Black Lab Border Collie Mix

black lab border collie mix

The black Lab Border Collie mix will be energetic, intelligent and friendly. It often has a black coat with some white markings.

But, there’s a chance puppies could be all black, or even brown and white. You won’t know until the puppies arrive!

So, if your heart is set on an all black Borador puppy, or a black and white Borador, speak to your breeder about your preferences. They may be able to reserve puppies with your preferred coloring.

Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect from this new and interesting mix.

What is a Black Lab Border Collie Mix?

A black Lab Border Collie mix is a cross between a purebred Border Collie and a purebred Labrador Retriever with a black coat. As the name suggests!

This mix is also known as a Borador. But, just because a breeder is advertising Borador puppies doesn’t mean that their puppies have a black Lab parent.

So why does it matter whether you have a black Lab parent, rather than a chocolate or yellow Lab?

Many potential Borador owners want to find puppies with fully black, or black and white coats.

The genes for a black coat are dominant over others. But, you have a better chance of getting a black Borador if you breed a Border Collie with a black Lab.

Black Lab Border Collie Appearance

Since the black Lab Border Collie mix is a first generation hybrid (between two purebred dogs), there can still be quite a lot of variation in its appearance.

But, it is likely that these puppies will have either a fully black coat, or a black and white coat.

Border Collies often have black and white coloring. But, many people don’t realise that black Labs can also have white markings.

These white markings may be on their chest, paws, face, or other parts of their body. They are known as mismarks.

Labs with mismarks aren’t eligible for show. But they still make wonderful pets. In fact, some people believe that certain mismarks hark back to original Labrador breed lines.

But, there’s no telling exactly which genes a first generation mix puppy will inherit. So, you won’t know if they have a fully black, or a black and white coat until the litter arrives.

black lab border collie mix

Size and Shape

As well as their coat color, a black Lab Border Collie can also vary in their size and general appearance.

Labs are large breed dogs. They grow between 21.5 and 24.5 inches tall, weighing from 55 to 80 pounds.

Border Collies are small to medium dogs. They can be anywhere from 18 to 22 inches tall, weighing 30 to 55 pounds.

In both breeds, females tend to be smaller and lighter than males.

Predicting Adult Size

So, on average, a Borador will usually be between 19 and 24 inches tall. They will weigh from 30 to 80 pounds.

For a best estimate, look at the size of the exact parent breeds used. Puppies will usually be somewhere between these sizes.

But, other things can impact size. Including the amount of food puppies are given, birth order, and general health.

Coat Type

Both parent breeds have a double layer coat that sheds moderately all year and more heavily in shedding seasons.

Border Collies can have smooth or rough coats. Smooth coats are short and thick. The fur may be slightly longer on the legs and chest.

Rough coats are medium length with feathering on the chest, neck and legs. Their hair may be straight or may have a slight wave.

So, either way, your black Lab Border Collie mix will have a double layered coat.

Grooming Needs

A black Lab Border Collie mix will need regular grooming, increased to brushing several times a week during shedding season.

Those with longer coats will need more grooming than those with shorter coats to work out the common knots and tangles.

Black Lab Border Collie Temperament

A black Lab Border Collie will have the same general temperament variation as any other Borador mix.

But, since they are a first generation cross, there is likely to be variation among puppies.

Both the black Lab and the Border Collie are originally working dogs. Border Collies were herding dogs. And Labs were gundogs that specialized in retrieving game for their owners.

So, a Borador mix will likely inherit the same traits that make both parent breeds such great working companions.

They will be intelligent, very active, and eager to do a job with their people. They form strong bonds with their owners, and are often easily trained.

As long as they are socialized well as puppies, a black Lab Border Collie mix will get along with most people and other animals.

But, if they aren’t socialized well, they may be over protective, and aggressive towards strangers and other animals.

Natural Instincts

The natural instincts that make the Borador’s parent breeds such great working dogs can also have drawbacks.

When Labradors retrieve, they use their mouths. Modern Labs are very mouthy dogs. They will explore the world with their mouth. So, owners must keep floors and surfaces tidy.

If your Borador takes after their Lab parent, they won’t hesitate to hoover up stray socks or pieces of food. Even if it could harm them.

Border Collies, on the other hand, have strong herding instincts. So, Boradors that take after their Collie parent may try to herd small children or other pets in your home.

This could involve some barking, chasing, and nipping at heels, which can be stressful for young kids and other animals.

