chocolate lab and border collie

The Borador is a mix between a Labrador and a Border Collie

© Shutterstock

The Labrador/Collie Crossbreed

By Ashley Murphy Content Writer

Updated on the

Labradors and Border Collies are friendly, energetic, and very intelligent. Unsurprisingly, breeders have mixed these two popular dogs to create the Labrador - Collie cross, also known as the Borador.

The Labrador Retriever - Border Collie cross can be the perfect fit for active homes who want a smart and athletic companion to accompany them for long hikes and bike rides!

Despite their unfortunate reputation as a "designer dog", you're more likely to find a Borador in a shelter or a breed-specific rescue. So just remember - if you can, adopt, don't shop! 

A mix of two wonderful dog breeds

To understand the varying characteristics of a mix breed, it's important to first take a look at the two parent breeds! So here's a quick yet complete guide to the Labrador and the Border Collie!

The Labrador Retriever

The chocolate Lab©Shutterstock

Big, friendly, and full of life, Labs are hard not to love! The breed originated in Canada, in the early 1800's, when fishermen bred a smaller version of the Newfoundland dog to retrieve fishnets (and sometimes even fish) from the water. They created a dog that loves to swim, has great stamina, and is incredibly strong! The Labrador's intelligence and good nature makes it the perfect choice for an array of jobs, including as a guide dog, search and rescue dog, and therapy dog. They also make fantastic family dogs, who love to take part in fun activities with their humans. And with three coat colours to choose from (yellow, black, and chocolate), there's a Lab for everyone! They are, however, only suited to active people - these pooches need to get out and about!

The Border Collie

The Border Collie©Shutterstock

Originally bred by shepherds in Scotland, Border Collies may just be the perfect herding breed. But that's not all - they are also the smartest breed in the world! This means you can easily train them to do practically anything - from flyball to agility, from obedience to herding. However, it also means that they are not the dog for everyone. If you do not exercise this dog both mentally and physically, it can become anxious and destructive. They are not for novice trainers, city dwellers, or couch potatoes! These dogs need space and a job! But for the right owners who know how to focus their energy, Border Collies can make wonderful family pets.

Physical characteristics of the Lab - Border Collie mix

Collie - Lab mix pups 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 frame of the Border Collie. They also tend to inherit the Collies’ sharp, dark eyes.

The shape of the ears and the coat colour can vary immensely and cannot be predicted. Some crossbreeds will be born with a Labrador's coat. It will be quite short and coloured in one of three ways: solid yellow, brown, or black. Others will inherit the Collie's 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 crossbreeds - a fully grown Lab - Collie mix will weigh somewhere between 35 to 45 pounds, although the larger males could weigh up to 50 pounds.

Personality and temperament of the Borador dog

With this mix, you'll get a dog that is more laid-back and family-oriented in temperament than the Border Collie, while still keeping the Border's wit and energy. Labrador - Collie mixes are very intelligent dogs who are eager to please their owners, making them easy to train. They are playful, kind, and highly social. They can make excellent pets for people with children and active lifestyles. Because they are so intelligent and active, these dogs need a job. Leaving them alone with nothing to do for long periods of time is not an option. You'll end up with your home destroyed!

Labrador crossed with a Collie: Training and exercise routines

Smart dogs get bored very easily so it's vital to keep them stimulated both physically and mentally. The Collie/Labrador cross is a high-energy dog which 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 2 hours each day - minimum - 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 those without pet pooches.

Training is also essential, and needs to start at a young age. Borador puppies can be mouthy, so it's vital to teach them the do's and don'ts as soon as they integrate your household. These working dogs are eager to learn and love pleasing their owners with new tricks. It can also be a lot of fun. The Labrador Collie cross responds best to positive reinforcement training, so make sure you're always encouraging them with praise and treats! Lab - Collie mixes are capable of some amazing things when trained properly. And be warned, a poorly trained Lab/Collie cross can be a real handful. If you're not prepared to put a lot of time and effort into mental stimulation, this is not the dog for you!


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Health problems and lifespan of the Labrador - Border Collie crossbreed

When it comes to health, mixed breeds tend to have a slight advantage over the pure breeds. Cross breeding different types of dogs creates more opportunity for genetic diversity, which helps to avoid genetic health issues. 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 dysplasia and elbow dysplasia
  • Deafness (especially if the Collie parent is a Blue Merle)
  • Osteochondritis (joint cartilage inflammation)
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Cataracts

Border Collies have great genes which carry very few health issues. In fact, they are one of the breeds with the longest average lifespan! If you take good care of your Borador, you may see them live up to 15 years!

Shedding and grooming of the Labrador cross Collie

The Labrador - Collie cross generally has a short, double coat. Grooming is easily managed with a weekly brush. During shedding season (in the spring and fall), it's a better idea to brush them more frequently, perhaps once every two days. With the double-coats, these dogs are heavy shedders, so be prepared to find dog fur everywhere in your house.

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 the perfect dog for active families.

Read on to find out more information about these different mixed-breed dogs:

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