Border Collie Lab Mix

Last Updated: April 12, 2021


The Borador is a medium to large sized dog that results from a Border Collie and Labrador Retriever breeding. She is a happy and clever dog known for her participation in a variety of activities like competitive obedience, agility, drug detection, search and rescue, main trailing and police work. She has a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years and is put in the breed groups of sporting and working, with talents in guiding, herding, watching, companionship, retrieving and guarding. She is sometimes referred to as a Border Collie Lab mix, a Border Lab mix, a Collie Lab mix, a Labrador collie mix and a Lab and Collie mix.

Here is the Borador at a Glance
Other Names Border collie lab mix, Border Lab mix, Collie lab mix, Labrador collie mix, Labrador retriever border collie mix, Lab and collie mix
Average height Up to 17 inches
Average weight 34 to 88 pounds
Coat type Short to medium, shiny
Hypoallergenic? No
Grooming Needs Low
Shedding Low to moderate
Brushing Once or twice a week to keep the coat healthy
Touchiness Moderate
Tolerant to Solitude? Low to moderate
Barking Low
Tolerance to Heat Moderate to good
Tolerance to Cold Good to very good
Good Family Pet? Excellent
Good with Children? Excellent
Good with other Dogs? Good – to very good if socialized
Good with other Pets? As above
A roamer or Wanderer? Low to moderate
A Good Apartment Dweller? Low – too much energy and possibly too large
Good Pet for new Owner? If more like the Lab yes, if more like the Collie no! So maybe somewhere in between
Trainability Very good to excellent
Exercise Needs High
Tendency to get Fat Moderate
Major Health Concerns Bloat
Other Health Concerns Hip and elbow dysplasia, eye problems, ear infections, allergies
Life Span 12 to 15 years
Average new Puppy Price $200 to $500
Average Annual Medical Expense $500 – $650
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $450 – $600

Where does the Borador come from?

Mixed breeds or Mutts have been around forever, this is not something new. What is new though is the deliberate breeding of two breeds that wouldn’t normally be brought together and then giving that mix a name that blends the two pure breeds. In the last 10 to 20 years these designer breeds or hybrids have become very popular. Sometimes the results are great and you get what the breeder wants, the best of both dogs. But sometimes you do not and that is something that cannot be guaranteed. Even puppies within the same litter might be different in appearance and temperament. Understanding a little more about the Border Collie and Labrador Retriever will give you more of a sense of where the Borador comes from.

The Border Collie

The Border Collie has been around for as long as people in Britain used dogs to herd and guard sheep! Collie coming from a Scottish dialect meaning sheepdog. He has been a top sheep dog for hundreds of years and Queen Victoria was known for being a fan of the breed. Today he continues to be the top dog for herding and wining sheepdog trials. He is extremely alert, hardworking, clever and full of energy. He has to be busy or he becomes bored and destructive very easily. He is not the dog to get if you want a dog to chill and snuggle with, he has to be doing something. He is sensitive to his owners or handlers cues and can be strong minded or stubborn. His instinct to herd is so string if he has no sheep he may try to herd smaller pets and the kids! He also needs to socialized when he is young or he can become shy and fearful.

The Labrador Retriever

Canada is where the Lab comes from, in the island of Newfoundland of the north east coast. He was bred by fishermen to help with lines and retrieving fish and to be companions when they come home at the end of the day. They were called St John’s dogs then back in the 1700s. The English were impressed when they visited and in the 1800s he was brought to England where the nobility adopted him as a retriever for hunting. It was then he became referred to as a Labrador. While these dogs thrived in England in Canada they disappeared because of tax laws and new regulations. In the 1920s he came to America and tops the list of favored dogs there as well as in England and Canada. Over the years he has proved invaluable in the military, the police force, as an assistant dog for those with special needs and more. He is sweet, intelligent, keen to please and devoted to his owner. Training is definitely important for him to help contain his exuberance!


The Borador is a very happy and very smart dog usually demonstrated by a wagging tail that rarely stops. She has a curious nature, is friendly and eager to please. She loves people and is very social. She will happily lap up any affection she can get and will return the favor! She can be playful and excitable but while she is an extrovert she would never usually show any aggression to people though she may to smaller dogs to dominate them. She is very loyal and will follow her family around the home to be with them as she always wants to be the center of attention!

