Border Collie Lab mix (Borador): What you need to know

Border Collie Lab mix (Borador): What you need to know

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Simply known as Borador, the Labrador Retriever and Border Collie cross may just be the most reliable designer dog. Due to the loveable Lab’s pleasing personality and the Border’s intelligence, it’s no wonder that they make a great combination!

The Labrador & Border Collie mix is something to consider if you have an active family looking for an additional fur baby. Let’s learn what it means to own this hybrid.

The Borador’s purpose and origin

This designer breed was created in order to combine the friendliness of Labrador Retrievers and the intelligence of Border Collies.

Both Labs and Borders have been around for quite some time, but crossbreeds were noticed about 20 years ago. With the continuous rise of hybrids, mating the two pure breeds would make the hassle-free family dog. Unlike other popular mixes like Labradoodles, only a few are as reliable and impressive like the Labracollie.

Boradors may not be recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), but there are other clubs and organizations that accept their breed. Those include:

Although crossbreeds are unpredictable, one of the ways to know more about mutts is by familiarizing yourself with the traits that their parents have. With that said, be prepared that mixes will not always get the balanced blend. There are times that they will tend to favor one parent over the other.

So, what are Border Collies and Labradors like?

Border Collie: The smartest breed of all

Continuously grabbing the #1 spot in the list for the most intelligent dogs, the Border Collie a sought-out canine due to its impeccable work ethic and agility.

A brown and white Border Collie standing with one paw up
Borders are a mix of the Vikings’ and the old Romans’ dogs. The breed eventually got to the US and was recognized in 1995 by the AKC. Aside from being smart, they’re also known for excelling in canine sports such as obedience, tracking, and flying disc competitions. But they’re often popular in agility courses.

Border Collies are best at being herding dogs, but they’re great as a family pet, too. They have a beautiful, waterproof coat that is soft and fairly long, which is found in different colors such as merle, brown, and black with white chests, masks, and feet.

There’s a reason why Border Collie hybrids are made – the purebred Border is NOT for everyone. Mating them with the Borador’s other parent is just one of the most fabulous ideas about mixing breeds.

Labrador Retrievers: Popular and loveable

Three Labrador Retrievers - a black, chocolate, and yellow Lab
If Borders are the smartest, Labs ranks number one when it comes to popularity (according to the AKC).

These companion dogs were initially known as impressive helpers of fishermen in Newfoundland at the beginning of the 1700s. They haul nets, fetch ropes, and of course, retrieve waterfowl. The usefulness of Labs got noticed by English sportsmen and imported them as retrievers for hunting.

Labradors also excel in other work like therapy and police work, among other canine jobs.

Adding all those skills, this sweet-natured breed is renowned for being people-oriented and friendly!

Labs are medium-sized canines that are hard workers and loves to please, but they also enjoy playing with their family. They have short but very thick hair that comes in color black, golden (or yellow), and chocolate.

Today, Labradors still do what their ancestors did and so much more! Whether it’s for companion, assistance, dog shows, or other canine work, you can count on this doggos.

What does a Border Collie Lab mix look like?

With the difference between the physical qualities of the Labrador and Border Collie, the Boradors appearance can vary.

A black and white adult Border Collie Lab mix
This adorable designer breed has the head and happy face of a Lab. They also have similar floppy ears but it’s a bit shorter. They have brown eyes, a great smile, and a nose that’s more pointed like Border Collies.

Generally, Boradors have the same stockiness of Borders with a young Labrador’s athletic build. And their “rudder tail” is definitely from their Lab parent, too.

The Border Collie & Labrador cross is medium in size with a height of 15-17 inches (38-43 cm) and a weight of 35-65 pounds (16-29 kg). They often have a build like the Lab but a bit thinner.

Lab & Border Collie mix coat and colors

For hair, this crossbreed has a long and soft, glossy double coat, just like their Border Collie and Labrador parents.

If you’re wondering if the Border-Lab mix is a shedder, they are but not as much. Both the Labrador Retriever and Border Collie shed throughout the year, so this crossbreed is not hypoallergenic.

The most common color you’ll find them in is solid black. If the Labrador parent is yellow or chocolate, then the Borador will be gold or brown with various white markings.

If you see this mix in merle, they can lead to genetic issues such as eye disorders and deafness.

