it will require less time and effort compared to other dog breeds.

They are extremely intelligent dogs that pick up on different commands with ease. You can expect to be amazed when training your Border Collie.

Enjoy Playing & Exercise

Border collies are a type of dog that possess a high level of energy and love to play. They are usually very friendly and sociable and once you get them to start playing, it can be hard for them to stop.

They are a lot of fun to own and you will always have something to do with a Border Collie in the house.

Very Loyal  

Border Collies are very loyal breeds. They will go to great lengths to keep their owners safe and happy. They can bark quite loud to alert you of intruders too.

Because they are so territorial, you know they will always be trying to protect you if they are alarmed or put off in a situation.

Disadvantages

They Tend To Nip A Lot

Border Collies are a great breed, but they do have some issues that need to be addressed. One of the most notable is their nipping habits that can be difficult to shake.

This stems from their personality as the alpha and protector, so they can be a work in progress around small children.

Extremely Territorial

Border Collies can be a problem for those who have guests because they can become protective. Their territorial nature means they are always on alert for new visitors.

This is because Border Collies are a type of herding but they are still social and friendly around humans.

Need Lots of Socialization

Border collies have been known to have behaviors that can become problematic if they are left unchecked. Because of this, they need a lot of socialization to develop better skills because of their shy nature.

The breed needs to be exposed to other people and different scenarios so that they can learn how to handle them.

Verdict: What Is The Right Dog For Me?

Choosing the right dog is an important decision. If you have a family that includes children or you like to have guests over, a Golden Retriever is the best choice. But be mindful they shed a lot and can be messier.

If you want to avoid all the shedding and don’t have small children, you can opt for the Border Collie instead. They are still friendly around small children too, but it can take a bit longer for them to learn new people and warm up to strangers.

About THE AUTHOR

Russell Wright

Russell Wright

I have had dogs my whole life and have always trained my own dogs with patience and positive reinforcement. My dogs are my life. My family always had dogs growing up. I've trained dogs for clients while working at a local dog daycare. I hope that my research and experiences are helpful to you as I share them here.

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