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The Labrador/Collie Crossbreed

chocolate lab and border collie advice

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

© Shutterstock

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.

By Ashley Murphy

Updated on the 06/11/2020, 16:40

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!

The Labrador Retriever

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!

chocolate lab running in grass
The chocolate Lab©Shutterstock

The Border Collie

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.

border collie running in grass
The Border Collie©Shutterstock

Physical characteristics of the Lab - Border Collie mix

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

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 Labrador/Collie crossbreed

With this mix, you'll get a dog that is more laid-back and family-oriented 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.


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The Labrador/Border Collie crossbreed: 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. 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 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 and elbow dysplasia
  • Deafness
  • Osteochondritis (joint cartilage inflammation)
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Cataracts

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, though you may have to brush them more frequently during shedding season. 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: