What do you get when you combine two top-tier working breeds? In this case, it’s the Golden Retriever Border Collie mix!
Also called the Golden Border Retriever, Coltriever, Gollie, and Golden Border Collie, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a hybrid as intelligent and as devoted as this one.
Collie Golden Retrievers aren’t without their quriks, though. Keep reading to see what sets this crossbreed apart from the rest!
The history of Golden Border Collies
No breeders have stepped up to take credit for first crossing the Border Collie and Golden Retriever, so we don’t have much information about its origins.
It seems plausible that intentional breeding started sometime in the last ten years or so, but there’s no way to know for sure.
Despite being a relatively new hybrid, several breed registries already recognize the Border Collie Golden Retriever cross.
This canine’s purebred parents have been well-known and world-famous for quite some time now.
Let’s look at the Border Collie and Golden Retriever in more detail to see what they can pass on to their designer dog offspring.
Meet the brilliant Border Collie
Hailed for its exceptional herding ability, the Border Collie has roots in conquest and exploration.
Centuries ago, when the Romans successfully invaded Britain, they brought their sheepherding dogs along for the ride.
The Vikings, too, tried their hand at raiding what is now the UK. And like the Romans, they imported their own livestock herders.
Over time, the Roman and Viking dogs were crossbred to produce the working dog of all working dogs, today known as the Border Collie.
Borders have long been considered the most intelligent breed. In fact, studies show that they can master a new command in 5 repetitions or less.
With genes like that, you can bet that Border Collie mixes could join canine Mensa, too!
Get to know the Golden Retriever
We can thank Dudley Marjoribanks of Scotland for giving us the Golden Retriever.
In the mid-1800s, Marjoribanks set out to create an unflappable gundog. He combined the now-extinct Tweed Water Spaniel with a yellow Wavy-Coated Retriever. Irish Setter and Bloodhound genes were added to the mix, as well.
Through careful breeding, he and his successors were eventually able to perfect the modern Golden Retriever.
Goldens are still well-suited to work alongside waterfowl hunters, but they’re also ideal family pets. They love water, and they love to work–but they love their pack most of all.
What does a Border Collie Golden Retriever mix look like?
As with most hybrids, it’s difficult to predict how Golden Border Collie puppies will turn out, and it will mostly fall to generalities.
They usually look like the Borders, but their coats are more like the Goldens.
Coltrievers have a proportionate head and athletic, compact bodies.
Centered between floppy ears and wide-set brown, amber, or blue eyes, the Golden Border Retriever’s long muzzle narrows to an adorable black or brown nose.
When it comes to the Golden Border Collie’s coat, the color possibilities seem infinite.
This crossbreed’s fur can be just about any color imaginable: white, black, red, yellow, golden, light brown, dark brown, chocolate, fawn, English cream, or merle.
You could see combinations or one solid color.
There’s also a chance that your Golden Border Retriever will have markings on their face, chest, and feet.
Coltriever coats can also vary in texture. Some of these pups end up with straighter, coarser fur, while others inherit silky waves.
Given their parent breeds’ coat lengths, short hair is out of the question. You can expect a medium to long double coat from this fido.
Look at Trinny in this video. An adorable Golden Retriever Border Collie mix with a unique tail and just enjoying the grass.
How big will a Golden Retriever Border Collie mix get?
Males often weigh 50 to 75 pounds (23 to 34 kg) and stand between 21 to 24 inches (53 to 61 cm) tall.
Females are only slightly smaller, weighing 45 to 70 pounds (20 to 32 kg) and measuring 19 to 22 inches (48 to 56 cm) at the shoulder.
Despite their girth, the Border Collie Golden Retriever mix can live happily in smaller homes or apartments–provided they get plenty of exercise, of course.
Considering this breed’s working background, however, a house with room to run is optimal.
Are Golden Retriever Border Collie mixes good family dogs?
Golden Border Collies have the same exuberant personalities as their parents. Perfect for active singles and dynamic families alike, these canines are up for anything!
