The Complete Guide to Border Collie Lab Mix (all you need to know)
The Border Collie Lab mix, also popularly known as Borador, might not sound like the name of an actual dog breed. But it is one; in fact, it’s one of the most reliable breeds. The canines are loving and intelligent. The love comes from the Lab parent. And the intelligence is all Collie.
The cross-breed responds very well to training with rewards and positive reinforcements. After all, food rewards are not new to Labradors because of their scavenging nature.
Now it’s time to get into the most specific details. Like where the breed comes from, how to care for them, what to expect from them, etc.
Border Collie Lab Mix: An Overview
Borador puppies are a mix of Border Collie and Labrador Retriever. The dam and sire are interchangeable. This means the father can belong to either breed.
Both parents come from a working background. Even so, Border Collie Lab dogs are not registered with major Kennels. So the cross-breed is labeled as a designer or companion dog.
It was brought into existence to combine friendliness and intelligence. The former coming from Labradors and the latter from Collies. It goes without saying that a Border Collie Lab mix is an ideal breed for a family to adopt.
Speaking of which, if you’re deciding to pay for the pup, then the cost is anywhere between $200 and $500. And in a single litter, you’ll find at least 6 to 9 puppies.
Now you should also know that Collies and Labs have been around for a very, very long time. But their offspring has only been active for the last 10 to 20 years. So let’s find out where the mixed breed comes from.
Border Collie Origin
Border Collies were bred after the invasion of Britain by the Vikings. This took place around the Roman Empire dissolution. So the invasion brought the breed into the country. The mating of Viking’s dogs with Roman dogs produced the breed Border Collie.
The dog community was agile with an exemplary work ethic. Border Collies took some time to venture further beyond Britain. And it’s only in 1995 that the breed received recognition by the AKC (American Kennel Club).
Collies are known for athleticism, speed, and intelligence. But it’s their striking intelligence that makes them so popular when it comes to work ethic and training.
A Border Collie that doesn’t receive the required amount of physical and mental stimulation tends to become destructive. Much like most other dog breeds! They get bored quite easily. So if you live a busy life without enough time to take your dog outside, think again before adopting a pet.
So the Collie side of the cross-breed is highly athletic and intelligent. Now it’s time to get to know a little more about the Labrador parent.
Labrador Retriever Origin
I think you already know that Labradors are quite popular with Kennel Clubs and as home, family pets. The chances are you know at least one person or family that has an adorable Lab in the house.
Labrador Retrievers go all the way back to 1800s. This breed from Newfoundland was a part of rich English communities fond of waterfowl hunting. As for receiving recognition by the Kennel Club of England, it happened in 1903. And by the Kennel Club of America, Labs were registered in 1917.
Working dogs; that’s what Labrador Retrievers were used as. But that’s not what it looks like today. They’re more suited for family companionship. Needless to say, the breed is people-oriented and super-friendly.
The furry creatures are also very happy and energetic by nature. They love playing and just being outdoors. But that doesn’t mean you won’t find a Lab chilling comfortably on a couch after the completion of a hectic day.
On top of that, since Labrador’s have a people-pleasing nature, they are very easy to train.
So what’s the moral of the story? That a Border Collie Lab mix is a very intelligent, friendly, happy, and energetic cross-breed. Families would be truly lucky to have a pet like this.
Border Collie Lab Mix: Appearance
The thing about designer dog breeds is that their pups develop distinctive features and characteristics from both parents. In that case, Border Collie Lab puppies are no exception.
The happy face of a Lab, with slightly shorter ears and body much like that of a Collie. This is what the hybrid looks like. Also, the dogs have dark, piercing, and striking eyes. It’s what sets the breed apart from the rest.
Labrador Retrievers have a solid black, brown, or yellow coat. As for Border Collies, their coat is more double or triple-colored. But there are beautiful full black Boradors as well.
What about the length of the hair? This feature is much like the Collie parent, maybe slightly shorter. But medium in length on the whole.
Border Collie Lab Mix: Weight
To tell you for a fact, the body of the mixed breed is more like a Collie than Lab. At least size and shape-wise! So even the weight is pretty much the same as that of a Border Collie.
But you should know that Labradors are big dogs. This means your Border Collie Lab companion is very likely to be heavier than Collie.
An adult Border Collie weighs around 30-45 pounds. So the adult cross-breed can weigh 5 pounds heavier than that. Even 50 pounds is possible for an adult, full-grown male canine.
Now you know exactly what you should expect in the areas of appearance and weight. So it’s time to delve deeper. It’s time for discussing the personality.
