Border Collie Lab Mix (Borador) Breed Information, Pictures, Puppies & More

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.

Quick Facts

  •       A medium sized dog
  •       Their typical lifespan is 13 – 15 years
  •       The male being up to 17 inches tall and weighing in at 45 to 65 pounds
  •       The female being up to 15 inches tall and weighing in at 40 to 60 pounds
  •        Dog food consumption is average, ranging from anything between 800 – 1300 calories per day
  •       The Borador exercise needs are high, a minimum of 60 minutes per day
  •       The most popular Borador colours are Black and White, Brown and Yellow
  •       The average cost of a puppy is $200 – $500

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. But to really understand and appreciate this mixed breed you need to know a bit more about his parents first.

Border Collie

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!

Labrador Retriever

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 favourite 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!

Mixing The Breeds

As Cinderella’s fairy godmother would ask, ‘put them together and what have you got?’, well, quite possibly the most perfect dog on the planet! Here are the top 4 reasons (but definitely not limited to) why he is such a great dog:

1) Great temperament – 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!

2) Easy to train – 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!

3) Protective – If socialised 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.

4) Sociable – Despite being protective of their family, the Borador 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.

So let’s get down to the finer details and requirements of the breed and look at what it takes to look after the Borador and to explore whether this is the dog for you and your lifestyle.

Exercise

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 Borador 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 Borador 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

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 Borador from a pup be sure to socialise 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. Follow these 4 simple steps:

  1.       Decide what you want to achieve and choose short words, such as sit, come, stay etc. 
  2.       As soon as your dog performs the desired behavior treat him immediately with a small treat and verbal praise. 
  3.       Once your dog begins to learn your command gradually reduce the amount of treats, but be sure to verbally praise him every time.
  4.       Continue to use positive reinforcement training to maintain good behaviors.

Health

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 Borador 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.

Grooming

Although Borador’s 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.

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 Borador’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.

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 Borador is the dog for you!

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