Breeds

Border Collie Lab Mix: Borador Breed Information

Emma Braby

Last Updated: March 24, 2020 | 14 min read

So you want an intelligent dog, who is easy to care for but not too difficult to train? And you want a pooch that is 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 this may be the most perfect dog that you need in your life!

This dreamy doggo is the result of mating a Border Collie and a Labrador Retriever. The purpose of mating the two breeds was to create a canine companion that 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.

Parent Breed History

The Borador is fast becoming a favourite 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.

Border Collie

Border Collie Parent Breed
The Border Collie is one half of the Borador.

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 smaller but just as smart. Even if they aren’t raised as working dogs you will find that they still bare 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. Collie’s will excel at any activity you present them with, be that chasing tennis balls, catching frisbees or testing his 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.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Parent Breed
The Labrador is the other half of the Borador.

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.

They 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

Borador Mixed Breed Pup
The Border Collie Lab mix is one of the most popular Lab mixes in the United States.

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.

Temperament

Labrador Border Collie Mix Temperament
The Labrador Border Collie mix has an even and loving demeanor towards others.

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 of 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 behaviour. The Borador is a pleasure to be around.

Size & Appearance

Large Borador Outside
Boradors can be as large as Labradors, or as small as Border Collies.

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

Border Collie Lab Mix Coat Colors
The Border Collie Labrador mix can look more like either parent breed, or a mix of both.

The Border Collie Lab mix can have many different coat color 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 sligthly 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

Borador Outside
Boradors need exercise and prefer to be outside on a regular basis.

Like the boxador, both 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 makes exercise very rewarding, and also acts as a great bonding tool for both you and your canine friend.

Training

Border Collie Labrador Retriever Crossbreed in Woods
Boradors are extremely attentive and love to learn.

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 and follow the rules below, 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, so don’t worry, you don’t need to be a qualified dog trainer with these guys.

If you have the Border Collie Lab Mix from puppyhood, be sure to socialize him from a young age. Simply put, socialisation 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, socialisation 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.

Health

Healthy Borador Outside
The Border Collie Lab mix is generally healthier than their purebred parents due to genetics.

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 low calcium diet are all preventative measures that can be taken to lower the chances of both dysplasia’s 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.

Nutrition

Border Collie Labrador Crossbreed in Grass
Nutrition requirements will vary greatly on the size of your dog.

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.

Grooming

Borador Grooming Needs
A shaggy Border Collie Lab mix will need regular grooming.

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.

Adopting a Border Collie Lab Mix

Lab Border Collie Puppy
Labrador Border Collie mix puppies can be found at rescues, or breeders.

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 you start shopping for a puppy.  While it’s always good to know where your pup’s parents came from, adopting a rescue pup will not only get you the breed you want, but you’ll be saving a life as well.

With that being said, if you want to adopt your Labrador Border Collie mix, you’ll want to start looking at reputable breeders.  Do your research and find popular breeders in your area online, and check with popular online groups that have experience with the mix.  Usually you’ll find reputable breeders who have the parents that will both be purebred pups.  You can expect to pay upwards of $500 for a Borador puppy.

Boradors as Family Pets

Border Collie Labrador Mixed Breed Pet
The Border Collie Lab mix is great with families and perfect for first-time dog owners.

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 family if they feel that they are in any danger.

They are typically great with kids, but because of their herding instincts, you’ll want to make sure you 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 to ensuring that all family pets get along harmoniously.

Final Thoughts

As long as you can give this lovely dog the exercise he needs and 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!

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