About Border Collie Golden Retriever Mix–What I Wish Everyone Knew


Golden Retrievers and Border Collies are two very popular dog breeds in their own right, widely regarded for their friendly and trustworthy nature. Recently, mixing these two breeds is becoming popular among both breeders and prospective dog owners.

Another aspect that both breeders and owners find attractive about these dogs is that crossbreeding the two expands the gene pool. Scientists agree with this idea as it provides a sound logic to reduce the risk factor for genetic diseases that each breed is prone to. 

All You Need to Know About the Golden Retriever Border Collie Mix

Both Goldens and Collies are known for their high energy levels and eagerness to please their owners. The Golden Retriever Border Collie mix will have characteristics from both parents but will often lean toward one parent’s mannerisms rather than the other. Typically, you can expect a cross between these two breeds to have the herding instinct of the Border Collie, and the hunting or retrieving ability from the Retriever. Therefore, not only do these dogs excel in sports and work, but they also make great family pets.  

Meet the Parents

To better appreciate the Border Collie Golden Retriever mix breeds, you will first have to understand their breed parents. Most mixed bred pups don’t stray far off from either of their parent characteristics.  

  • Golden Retriever   

The Golden Retriever is one of the most famous canine companions in the US. Their huge personality has helped them to hold onto their position in the popularity rating scale for many years. Goldens make excellent family pets; they are gentle with children and have both patience and tolerance levels that come second to none. Goldens are capable of putting up with the endless attention, pestering, and affection that your children will give them.

Often, these highly energetic dogs want to play just as much as children do. Sounds good, right? Their personalities also include a strong nurturing instinct, especially for the female Golden Retrievers. This caring trait will come in handy if your household comprises of small children, as she’ll love nothing more than to be in your kids’ company and watch over them. 

Goldens are eager to please and usually enjoy learning anything that you offer to teach them. This makes them so much easier to train than other dog breeds. It should come as no surprise that Goldens thrive at dog obedience training thanks to their easy-going and people-pleasing personality. Their gentleness also makes them great assistance and guide dogs for physically challenged individuals, along with Labrador Retrievers.      

  • Border Collie 

The Border Collie is one of the most active dog breeds known to man. If you’re looking for a couch potato dog who will happily snooze all day, these dogs are basically the polar opposite of that. They are characteristically alert, energetic, hardworking, and smart. Much like the Golden Retriever, they are also avid and quick learners. Border Collies are so intelligent that some dog owners can, at times, find it difficult to keep them challenged. 

When they are not mentally and physically stimulated, Border Collies can quickly become bored. Unfortunately, this boredom can lead to them rebelling by barking, digging, or even chasing cars in the streets. People often purchase this breed without being fully aware of just how much activity they require to be content and happy. Failing to meet your Collie’s attention and exercise requirements will result in their disappointment. 

Border Collies are also renowned for being sensitive to their owner’s cues, even down to the faintest eyebrow raise. However, like with all other living creatures, Collies aren’t perfect. They are stubborn, independent, and can sometimes redirect their herding instinct onto other animals in the absence of attention from their fur parents. It’s also important that this breed is socialized from a young age as, unlike the Golden Retriever, they can become quite shy.  

Character Traits

The Golden Retriever Collie mix can inherit any of their parent’s attitudes. There is no particular ‘standard’ to the mixed breed yet, so the type of dog you’ll get will depend entirely on the dominant genes. When it comes to crossbreeds, you should interact with the puppies alongside their mother before picking your preferred one, as this can give you a better insight into their personalities. 

These dogs can be anywhere in the size range of each parent breed. A male Golden Retriever will stand between 23-24 inches tall and weigh between 65-75 pounds, while females stand between 21.5-22.5 inches and weigh between 55-65 pounds.

Male Border Collies, on the other hand, range between 19-22 inches in height, while females range between 18-21 inches. As for their average weight, Collies can weigh anything between 30-55 pounds. Your pup’s size, therefore, will vary anywhere between their parents’ height and weight extremes. 

Coltrievers can be golden, red, white, black, and white, with a wide range of markings. Their coat is medium length, very dense and wavy. They can have feathering on their limbs like Golden Retrievers, but again this depends on which parent they are more inclined to genetically. Their heads might resemble Golden Retrievers, but have shorter ears, while some may look like stockier Border Collies. The aesthetic differences in this breed are quite limitless. 

Like Golden Retrievers, the Golden Border Collie has webbed feet and a rudder-like tail, making them excellent swimmers. They can also have the temperamental aspects of either parent, i.e., high intelligence, high energy, and the ability to form great bonds with their family. These traits make the Border Collie Golden Retriever mix an excellent family pet if given the right socialization, care, and training.  

Health Conditions  

There is scientific evidence suggesting that non-pedigree dogs have a minimized risk of developing certain diseases from their parent breeds. Nonetheless, the conditions that your Golden Border Collie is likely to inherit from the parents include hip dysplasia, metabolism challenges (hypothyroidism ), cancer, and cataracts. The National Breed Club recommends that Golden Border Collies undergo screening for these hereditary diseases. Some of these tests include:  

  • Hip and elbow evaluation
  • Cardiac exam 
  • Ophthalmologist evaluation 
  • Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis 10 (NCL10)  

It’s wise to do further research on other potential conditions that could affect your pup before adopting one.  

Final Thoughts  

So, you still think this beautiful and loving mixed breed is for you? That’s great! Despite their popularity, you are likely to find Coltrievers at rescues. While this dog may not be purebred, it’s essential to understand that proper standards of care should be upheld by the breeder regardless. While they will not be kennel club registered, you should still ensure that your puppies regularly visit the vet to receive their vaccinations. You should avoid buying puppies from breeders who are reluctant to reveal the parent breeds’ health certificates to you.

Take your time and arrange a meet-up to see the living conditions of the puppies and interact with them. Such visits are not only an excellent opportunity for you to ask questions and get to know the puppies that you will be taking home but also for the breeder to make sure you’re the right fit for the puppy. Taking all of these precautions will help to ensure that you’re not going to get any unwanted vet bills and that both you and your new puppy are as happy as you can be.