Border Collie Golden Retriever Mix – All You Should Know

Border Collie Golden Retriever Mix. Photo of a Border Collie and a Golden Retriever.

Ever seen a Border Collie Golden Retriever mix and immediately fall in love? Yeah, that’s a common thing with this adorable crossbreed.

A Border Collie Golden Retriever mix has one parent from each breed. They tend to be 22-26 inches (55-66 cm) tall and weigh between 50-75 pounds (22-34 kg). They are kind, intelligent, loving, and high-energy dogs.

Below, you’ll learn all of the essentials about this loveable mixed dog breed, including their appearance, temperament, health conditions, and other important considerations that you must know before you bringing one home.

What is a Golden Retriever Border Collie mix called?

There are several names for this mixed dog breed. The most common one is a Golden Collie. However, some will use Golden Border Retriever, Coltriever or even Gollie. Regardless of what mash-up you use, they’re just as happy as you are.

What does a Border Collie Golden Retriever mix look like?

As you can probably guess, it depends on what traits are higher in each specific puppy. No two will ever look the exact same, and it’s pretty neat to see how the genetics play out even in a single litter of Golden Border Retriever puppies!

In most cases, your Golden Border Retriever will be sturdy in build, as its Golden parent breed, and will have a shaggy tail. They have floppy ears, typically, but they can be shorter and only flopped a bit.

In many cases, their coat will mimic the patterns of the Collie parent breed, but the color itself can be all sorts of shades, including:

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

It can be combined or two-toned, and so on. Without question, Golden Border Retrievers have intriguing coats.

The length of their coat is about medium in length, and it’s dense, too, since both parent breeds have thicker coats. This will mean shedding! But, more on that a little later.

How big will a Golden Retriever Border Collie mix get?

Males tend to be a little bigger than females, as you’re probably used to by now with dogs. As mentioned above, they’re anywhere between 22-26 inches (55-66 cm) tall and can weigh between 50-75 pounds (22-34 kg).

A dog outside of these norms is not uncommon, though, as genetics can cause a lighter smaller dog, or a taller, heavier dog.

The size of your Golden Collie also depends on everyday things, like health, exercise, diet, and more. 

When you are properly caring for your Golden Collie in all of the crucial ways (more on those later), you can expect most to fall within those height and weight ranges.

If not, however, you can always talk to your vet. They’ll be able to help you understand whether or not your dog is healthy and how to keep them in excellent health, if not.

As well, you can ask the breeder about the height and weight of their parent dogs. This will give you an excellent idea for a range. Genetics factor in, after all!

What is the lifespan of a Border Collie Golden Retriever mix?

These beautiful dogs have great life spans, often stretching between 12-15 years. While it’s nice to know that you aren’t adopting a “heartbreak breed,” it does mean that being a responsible pet parent will include being able to pay for vet bills, food, and more for all 15 years!

What’s the temperament of a Border Collie Golden Retriever mix?

This is where things get fun! This adorable mixed breed will be the best combination of both its parents — which is what the breed was designed for, of course.

You can expect your Coltriever to be friendly, loyal, and curious. These dogs also tend to be very intelligent and also can be hyperactive/excitable.

A word on hyperactivity

It’s great knowing that you’ll have an active and energetic dog, but it also means that there will be a sense of responsibility with it.

Thanks to their Border Collie heritage, which are herding dogs, you will need to be ready to dedicate time and attention to training and exercise. We’ll talk about that more in detail a bit later, too, to help!

Are Border Collie Golden Retrievers good family dogs?

In general, Gollies are great family pets. They are loving family members and will enjoy being around other animals and children. They tend to prefer older children instead of younger ones, but they can be trained to be with either. 

Since they are herding dogs by nature, they’re great for “keeping an eye” on your kids. Quite often, they’ll pick a vantage point where they can see everyone, and they’ll do “perimeter checks,” too, to make sure that everything is secure.

Please remember that neither parent dog is intended as a guard dog, so they will act as a shepherding dog and nothing else.

These dogs will love being around as part of the family. They will struggle with separation anxiety when left alone for long periods.

They’re great companions for a camping trip or a hike but will struggle if you choose to leave them behind during a family BBQ in the park or if you are heading to work or school.

Photo of a Black and White Border Collie Golden Retriever mix dog.

What are a Coltriever’s health issues?

Happily, these guys live long lives and will give you and your family many years of happiness. However, as mentioned, you will need to make sure that you are prepared because this will mean more vet bills as they age.

Most of the health issues that you end up facing with your dog are due to aging. These include:

  • Hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia
  • Eye problems
  • Ear infections
  • Bloat
  • Allergies

Hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia

This is a condition that impacts a lot of large dogs. It is when the hip or elbow ball doesn’t fit into the joint itself, and it causes friction as well as troubled movement.

This is common with dogs as they age and naturally start to have joint issues, much like humans. It means that you’ll have to feed them a proper diet that has plenty of omega-3s for joint health. This should be done preventatively as well as when your dog starts to struggle.

Proper diagnosis and monitoring by your vet will help keep your dog’s comfort a priority once these conditions set in.

Eye problems

As they age, you’ll also notice that your dogs will struggle with vision. This is common in all aged dogs, of course, predominantly through cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). This is the term for when the film over the eye starts to get cloudy, and it becomes challenging for your dog to see. This can be fixed with surgery.

While eye drops are an excellent option for cost, they still will inevitably lead to blindness in your dog. You can always ask your vet about which is best for your dog, in particular, too!

Ear infections

Thanks to their oh-so-soft, floppy ears, Golden Border Retrievers can be prone to ear infections and problems! You’ll need to get comfortable with spotting the signs of an infection, including discomfort, discharge, and sometimes a slightly “off” smell.

