Border Collie Lab mix dogs are intelligent, active and loving. Borador puppies and adults need lots of time, attention and training to stay happy. But the rewards are huge if you put in the effort needed. Today we’ll look at the pros and cons of raising a Border Collie Lab mix puppy. We’ll help you to decide whether this is the right dog for your family.
- What does a Border Collie Lab mix look like?
- Lab Collie mix temperament
- Borador training and exercise
- Border Collie Lab mix rescue
- Borador puppies
We’ll take a look at the origins of the Borador breed, and what they are like. The Border Collie Lab mix is medium to large, and most often comes with a black or black and white coat. Borador dogs are great for families that spend plenty of time outside. The Border Collie Lab mix breed will love learning new tricks and burning off their boundless energy, but they are not best suited to the more sedate household!
What is a Border Collie Lab Mix?
|Popularity:||On the rise since the 90s|
|Height:||18 - 24.5 inches|
|Weight:||30 - 80 lbs|
|Temperament:||Energetic, affectionate, clever|
Border Collie Lab Mix Origins
Mixing dog breeds is not a new thing. In fact, cross-breeding has been around for centuries. But, it takes many years to create a distinct breed that is recognized and registered. Instead of traditional breeding, individuals are now creating “designer breeds” by mixing two purebred dogs. Designer dogs are typically named based on the breeds used for mating. In the case of a Borador, a Border Collie and a Labrador.
Like many of the other designer breeds, the Borador has come into existence within the last 10 to 20 years in North America. By mixing the lovable Labrador with the hard-working Border Collie, breeders hoped to get the best of both worlds – an intelligent, energetic, and people-oriented dog that suits almost any role.
What Does A Borador Look Like?
|Size:||Large||Medium||Medium to large|
|Height:||21.5 - 24.5 inches||18 - 22 inches||18 - 24.5 inches|
|Weight:||55 - 80 lbs||30 - 55 lbs||35 - 75 lbs|
|Coat type:||Thick, double layered, short coat||Rough or smooth varieties, double layered||Double layer, may be long or short and dense with feathering|
|Colors:||Yellow, chocolate, black||Huge variety of colors and bi-colors||Colors vary but most common is black and white
Borador Size and Shape
Most Labradors are quite a bit bigger than Border Collies. But, your mix could fall anywhere between the sizes of its parents. Most Borador dogs will be somewhere between 40 and 60 pounds. Females are usually smaller than males.
Border Collie Lab Colors
While Labradors are seen with a solid yellow, brown, or black coat, this mix often takes on the distinct dual or tri-coloring of the Border Collie. You could also end up with a beautiful black Lab Border Collie mix. Black is a dominant coat color, so the black Lab Border Collie mix is one of the most common colors. This can be in a plain form, or bi-color pattern, such as a white and black Lab Border Collie mix.
Borador Grooming and Shedding
The Border Collie parent can have long or short fur. Labs will have short dense fur. Your Borador mix could be anywhere inbetween. Both parent dogs are known to shed all year round, and heavily during hotter seasons. So, expect to find lots of fur around your home if you own one.
Use a bristle or pin brush for grooming once or twice a week and use a slicker brush to remove any mats that you see. Especially if your dog spends a lot of time exercising outdoors. You may need to groom more frequently when shedding is at its heaviest.
Border Collie Lab Mix Temperament
These dogs can inherit some very unique and positive personality traits from their parent breeds. For starters, Collies are extremely intelligent. According to studies completed by the American Psychological Association, the dogs have the same mental abilities as a two to two-and-a-half-year-old child.
While Labradors may act more like toddlers, and have a good deal of smarts themselves, what really stands out about them is their kindness, happiness, and generally easy-going attitudes. Lab Collie mix dogs tend to be friendly, attentive, loving, and relatively easy to train, especially since they have the Labrador’s need to please.
As mentioned above, Labradors are known for their great personalities, so it is possible and even likely that your Borador will have a gentle and loving nature. But, it is also possible that they will have the energy of a Border Collie. First generation mixes can take after either parent, or be a perfect blend of both. So, be prepared for any outcome when choosing Border Collie Lab mix puppies.
Early socialization is hugely important if you want to raise a healthy, happy, outgoing dog. This process involves exposing your puppy to other dogs and to different people when they are young. It is done so that your dog will not be fearful or aggressive around new people or dogs. Ideally, socialization should begin when your puppy is between 3 and 14 weeks of age. Luckily, both the Border Collie and Labrador are known for their easy, kind temperament, so you should find this process easy and effective.
Border Collie Lab Mix Training
Both Labradors and Border Collies are dogs with high levels of intelligence. So, a Borador is likely to become bored and disruptive if not properly entertained. Training can go a long way to help with this.
There are various programs that can help you with training. Keep in mind that studies show that positive reinforcement or reward based training are best for your dog. Not only is it highly effective, but it reduces the incidence of problem behaviors and anxiety issues.
Borador Energy Levels
It should not come as a surprise that the Border Collie Lab mix also needs a fair amount of exercise. They are extremely active dogs that love to run, play, and exert energy for hours each day. The Lab part of the mix typically calms down the hyperactive nature of the Border Collie. So your mix probably won’t run off looking for the closest flock of sheep to herd. But, it depends entirely on the traits they inherit. Some Borador mixes will still have strong herding instincts and could even try to herd young kids or other pets in the house!