Border Collie Lab Mix: Temperament
There’s no doubt that both Labs and Collies have a positive and unique personality. The uniqueness in the latter is their extreme intelligence. Did you know that the mental abilities of a dog are much the same as those of a 2-year-old?
As for Labrador Retrievers, you can think of them as toddlers. They are also plenty smart. But that’s not their unique characteristic. The trait that stands out here is an easy-going, happy, and kind attitude. So when you combine this with intelligence, what you get is a cross-breed with an incredibly positive temperament.
The hybrid is loving, attentive, friendly, and even unchallenging to train. The training part is easier than you can imagine by the way. Thanks to the Lab parent’s desire to please.
Here’s another important thing to note. Border Collies, originally, were bred for gathering sheep. So the canines are fond of obedience training. In fact, they’re the happiest when told what to do.
Speaking of training, let’s talk about an aspect that brings into action proper training.
Border Collie Lab Mix: Socialization
Learning to socialize during the early stages of life is crucial if you want your four-legged companion to be outgoing, healthy, and happy. So expose your little pup to as many dogs as possible. And even to other people.
This you should do from a very young age to prevent the dog from becoming aggressive or fearful around new crowds. By a very young age, I mean when the puppy is 3-14 weeks old.
Now, in terms of Labs and Collies, the breeds have a kind, easy temperament. So you won’t have a hard time teaching your hybrid pup to socialize. After all, I’ve said it enough number of times that training this cross-breed is comparatively easier.
Caring for a Border Collie Lab Mix
Diet and Food
The mixed-breed requires top quality food, no doubt. You get to choose from raw, dry, wet, and dehydrated food. Whatever you decide to feed, make sure the servings and type of food meet your dog’s daily nutritional requirements. And obviously, the nutrient requirements of a puppy are not the same as that of an adult dog.
Here’s a table you might find very useful:
|Weight||Daily Calorie Needs of a Puppy||Daily Calorie Needs of an Adult Dog||Daily Calorie Needs of an Adult Dog in Winter|
Generally speaking, a pup’s daily allowance can be divided into 4 meals. When he/she turns 6 months old, reduce to 2 meals a day. The majority of dogs stay healthy and happy with only 2 meals for as long as they’re alive.
Apart from that, make sure your furry creature drinks plenty of fresh water. So keep that option easily available for him/her. Particularly if your dog is on dry food!
Now is the time for me to bring to your attention that Boradors have a tendency of gaining weight quite easily. This is because of the scavenger gene they inherit from their Lab parent. So please keep a check on how much they eat. And also on how much exercise you’re providing them with. As long as you’re able to feel the ribs, it’s all good.
You already know by now that both Labs and Collies are very active breeds. So this should suggest their mix is going to be pretty much the same. That means more than an-hour-long walks daily is a must.
The cross-breed is fond of hiking up mountains, exploring woods, playing ball out in the backyard, chasing fellow four-legged buddies in the park, etc. They’re all equipped to make sure you’re on your toes.
The mixed-breed takes after its Collie parent when it comes to excelling in agility, obedience, flyball, and rallies. So how about you introduce a fun hobby into your dog’s life to keep him/her busy and active? Don’t let those working genes go to waste.
Your bonding sessions with your furry companion are also going to be brilliant. And it’s because of how intelligent and loving Border Collie Lab puppies and adult dogs are. You can use food to entice or encourage them to play brain games.
Like I already told you, Border Collie Labs are not difficult at all to train. When it comes to responding to a routine that’s consistent, you can expect good behavior. Particularly with the help of positive reinforcements and rewards.
The practice of punishment doesn’t work. So refrain from using negative coercion or punishment-based training. It just causes anxiety and fear in dogs. And that, in turn, results in aggression.
Whenever your little pooch follows your orders, feel free to reward him/her. Either with food or a toy!
When training a puppy, establish a consistent plan of routine. After every meal, take him/her out for a walk. It even prepares them for toilet training. Apart from that, regular walks throughout the entire day are a must.
The temperament of the parents does matter when it comes to training. You already know that, don’t you? But what also plays a major role is the environment. It’s very important for you to introduce your dog to new things and people slowly and safely. This means encouraging the canine to socialize from a very young age.
Introduce your pet to all kinds of a crowd. Let his/her curiosities run amuck. Don’t keep them from not investigating loud noises. Instead, reward them if they do so in a calm manner. It’s imperative for your dog to understand that exploring is a good, positive thing.
Border Collie Lab Mix: Shedding
Have you ever had a breed with long hair? If yes, then you know how shedding is a part of the whole experience. Unfortunately, a Collie is a long-haired creature. So the chances of your Collie Lab mix also shedding are not unlikely. Even so, this shedding might not be as voluminous as in the case of a purebred Collie.
