Border Collie Lab Mix (Borador): Complete Breed Guide

A Border Collie Lab mix or Borador for short was bred in the UK. It is a wonderful working dog. This dog is one of the most charming and appealing breeds you can have. This is combined with their loving and friendly nature. Thanks to their parents, they possess remarkable intelligence.

In fact, according to stories, the Border Collie Lab mix was just an accident. Even so, breeders were quick to notice that their combination creates some desirable traits.

Characteristics of A Border Collie Lab Mix

These dogs are very energetic and outgoing. The table below shows a brief characteristic of a Borador breed.

Size Medium to Large
Height and Weight 19 to 25 inches and 33 to 77 pounds
Coat Double layer, dense with feathering, could be short or long
Colors Mostly white and black. But has other colors too.

What Is A Borador?

The Borador is the result of crossing Border Collie and Labrador Retriever. Hence, the name. These dogs are so energetic, outgoing and are always curious. Its parents showered its puppies with some of their best qualities. Other names for these dogs are Border Collie Lab and Border Lab.

black Borador puppy

History of Border Collie Lab Mix

As mentioned, Border Collie Lab mix was mainly an accident. They were not even supposed to be developed. But with the awesome qualities and traits that their parents possess, it wasn’t that long before people get to notice this breed.

What is a Border Collie?

Border Collies are stunningly intelligent dogs. However, for owners who are too occupied with their schedule, they might not have enough time or energy to keep up with their Collie’s needs.

black and white Border Collie

Physically, they have a muscular built. In addition, they come in two variants – the rough coat and smooth coat breeds. Both have various patterns and colors that have this almond-shape eyes. It exhumes intelligence and intense gaze. This made them popular for having that “herding eye”. At the same time, a benchmark for this particular breed.

Believe it or not, Collies are one of the most durable, balanced and agile dogs. Their trainability, intelligence and athleticism create the perfect combination for agility training. While they are great and loving pets with their owners and household, they might have some reservation among strangers.

What is a Labrador?

Labrador Retrievers are America’s favorite. It’s tough to argue that. After all, these dogs are very approachable, high-spirited, and have a sweet face.

It has a hard and dense coat that often comes in black, yellow and dark chocolate. Just looking in their eyes are enough to make you fall in love to them. Their head is also wide and has a thick tail that appears to be like signaling their eagerness and affection.

brown Labrador looking far ahead

These dogs are friendly. In fact, this is what they are famous for. They are a wonderful addition to the family. They easily connect and bond with everyone else. Labs also have exceptional socialization skills. They have no problems interacting and playing with other dogs. Truth is, they might even do a better job than you of interacting with your neighbors.

Because of the sweet, loving personality that these dogs have, they are often mistaken for being timid. They need tons of exercise such as marathon and swimming. Games like fetch would keep them mentally and physically fit as well. If you want to keep your Lab in perfect shape, allot time to exercise them.

Appearance of Borador

Just as with every other mixed dog, each Border Lab is unique. There’s no guarantee of what you are going to get when a Lab and a Border Collie are mixed. Most of the time, the Border Collie Lab mix usually sports a Lab-like physique. What gives though is, they have a thin side profile.

Then again, this is what “most” mixes end up having. Still, there is no assurance of what you can get. What you could do instead is, wait and see how your pups would grow up. At the end of the day, you will still be showering your dog with love and affection.

Size & Shape

You can expect your Border Collie Lab mix to reach a height of 19 to 25 inches. Depending on what you feed them and their diet, they can easily weigh anywhere from 33 to 77 pounds. We can safely assume that Boradors are medium to large dogs. Somewhat gentle giants in the dog world if you must say.

When Is Borador Fully Grown?

Perhaps you wonder when does your Borador reaches maturity? To answer this question, we need to identify first when does a Labrador and Border Collie pup are fully grown. In this case, we’ll kick it off with the Labs.

