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Border Collie Kelpie Mix Guide: (3 Reasons To Avoid!?)

The Border Collie Australian Kelpie mix is a hard working and energetic cross with a sweet, tender side. They have a lot of love to give their human owners, but also need a lot of stimulation to be happy and well-behaved.

This border collie mix is one of the most popular, and for many good reasons. Still, there are a few things future owners must know about this mix first. As it could result in the perfect storm.

Let’s explain everything you need to know about the Border Kelpie, as well as the pros and cons of this interesting mix.

border collie kelpie mix guide

Border Collie Kelpie Mix Basics 🐶

Border collies were originally developed in England and Scotland to herd livestock and cattle, compared to the Australian kelpie that originated in Australia, but still bred for the same reasons.

Both of these breeds are working dogs at heart, and of course, the Border Kelpie is absolutely no different!

The Border collie Kelpie mix was originally developed in the late 19th century and early 2000s. So it’s a relatively new crossbreed, along with most other “designer” dogs we see nowadays.

border kelpie photo
Bear The Border Kelpie (he is so beautiful!) Follow on IG

Border Kelpie Stats & Information 📈

Let’s run through the key stats of the Border collie Australian Kelpie mix below.

Height20-30 Inchs
Weight25-40 Pounds
Coat colorBlack, white, gray, fawn, combination
Lifespan12-16 years
TypeWorking dog
Price$400-$900 USD
TemperamentPlayful and kind, yet energetic and very alert
Exercise60-90 minutes per day (at least)
GroomingModerate shedding. Brushing every other day
TrainabilityHighly trainable, extremely intelligent
Suitable forFarmers, active families/couples with free time

Border Kelpies are usually a little taller than border collies, yet slightly shorter than the Australian kelpie.

They generally end up a little heavier than the average Kelpie, yet still lean and athletic. This creates an overall mix that’s strong, powerful and medium in size.

As far as their coat color goes, they can have the traditional colors of black and white like the border collie, but can also come in fawn, light brown, and any combination of all those colors combined! Markings can vary quite a lot.

3 Reasons Not to Get a Border Collie Kelpie Mix 😨

While this breed seems perfect, there are a few drawbacks that all owners must know about first.

Tendency to nip

With herding breeds, you get the tendency to nip, and this is absolutely no different from the Border Kelpie! This can be a problem for families with young children, and for those owners with little dog-ownership experience.

It’s not a huge issue, but preventing and correcting this kind of behavior quickly and correctly is crucial in order to have a well-behaved mix.

Extremely active

This mix is not a couch potato. And for many owners their energy levels and desire to “work” is often too much to handle. Border kelpies will need a lot of exercise and even more mental stimulation in order to be calm, sensible, and well-behaved.

Without enough stimulation throughout the day (physical and mental) this breed will likely be very difficult to handle.


Border collies themselves are known to be on the aloof side if they are not sufficiently socialized from a young age. And the border kelpie mix is no different.

This means it can be difficult around children, strangers, and other dogs if socialization needs are not properly taken care of when young. This is something that can’t be overlooked if you’re considering getting this mix!

Disclaimer: I think Border Kelpies are absolutely adorable, and would LOVE to own one with my collies. But I believe it’s important owners (perhaps new with little experience) understand what it takes to raise such a breed to be well-behaved, and happy. Which is why it’s important to add honest sections like this.

border kelpie images
Fox The Border Kelpie! (Beautiful!) Follow on IG

3 Reasons Why You Should Get a Border Kelpie! 🥰

Despite the flaws, this breed has a lot of positives, so let’s be fair and discuss them below!

Loveable personality:

The border collie kelpie mix is no doubt one of the most loveable mixes out there. Not only are they playful and active, but they can be tender, affectionate, and sweet with their human family. They bring a sense of warmth and positivity any where they go.

Easy going:

Despite their energy levels, this mix has a very easy-going temperament and DO know how to chill once given enough stimulation. They bring a sense of stability and calmness to the home once they settle in. This is something most border kelpie owners mention when asking them about their mix!

Long lifespan and limited health issues:

This breed has a great lifespan of 12-16 years and is a healthy mix known to have limited healthy problems throughout their life. Of course, every dog is different but in general, you won’t be spending much time at the vets with a Border kelpie.

