So you want an intelligent dog, who is easy to care for but not too difficult to train? Maybe one that’s fiercely loyal, super friendly and so excited to see you and the whole family when you get back home? Sound too good to be true? Well, it’s not! This article explains exactly what a Borador is, and why you need one in your life!
This dreamy doggo is the result of mating a Border Collie and a Labrador Retriever. Because the Lab and the Border Collie are often compared, it only makes sense that they’d end up as parents of this wonderful mix! This crossbreed combines the friendliness of the Labrador Retriever and the intelligence of the Border Collie, so all in all, he is a good all-rounder!
Despite both of his parents being working dogs technically the Borador is not, he is only recognized as a mixed breed. Let’s take a look at the parent breeds and more details about why the Border Collie Lab mix might be an awesome addition to your family.
The Borador is fast becoming a favorite family pet and there are many reasons for this which we will visit further down in the article. They are lovable, friendly, and (generally) even-tempered even though they have high energy levels. But to really understand and appreciate this mixed breed you need to know a bit more about his parents first.
Traditionally the Border Collie is a working dog most famously used to round herds of sheep and other farm animals. Border collies are different than rough collies. They are small but extremely smart. Even if they aren’t raised as working dogs you will find that they still bear these innate herding traits, and will try to herd other pets, insects, cars (yes, fast-moving ones!), and maybe even you and your family.
They are extremely intelligent and intense dogs. A survey of 122 vets voted the Border Collie as the most intelligent breed of all time. Have you ever heard of the saying ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’? Well, this is definitely not true when it comes to Collies. They are the Einstein of dogs!
All of this intelligence needs an outlet, and so you must give him something to do. Collies will excel at any activity you present them with, be that chasing tennis balls, catching frisbees, or testing their agility skills at a doggy assault course. As they say, a busy dog is a happy dog, so you are certainly in for some fun with a Collie if you remember this!
Collies have a unique quirk – they are renowned for giving you ‘the eye.’ They will use their hypnotic stare when they want something, be that playtime or poop time. They use it on the sheep, and they will definitely use it on you. So be warned, when he gives you the stare don’t ignore him! Because of the Border Collie’s excellent temperament, they are popular as parent breeds to several mixes, which include the Shollie or the Border Corgi.
According to the American Kennel Club, this breed ranks number 1 out of a whopping 193 breeds! They are best known for being friendly, and their gentle ways make them great for households with children and other pets. They crave affection from their family and the aim of their game is to seek love, attention, and praise.
Boradors are also known for being food orientated and if this isn’t monitored, it can lead to a porky pup! What this does mean, however, is that they are also very easy to train and eager to win that treat for being a good boy. This trainability is one of the main reasons why Labradors are the prime breed selected as guide dogs for the blind.
They are less well known for their origins, however. Like the Collie, they are also working dogs. They are originally from Newfoundland, Canada, (ironically not from Labrador!) and they have thick ice-resistant coats. They are the fisherman’s favorite to retrieve fish, ducks, and any other small animals alike! The Labrador is another workaholic that requires stimulation and would certainly love to play fetch all day long!
The Borador is one of the more popular Labrador mixes, and also one of the more common Border Collie mixes. People typically start considering this mix when they want a smaller version of a Lab, with the same friendliness that comes along with it. What most people don’t account for is that they also get the energy of a border collie. Labs are energetic enough, so when fusing these two pups together, you get a livewire that needs lots of exercise.
Overall, the Borador is an extremely popular mix because of how eager to train and please they are. This is an excellent mixed breed for first-time dog owners, as they respond well to semi-firm training and are not nearly as headstrong as other breeds. Let’s learn more about them and what makes them so special.
Like other lab mixes, this is a dog for the whole family. He is gentle with little children and other pets and is always seeking his master’s approval. You will often find him snuggling up to his humans on the sofa and joining in the family fun mucking around in the garden with everyone. The Borador is described by his owners as a very happy dog who makes everyone smile!
If socialized from an early age to avoid aggression, this protective streak can be advantageous. The Borador will bark at passers-by and protect his territory so you can rest assured and sleep easy knowing that he will let you know if there is an intruder about. They are also fiercely loyal to their family and will protect them. They make an awesome family guard dog.