With an instinctively happy temperament, they’ll have no problem sharing your home with kids, cats, or other dogs. The more, the merrier! This comes with a few caveats, however.
Friendly and patient as they are, don’t assume that they’re natural-born social mavens. They’ll still need your help learning and practicing canine manners.
Thankfully, the Golden Retriever Border Collie mix is a quick study.
They’re people-pleasers and love to show off their smarts, so they’ll pick up on basic obedience in no time.
For this reason, we can confidently say that this hybrid is a good choice for both novice and experienced owners.
Don’t stop their training just because they master basic obedience, however.
Golden Border Retrievers crave mental challenges, even into old age.
Everything about their genetics pushes them to think and problem-solve.
Nurture that ability by continuously teaching them new tricks or giving them a full-on job.
The Golden Border Collie can efficiently work alongside farmers, ranchers, and even dog trainers! Consider the Gollie your canine assistant. You could even teach them to sort your socks. For these fluffy geniuses, the sky’s the limit.
You should also know that when a Golden Border Retriever goes too long without working–or worse, spends too much time completely alone–their mental health suffers.
They could develop destructive compulsions, like chewing or digging. Alternatively, they might become withdrawn and lose their spark. In either case, your pup is showing signs of separation anxiety and possibly depression.
Remember, they don’t just need company – they need interaction and exertion.
Adjust your schedule to better meet her needs, or scout out local doggie daycares or sitters. This will distract your Golden Retriever & Border Collie cross from noticing your absence.
Owning a Golden Retriever Border Collie mix
Like most longer-haired breeds, you can expect to spend a good deal of time grooming this pooch.
What you might not be prepared for is their exercise regimen. Will you be able to keep up?
Grooming: They’re fairly high-maintenance
Gollies aren’t hypoallergenic and are considered high-shedders.
With all that hair and shedding, you’ll need to brush your dog at least twice a week. Regular brushing helps disperse natural oils and gives her a healthy shine.
It also cuts down on loose fur and prevents tangles. With benefits like these, feel free to comb your Coltriever’s hair more often.
You may have heard that dogs need baths once every couple of weeks, or that shaving your pup keeps them cool and reduces shedding. These are harmful grooming mistakes.
Only shampoo your Golden Border Retriever when they’re especially pungent. And if the battle against loose dog hair becomes too tiresome, head to the groomer instead of reaching for the clippers.
This will also give you extra time to work on your Gollie’s teeth and ears.
Coltrievers benefit from daily dental care to prevent gum disease and reduce plaque buildup. You can also do it every other day while supplementing with dental chews!
Do a weekly check of your Golden Border Retriever’s ears. If you notice any odor or signs of pests, get in touch with your vet to determine the best course of action.
Nail trims should also be part of your dog’s grooming routine. Once a month is a good goal, but you can increase or decrease the frequency based on your pup’s needs.
Exercise: Get ready for some high energy!
Mental and physical activity is at the core of your Golden Border Retriever’s being. They desperately need to work their brains and stretch their legs regularly.
Plan on several short play sessions or walks throughout the day for puppies, though. This helps them burn some energy without risking injury to their still-developing joints.
As they grow and their muscles strengthen, you can ramp up the exercise. An adult Golden Border Collie will need at least 90 minutes to an hour of daily physical activity.
To make the most out of these 2+ hours, combine movement with brain games, like canine sports.
For Golden Border Collies, exercise is a way to bond and connect with their pack. They have an instinctive drive to be useful. Be proactive, and channel their ambition into activities that bring you closer together.
If you raise livestock, this pup will take to herding like a fish in water, and it’ll keep them busy all day long.
Golden Border Retrievers are beasts when it comes to agility and rally, both of which will wear this pup out just as quickly. Look for a training group near you, and prepare to be amazed!
Whenever possible, take your Golden Border Collie outdoors to burn off their energy. Letting them roam in a secure area, where they can sniff and run with abandon, is vital.
Still, there will be times when you have to exercise them indoors.
Although this crossbreed has a high tolerance for environments with hot and cold climates, temperate weather is ideal.