So if you have young kids or other pets at home, you may be better off with a different mix.

Black Lab Border Collie Mix Health

Mixed breed dogs combine genetics from two gene pools, which means there is wider gene variation compared to a purebred dog. So, mixes like the Borador can potentially be at lower risk of inheriting health issues than their purebred parents.

But, they will still be prone to hereditary issues. Particularly if breeders don’t health test dogs before breeding them.

Black Lab Border Collie mix owners should be aware of the following health conditions:

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Canine bloat
  • Arthritis
  • Obesity
  • Exercise Induced Collapse
  • Collie eye anomaly
  • Autoimmune thyroiditis
  • Centronuclear Myopathy
  • Heart issues
  • Primary Closed Angle Glaucoma (PCAG)


On average, both the Border Collie and Labrador parent breeds live to around 12 years of age.

But with good breeding and great general care through their lives, they can live into their late teens.

So, you can expect a black Lab Border Collie mix to live into its teenage years.

Finding a Black Lab Border Collie Mix Puppy

It’s important to choose a reputable breeder when searching for a black Lab Border Collie mix puppy. Reputable breeders take the best care of their puppies and health test parent dogs before breeding.

This means that your puppy is at the lowest possible risk of inheriting certain health issues, as only parents with clear health tests are used.

Reputable breeders will be happy to show you where the puppies are kept, to let you visit, and to let you meet the mother dog, if not both parents.

They will also be able to show you evidence of health testing with clear scores.

The best breeders will ask you just as many questions as you ask them. They will be keen to make sure their puppies are going to a good home!

Avoid Puppy Farms

As designer breeds like the black Lab Border Collie mix gain popularity, puppy mills, puppy farms, and pet stores tend to jump on the trends to make a quick profit.

Puppies from these places often suffer from a larger number of health and behavioral problems, as they are bred for money alone, not for health.

It’s important that you do not buy puppies from these places. Instead, stick to reputable breeders.

Or, if you are struggling to meet the high prices that designer breeds can bring, you can also consider adopting an older black Lab Border Collie mix dog.

Black Lab Border Collie Mix Rescue

It isn’t always easy to find a reputable breeder close to home. But rescue is another great option to consider.

Many rescue dogs are older, so you may miss out on those early puppy months. But the upside to this is that many rescue dogs will already have basic training.

You will also have a better idea of their temperament. Work with rescue center staff to find the best match for you and your lifestyle, including if you have pets or kids at home.

The Labrador Handbook by Pippa Mattinson(paid link)

Finding breed specific rescues for mixed breed dogs isn’t always possible at the moment.

But, check general rescue centers. And check rescue centers dedicated to the purebred parent breeds.

Many of these types of rescue centers will take in mixed breeds as long as the dog has one relevant parent breed.

Do You Have a Black Lab Border Collie Mix?

Have you managed to get your hands on a black Lab Border Collie mix? We would love to hear how their coat turned out!

Do they have some typical Border Collie white patches? Or is their coat all black like the traditional Labrador coat?

Let us know in the comments!

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References and Resources

The Labrador Site Founder

Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.

She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program 

Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website


  1. We adopted a almost 2 year old Black Lab/Border Collie in November 2022. His name is Charly. He came to live with us in the country after being abused and mistreated.

    He is a black, with a white thin line on his forehead running down to his nose. White strip from him chin, down to his chest and some white on his stomach. White toes and a white tipped tail. He has a shiny coat and seems to shead all the time. Thankfully he loves to be brushed. He seems learning new tricks and is easily trained. He playfully howls and growls when he wants to tell us he wants to go outside. He loves to run around in the yard at full speed and play with our neighbor’s doodle. They love to run and play for hours. He likes to sit on the deck and watch 100s of deer a few hundred feet away and when one comes close to the fence, he barks at them. He loves to cuddle and get belly rubs and loves dogging holes. He gets jealous when we give out other dog attention. We are so happy to have been able to adopt him and give him the beautiful life he deserves.

  2. We have a four month border collie lab mix. I’m sure he’s not pure bred but he’s such a sweet boy! I fell in love with him at first sight! He’s got very unique coloring. He’s got a white tipped tail, white fluffy collar, and a line on his face that’s white like a skunk would have, and his legs from the knee down are white with black spots. He’s been so easy to train once I figured out the methods he responds to. Thanks for the information here! It was very helpful!