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Border Collie vs Husky – What’s The Difference?

When it comes to selecting a dog, most people look for breeds that are smart, energetic, loyal, and lovable.

And, both Border Collies and Huskies have those traits in abundance. So, it’s no wonder they’re among the most popular breeds across the world.

Still, they’re not always easy to deal with, especially for inexperienced owners. They share an unlimited desire to be independent and active.

However, they often express those traits in different ways, which is understandable considering their origins.

Collies and Huskies hail from two opposite sides of Europe and were originally bred for different purposes.

If you plan on getting a dog and your dilemma is Border Collie vs Husky, make sure you do proper research before deciding on either one.

To provide some help, I’ll lay out the main characteristics of each breed, their differences, and their similarities.

AttributesBorder CollieHusky
Good For First Time OwnersNoNo
Good Guard DogWith Enough TraningNo
Apartment FriendlyNoWith Enough Exercise
Good Family DogWith Enough TrainingYes
SheddingModerateModerate To High
Barking And HowlingModerate To HighLess Barking, Lots Of Howling
Size18-22 inches (46-56 cm)20-24 inches (51-61 cm)
Average Life Expectancy12-15 Years12-15 Years

Border Collie – Dog Breed Information

Border Collies are smart dogs full of energy who live to work.

This is no surprise knowing their history as herding dogs at the hill country in the border area between England and Scotland.

Even their name, Collie, originates from one of the Scottish dialects and refers to a sheepdog.

Appearance

Collies were bred as working dogs and it certainly shows in their appearance.

They feature an athletic, lean, and agile medium-sized body built around the lean frame.

The body is covered in a double coat that comes in two variants – smooth and rough which both serve to protect against harsh weather.

The topcoat is moderately long and dense, while the undercoat is soft and water-resistant.

Their coat is commonly bi-color with black and white the most frequent combination. Other color combinations may include tan and white, liver and white, and blue merle.

This breed has a long, bushy, and feathery tail and ears perched high atop of the head, usually partially folded at the tip or fully dropped.

The almond eyes always have an expression of the intelligent gaze which they’re famous for.

Adult males grow up to 19-22 inches (48-56 cm) and weigh around 30-45 pounds (14-20 kg).

Fully grown females reach 18-21 inches (46-53 cm) in height and 27-42 pounds (12-19 kg) in weight.

Temperament

Border Collie’s limitless energy is only matched by its extreme intelligence.

They’re constantly alert, have a strong prey drive, and always look to please their owners.

Collies are non-stop on the lookout for something to herd. If there’s no livestock around, they’re more than happy to try to herd their humans.

This is something to take into consideration if you plan to get a Collie as a family dog, especially if you have kids.

Other than this, they’re very patient and child-friendly.

Bear in mind that Collies like to keep busy. They’re the happiest when they have a job to perform or a problem to solve.

If left idle, they can quickly become bored and sometimes even destructive. So, with this breed, heavy daily involvement is a must.

Due to their intelligence and high agility, they’re usually very easy to train.

Furthermore, Border Collies are regularly among the top breeds at dog agility competitions

Husky – Dog Breed Information

One of the most popular pets in the US right now, Huskies originate from Russia, or Siberia to be more precise.

They’re thought to be first bred by the Siberian Chukchi tribe who used them as family dogs and for transportation.

To this day, they remained the most famous dog sled breed in the world.

Appearance

Huskies are known for their formidable wolf-like presence which made them stars of many movies and TV shows.

They’re medium/large-sized, athletic dogs, slightly more long than tall.

As they were originally bred in the cold Siberian weather, they feature a thick double coat able to withstand the freezing temperatures.

The undercoat is short and keeps them warm, while the long topcoat is plush and water-resistant.

The coat color ranges from black to white with occasional white markings on the chest and legs.

Husky’s ears are erect and the tail is thick and bushy. The eyes are almond-shaped and most commonly blue, but can rarely be of other colors.

Male Huskies are 21-24 inches (53-61 cm) tall as adults and weigh 45-60 pounds (20-27 kg).

Females grow up to 20-22 inches (51-56 cm) and can weigh 20-22 inches (51-56 cm).

Temperament

Huskies have most of the personality traits of the Northern dogs.

They’re hard-working and smart, but can often be overly stubborn and have strong independence tendencies.

It’s a breed that likes to run and can sometimes wander off if left unattended.

As pack dogs by origin, huskies are extremely loyal to their pack, or to their humans who they see as their pack.

They enjoy human company and are great with kids and other dogs.

This breed loves to play so much that they can sometimes take it too far and be kind of rough.

This extreme friendliness makes them rather unsuitable as guard dogs as they’re often too trusty towards strangers.

Border Collie vs Husky – What are the Differences?

Border CollieHusky

While they share some of the traits, a detailed Border Collies vs Huskies comparison reveals two very different breeds.

Each of these breeds is very energetic and active, but while the Collies prefer to spend their energy working, Huskies would rather just run and play.

In general, Collies are a bit more intelligent which makes them easier to train.

Inexperienced owners will often have trouble getting a Husky to listen to them, particularly if a dog is not socialized and trained as a puppy.

However, properly socialized Husky is more friendly and better around the kids. Still, the Collie is more protective of the two.

When it comes to caring for them, Border Collies are a bit less hassle to deal with.

Their coat is relatively low-maintenance, while Huskies shed more and you’ll have to groom them often and thoroughly.

Finally, these breeds have a similar life expectancy, of about 12-15 years. However, with Border Collies, you’ll face more potential health issues.

Conclusion

For some owners, especially those getting a pup for the first time, these breeds can be more than a handful.

While they bring a lot of good to the table for potential owners, Collies and Huskies require committed people capable of dedicating a lot of their time to these dogs.

Both breeds are outdoorsy and will be better suited to life outside of the apartment.

They need space and they need someone to engage with them.

Before deciding on either of these breeds, make sure to properly assess your living and family situation.

If you get one of those dogs, be prepared for a lot of work.

However, owning both Collies and Huskies is very rewarding and for the right owners, they will be wonderful lifetime friends and family members.

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