NotABully.org is reader-supported. We may earn a small commission through products purchased using links on this page.
Thinking about adding a second dog to your family?
If you own a Rottweiler, that might be a good idea. Even though these dogs have a tough reputation, Rottweilers also love having a canine companion and get along great with many breeds.
But what about the high-energy Border Collie? Do Rottweilers and Border Collies get along?
Despite the big difference in size, Border Collies can make a good companion for Rottweilers. Both dogs are active, athletic, extremely intelligent, and have a shared history as herding dogs. They’re able to keep up with each other both mentally and physically which can make for a good match.
Let’s take a deeper look at just why Border Collies get along so well with Rottweilers.
Where Did Both of These Breeds Come From?
Breeds with similar histories or past jobs usually have a better chance of getting along together so let’s take a quick look at the history behind each of these pups.
The modern Rottweiler was initially bred in Germany as a working dog, designed to herd cattle, pull carts, or be a guard dog. Eventually, they become more of an all-purpose farm dog and eventually a household pet.
The breed quickly became revered for their intelligence, loyalty, and bravery. Although some Rottweilers are still working dogs today, most simply enjoy their lives as family pets.
Similarly, the Border Collie was also originally a herding dog in England, although they more commonly herded sheep. Border Collies are also intelligent, even more so than Rottweilers, and are also easily trained. Today, Border Collies are famous for their success on agility courses and of course as much-loved pets. You can also find plenty of Border Collies herding sheep, too.
Despite their major difference in appearance, these dogs have a similar and shared history as herding dogs!
Since Rottweilers were tasked with herding the much larger cattle, compared to the small sheep that the Border Collies worked with, it should be no surprise that Rottweilers have a sturdier, stockier and more powerful build.
That’s the first point in favor of these dogs working well as companions!
Why Might Rottweilers and Border Collies Get Along Well?
Besides a shared history, what traits do these breeds have in common?
Both Breeds Are Incredibly Intelligent
According to canine expert Stanley Coren, both Border Collies and Rottweilers rank in the top 10 smartest dog breeds. That’s pretty impressive! Both breeds are well-known for their obedience, ability to pick up new commands, and ability to be trained at high levels.
Of course, Border Collies are legendary for their intelligence and one of my absolute favorite displays of this comes from Chaser the Border Collie. In this video, she shows off not only her ability to identify hundreds of different toys by name but also the ability to use basic deduction to figure out the name of new toys:
Rottweilers are very smart, but they aren’t quite at that level. Still, both breeds are quick learners, and not only will basic commands come easily but so will more advanced tricks too.
With similar intelligence levels, Rottweilers and Border Collies will be well-matched as companions when it comes to play, training, and daily routines.
Both Rottweilers and Border Collies Are Very Loyal
On top of their high intelligence, Rottweilers and Border Collies both rank in the top 10 for most loyal dog breeds.
Since Rotties and Border Collies share this characteristic, they’ll be on the same page about loving and protecting the family as well as how they want to spend time.
They Have Similar Athletic Abilities and Exercise Needs.
Rottweilers and Border Collies are both very athletic, and they have similar exercise needs. For an adult Rottweiler, it’s best to plan on at least an hour of exercise every day. That exercise can be simple, like going for a walk or to the dog park, or it can be more involved, like swimming or playing games. In order to keep your Rottweiler mentally healthy, keep their exercise sessions interesting and engaged!
Border Collies typically have higher exercise needs than Rottweilers. Veterinarians recommend at least 90 minutes a day in order to keep your Border Collie in good health both physically and mentally. Like the Rottweiler, Border Collies are up for any kind of activity. They particularly love chasing anything and everything.
Even though Border Collies generally need more exercise than Rottweilers, the good news is that your Rottweiler is most likely very flexible and will be very ready to engage in more than just an hour of exercise a day when you give them the chance. They’ll be able to keep up with the more energetic Border Collie.
Just keep in mind that despite similar exercise needs, these two breeds aren’t always ready for the same type of weather. Both dogs have a double coat which makes them great in the snow, but the bulkier Rottweiler will have a harder time staying cool and may be at greater risk of heatstroke.
What Potential Problems Might There Be Between a Rottweiler and a Border Collie?
Even though Rottweilers and Border Collies can be a great match, there are few issues you might want to keep an eye out for.
There’s A Big Size Difference.
There’s a big size difference between these two breeds. While a fully-grown Rottweiler can weigh up to 130 pounds, Border Collies typically will weigh 45 pounds at the most. Because of their size, the Rottweiler might accidentally be a little too rough when it comes to play.
If you notice this happening, make sure to separate them so they can each take a break from the other dog. However, since Border Collies are so energetic and athletic, even this big difference in size shouldn’t be a major deal-breaker when it comes to the Border Collie keeping up with the Rottweiler.
It May take Your Rottweiler Some Time To Bond With the Border Collie
While Border Collies are incredibly enthusiastic and people friendly, Rottweilers tend to be a little more aloof. You have to earn their respect and love. When you first introduce a Border Collie to your Rottweiler, the Border Collie will most likely want to be best friends immediately. They’re ready to jump right in!
However, your Rottweiler will most likely go through more of an adjustment time as they get used to having the new dog around. Be prepared for it to take a little time, and know that your Rottie will bond with the Border Collie whenever they’re ready.
How Do I Introduce a Border Collie Into My Rottie’s Life?
Although Rottweiler’s and Border Collies naturally make good companions for each other, it’s very important to have a positive first introduction. That will make all the difference in their relationship as they adjust to living together.
Make Sure Both Dogs Are Well-Socialized and Well-Trained
For both Rottweilers and Border Collies, it’s vital that socialization start early. If you’re raising your dogs from puppies, you can start that socialization when they’re only a few weeks old. Your dog should be exposed to other animals, new people, and strange situations often so they understand how to react appropriately.
On top of socialization, make sure both dogs are well-trained. Since Rotties and Border Collies are so smart, you shouldn’t have much of an issue with this one! Both dogs should have a basic understanding of commands, and they need to be obedient towards you.
Choose A Neutral Meeting Ground and Keep The Meeting Leashed
Just in case anyone would try to get territorial, it’s best to keep this meeting somewhere neutral, such as a local park. That way neither dog will feel the need to “defend” their turf.
Additionally, keep the dogs on leashes for this first meeting. That will give you more control over the dogs and the situation as a whole. Walk the dogs around on leashes in the same vicinity for a while, and then allow them to greet each other directly after they get comfortable in the other dog’s presence. The dogs will most likely do a lot of sniffing and smelling as they get acquainted.
Keep A Close Eye At First
For the first few weeks, make sure you keep a close eye on both your Rottweiler and Border Collie. There may be a little bickering as they adjust to sharing territory, toys, and your attention. It may take both dogs, especially your Rottweiler, to warm up to each other. Hopefully, with a little patience and guidance, these two will become the best of friends!
Rottweilers and Border Collies Can Be A Great Mix
If you’re choosing a new companion for your Rottweiler, you may want to think about a Border Collie. With their high level of intelligence, athleticism, and loyal, affectionate natures, a Border Collie could be the perfect fit for your sweet Rottweiler.