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The Labrador/Collie Crossbreed

Black labrador cross collie advice
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Labradors and Border Collies are friendly, energetic, and very intelligent. Unsurprisingly, breeders have mixed these two popular dogs to create the Labrador Collie cross

By Ashley Murphy

Physical characteristics of this crossbreed

Labrador cross Collie puppies get their distinct appearance from both parents. In some cases, one set of genes may be more prominent and the puppies will bear a closer resemblance to a Labrador or a Border Collie. Most will have a mix of characteristics from both parent breeds.

Many of these crossbreeds will have the shorter, stockier frame of the Border Collie. They also tend to inherit the collies’ sharp, dark eyes.

Some crossbreeds will be born with a Labradors coat. It will quite short and coloured in one of three ways: solid yellow, brown, or black coat. Others will inherit the collies distinct dual or tri-coloured coat. Although their coats aren't as long as purebred Collies, they still have more hair than a standard Labrador.

Labradors tend to be slightly heavier than the Border Collie but the difference usually evens out within any crossbreeds - a fully grown mix breed will weigh somewhere between 35 to 45 pounds, although the larger males could weigh up to 50 pounds.

Personality and temperament

Border Collies are very intelligent. A study by the American Psychological Association found that Collies have the same cognitive abilities as a two-year-old child. They’re also athletic, agile, and energetic, a combination of traits which made them the perfect dog for herding livestock in the Scottish highlands. Today's Border Collies still work as sheepdogs, as well as competing in sheepdog trials and dog sports all over the world.

Although not as intelligent as the Collie, the Labrador is no dunce. They still work as guide dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs - jobs that require a significant amount of brain power. Labradors are much more playful than the Collie and tend to have a personality of a very happy toddler. This makes them kind, highly social, and eager to please.

Many of these traits will be passed onto a Labrador/Collie cross, making them excellent pets for people with active lifestyles and small children.

Training and exercise routines

Smart dogs get bored very easily so it's vital to keep them stimulated both physically and mentally.

A Collie/Labrador cross requires lots of rigorous exercise and activity. Exact requirements will vary as they get older, but a young dog in its prime needs more than a gentle evening walk. You're looking at 1-2 hours each day, and these active dogs need to run, chase, and play games to burn off their excess energy. This could be challenging for some owners, but think of it as a chance to keep yourself fit and healthy. A study by the Journal of Physical Activity and Health found that dogs owners get 34% more exercise than these without pet pooches.

Training is also essential. These working dogs are eager to learn and love pleasing their owners with new tricks. It can also be a lot of fun. Border Collies are capable of some amazing things when trained properly, and it's likely that a crossbreed will retain many of the same instincts. And be warned, a poorly trained Lab/Collie cross can be a real handful.

Health issues of this crossbreed

When it comes to health, mixed breeds tend to have a slight advantage over the pure breeds. Cross breeding different types of dogs created more opportunity for genetic diversity and, over time, the bad genes were gradually weaned out. Purebreeds, on the other hand, have a much smaller genetic pool, meaning that "bad" genes are often passed onto the next generation.

That being said, there are a few things that can affect the Labrador/Collie crossbreed. These include:

  • Hip and joint problems
  • Deafness
  • Osteochondritis (joint cartilage inflammation)
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Cataracts

Shedding and grooming of the Labrador cross Collie

Luckily, shedding isn't a big problem for the Labrador Collie cross. They generally have shorter coats, and even those with slightly more fur are easily managed with a weekly brush. Of course, you'll still find the odd few hairs around the house, but it will be nothing when compared to some other breeds.

The Labrador/Collie cross is a great combination of two very popular breeds. This mixed breed has the intelligence and athleticism of the Collie and the playful, loving nature of the Labrador. It's a really good dog for people with active outdoor lifestyles. The Labrador/collie cross is also great with kids and other pets, making them a perfect family dog.


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