Despite being protective of their family, the Border Collie Lab mix is very sociable with anyone who wants to be his friend. Once guests are in the family home, he will shower them with affection and hugs and accept them as one of the pack. He will also enjoy being taken to the local dog park to play with other dogs and will always exhibit his best behavior. The Borador is a pleasure to be around.
Size & Appearance
Boradors are medium-sized dogs. They will typically be the perfect blend of Labrador and Border collie, rarely exceeding the size of a Labrador. Most of the time, you’ll get a pup in the 40-50 pound range, but they have been known to creep up into the 60 to 70-pound range for larger mixes. Males will typically get up to 17 inches tall, with females in the 15-inch range.
Typically the Border Collie Lab mix will look very gentle in demeanor. They are typically non-aggressive and will come up to the door to greet strangers that may not have even been properly introduced. They may take after either parent breed’s traits depending on which breed they inherit more of looks-wise. This means they will may have a variety of different coat and eye color combinations.
Coat & Colors
The Border Collie Lab mix can have many different coat colors and eye color combinations. You can also see a longer coat or a shorter coat which will solely depend on the parents and what genes they carry. Most often you’ll get a nice mix of the two, which ends up being a slightly fluffier pul that still looks a little like a Labrador.
Some of the more popular Borador colors include brown, black, yellow, and merle. They have also been known to have a red tint to their coat when bred with a Red lab parent. They usually will have amber eyes or brown eyes. Blue eyes are uncommon but can happen as a genetic anomaly. Blue eyes are usually common with Border Huskies, not other mixes.
Exercise & Living Conditions
Like the boxador, both parents are super energetic so this pup is going to be exactly the same. Here you have a very active dog and he needs more exercise than the average pooch. If you can’t give the Borador the exercise and stimulation that he needs, then this is probably not the dog for you.
The Border Collie Lab mix needs at least 1 hour of active exercise every day, and if you can give him this, then your canine relationship is going to be a very rewarding one indeed. The Border Collie Lab mix needs a high level of exercise as an outlay for all that energy and intelligence, and if they don’t get this, they can become bored, restless, and destructive, and that is not good for anyone!
Not only this but as the Labrador parent is susceptible to weight gain if sedentary, exercise is important to prevent obesity and other health problems associated with weight gain. Additionally, their intelligence and need for love from their humans make exercise very rewarding, and also acts as a great bonding tool for both you and your canine friend.
With one parent having been voted as the most intelligent dog in the world, and the other parent being used as the prime breed for assistance dogs, it is no wonder the Borador is known for his trainability and intelligence. Being able to train a family pet from a very young age and knowing that you can rely on this training no matter what, is a superb trait. Being both food and activity orientated also makes training this pooch pretty easy without much prior training experience. As long as you are consistent with your training, then you’ve got it in the bag!
Their innate need to be worked and be rewarded means that these dogs are a dream to train. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a qualified dog trainer to move the needle with this mix.
If you have the Border Collie Lab Mix from puppyhood, be sure to socialize him from a young age. Simply put, socialization is the process of exposing your dog to a variety of life situations to ensure that they are happy and confident in their environment. This can be done through puppy training classes and creating positive experiences with other humans and animals.
As the Border Collie is sometimes known for having a protective streak, they can often be wary of strangers and other animals. Therefore, socialization from a young age with humans and animals outside of the family unit is key to ensuring that Borador’s aren’t over-protective or aggressive. Positive reinforcement training is the key to an obedient canine companion.
Borador’s are generally quite healthy and serious health problems are uncommon. Nonetheless, before purchasing any pup it is extremely important to research breeders and ask for health certificates of the parents.
Hip and elbow dysplasia can be common in later life for the Borador, as it is prevalent in both the Border Collie and the Labrador Retriever. Not only are wise breeding practices key to lowering the chance of inheriting this problem, but there are other steps to take. A proper diet, a low calorific intake, and a low calcium diet are all preventative measures that can be taken to lower the chances of both dysplasias from a young age.
Other known health problems of the Border Collie Lab Mix can include deafness, heart defects, and cataracts. However, as with any pet, it is important to attend annual veterinarian checks to identify any health concerns and ensure the best possible health for your dog. It is also important to keep up to date with his vaccination schedule and obtain pet insurance to cover any unforeseen problems. Boradors will typically live anywhere from 10 to 13 years.