Your dog will need a rigorous exercise regimen. A simple walk each evening is not going to cut it. An outdoor jog, a trip to the dog park, or free playtime in the backyard that involves running are all good choices. Exercise requirements vary by age as well as breed. But, you will likely need to exercise your pup at least one hour a day, and maybe even two hours.
Border Collie Lab Mix Health
All dogs are at risk of certain illnesses. But, some breeds are more prone to specific problems and it’s important to be aware of these concerns when looking for a new puppy. The Borador is no exception. Here are some health problems that potential owners should be aware of:
- Hip dysplasia
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
- Epilepsy and seizures
- Collie eye anomaly
- Primary lens luxation
- Congenital deafness
The healthiest dogs are the ones that have the greatest genetic diversity. The more diversity, the fewer “bad” genes that are passed on that can potentially lead to serious ailments.
While diversity is key, selective breeding is necessary, and it takes several generations to make sure that ailments are “bred out” of the gene pool. So, it is absolutely necessary to make sure that your breeder tests for the health issues outlined above for each breed. Even still, there is no guarantee that your dog will not develop any serious illnesses.
In general, you need to look at the life expectancies of the Labrador and the Border Collie. The average lifespan of a Border Collie is 13.5 years old. The average for a Labrador Retriever is 12.5 years old. So, the Border Collie and Lab mix is probably going to live somewhere around 13 years. Although in general mixed breed dogs do tend to live a little longer than their purebred counterparts.
Do Border Collie Lab Mixes Make Good Family Pets?
The Border Collie Labrador is a wonderful dog if you are looking for that unique canine to join you on your weekend family adventures. Your kids will enjoy the playtime, while you can surely appreciate their loyalty and upbeat demeanor.
Some Boradors may not suit families with young kids, as they may try to herd them. They also won’t suit homes that can’t provide them with enough mental and physical stimulation. And since both parent breeds are prone to a number of health issues, any puppy you choose should come from a reputable breeder that has health tested their dogs.
There are so many beautiful Labrador crosses to choose from. So don’t fret if you decide that a Borador is not for you. Here’s a list of some of the most popular similar Lab crosses.
- German Shepherd Lab mix
- Golden Retriever Lab mix
- Lab Pointer mix
- Boxer Lab mix
- Basset Hound Lab mix
- Black Lab Golden Retriever Mix
- Black Lab Beagle Mix
If this is your ideal dog, your next step is to find one!
Border Collie Lab Mix Rescue Centers
You do not have to work with a breeder if you want a Lab Border Collie cross. Some rescues and animal shelters will have these dogs, so you can simply ask around if you have a trusted shelter nearby. Also, there are some rescues that specialize in the placement of designer dogs.
Additionally, being a rescue parent can be a wonderful and rewarding experience. After all, there is no better feeling than welcoming home a beautiful dog who needs a home and a loving family. And, most of the hereditary diseases that we covered earlier will be detectable in a fully grown dog. So, you will know for sure that your rescue dog doesn’t have any serious health concerns before you bring him home.
Starting Your Search
If no breed specific rescue centers are available, try those dedicated to the parent dog breeds.
If you know of any other rescue centers where owners can find a Border Collie Lab mix, leave them in the comments.
Border Collie Lab Mix Puppies
If you are going to pick up a Borador puppy, make sure you do your research first. Finding a reputable breeder is the first step. Responsible breeders will health test their dogs before breeding to ensure that puppies are as healthy as possible. If a breeder can’t or won’t show you health certificates, it’s best to go elsewhere for you’re puppy. Also, make sure you’re prepared!
Products and Accessories
We’ve done all the hard work so you don’t have to! Take a look at our reviews of the best products and accessories for your new Borador.
|Toys and Entertainment||Dog Toys for Large Breeds
Best Chew Toys for Puppies
Dog Frisbees - The Furthest Fliers and Easiest Throwers
|Training||Whistles for Obedience Training|
|Essentials||Collars and Leashes for Big Breed Dogs
Best Indestructible Dog Beds
Is a Border Collie Lab Mix Puppy Right for Me?
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of getting this mix to recap.
|Loving and loyal temperament||Major health issues with both parent breeds|
|Makes a great exercise partner||Can be destructive if not exercised properly|
|Quick to learn and will love training||Needs regular grooming - high shedding mix!|
|Will get along well with older kids as long as socialized well||May try to herd young kids or other pets|
Your Borador Dog
Do you have a black Lab Border Collie mix, or are you looking for the perfect happy go lucky dog for your home? Let us know in the comments below.
Find Out More
References and Resources
- American Psychological Association, ‘Dogs’ Intelligence On Par With Two-year-old Human, Canine Researcher Says’, Science Daily (2009)
- Reeves, M. (et al), ‘The Impact of Dog Walking on Leisure-Time Physical Activity: Results from a Population-Based Survey of Michigan Adults’, Journal of Physical Activity and Health (2011)
- Strain, G. (et al), ‘Prevalence of Deafness in Dogs Heterozygous or Homozygous for the Merle Allele’, Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine (2009)
- O’Neill, D. (et al), ‘Longevity and Mortality of Owned Dogs in England’, The Veterinary Journal (2013)
- Howell, T. (et al), ‘Puppy Parties and Beyond: the Role of Early Age Socialization Practices on Adult Dog Behavior’, Veterinary Medicine (2015)
- Vandergraff, S. ‘The Effects of Reward-Based Training on the Behavioral Assessment of the Domestic Dog’, Murray State University (2017)
- Hülsmeyer, V. ‘Epilepsy in Border Collies: Clinical Manifestation, Outcome, and Mode of Inheritance’, Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine (2010)
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