Before we continue, here’s a short video showing how cute, cuddly, and smart Border Collie Lab mixes are. Even as a puppy, Koda shows they are a fun, responsive, friendly, and adorable designer dog!

Characteristics: What to expect from the Lab & Border Collie mix?

Not only will the Borador inherit the physical traits of its parents, but also their personality. They are relatively similar when it comes to their appearance, skills, and behavior.

A Border Collie Lab mix playing with a baby

The Border Collie & Labrador Retriever cross is simply lovely. They’re affectionate family dogs and can easily make friends, but expect them to bark at strangers and noises.

They get along well with kids and other pets, too. Due to the Border’s herding nature, watch out as this designer pooch may herd and nip anything that moves, like children.

Boradors would also prefer to be with their pack. If left alone for a long time, it can lead to separation anxiety and behavioral issues. That’s why they’re better for homes that have a big family.

It’s a win-win as the dog can get the attention it needs while everyone can take turns in taking care of their pet.

With an intelligent and people-pleaser kind of dog, the Lab-Border Collie cross is suitable for everyone – families with babies, toddlers, and teens. They’re also loved for their stability and reliability that they’d do great for homes with old people who need a service or therapy dog.

Training suited for a Borador

Labradors and Border Collies are breeds that are extremely energetic. It’s not surprising for the Border-Lab mix to have a high energy level as well. If they don’t get to play and have built-up energy, they can get depressed and destructive.

For owners who are patient and active, you won’t have trouble training Boradors as they are easy to train. They would love to hike with you, join canine sports, solve doggy puzzles, and, all in all, please their human.

As with any dog, they respond well to positive reinforcement, consistency, and rewards.

To keep your Borador’s working genes busy, you can have him join rallies or competitions that Border Collies excel in like flyball or flying disc. If you’re looking for a partner for work, this hybrid can also do police work such as search and rescue.

Remember, not only is it in a pet’s nature to be the perfect canine companion, but it’s also how their owner nurtures them constructively. 

It’s best to start training from puppyhood. Here’s a video of Zoey, a solid black Border Collie Lab mix starting with simple tricks for yummy treats and praises from her paw mommy.

Taking care of a Border Collie and Labrador mix

This crossbreed required little grooming that you can give it a regular bath every week or two, or when he’s dirty. Afterward, brush him off in order to remove as much fur as you can. This will help with its hair taking over your furniture.

Labs tend to have waxy ears and are predisposed to getting ear, so if your Borador is the same, regular cleaning is needed by gently wiping it with a damp cloth. Brush your dog’s teeth at least three times a week and clip his nails occasionally.

All this can be done by bringing your dog to the grooming salon 3 to 4 times a year, but doing it yourself will make way for you to bond with your pet and save some moolah.

Another bonding session is exercise. Since this mix is highly energetic like their Border Collie parent, you’d have to set aside a part of your day to satisfy the Boradors’ need to be active.

Labracollies require at least 60-minutes of vigorous activities on a daily basis. By exercising, it would be like hitting two birds with one stone – keeping their temperament and health in check!

Overall diet of a Border Collie-Lab hybrid

It’s best to rely on your dog’s weight to know how much to feed him. The number of calories in a cup of dog food would differ from another, whether it’s dry kibbles or canned (wet dog food), or even BARF (raw).

Keep in mind that the amount of food that you should be feeding your Border Collie-Lab cross depends on other factors, such as their age, size, and activity level. For this hybrid, the recommended average amount of daily intake for an adult is about 800 to 1300 calories.

The nutritional requirements would vary between a Borador puppy and an adult, so here’s a table just to give you an idea of how many calories they need.

Weight Amount of calories a puppy needs Amount of calories an adult Borador needs during summer Amount of calories an adult Borador needs during winter
40 pounds 2000 calories 800 calories 1200 calories
50 pounds 3400 calories 1000 calories 2000 calories
60 pounds 3600 calories 1200 calories 2400 calories

When it comes to their food allowance, a puppy should have 4 meals split throughout the day. You can reduce it to 2 meals once they turn 6 months and onwards.

We can take into account the diet of the parental breeds. Borders would need lots of protein to sustain their high-energy lifestyle. Labradors tend to overeat that they become prone to obesity which can be solved with a balanced diet.