The Border Collie Lab mix is a medium-sized breed and should be fed high-quality dog food from an early age. You’ll want to stick to reputable food manufacturers like Blue Buffalo or Nutro and make sure to stick to a medium-sized dog breed formula.
This pup is unlikely to overeat like his Labrador parent is notorious for. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t moderate food intake, or space out feedings. We always recommend not free-feeding your pup, unless it’s a dog that habitually grazes. Typically most dogs do well on a 2-3 times per day feeding schedule in order to maintain a healthy weight.
Although Boradors are low maintenance when it comes to grooming, it is likely that you will spend more time hoovering up the hair that they have shed rather than you do brushing them with a de-shedder.
Although their coat doesn’t need to be brushed often, brushing them regularly can help you see those nasty ticks under their coat that you might not otherwise see. Additionally, brushing your pet can also be used as a bonding exercise. Doing this as well as other health checks when the pup is young, and making it a pleasant experience for them, makes this a lot easier for when they grow older!
In general, the Borador’s appearance will be similar to one of the parent’s, with a slight hint of the other, but as he is a mixed breed you cannot be certain as to which one he may look like. The Border Collie Lab mix’s coat tends to be longer and softer than a Labrador, and most Borador’s have the white stripe on their underbelly like their Collie parent.
Breeders & Rescues
We are pro-rescue here at Love Your Dog. We always recommend you check your local Labrador rescue or your local Border Collie rescue before puppy shopping. There’s comfort in knowing where your pup’s parents came from. However, adopting a rescue will get you the breed you want, and save a life as well.
If you want to adopt your Labrador Border Collie mix as a puppy, you’ll want to start looking at reputable breeders. Do your research and find popular breeders in your area online. Check with popular online groups that have experience with the mix. Usually, you’ll find reputable breeders who have parents that will both be purebred pups. You can expect to pay upwards of $500 for a Borador puppy.
As Family Pets
As family pets, Boradors are some of the most fun-loving and friendly dogs. As already mentioned earlier, socialize them early to ensure you can avoid picking up any unwanted behaviors by your pup. These pups make great family companions and will protect their families if they feel that they are in any danger.
Boradors are typically great with kids. But they do have herding instincts. You’ll want to introduce them to any other family pets if you are adopting a rescue. If you are raising your Borador from puppyhood, early socialization is key. This will ensure that all family pets get along harmoniously.
Make sure your Borador gets the exercise he needs to stimulate him accordingly, then the rest will follow. The Borador is easy to care for, a delight to be around and simple to train. So if you want a wholesome family pet, who is both intelligent and gentle, and one that will provide you and your family with years of laughter and great memories, then the Border Collie Lab mix is the dog for you!
October 4, 2022 at 3:05 pm
My collie /lab mix is 7mths and I get her out everyday for an hr or more , I have puzzle feeders extra large bones pigs ears etc all to keep her stimulated also I've 2 energetic boys 12 and 9 who play with her all the time but my problem now is she's getting a bit aggressive with mostly my 8yr old and his cousin . She keeps barking at them and nipping or grabbing there clothing . She's also jumped and nipped me wen I sprayed aerosol like she's afraid of it and attacks but does the same to my spray mop lol
I'm worried she'll get worse .
I've a 7yr old cavalier king Charles who's very territorial wit food so the collie is learning of her now ....
Anyone any clues if this is what they do herding wise ??
April 22, 2022 at 11:39 am
We just had to put down our chocolate lab border collie mix. He was 12 and a half. Had cancer which we just found out about 4weeks ago. Best dog we ever had
July 8, 2022 at 10:25 pm
I'm so sorry you lost your dog. I also lost Opie, the best, sweetest dog on 04/04/22 at age 13 years, the worst day of my life! He loved everyone he met. A found 4mo old pup in a parking lot on a Texas hot Jul day cover with fleas and ticks. One would never imagine he could turn into the most beautiful 90+ lbs dog you ever seen. He lived in perfect health 10 days before spleen cancer shattered our lives. I did a lot of research trying to figure out his breed mix. My heart is still breaking I miss him so much.