Diet: Provide healthy nom-noms
Given this hybrid’s natural vigor, they usually need 2.5 to 3 cups a day of protein-rich dry food to keep them fueled up.
If you prefer to feed your Gollie based on her daily caloric needs, it will be somewhere within the range that its parents should consume.
Border Collies require 700 to 1,000 calories, while Golden Retrievers are about 989 to 1,272 calories per day.
Larger or more active Golden Border Collies might need a bit more kibble to keep their tummies content. Feeding schedules can also be based on your pet’s age, size, and health.
How long do Golden Retriever Border Collie mixes live?
Thankfully, this fireball of a dog lives a long time–12 to 15 years on average! But even with such an impressive lifespan, certain health conditions could rear their ugly heads.
Some of the most common include allergies, joint issues (like hip dysplasia and patellar luxation), and eye issues (think PRA and cataracts). Heart conditions and epilepsy could crop up, as well.
Golden Retrievers, in particular, are prone to developing canine cancers, and it’s possible that this crossbreed will, too.
Your best bet at staving off these ailments is to stick to your pooch’s preventive care schedule religiously.
This means never missing a dose of heartworm, flea, and tick prevention and keeping them at a healthy weight.
Where to buy a Golden Retriever Border Collie mix?
We know the question on everyone’s mind is, how much will a super-smart pup like this cost?
Coltrievers are more affordable than you might think. The typical cost is $300 to $1,500, though most will fall somewhere between those two price points.
Females and pups from small litters tend to be on the expensive side. If you want to save a few bucks, consider opting for a Sheldon instead of a Sheila. For reference, the litter size of this hybrid is around 1 to 4 puppies.
Golden Retriever Border Collie mix breeders
Tracking down a top-notch breeder is an exercise in patience, but it’s worth the trouble. Weed out shady kennels by asking for health guarantees and scheduling an in-person visit.
Breeders should have vet-verified medical evaluations and genetic tests on hand, both for the pups and parents. They should also welcome you to their facility with open arms.
Please take note of how the breeder interacts with their dogs. You’ll want to pay attention to where the dogs are kept and in what conditions, too.
If you feel like you’re ready, here are some breeders and kennels that we could find online:
If you want to reach out to purebred Golden Retriever or Border Collie breeders, go ahead. Let them know what you’re looking for. They might be able to help you find it.
Adopting a Golden Retriever Border Collie mix
Prefer to adopt? You’re in luck! Golden Retriever and Border Collie rescues are almost as numerous as a particular burger chain.
Many of them take in hybrids, as well, so there’s a good chance you’ll find one with a Coltriever.
You can also keep tabs on your local humane society’s website to see if they take in any Golden Border Collies. In the meantime, here a few rescue organizations to start your search:
- Gulf Coast Golden Retriever Rescue (Murdock, FL)
- Almost Heaven Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary, Inc. (Capon Bridge, WV)
- Border Collie Save and Rescue, Inc. (Southlake, TX)
- Border Collies in Need (San Pedro, CA)
It may also be worth taking a look at Forever Friends Golden Retriever Rescue. This California-based organization has a database of Golden Retriever rescues by state, which might prove quite useful.
Are there other Border Collie crossbreeds & Golden Retriever mixes?
As incredible as Coltrievers are, you may be looking for a crossbreed with different characteristics.
Some are high-energy guard dogs, while others have a work-hard-play-hard personality. You can also find a Lab or Border mix in a smaller package or that are low-shedders.
Border Collie German Shepherd mix (AKA Shollie)
Border Collie Labrador mix (AKA Borador)
Corgi Golden Retriever mix (AKA Golden Corgi)
Poodle Golden Retriever mix (AKA Goldendoodle)
The verdict: Should you get a Golden Retriever Border Collie mix?
From the very beginning, your Gollie puppy will be energetic and intelligent. They’ll grow into enthusiastic adults with a determined spirit.
A dog this intense will do best in the hands of an active, hands-on owner. “Lazy” isn’t in this breed’s vocabulary.
What do you love most about the Golden Border Collie? Tell us in the comments!