The first thing that strikes you when looking at the Border Collie and the Golden Retriever, is that they don’t look much alike, now do they. The Border Collie is slightly smaller than the Golden Retriever, and while both breeds have quite long coats, the Border Collie is longer with more diversity in colour, where the Golden Retriever has that golden brown fur we all know and love. Speaking of coats; both these breeds needs grooming, but it has been said by Golden Retriever-owners, that their dogs shed more than is comfortable. So if you’re a person who likes dark colours on furniture, mats, clothes and so on, you should be aware that your Golden Retriever’s fur will cover absolutely everything and you’ll end up being just as golden brown as he is. Back to the general look; the Border Collie is more slender in body type than the Golden Retriever, who quite honestly has the tendency to obesity if not restrained in his love for food. The retriever, in general, has a sturdier and more muscular look to him than the Border Collie.
Both of these amazing breeds are working dogs, and as such, their energy levels are high. However, the Border Collie does beat the Golden Retriever in this aspect, since they were bred to work, or at least kept active, all day long. The Golden Retriever is a very active dog as well, but they can be quite happy with more playtime than work, if they are not fulfilled with retrieving during hunts.
Keeping your dog happy no matter which breed, will take a lot of exercise – both physical and mental. The Border Collie is known to be extreme in his need of activity to not go berserk at home. The Golden Retriever may not be as extreme, but he still needs a lot of exercise to be the happy dog he can be. So, do not, by any means, think you’ll get a couch potato if you bring a Golden Retriever into your life. But if you’re the more adventurous kind of person, perhaps the Border Collie might be a dog for you. I’m not saying the Golden Retriever won’t appreciate adventures, but he’s more likely to be happy with anything, as long as something’s happening and he’s with his family.
When it comes to children, both breeds may do better with older children rather than toddlers. The Border Collie has the tendency to herd children, and it can be easier to teach older children how to deal with this. A Golden Retriever is large and happy enough to sweep smaller kids off their feet, not because he wants to, but because he’s too happy to stop in time. With older children, however, a Golden Retriever can have the time of his life if he can get them to throw something for him to retrieve all day long.
There’s also quite the difference in temperament between these two breeds. Both are exceedingly loving towards their family, but the Border Collie is much more reserved towards strangers than the Golden Retriever who tends to love just about anyone looking in his direction. The Border Collie is more likely to be noisy than the Golden Retriever, but the Retriever may be a better guard than the Border.
Intelligence-wise, both these breeds are very smart, but here too, the Border Collie really excels. Whatever you choose to do with your Border Collie, he’ll be a superstar. Start working on socialization and basic obedience with him as a pup and move on to whatever he and you are interested in, and you can enter any trial with him and expect the best outcome if trained properly. The Golden Retriever is very outgoing and fun and loves to please his people, and is therefore very easy to train. Like any other breed, he needs his socialization and basic training as a pup to get the chance to develop into that perfect canine companion we all want.
Moving on to health; both these breeds are considered relatively healthy. There are issues you should know about; for example, both breeds can suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia. The Border Collie can sometimes have problems deafness, epilepsy, collie eye anomaly and some other things. The Golden Retriever can suffer from various eye problems, various heart diseases, and some other issues. Please make sure you educate yourself on what are typical for each breed, since this can cause major problems to your financial situation with numerous visits to the vet. Oh, and remember that the Golden Retriever is prone to obesity, so make sure you take extra care in his daily intake of food in relation to his exercise levels. Obesity can be the cause of many other health issues, and it’s unnecessary for you to be the reason your dog gets unhealthy.
Now, given you take good care of your dog, give him that good, nutritious food, give him the physical and mental stimulation he needs, make sure he knows the boundaries and limitations, any of these breeds can live quite long lives. Being the smaller breed, the Border Collie beats the Golden Retriever in this respect with a life expectancy between 12 – 15 years, while the Retriever can be expected to live some 10 – 12 or so, years.