Therefore, Boradors would thrive with a mixture of their parents’ diet – rich in protein to keep up their energy and fewer carbohydrates to balance it out.

Health problems a Borador may have

The Labrador Retriever and Border Collie mix is a generally healthy designer breed. But it doesn’t mean they’re not susceptible to a lot of ailments.

Boradors can still inherit diseases that Border Collies and Labradors get. Let’s dig deeper into the health concerns that can be passed on to the Borador genetically.

Illnesses that are common in Labrador Retrievers

Labs are susceptible to joint problems that will eventually lead to elbow and hip dysplasia, knee dislocation, osteochondritis (joint cartilage inflammation), and general arthritis. They are also predisposed to PRA or Progressive Retinal Atrophy that causes blindness in canines and cancer.

Like most medium- to large-sized dogs, Boradors can become obese and get bloated. So aside from making sure your dog is getting the right amount of food and exercise, encourage slow-feeding.

Start with a hand-feeding routine or investing in a slow-eating bowl that can also be a form of mental stimulation.

Diseases that Border Collies may pass genetically

One of the major health concerns that Borders have is epilepsy. This can cause injuries due to seizures and can only be dealt with long-term medication. If your Lab-Border mix inherits this, he’d need round-the-clock attention as he can’t be left alone.

Borders also get serious eye problems. Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) is a fast-developing illness that is noticeable once a dog is around 5-8 weeks old. Primary Lens Luxation (PLL) is when ligaments holding the lens in the eyes get weak due to genetics or trauma.

Both the PLL and Cea can make a dog blind, so if you notice anything concerning related to your dog’s vision, get him checked by an ophthalmologist as soon as possible.

There’s also the possibility of congenital deafness. Because of blood flow issues and vascular malformations connected to the cochlea. It’s commonly associated with dogs that have blue eyes and white-heads due to the double merle gene pattern.

Aside from those, Borders can also have elbow dysplasia like Labradors.

How long do Border Collie-Lab mixes live?

Borders have an average life expectancy of 13 years and 12 years for Labs.

Therefore, the average lifespan for the Border Collie Lab mix is around 10 to 13 years, but they can live up to 15 years or more, depending on how well they were cared for.

Other than that, getting this fur angel mix will get lots of time to make happy memories with you and the whole family!

Where to buy your own Labrador-Border Collie mix?

A close up photo of a brown and white Borador puppy

When dealing with hybrids, make sure you’re going to purchase from a breeder who doesn’t breed just for money. Be careful not to get a dog from backyard breeders and puppy mills. Do your research and always ask questions.

Turn away if a breeder doesn’t even interview you about your intentions with the Border Collie Lab mix and is just concerned about getting paid. You should also be allowed to visit and see the medical records of the parents and puppies.

Once you’ve chosen a reputable breeder, expect to pay $200 to $500 for a Labrador-Border Collie mix. They’re not that rare, and a litter consists of 6 to 9 puppies, so they’re not that expensive like other designer dogs.

Border Collie Lab mixes breeders and rescue

Most breeders who work with purebred dogs are the ones who create crossbreeds, as well. They are aware that health problems that are common with Labs and Borders may be passed on to their puppies.

These reputable breeders would be happy to show a clean bill of health of the parents, including DNA tests, to give you peace of mind that no diseases were passed on to your prospective pup.

Since there aren’t a lot of specific organizations for Boradors, many breeders and rescue centers for Border Collies and Labrador Retrievers offer, not just the pure breeds, but this mix as well.

If you’re located in the US, the Border Collies in Need, Sweet Border Collie Rescue, and Come Bye BC Rescue has a lot of puppies and adult mixes that are up for adoption and fostering.

For those in Canada, visit the websites for Niagara Dog Rescue and Atlantic Region Central Border Collie Rescue. Locals and visitors in Australia can check out Border Collie Rescue Australia (BCRA) and Labrador Rescue Australia.

If you’re within the UK, we recommend browsing the adoptable dogs in Border Collie Trust and Dogs Trust UK.

You can also visit online marketplaces such as Lancaster Puppies, Keystone Puppies, and Greenfield Puppies.

A list of other Border Collie mixes

The Border Collie was also bred with other purebreds. Mostly, the intention is to get the intelligence and athleticism of Borders but create a more mellow crossbreed.

Let’s take a look at these Border Collie mixes.