February 2, 2022 at 4:40 am
My borador is now 5. We got her at 8 weeks. I call her my Mary Poppins dog, practically perfect in every way. Only problem ever is if dogs approach me when I'm sitting at the park, when she will growl and sometimes run at them (never bites). I have to be aware, and make her come before they do. She has her advanced obedience certificate, adores people and her ball, and just improves my life 200%.
October 15, 2021 at 9:41 pm
Adopted a Border Collie Labrador mix female. Found running down the road. No idea her history.
She is leery of strangers, seldom barks, she does alert if she senses anything that she thinks needs checking.
Has the albino gene big pink nose, white eyebrows and eyelashes. Jet black shot thru with silver coat.
Est age now is 5 yrs old. She has owned me for two years now.
I think she has high hopes for me.
And yes, she has that stare and ability to communicate telegraphically.
Laid back, easy going. A 50# sweetheart. Another great dog.
August 26, 2021 at 2:43 pm
I have a 10 months old Borador. He is full of fun and mischief and highly intelligent in that he was completely toilet trained in just 2 days! I socialised him very early and he absolutely adores every dog and human that he sees. He is super friendly. He looks like a collie and seems to have an almost predominantly collie personality. He is not a cuddly dog as I think that he is more interested in play but I am sure that this will come later. The only drawback is that he demands 100% attention and never tires, and barks constantly, to get what he wants, but I wouldn't have him any other way. In summary, he is full of fun and mischief and knows exactly what he wants. He is determined, an amazing communicator, very bright and loves life. Great with children too.
August 14, 2021 at 9:11 pm
We have a Borador male 7 months old, he's playful, full of energy and so loving.
He is still a little too mouthy but he understands off then you get liked to death as an apology.
He is so bright and picks up commands very quickly. He loves everyone but is hyper vigilant to to strangers and let's you know if a stray bird is in the garden. He does need a good hour running on the beach if not then a couple of hours walking a day. He wants to play all day long, if you have kids he will never get tired of entertaining them.
He loves to climb on you at night thinking he's a wee pup not realising he weights 26kg, not that I'd change it.
August 15, 2021 at 6:43 pm
Sounds like an awesome dog, Adam! Thanks for stopping by to comment and share your experience with our readers!
February 9, 2021 at 3:18 pm
Love to bits my new 3.5-year-old Borador. She already knows how to sit, stay, lie down, and more. Although, she deliberately ignores me on the sit one. She is constantly hungry so watch out what you leave on your countertop since I went out for her treats and came home to find she had eaten a whole chicken (cooked) which I left out to thaw and forgot to close the doggie gate.
Although there was nothing of the chicken left she was very kind in leaving the foil very nicely spread out flat on the middle of the kitchen floor with nothing of evidence of the crime left. "What a nice afterthought". She was an SPCA rescue six weeks ago when my elderly dog had died at 15years. Talk about smart and friendly and is glued to me all the time! I am a senior and home most of the time. Now it's time to get some more balls for my pup to play with!
February 9, 2021 at 6:37 pm
Thanks for stopping by to comment and share your story about your pup Norma!
December 13, 2020 at 9:02 pm
My daughter brought Apollo home from work one day as a co-worker was no longer able to keep him. She was told he’s a Border Collie-Lab mix and approximately 2 years old at the time. I had no idea the Bordalab breed was a thing until reading your article! His appearance is that of a tall sleek Border Collie. He’s supremely athletic and loves to herd our farm animals and chase the horses.
His best friend is our Pug-Chihuahua (Chug?) Jake, but he loves everyone and is devoted to his family. He learns quickly and just wants to please. I was apprehensive about adopting a high-energy dog at first but couldn’t have been more misinformed about the breed. His last home was an apartment with 2 owners who worked all day and could only take him for walks on weekends, so I know this was meant to be. Thank you for your article!
December 15, 2020 at 4:27 pm
Thanks for the comment Robin! Sounds like you have an amazing pup!
June 22, 2020 at 5:32 am
Loved reading this page as I have borador ? in her vetpassport she is known as mixed breed labrador/border collie so it is a surprise that it's called borador. I got her from a shelter 6 months old, she is a red brown white dog.
With longer hair with brown hazel eyes, she has been my best friend for 10 years! It's a pity I can't post a photo of her, you would love her to ?
June 23, 2020 at 6:21 pm
Thanks for the comment Mirella, sounds like an amazing pup!