Labrador Pups

Labrador pup biting small tree branch

For Labrador puppies, they undergo 3 stages of maturity. These stages are mental, physical, and sexual. Under normal circumstances, the first to mature among these 3 stages is their sex which peaks in the 6th to 9th month. It’s followed by their physical maturity at the 11th to 18th months. Finally, their mental maturity takes the most time at 2 years old.

Border Collie Pups

cute Border Collie puppy

For Border Collie, they stop growing somewhere around 18 to 24 months and 15 to 18 months for male and female respectively.

With the information we have, a Borador can reach full maturity anywhere between 20 to 24 months.

Colors & Coats

The Border Collie Lab mix has many color combinations. Most of the time, their coats are the fusion of their parent’s. You may see brown, fox red, black and yellow Labs. But, Collies have different markings and colors.

Majority of the Boradors have black, tan or brown coats. There could be white markings here and there, similar to their Border Collie parent. As for the presence of white fur, it varies greatly on the dog. Though there’s one thing you can be sure of. It’s the fact that your pup is going to have a double coat. This is expected as it’s a trait that both Collies and Labs have. With a double coat present, it means that your Borador will shed a moderate amount per year. They will likely lose most of it throughout shedding season.

Boradors have the bloodline of Labradors. In such a case, there is a big possibility that it carries the three popular Labrador colors, which are Black, Chocolate and Yellow. These colors are actually determined by their genes, which is also referred to as the “bee” genes. These genes come in two types:

  1. Big B – simply speaking, it’s the dominant gene that is responsible for the black coat of Labradors.
  2. Little B – otherwise known as the recessive gene. This gene is responsible for the chocolate or brown coat.

Border Collie Black Lab Mix

For a Border Collie Black Lab mix to happen, it is pretty normal for the Big B (dominant gene) to switch off the little b. This is exactly what’s happening here. Dogs that have the BB genes will naturally turn out black. It’s because there’s no little B present.

However, a Bb Lab could turn out black as well. This is due to the fact that the dominant gene is still present and overrides the little B or brown (chocolate) gene.

Border Collie Chocolate Lab Mix

We learned earlier that the little B gene is what causes the chocolate or brown color of a Lab. In this case, can be the same for a Border Collie Chocolate Lab mix. Below is a brief table showing the gene combination of black and chocolate.

Gene Combination Coat Color
2 BB Black Coat
1 B and 1 b Black Coat
2 bb Chocolate or Brown Coat

Border Collie Yellow Lab Mix

In relation to a Border Collie Yellow Lab mix to happen, the genetic information is provided by a different pair of genes. These can be found at E locus. Just as with B genes, it has two types; the Big E and Little e. To achieve a Yellow coat for your Borador, the gene combination must be “ee”. Other gene combinations like “EE” or “Ee” will result in a different coat color.

Personality & Temperament of Borador

Border Collies were once bred to herd sheep. Labrador Retrievers on the other hand were utilized as hunting dog. Since these dogs are descendants of two working breeds, it is natural for them to be given various tasks.

Boradors are extremely smart and energetic dogs. Without them having an outlet to release their mental and physical energy, it is triggering unwanted behaviors. The same reason why some dogs are chewing the sofa, scratching the floors and so forth.

How Intelligent Are Boradors?

Puzzle toys, training classes, and exercise are all excellent ways to keep a Borador active. They are intelligent and may be trained to perform wide range of tasks. Agility, obedience, and tracking competitions will see Boradors as eager participants. Police use them to detect bombs and narcotics as well as to search for missing persons.

Are Boradors Well Behaved?

Like most crossbreeds, the personality of a Borador depends on the parents and how they have been bred and raised. Since Boradors are crossbreed, there’s a chance that they boast both personalities of parents. So it may inherit the retrieving instinct or may inherit the herding instinct, or it could simply inherit both.

Is Borador Needy?

Boradors are not needy dogs. It tends to look like one because of their affectionate personality. But given with the right activity to use their energy, these dogs are one of the best companions you can ever have.

How Are Boradors With Children?

No matter what your senior relative says, these dogs are friendly. They will get along with everyone in your family. They may enjoy playing with other animals and children of course. You’d be surprised how good they are with kids, especially when it comes to playtime.