You’ll want to make sure that you are regularly cleaning their ears out to prevent any kind of infection from building up, too.

Ear infections can be treated easily with drops and serums in most cases. They’re considered pretty standard!


This is a dreaded condition with dogs. It can be fatal, so it’s important to spot it quickly. This happens with a dog’s stomach twists, and there is a gas build-up in their stomach. The stomach bloats, and this causes problems with other organs in your dog, including reduced blood flow to their heart and even trouble breathing.

As they age, dogs become more prone to bloat, but this is a condition that can happen at any point in their life. Your vet can help you learn to watch for symptoms and how to avoid it through proper preventative care.


This is a lifelong condition rather than an aging condition, of course. Allergies are common in dogs. For these two breeds, especially.

It’s a great idea to have your vet check for allergies in your dog at an early age. Regardless of the results, you’ll want to avoid a lot of fillers like corn and other byproducts in their food. This means that — you guessed it — your vet can recommend a great, allergen-free food for your dog to eat safely!

Allergies can range from mild to severe in dogs and sometimes come “out of nowhere” since the labeling for dog food companies isn’t as strict as human options. Always be careful when changing over foods or even treats!

How much does a Golden Retriever Border Collie mix cost?

These kinds of dogs are in high demand, so you will find that many breeders in the business do offer them. Still, they will cost between $500 to $1,000 in most cases. This comes with the proper paperwork, certification, and a great general health profile.

Pros and Cons of a Border Collie Golden Retriever Mix

You’ll want to make sure that you carefully weigh your pros and cons to ensure that you will be fully informed and ready to enjoy this new addition with no reservations. 


  • Friendly dogs for the family
  • Energetic and engaged with everything you do
  • Loyal and loving

Pro considerations

These are great advantages to seriously consider adding a Coltriever to your family, for sure. This is the “it” dog for a group of people who love to move all the time.

It’s also a great dog that’s engaged with everything that everyone does. Of course, it also enjoys being around the kids as much as you do because they’re great playmates!

A family dog is often firmly in the middle of everything and invited along as a willing participant on all of the family outings, from hiking to road trips. That’s why it’s so often called a family dog.


  • Prone to separation anxiety
  • Have regular exercise needs
  • Must be groomed regularly

Con considerations

We hesitate to call these cons since they’re pretty much “normal dog things,” but they are also vital to keep in mind when deciding on your family member.

If you are a traditional family where the kids go to school, and both pet parents work during the day. In that case, it means that you’re going to have to leave your Gollie home on their own regularly.

Since they can be prone to anxiety, this means that you’ll have to either work preventatively at keeping them calm with distraction toys, excessive exercise before work, and more.

If those aren’t enough, you’ll also need to consider the idea of doggy daycare or other options explicitly intended for those situations where dogs can’t be left alone.

You’ll also want to keep in mind that Gollies need 1 to 2 hours of exercise per day, primarily due to their Border Collie genes. This is best enjoyed in intense activities, such as swimming, jogging, hiking, or long walks at the very least.

You can also help “take the edge off” with playtimes and other popular activities that can involve the kids if you want (you may as well tire both of them out, right?)

Lastly, grooming. Since these sweet dogs have both parents with medium-length and dense fur, this means that you’ll need to get used to grooming your dog about once a week. More, during shedding season (twice a year).

Regular grooming can enhance your bond with your dog. It is also excellent for their blood circulation, helping with both fur and skin health. You’ll want to have your dog professionally bathed every several months to help keep their skin in good health, too!

Photo of a Border Collie Golden Retriever mix dog with a yellow coat.

How to take care of a Golden Collie properly

You obviously want to be the best pet parent you can be, so we’ve put together a few core things to help you keep in mind the priority points when it comes to caring for your Golden Collie. 

A balanced diet

A high-quality diet rich in omega-3s and allergen-sensitive will help keep your dog feeling its best and enjoying good health for as long as possible. This can help deter age-related illnesses such as eye issues, joint issues, and more.

Most professionals will recommend a big dog kind of kibble since it’s intended for a lot of these concerns. If you want to know “the best of the best,” consider asking the breeder you buy from — they’ll be giving the top-quality food to their dogs, after all.

Attention to their physical needs

Of course, we’ve mentioned exercise, but you also will need to think about details like their intelligence. You can look at obedience training and advanced training (such as obstacle courses, etc). It can help take care of both needs at once.

A dog who is understimulated mentally can be destructive. It can also lead to more likelihood of anxiety.

By combining physical, mental, and emotional needs into something productive for all three, you can best care for all of these needs in one convenient exercise!

Help them feel their best

It sounds silly, but prioritizing grooming, nail clipping, and dental hygiene truly will help them feel at their best.

The easiest way to think about it would be to imagine if you weren’t capable of taking care of something like hair brushing, clipping your fingernail and toenails, or brushing your teeth without help.

Pretty soon, you’d start to feel pretty awful. It would lead to mats, skin issues, difficulty moving, and dental decay, making eating very challenging. This is how your dog would feel, too!

Prioritizing these “cosmetic” details will help them to feel at their best all the time, leading to an excellent quality of life overall. Since you’ll always want to “do right by your dog,” these details are as important to think about as diet and exercise.

In summary

As they’re often nicknamed, a Golden Border Collie is a cross between a Border Collie and a Golden Retriever. They are approximately 22-26 inches (55-66 cm) tall and weigh between 50-75 pounds (22-34 kg).

These are family dogs and are known to be kind, intelligent, loving, and very energetic. They have some common age-related health conditions and can be prone to separation anxiety, so make sure you know how to best care for all of their needs.

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Dog Advisory Council

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