The Golden Border Collie: A Brilliant and Friendly Hybrid

Pet Type


June 20, 2020

The Golden Border collie, also known by the names Golden Border retriever, Gollie, and Coltriever, is a delightful mix of a Golden retriever and a Border collie. This highly intelligent and energetic hybrid makes for a wonder playmate, companion, helper, or exercise buddy.

Crossing these two highly popular breeds results in a predictably brilliant and beautiful dog that can easily work its way into any dog lover’s heart. If you desire a dog that can work beside you, play with your kids, and snuggle up to wind down after a good day’s work, this dog may be for you. 

All You Need to Know About the Golden Border Collie

Coltrievers are naturally friendly dogs, especially if they are well trained. The mild temperament and strong loyalty of the Golden retriever make this hybrid a wonderful family dog, forming strong bonds with its human family.

The Border collie’s spirited nature can help make this pup a match for highly energetic children as long as they know how to play well with four-legged friends. Golden Border collies are eager to please and can be trained for many purposes. These sweet-hearted hard-working dogs are a great addition to any family open to this crossbreed’s energy and intelligence. 

Meet the Parents

Golden retrievers are number three in popularity on the American Kennel Club’s list of 195 breeds. Movies such as Air Bud and TV shows like Full House have starred these attractive and lovable canines. These loyal and friendly animals are considered a sporting breed and were originally intended to be hunting dogs. They serve well in this capacity or simply as a member of the family. 

Golden retrievers are beautiful dogs. Their broad heads, short ears, and feathery tails add to their undeniable charm. They are typically 21 to 24 inches tall and should weigh anywhere from 55 to 75 pounds. The name “Golden” retriever may lead people to believe that the dog only exists with one coat color. However, they can range anywhere from creme to reddish in hue. Their coats are double-layered and waterproof, which makes them great water dogs and increases their appeal to hunters. 

Border Collies have been described by the American Kennel Club as bright workaholics. They are one of the smartest dog breeds alive, and they thrive on having a job to do. These high energy dogs descend from the sheep herding dogs of Britain. They are known for manipulating the movement of other animals with their crouching, stalking, and uncanny stare. These dogs are friendly and loyal like the Golden retriever but are also somewhat more high-strung. 

Border collies tend to be between 18 and 22 inches tall and weigh between 30 and 55 pounds. Like the Golden retriever, they have a double coat. However, the Border collie’s coat comes in two different varieties, rough and smooth. There is more color variation in this breed with black and white being the most common, but tri-color and red combinations are not uncommon either. 

Golden Border Collie Personality

Like their parents, Coltrievers are usually affable high-energy dogs. Their jovial nature makes them an excellent family dog who is always looking to play. They often love their people so much, that they can actually suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for more than a few hours. They serve well as watch dogs because they are highly alert and will let you know when a stranger is approaching. They make sub-par guard dogs, though, unless the would-be intruder is afraid of being loved to death.

The Golden Border retriever’s intelligence makes it a highly trainable canine. This is especially true if training and socialization start early when the pup is around seven weeks old. Their mental ability makes them excellent candidates to be service dogs. They can be trained for a variety of tasks to benefit a range of human needs. Many breeders consider these dogs exceptionally well suited for families with special needs such as autism.  

Physical Traits

Male Golden Border collies tend to be between 21 and 24 inches tall and weigh anywhere from 50 to 75 pounds while females are slightly smaller in stature at 19 to 22 inches tall and weigh about 45 to 70 pounds. Their eyes are usually brown or amber, and their noses are black or brown.

The color of their coats can be as varied as their parent breeds, but will surely be quite dense and prone to shedding as both Border collies’ and Golden retrievers’ coats are. Like most other dogs, the physical traits of this hybrid vary depending on each parent’s unique genetic pattern.  

Caring for a Golden Border Collie

Gollies’ thick double coats require regular grooming. They should be brushed weekly and bathed once or twice a month. Coltrievers can be somewhat smelly, but brushing should help to mitigate this problem. Brushing helps to distribute oils throughout the dog’s coat, preventing any build-ups. It also helps in removing dirt and dead skin that can add to the odor. Gollies tend to enjoy mud, water, and digging, which can add to the need to groom them regularly.

Golden Border collies’ intelligence can be a blessing or a curse depending on how its human cares for its mental state. A lack of mental stimulation leads almost certainly to unwanted behavior in dogs that are this smart.

Things such as agility training, task-oriented exercise, and obedience-centered interactions help mentally stimulate Gollies, preventing boredom and restlessness. Their friendly personality can tend towards the needy side, so they are not a dog that is happy when left alone or ignored. If you want to live with a Coltriever, be prepared to provide them with regular emotional attention.

Both of the Golden Border collie’s parent breeds were originally working dogs, so their offspring naturally want jobs to do. They are muscular and have loads of physical energy. This means that they need a home where they can enjoy no less than 90 minutes of exercise per day.

Owners of these wonderful dogs will be happiest if they enjoy the outdoors because they will likely be spending a significant chunk of time each day playing outside with their Coltriever. While a home with a yard is highly preferable, an apartment home can work for these dogs, as long as their human takes them outside to run and play a few times throughout the day.

Your Gollie’s diet should be controlled and based on factors such as the dog’s age, exercise habits, size, and general health. It is best to consult your veterinarian when determining what your dog’s diet should be. Golden retrievers are prone to obesity, an unfortunate trait that may pass on to these hybrids. Obesity can lead to or exacerbate many health problems in your pet, especially issues dealing with joints. 

Health Concerns

Coltrievers face a few common health concerns, just like any other breed or mix. One of the most common is hip dysplasia, a condition in which the hip joint grinds rather than sliding smoothly. Another problem they face is bloating, where their stomachs fill with gas, food, and fluid, possibly leading to restricted blood flow to vital organs, tears in the stomach lining, and difficulty breathing.

Patellar Luxation is a condition that has been observed in the hybrids that can lead to lameness. While these health issues may be frightening, there are precautions that can help limit these risks in your loved pet. 

Welcoming a Golden Border Collie Into Your Family

When purchasing one of these lovable furballs, be sure that the breeder is reputable. A good breeder will screen their breeding stock for health issues and longevity before allowing them to reproduce. It is also helpful if you are allowed to meet your puppy’s parents to ensure that they are amiable and have traits that you desire.

Adoption is also a wonderful option for procuring one of these precious pups. In this case, you get to enjoy one of these sweet and loving creatures and get a dog who desperately needs a forever home.

A Golden Border collie may or may not make a great addition to your pack. They need a family or an owner who will ensure they get plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. Considerable regular attention should be given to their grooming. They are by no means hypoallergenic and will likely shed prolifically. However, these friendly, smart, and playful dogs will love anyone who can properly care for them.