How Are Boradors With Other Pets?

We have learned already that Boradors are wonderful addition to family. They are very friendly and loving. However, what most don’t know is that, they could be reserved to other animals. This is most to happen if the Borador wasn’t trained early on its socialization skills.

Just as with Border Collies and Labs, Borador pups need to be introduced and exposed to constant interaction with other pets. This way, they would not be as reserved as those that have not been trained. Plus, they’ll know how to react when a new dog or animal is around.

Health of Border Collie Labrador Mix

Like any other dogs, Border Collie Lab mix is not exempted to health concerns. Given that they are active and energetic dogs, it isn’t grounds to take their health for granted. As their pack or leader, you have the responsibility to accommodate their health.

Health Issues

A Borador is a hybrid dog. Thus, it makes them healthier and more robust than its parent breed. This is all brought by crossbreeding. The process then resulted to a genetic diversity otherwise known as “hybrid vigor.”

Genetic factors aside, the dog’s health is determined by a multitude of factors. Like their forebears, Boradors are prone to developing skeletal growth problems. Other known health issues they may suffer from are hip dysplasia, ear infections, and epilepsy. Let us learn more about these health issues that your dog might have if they don’t receive proper care.

  • Hip Dysplasia Border Collies and Labrador Retrievers are both susceptible to this condition. This is a kind of health condition in which the hip joint and socket are out of alignment. This results in grinding and pain. Physical therapy and anti-inflammatory drugs may be used to relieve the discomfort. Unfortunately, there is no cure. Surgical intervention may be necessary in some situations.
  • Ear Infections – it is easy to spot whether your dog has an ear infection or not. If they seem to be shaking their head excessively, scratching or pawing the affected ear, smells odor or unpleasant discharge, swelling or scabs in the ear in question, then most probably they have one. This is most likely caused by their floppy ears as well as their fondness of being in water. Truth is, Boradors are more prone to having ear infections than other dog breeds.
  • Epilepsy – dogs can suffer from epilepsy. It’s a type of condition in which seizures recur. Despite the fact that the condition is not painful, it may cause dogs to feel confused and anxious.


Normally, a Borador can live for about 10 to 15 years. However, bear in mind that this goes for healthy dogs. Breeds that developed health problems could live less than that.


dog food snacks

A Borador that is active should be given 1 1/2 to 2 cups of quality kibble. Bloating is more likely to happen in medium to large-sized dogs. With this in mind, it’s recommended to split up their meals. Each pound must have at least 20 calories. Canned food can harm your dog’s dental health. Instead, give them cooked meat or vegetables as a treat.

Your veterinarian can advise you on how often and how much to feed your Borador. There’s nothing wrong to be a little bit strict with their diet, especially if they have allergies.

What And How Often To Feed?

It’s critical to maintain the optimal condition of your dog. It’s ironic that following the feeding instructions on their diet does the trick. You should maintain the right balance of essential nutrient groups in your dog’s diet, as well as providing them with easy access to water.

Once again, the only person who is qualified in determining your dog’s need is your vet. Never hesitate what they have to say before you decide to introduce a new diet or change an existing one.

Training & Exercise of Boradors

Boradors can practically learn anything. It’s not a surprise why their parent breeds are exceptional service dogs. You can initiate training sessions by housebreaking the pups at just 8 weeks. Once you begin training, be consistent and don’t shy from giving them rewards. It’ll surprise you how fast the progress of your training is.

Even in their adulthood, these dogs continue to learn new things. So don’t stop on teaching them new stuff. Take advantage of their intelligence and eagerness to please you.

How Much Energy Do Boradors Have?

playing fetch with Border Collie

Borador dogs are extremely active. It is expected to them to require a lot of exercise. In fact, two hours of play per day should suffice. However, they would not back down if you have more games prepared for them.

How Should You Train Border Collie Lab Mix Dog?