Just expect to find fine to medium length dog hairs scattered across your home. Instead of having to clean larger tufts all the time!
Border Collie Lab Mix: Grooming
Like I already told you, shedding doesn’t seem like such a major concern. So you don’t need to devote a lot of time and energy into grooming your Border Collie Lab mix. At least not as much as the exercising aspect!
You can use a pin or bristle brush to do the grooming. I would say 1-2 times a week is good enough. If there are any mats to clear out, feel free to use the slicker brush for that.
The cross-breed’s grooming requirements are perfect for someone who doesn’t have a busy schedule to keep up with. However, daily exercise requirements say the opposite.
Also, don’t forget to clean his/her ears and eyes along with trimming the nails. Cleaning the teeth is also necessary from a very young age. It’s because the idea of getting your puppy used to such regular checks makes the same tasks easy to carry out during adulthood.
Border Collie Lab Mix: Health Concerns
Let’s not forget that all breeds run the risk of developing certain illnesses. But some of them are more susceptible to specific medical problems. So as a responsible and caring pet owner, it’s important for you to be well aware of such concerns at the time of getting a pup.
In that case, why would a Border Collie Lab puppy be any different! So to better understand the potential risks associated with the cross-breed, let’s have a look at both parent breeds’ specific health issues.
Labrador Retriever Health Concerns
The most common medical problem Labs have to deal with is elbow and hip dysplasia. Along with osteochondritis, arthritis, and knee dislocation. These issues are either directly or partially linked to the weak joint formation. Let’s dive deeper!
The condition dysplasia involves the elbow or hip joint. It occurs when the elbow or hip socket fails to perform properly. The result of which is painful arthritis, as well as lameness in some cases.
And, unfortunately, Labradors are likely to get affected by this particular joint ailment. Not only that, the medical condition becomes a part of their DNA. Meaning even their offspring are prone to developing it.
Labs are also genetically inclined toward the formation of retinal atrophy. It’s a disease that causes blindness.
The next common medical condition is cancer. But, on the bright side, Labrador Retrievers are less likely to develop a tumor. In comparison to purebred canines!
Retinal atrophy and hip dysplasia are detectable from a young age. However, cancer is not as it can take control later during the adulthood stage. Even if your dog is well taken care of!
On the other hand, conditions like obesity are easily avoidable. Proper diet and regular exercise are important if you want to keep your dog from becoming obese.
Border Collie Health Concerns
Now let’s talk about Border Collie.
The most tragic part here is that Collies are highly susceptible to epilepsy. The breed is likely to suffer from seizures. This means long-term care and medication are required.
One major risk connected with the condition is injury at the time of a seizure. So if your little pooch has that gene in him/her, it means you’ll have to practice more attention and care. Leaving your dog alone for long hours is a bad idea at such times.
Both Labs and Collies are prone to developing eye diseases like primary lens luxation and Collie eye anomaly. The latter, as the name suggests, takes form very quickly in Border Collies. It develops when the puppy is 5-8 weeks old. Only an ophthalmologist can detect it. This means all the more reason to not neglect regular check-ups with the veterinarian.
As for primary lens luxation, the condition occurs when the eye ligaments responsible for keeping the lens in position become weak. Sometimes it’s just the outcome of trauma. But, more often than not, the disease is inherited.
Both the eye-related medical issues lead to complete blindness in a Border Collie.
Congenital deafness is another cause for concern among the Collie community. It happens when cochlea-related blood flow problems and vascular malformations occur. In simple words, the inner part of the ear doesn’t receive any blood flow. And this is why your dog cannot hear properly.
The problem is very likely to affect four-legged creatures with blue eyes and white heads. Such dogs’ gene pattern is double merle, which is highly linked to the deafness disease.
Also, elbow dysplasia and Collies are no strangers. However, deafness is the most common condition that affects Collies.
Border Collie Lab Mix Health Concerns
You might not know this; healthy dogs contain the best genetic diversity. The more the diversity, the less the amount of bad genes being passed on. This means the chances of developing serious ailments are quite low.
So as far as diversity is concerned, what matters the most is selective breeding. Several generations are what it takes to eliminate potential medical conditions from the breed’s gene pool.
The science about breeding is a very confusing topic to understand. But just know one thing; when you adopt a pup, the little creature contains bad genes that are taken from both purebred parents. Meaning the health concerns in common with both the mother and father are a part of their offspring too.
In the case of a Borador, these health concerns include eye diseases and hip dysplasia. You can even test your pup for medical conditions that are most commonly found within that breed. Even so, there’s no guarantee your Border Collie Lab won’t have to deal with serious health concerns.
