Golden Retriever Border Collie Mix – Your Ultimate Guide

Updated: October 14th, 2020

border collie golden retriever mix

The Border Collie Golden Retriever mix isn’t a purebred dog but a highly popular designer hybrid that has won the hearts of many dog lovers! Developed by crossing a purebred Golden Retriever with a purebred Border Collie, this mix inherited the best of both worlds.

Highly energetic and work-oriented, Gollies are suitable for apartment and house living but need a lot of exercise every day. Being highly intelligent, this mix is very easy to train and is a great choice, even for first-time owners.

In this article, I will tell you everything there is to know about the Golden Border Collie and help you decide if this is the right dog for you!

What Type Of Dog Is A Golden Collie?

The Border Collie and Golden Retriever mix, also known as Gollie, is a very popular mixed-breed created by crossing a purebred Golden Retriever and a purebred Border Collie. Despite its pedigree ancestry and huge popularity, the Gollie isn’t recognized by any major canine organization and is considered a designer dog.

golden retriever border collie mix

To understand the Collie Retriever mix, you will have to know more about its parenting breeds.

The highly popular and loved Golden Retriever was originally bred to be a gundog and used during hunting to retrieve shot waterfowl. Nowadays, Goldens are mostly kept as pets and used as assistance dogs or as search and rescue dogs.

The Border Collie is a working dog breed and was developed for herding livestock, especially sheep. Considered the most intelligent dog breed, Border Collies are energetic and obedient workaholics that make excellent pets.

When you mix the two, you get a Golden Collie – a cute looking and extremely smart companion dog that will love being out and about.

Golden Retriever Border Collie Mix Appearance

Like any other mixed-breed dog, no two Gollies are exactly the same, and your dog’s appearance will be determined by genetics. However, you can expect your Gollie to have a sturdy build, a straight back, and a shaggy tail.

In terms of features, their heads are shaped like that of a Golden Retriever, but Gollies have shorter ears than Goldens.

Size, Height & Weight

When it comes to size, a fully-grown Golden Retriever Collie mix should be a large dog. They are usually 19 to 24 inches tall and weigh around 45 to 75 pounds. Females are generally smaller, but that isn’t always the case.

Coat & Color

The Golden Collie has a very dense, medium-length wavy coat that makes them adaptable to different weather conditions. When it comes to coat colors, your mix can take after one of its parents or have a combination of colors.

The most commonly seen coat colors are:

  • Golden
  • Red
  • Black
  • White
  • Brown
  • Tan
  • Yellow

Golden Retriever Collie Mix Temperament

As with all other mixed-breed dogs, it’s very hard to predict the exact personality and temperament of an individual Gollie. Your mix can take more after its Collie parent and vice versa, so you should meet both of his parents to get a better sense of their temperament and personality traits.


Both Golden Retrievers and Border Collies are intelligent dogs, so you can expect your mix to be smart as well. Due to their higher intelligence, Gollies are very easy to train and will learn commands or tricks after just a few repetitions. To tap into your dog’s full potential, use positive reinforcement techniques and never yell or punish your dog in any way.

And while friendly by nature, the Golden Retriever Border Collie mix tends to be a bit shy and will grow up to be timid if not socialized from a young age. Thus, start socializing your puppy as soon as you bring it home by letting him meet people, other dogs, and experience different situations.


border collie and golden retriever mixThe Gollie is a friendly and loyal dog that makes an excellent companion to families with children or single people. They are known to form strong bonds with their people and like to be involved in everything you are doing. Besides getting along with adults and strangers, this mix also likes children and loves to be the center of their attention.

Keep in mind that this people-oriented dog needs a lot of attention and affection to stay happy and content. Otherwise, they can develop separation anxiety, become depressed or destructive. So, if your mix is going to spend more than six hours a day alone, this isn’t the right dog for you! You can either look for a more independent breed or consider hiring a dog sitter.


Having a Golden and a Collie as parents means that your mix is going to be a highly energetic, playful, and agile dog. Gollies have a lot of energy and need a decent amount of exercise and play sessions every day to stay in shape.

Generally, they need 90 minutes of exercise every day, but some Gollies may need up to 180 minutes of physical activity to really burn off all the excess energy. Besides daily long walks, you can also jog, hike, or take your mix for a swim. Additionally, they love to play fetch and retrieve, so throwing a Frisbee or a ball is a great way for your dog to have fun and get some exercise at the same time.


You can expect your mix to be alert and observant, depending on how much it takes after its Border Collie parent. However, while your dog will be vigilant, don’t expect him to be a great guard or watchdog.

In most cases, Gollies are too friendly and won’t know what to do with the intruder except lick him senseless. However, you can expect your mix to bark if something seems suspicious and he will probably alert you if someone is at the front door.

Border Collie And Golden Retriever Mix Health Problems

While mixed-breed dogs are generally healthier than their purebred counterparts, the Gollie can inherit certain health problems that affect Golden Retrievers and Border Collies.

The most common health problems seen in this mix are:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Eye problems
  • Allergies
  • Bloat
  • Ear infections

The best way to avoid these issues from arising is to get your Golden Collie mix from a reputable breeder. Ask the breeder to show you the parent’s hip and elbow scores and results from the ophthalmologist exams.

Gollies are considered to be generally healthy and have an average life expectancy of 10 to 15 years. Hence, be prepared for a long-term commitment and some veterinary bills down the road before you bring this mix home.

Feeding A Collie Retriever Mix

golden retriever collie mixDiet plays a huge role in the life of every dog and is very important for the overall well-being and health of your mix. Keeping that in mind, your Gollie’s diet should consist of lots of protein, fats, healthy carbs, and all essential vitamins and minerals.

An adult Golden Collie mix should eat food for large breed dogs with high energy and have two meals a day. Since this mix can become bloated, you should stick with a feeding schedule and avoid free-feeding your dog.

When it comes to puppies, opt for a high-quality puppy food for large breed dogs and feed your mix four times a day. Once you bring your new puppy home, continue feeding the same brand of food the breeder was using and wait at least a month to transition your pooch to a different formula.


Border Collie Golden Retriever Mix Grooming & Care

Due to their dense, medium-length coat, Gollies tend to be high-maintenance dogs when it comes to grooming. They are moderate to heavy shedders, so be prepared to be engulfed in dog hair during the shedding season.

To stay on top of all that loose hair and to remove dirt and dander, you will have to brush their mix three times a week. During the shedding season, you should brush your dog daily or every other day depending on how much loose hair he is leaving all over your house.

When it comes to bathing, you should bathe your Gollie only when necessary, which is every couple of months. Avoid frequent baths since it will dry out and irritate your dog’s skin, and don’t forget to use a shampoo that is specially formulated for dogs.

The rest is basic care and involves teeth brushing, nail trimming, and ear cleaning. You should brush your dog’s teeth daily and start early to give your mix time to get comfortable with this routine. When it comes to nails, you should trim them every four to six weeks, and if you aren’t comfortable doing it at home, ask your vet or a groomer to do it for you.

Last but not least, since Gollies are prone to ear infections, you should check your dog’s ear weekly and clean them as necessary. And if anything seems suspicious, take your dog to the vet as soon as you can to avoid the occurrence of painful ear infections.


The Border Collie and Golden Retriever mix is a highly popular designer dog and has the best traits of its parenting breeds! Being highly intelligent, easy to train, and obedient, the Gollie is an ideal choice for experienced and novice owners alike. The breed’s selling points are:

  • Quick learners
  • Great companion dogs
  • Friendly and affectionate

As a bonus, Golden Border Retrievers like to be involved in the lives of their people and will be there every step of the way!

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