Border Collie and Golden Retriever mix (Coltriever)

A Border Collie and Golden Retriever mix on the grass

Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular family dogs. Like Borders, they’re smart but also playful. The Golden Border Retriever or Gollie can grow as tall as 17 inches (43 cm) and weigh as heavy as 88 pounds (40 kg).

This hybrid has a rough, dense, and water-resistant outer coat and a softer hair inside.

You’ll find Gollies in different colors such as black, gold or yellow, white, brown, and chocolate. Some even have white markings on their faces and chests, just like Borders.

Coltrievers have that work-hard, play-hard personality. They’re skilled at different types of jobs such as police work, but they can also be easy going. They love pleasing their owners and very loving.

If you want the Golden Border Retriever as an addition to your family and know that you can provide its needs for physical and mental stimulation, you won’t regret going for this pooch.

Border Collie and Poodle mix (Bordoodle)

Border Collie and Poodle mix

Are you a fan of Doodles? Then add this designer dog to your list!

Since the Poodle comes in three, so does the Bordoodle. The toy size has a height of 14 to 16 inches (36 to 41 cm) and a weight of 12 to 20 pounds (5 to 9 kg). Miniature or Medium ones can go up to 17 inches (43 cm) tall and weighs up to 30 pounds (14 kg).

A standard Poodle and Border Collie cross is 18-21 inches (46-53 cm) tall and weighs 30-50 pounds (14-23 kg).

Some may know this mix as Borderdoodle or Borderpoo, but you should know that this Poodle cross is considered as the most athletic and smartest of all the doodles.

Not only can they make exceptional family companions, but they can also be the right service dogs – thanks to their tender hearts.

How about its coat? Doodles are famous as they are either low-shedding or hypoallergenic. But for the Border Collie and Poodle mix, there’s no guarantee as Borders shed all year-round, although it is a possibility.

A Borderpoos coat comes in varying colors and patterns, but many prefer the classic Border Collie look, black with white markings.

Aside from thinking if they’re allergy-friendly, Borderdoodles are friendly, protective, loyal, and pleasant dogs suited for all kinds of home.

Border Collie and Australian Shepherd mix (Border Aussie)

A black and white Border Collie-Australian Shepherd mix

Also referred to as Australian Collie or Aussieollie, the Australian Shepherd and Border Collie’s offspring are just as intelligent and hardworking. Combining smart herders may be challenging, but this crossbreed is a dream dog for those who own farms and ranches.

These confident Border Aussies are curious explorers but are also excellent guard dogs.

With a breed this smart and energetic, they will need an owner who can keep them creatively busy. This designer dog isn’t for first-time dog owners, as it will be challenging to come up with new tasks and tricks to teach them to avoid boredom.

This hybrid may not be suitable for families with young kids due to possible nipping and herding, but with proper socialization and training, it can work.

Is the Border Collie Lab mix right for you?

a black Border Collie Lab mix in the snow
A lot of people have been boasting about this crossbreed being the friendliest canine companion, and it’s easy to see why. Thanks to the Labrador’s genes for balancing out the intense personality of the Border Collie, this mix got the intelligence, work drive, and sweetness that any home would love having around.

Always weigh in the pros and cons of a specific breed you want. For the Labrador-Border Collie cross, their inherited herding skills can be redirected to fellow pets and little family members if they don’t get the mental and physical stimulation they need.

The Lab Collie mix is a loyal and loving dog. They may be too-energetic for a family that’s laid-back, but they definitely make a great workout buddy.

If you want a Borador, make sure you can keep up with its needs. Failure to do so may lead to boredom, barking, and eventually destruction.

Every owner has a role to play to get the well-rounded dog that everyone’s talking about. If you like a fur baby and canine buddy that will keep you off the couch, the Border Collie Lab mix is a suitable designer breed for you!

Have you encountered the Labrador Retriever and Border Collie mix (AKA Borador)? Tell us your experience and opinion by commenting below.

If you think the Borador isn’t the right fur baby for you, check out our list of Border Collie mixes, or browse some of these Labrador crossbreeds:

Labrador and Australian Shepherd mix (Aussiedor)

Labrador and Weimaraner mix (Weimador)

Labrador and American Bulldog mix (Bullador)

Labrador and Husky mix (Huskador)

Labrador and Boston Terrier mix (Boston Lab)

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