Catahoula Leopard Dog vs Border Collie: What Are Their Differences?

Border Collie with Kong toy
© Tepepa79/

Written by Jeremiah Wright

Published: May 13, 2022

Share on:


The Catahoula Leopard Dog is native to Louisiana. It originated in crosses between wolf-like dogs that Native Americans owned and dogs that Spanish and French settlers brought between the 16th and 18th centuries. Although their initial use was for rounding up feral cattle and pigs, these dogs are good guards and hunters.

The Border Collie is considered the world’s best herding dog and the most intelligent breed.  It was originally developed in the Anglo-Scottish border county of Northumberland as a hunting dog and a farm working dog for herding sheep and other livestock.

Both breeds of dogs are easily distinguishable at first glance. Yet, a deeper understanding of their differences in other factors is not a waste of time.

Let’s take a detailed look at these differences. They will help you as a pet enthusiast or pet owner.

Comparing Catahoula Leopard Dogs vs Border Collies

Catahoula Leopard Dogs and Border Collies differ in appearance, coat, temperament, health issues, exercise, and training.
Catahoula Leopard DogBorder Collie
Size22-26 inches
40-110 pounds
19-21 inches
26-44 pounds
CoatShort, smooth coatLong or medium-length rough coat, short smooth coat; both double-layered.
TemperamentProtective and adventurousLively, curious, easygoing
ColorsYellow, Red, Black, BrindleWhite, Black, Brown, Red, and blue merle.
TrainabilityHard to train; requires short training sessionsEasy to train, persistent at learning.
ExerciseRequires one or more walks a day and vigorous play in the yard.Requires space and mental stimulation.
Health IssuesDeafness, eye problem, cancerDental problems, Collie Eye Anomaly
Life Expectancy 10-14 years12-15 years
Energy levelsLow energy level as petsVery high energy level

The Key Differences Between Catahoula Leopard Dogs and Border Collies

The key differences between Catahoula Leopard Dogs and Border Collies are appearance, coat, temperament, health issues, exercise, and training.

The Catahoula Leopard is generally smaller than the Border Collie in size, but the Border Collie weighs less than the Catahoula Leopard Dog.

Read along as we give better focus to these dissimilarities between these adorable breeds of dogs.

Catahoula Leopard Dog vs Border Collie: Size and Height

Catahoula leopard standing in garden

At maturity, a Catahoula Leopard male weighs an average of 90 pounds.


At maturity, a Catahoula Leopard male weighs an average of 90 pounds, and the average female weighs 65 pounds. This breed weighs more than the Border Collie, which weighs 26 to 44 pounds on average for males and females at full maturity. For their heights, the Catahoula Leopard averages 24 inches for the male and 20 inches for the female, while the Border Collie averages 27 inches for the male and 22 inches for the female.

Catahoula Leopard Dog vs Border Collie: Coat

Types of heeler dogs - Border Collie

The Border Collie has two main types of coat: the long or medium-length rough coat and the short, smooth coat.


The Catahoula has a merle coat with minimal grooming requirements. It is enough if you brush it weekly outside of the regular shedding season that occurs in early spring. Catahoulas are not as susceptible to skin problems as other breeds but may experience allergic dermatitis due to flea bites or other stimuli. 

The Border Collie, as one breed, has two main types of coat: the long or medium-length rough coat and the short, smooth coat. Both are double-layered. Short coat or not, both coats have average shedding throughout the year and even worse during winter. For this reason, they need brushing at least three times a week to keep shedding to a minimum.

Catahoula Leopard Dog vs Border Collie: Temperament

Catahoula Leopards are intelligent, energetic, protective, and loyal dogs. As herding dogs, they demonstrate perfect behavior for their working background. However, they can adapt to family life. These dogs have a lot of personalities and are sure to delight everyone they meet.

Border Collies are lively dogs. They are also curious and easygoing, with mischievous and sensitive traits as well. They display humor with clever behavior. As adults, they are wary of strangers. However, this does not make them mistrustful puppies, as they take kindly to praise in training.

Catahoula Leopard Dog vs Border Collie: Health Issues

Catahoula leopard close up

Catahoula Leopard Dogs are susceptible to hip dysplasia later in their lifespan.


Catahoula Leopard Dogs are usually healthy, for the most part, but they have a few issues. These dogs are susceptible to hip dysplasia later in their lifespan. They may also experience deafness, common in dogs with merle coats and blue eyes, thereby increasing their susceptibility. Also, they tend to have cancer – skin cancer being the most common and eye problems.

Border Collies have a few common health issues, most manageable and treatable. The most common are musculoskeletal disorders, including hip dysplasia and osteochondritis dessecans (OCD), which come from age or too much activity, resulting in accelerated growth during puppyhood. Other common health issues are summarized thus: deafness, dental problems, progressive retinal atrophy, and collie eye anomaly.

Catahoula Leopard Dog vs Border Collie: Exercise

Border collie playing with dog run

Border collies have strong bodies with high energy.

©studio hoto/

Catahoula Leopard Dogs need to exercise well. It is best if they live in a house that has a large space for regular exercise. They don’t like apartments and small spaces. They become destructive when bored. These dogs need one or more daily walks or vigorous play in the yard for at least an hour. Fetch with balls or frisbees is perfect for this breed. Hiking and swimming are also excellent ways of keeping them stimulated.

Border Collies have strong bodies with high energy. They require copious amounts of space for sufficient exercise; farms, ranches, or extensive yards will do. You can help your Border Collie burn off excess energy with chew toys and by hiding toys and treats around the house or yard. As intelligent dogs, puzzles or other games give them the mental stimulation they need. While on obstacle courses, playing fetch exercises their athletic ability. Border collies should get a minimum of 20-30 minutes of running every day.

Catahoula Leopard Dog vs Border Collie: Training

Catahoula Leopard Dogs are independent. It thus makes them harder to train than other breeds of dogs. Socialization efforts make their training more effective. To reduce the risk of the dogs getting bored, we recommend that training sessions be short. And since they reach full maturity at two, owners must begin training and socialization efforts early.

Border Collies are persistent in their training. They don’t stop until they learn the task. Because they are eager to please, it is best to train them with praise and clicker training rather than electronic collars. They respond well to familiar hand gestures and can work independently or with a team of other dogs. Border Collies bark a lot when bored. You can redirect this energy in training to make them bark on command.

Ready to discover the top 10 cutest dog breeds in the entire world?

How about the fastest dogs, the largest dogs and those that are -- quite frankly -- just the kindest dogs on the planet? Each day, AZ Animals sends out lists just like this to our thousands of email subscribers. And the best part? It's FREE. Join today by entering your email below.

What's the right dog for you?

Dogs are our best friends but which breed is your perfect match?


If you have kids or existing dogs select:

Other Dogs

Should they be Hypoallergenic?

How important is health?
Which dog groups do you like?
How much exercise should your dog require?
What climate?
How much seperation anxiety?
How much yappiness/barking?

How much energy should they have?

The lower energy the better.
I want a cuddle buddy!
About average energy.
I want a dog that I have to chase after constantly!
All energy levels are great -- I just love dogs!
How much should they shed?
How trainable/obedient does the dog need to be?
How intelligent does the dog need to be?
How much chewing will allow?

Share this post on:
About the Author

I hold seven years of professional experience in the content world, focusing on nature, and wildlife. Asides from writing, I enjoy surfing the internet and listening to music.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.