What does a Borador look like

The Borador is about 29 inches long and 17 inches tall and can weigh between 34 to 88 pounds. She has a head like a Lab’s bit the ears are shorter and she has a more pointed nose. Her eyes are sharp and piercing usually born in color and round. Her body looks like a Lab’s too but a bit more athletic and stockier. She has feet that are spade shaped and can sometimes be webbed and a rudder tail. Her coat is short to medium in length and shiny. The common colors she comes in are white, brown and black, the white being a patch or blaze on the chest.

Training and Exercise Needs

How much exercise does she need?

She needs a lot of activity as she has a lot of energy and likes to be doing something all the time. As well as a couple of long walks a day include things like trips to the dog park, some play time where you make her chase after things, some mental stimulation too, let her swim, fetch a tennis ball, play Frisbee. If you enjoy a physical activity yourself such as jogging, hiking, swimming, cycling, she would love to come and join in. In fact it is important she is owned by people who love to be active too otherwise there will be an incompatibility there where either she is not getting the exercise she needs or you are greatly begrudging the time you have to spend outside with her.

Can I train her easily?

The Borador is quite easy to train usually as she is intelligent, keen to please, loves the praise and treats and being active with you. Occasionally she can inherit the more stubborn side of the Border Collie which may hold you up but usually she is a breeze to train and in fact learns like the Lab, quicker than many other breeds. Because she has hound in her and so may be prone to seeing smaller animals as prey have her socialized and trained from a young age to make life easier on everyone and bring out the best side of her.

Living with a Borador

Grooming requirements

While she may be high maintenance when it comes to exercise she is a low maintenance dog when it comes to grooming! She sheds low to moderate amounts but her hairs are fine. Regular brushing is good for her coat and once or twice a week is sufficient. She does not have a strong dog smell like some do so bathing will be more when she gets herself dirty. Just make sure you use a dog shampoo that will not damage the natural oils in her skin.

Other key grooming needs are her teeth, her ears and her nails. Dogs ideally should have their teeth cleaned once a day but it can be left to two or three times a week. Her ears need to be checked once a week and wiped with a damp cloth. As she may be prone to ear infections make sure you dry them well when she gets them wet i.e if it rains when out walking, after she swims or after a bath. Nail clipping can be left to a professional groomer if you are concerned about cutting too low and causing bleeding and pain.

What she is like with children and other animals

She is very good with children, she will play with them, be affectionate with them and protect them. She is usually also good with other pets and dogs but socialization really helps to ensure this and to keep her prey drive down. It also helps if she grows up in the house with them.

Other information

She is a good watchdog, alert and will bark to let you know if there is an intruder. Other than that her barking is rare. She might bark at unexpected noises that startle her for example but is unlikely to bark just because someone walks pat the house. She will need somewhere between 1½ to 3 cups of dry dogs food a day, high quality and divided into two meals. When it comes to climate she if fine in either though not in extremes and she prefers it to be slightly cooler than warmer. She is not especially suited to apartment living due her need for something to do and room to play in. She definitely should have access to a yard.

Health Concerns

The known health issues for her are mostly about her weight – she can become overweight as she loves to eat and will overeat if allowed to. However as with any dog there is always a chance of a puppy inheriting health conditions or higher odds on developing conditions their parents are prone to. For the Borador that includes hip and elbow dysplasia, allergies, ear infections, eye problems and bloat.

Costs involved in owning a Borador

The Borador is a fairly common mixed breed and can be found at prices ranging from $200 to $500. Additional costs of things you will need for her include things like a crate, collar and leash, and medical costs such as deworming, micro chipping, spaying and blood tests will also need to be factored in. These initial costs will be around $500 – $650. Ongoing costs for medical check ups, vaccinations, emergency health care, training, food, treats, toys and licensing will cost about $800 to $1000 a year. Should you want to use a kennel, a groomer, a dog walker or sitter and such extras those will take you quite a bit over the $1000.


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She is a great dog, she will be a wonderful companion or family dog and will make you smile every day when she happily greets you with her wagging tail. She will need you to give her lots of exercise, but being a family that stays healthy together is a good thing. The Borador will be loyal and faithful and bring energy and laughter to any home.

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