Related article: How long do border collie mixes live!

border kelpie photo
Locki The Border Kelpie (So gorgeous!) Follow on IG

How Long Do Border Collie Kelpie Mixes Live? 💗

Border Kelpies have a healthy lifespan of about 12-16 years on average. These two breeds are fairly healthy individuals, and when bred together create a slightly healthier offspring.

Still, owners can certainly impact their dog’s lifespan with their quality of life, diet, exercise, and stress levels.

Don’t Miss This >> Border Collie Chihuahua Mix! 😲

How Much Do Border Kelpies Cost? 💰

Border Kelpies are not that expensive when compared to their individual pedigrees. This mix ranges from anywhere between $400-$900 USD.

Of course this depends on the breeder, location, and the current supply/demand of the mix.

This is not as expensive as many other border collie mixes, which can be way over the one-thousand mark.

border collie kelpie mix
Zara The Border Kelpie (Look at those eyes!) Follow on IG

Temperament 🐕

Loveable, kind, and affectionate is what most owners of this mix describe them as.

Yes, they can be a little aloof and on-edge, but once they settle into a daily routine that suits them, the best of their personality shines through, and that’s where this breed takes first place.

With their high energy, they also bring a sense of calmness about them. And this is probably down to their high intelligence, and ability to just watch what’s going on, instead of running around constantly reacting to everything.

One thing owners must know about though is that this mix can be prone to nerves and anxiety if their routine isn’t appropriate. A lack of stimulation, exercise, and being left alone is this dogs worst nightmare.

Exercise Needs ⚽

This breed is an active one, there is no questioning that. Each individual breed is a highly energetic working dog that can go all day, literally.

This doesn’t change when they’re brought together to create the border kelpie.

Border collie kelpie mixes need 60-90 minutes of moderate to intensive exercise per day. Sometimes more. Without enough exercise this breed will get bored, frustrated, and their behavior will decline.

In addition to dedicated exercise outside, additional playtime sessions are also recommended.

border collie australian kelpie mix
Pepper The Border Kelpie (Insanely adorable!) – Follow on IG

Mental Stimulation 🧠

A huge component of a well-behaved border kelpie is mental stimulation.

Without this, owners can wave goodbye to the well-behaved dog they wish they had!

This means daily training, socialization, puzzle toys, nose work games, and more. Border kelpies can not be left for hours without some form of stimulation to work and challenge their body and mind.

Both of these breeds individually are used solving problems and using their minds to get jobs done. This drive to solve problems is pretty much built into these breeds and they get extremely agitated when they’re left with nothing to do.

Grooming 🚿

Both Border collies and Australian kelpies are heavy shedders, despite having drastically different coats.

What you end up with is a Border Kelpie with a short-medium length coat that sheds consistently year round.

This mix will be considered a heavy shedder! So get the brush, the broom, and the vacuum at the ready.

A Border Kelpie will need daily brushing for about 10 minutes a session. This will do a surprisingly good job at keeping the dead hair in the trash can and off your clothes and floors.

In terms of bathing, this mix is very hygienic and will only need a bath every three to four months.

Diet & Nutrition 🍗🥕

Border collie Kelpie mixes thrive on a high protein, medium to high fat, and low carbohydrate diet. This macronutrient breakdown is best for energetic working dogs like this mix.

This kind of diet also works best to prevent digestions problems and fussy eating, both of which are issues common to border collies (and sometimes kelpies).

Some of the better brands for this mix will be Orijen, Acanna, and Taste of the wild. All of these focus on high quality ingredients close to their original state, and prioritize protein and healthy fats over carbohydrates. Exactly what’s needed for a Border kelpie.

border kelpie mix
Gem The Border Kelpie (So Cute!) – Follow on IG

Overall Pros & Cons of The Border Collie Australian Kelpie Mix

Let’s run through a summary of all the pros and cons of the Border Kelpie Mix.

✅ Pros:

Playful and fun
Highly intelligent
Easily trained
Limited health problems
Long lifespan
Quickly develops bond with owners
Makes a great companion

❌ Cons:

Needs extensive stimulation
Needs a lot of their owner’s time
Needs a consistently active lifestyle
Can be aloof with no socialization practice
Prone to anxiety

Is The Border Kelpie Mix Right For You? 👍👎

Is this mix right for you? If you love the character and personality of each breed individually, AND you have sufficient time to exercise, train, and socialize your Border Kelpie, then absolutely! This breed will be fantastic for you.

For owners not looking for such a challenge, then this breed might not be appropriate.

What do you think? Let me know

Thanks for reading!

Back to more Border Collie articles


Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.