A simple tip that really works when training a Border Collie Lab mix is using a clicker and reward system. Similar to their parents, they respond well using this method. Of course, combine it with dedication and commitment and you are in to have a dog that can do lots of amazing things.

Can Borador Swim?

Boradors are natural swimmers. They have inherited their love of water from their parents who are great swimmers too. If you are thinking of what kinds of exercises or activities you can introduce to your dog, swimming is something they would love.

Taking Care

An owner must consider certain factors when confronted with a dog that is active, inquisitive, and as intelligent as a two-year-old kids. In addition to diet, grooming, exercise, and training, new Borador owners must consider their pet’s needs.

Is Border Collie Labrador Mix High Maintenance?

It’s simple to care for a Borador. Although these canines often dig in the dirt and wallow in the mud, they do not require frequent showers. Border Collie and Labrador crossbreeds are moderate shedders. And if you are wondering if maintaining their beautiful coat and appearance would be a problem, don’t.

Experts recommended to brushing your Borador’s hair at least once or twice a week. This should maintain their coat fresh and the natural distribution of their oils. As for teeth and ears, it should be routinely cleaned to prevent dental or ear problems.

Do You Have A Big House?

good yard space for Boradors to play

Boradors are extremely active breeds. Their high energy levels make them want to run and play around the house. Having a big living room and sizeable yard should provide them the room they need.


Borador grooming is low maintenance. But one thing is for sure, they will shed at some point. Whether they shed short or long hairs, it is determined by which parent gene is dominant. There are no two Border Collie Lab mix that look alike. Meaning, each breed will require a unique grooming requirement.

You must have a schedule of when to brush your dog. Preferably, allot at least two days in a week to do it.

Where To Get A Border Collie Lab Mix?

There’s no best place to find a Border Collie Lab mix than word of mouth. You can ask referrals from friends who got one for themselves or search the web for forums talking specifically about this topic. This will give you tons of idea on what questions to ask to the breeder. In addition, it will help you know what to expect, the do’s and don’ts and everything in between.

How Much Do Boradors Cost?

buying a Borador

If you opted to buy a Borador, set aside at least 200 to 500 bucks. This figure though depends on your location and the breeder you are doing business with. Respected breeders see to it that they’ve ironed all paperwork as part of the sale. Some even go the extra mile of performing genetic tests. This helps in identifying whether the puppy you are getting is healthy or is susceptible to health conditions in the future.

Rescue Centers

Contrary to buying dogs, there are some who prefer adoption. Thus, they look for a trusted rescue center to get a pup. This method create lots of excitement and proud moment for new would-be owners. However, it can sometimes be a source of intimidation. If you want to come up with an informed decision, better ask the 8 questions below:

  1. Is the dog potty trained?
  2. What is the dog’s personality?
  3. Where did the dog come from?
  4. What is the dog’s health status?
  5. Does the dog have basic good manners?
  6. Does the dog have any behavior problems?
  7. How many homes has this dog already had?
  8. Does this dog get along with other dogs or pets?

Conclusion: Should You Get A Borador?

This is a question that you are definitely itching to find the answer about. If you tick all the boxes below, then you are probably ready to own one.

First Time Dog Owner

Borador breeds are best for owners who are familiar with Labrador and Border Collies. More so, if they can meet their dog’s herding and retrieving needs. It’s a plus as well if they have experience in handling big dogs. It’s because this breed need lots of exercise and training. It is not only to have fun with them but also, to stimulate mental and physical health.

You’ll Need To Dedicate Time

Boradors are trainable and very intelligent dogs indeed. Thing is, this would only be possible if owners have the time to groom and train them. Sure, it is nice to have a Border Collie Lab mix in your home. But without the time to take care for them, what seems to be a pleasant experience of owning one could turn to be the opposite.


Probably, the first few days, weeks or months even are full of excitement. You are happy and committed to giving your all in accommodating them. However, as what most said, having a dog is like having a child. It is a life-long commitment. If you can’t see yourself committing to the responsibilities associated with owning a Border Collie Lab mix, then you may want to look again on your priorities.

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