Border Collie Lab Mix: Life Expectancy
A long, happy life is a part of the picture here, fortunately. Generally speaking, the life expectancy of a Collie and Lab is not the same though. The former lives for the longest time, which is 13.5 years. As for Labrador Retrievers, their average lifespan is 12.5 years. So that’s about 13 years for a Border Collie Lab cross-breed.
Now here’s a fun fact. Mixed breeds have a tendency of living for a while longer than purebred parents and dogs.
Does a Border Collie Lab Mix Make a Good Pet for a Family?
If the breeder is caring, qualified, and experienced, you can rest assured knowing that your pup is going to be the best.
Collies and Labs are very energetic dogs, right? So would you rather get a hybrid that’s as active as the parents? Or a canine that’s slightly low-key? More often than not, the most favorite choice is the former. But that’s only when you know you’ve got the time to keep up with the high energy levels of your pet.
An incredibly active Border Collie Lab is a great option for a family with several children. So the kids can play with the dog too. To top it off, the mixed breed is just what you and your adventurous family might demand during those frequent weekend trips.
Dogs love playtime and adventures. So it’s a win-win situation for both parties. Just make sure you prioritize health when choosing a pup and during your whole time with him/her. This brings me to a very relevant part of the article.
Border Collie Lab Mix Breeders
Many breeders work with pure breeds for creating mixes. But only the responsible ones understand congenital health concerns that are likely to be transferred to offspring via the gene. And for this reason, make sure to ask for the medical history of both purebred parents.
There are some breeders that actually go through the trouble of DNA testing. This they do to eliminate concerns associated with health issues being passed down. In fact, if you want to make sure you’re to-be pet is the healthiest Lab Collie mix, then a DNA test is the most effective method to do so.
Similar Breeds like the Border Collie Lab Mix
If the Borador cross-breed’s not suited for your lifestyle or personal requirements, there are many other such mixed-breeds that contain the Lab gene.
- Basset Hound Lab mix
- Golden Retriever Lab mix
- Boxer Lab mix
- German Shepherd Lab mix
- Lab Pointer mix
But you know; if you’ve got the time and you’re dedicated toward caring for your pet, then I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t choose a Border Collie Lab mix.
Amazing Facts You Probably Don’t Know About Border Collie Lab Mix
#1 They like to eat a lot of food
Now there’s a difference between snacking and chowing down food at every opportunity you get. And border Collie Lab dogs belong to the latter. Expect a heavy food bill once you invite this cross-breed into your home. But please make sure to keep their food intake under control as they’re very likely to gain weight very fast.
The dogs are ridiculously energetic. So it’s only natural to want to eat more when you’re utilizing all that energy from food for chasing, jumping, fetching, etc.
The best advice I can give you at this point is to buy breed-specific dog food. It’s packed with the right kind and amount of nutrients for your Collie Lab mix. Now I don’t mean searching for food that’s specially created for only Border Collie Labs. However, many manufacturers specify the names of breeds the food is suitable for.
#2 The cross-breed is unclassified
It’s not such a useful fact getting to know that the mixed breed is not classified. But that’s because we don’t give the matter the importance it deserves. Two different parents imply the offspring is a product of two separate classes. So the final result doesn’t belong to any one particular class.
However, this is not necessarily a bad thing. And that’s because the cross-breed can do what both parents are capable of doing. So that’s 2 sets of different traits, qualities, and characteristics. And 2 is always better than 1, is it not?
In the case of a Borador, it means the intelligence of Collies and friendliness of Labs.
#3 They are very social animals
Now it’s true that most dogs simply can’t get enough of romping around in the park with fellow furry creatures. But there will always be exceptions that don’t enjoy it as much. And those who love it more than the rest of them like the cross-breed Border Collie Lab mix.
You can take your little pooch just about anywhere and at whatever time of the day. The former includes both human and dog parks. He/she is going to end up being the life of the party with generous slobbery kisses and a happy, wagging tail.
#4 They love to play fetch
It’s fun playing fetch with your dog. But the fun part gets jeopardized if the dog doesn’t bring back that toy. But this is something you don’t need to worry about if your pet is a Border Collie Lab. It feels like it was this particular breed that invented the game in the first place.
The Lab side of the hybrid ensures that he/she brings the toy back to you every single time. After all, Labradors were born to fetch. But you might have to buy more than 1 or 2 toys as the canine is also very fond of tearing up the toy when bored. And you can’t play the game all day long now, can you?
Wrapping It Up
“Most friendly canines” is the best way to describe this particular mix between Labrador Retrievers and Border Collies. The hybrid is the most loving, stable, and reliable pet to have in your home. Plus, the dog is not at all difficult to train. Such qualities are perfect for a family looking to get a new pet.
Collie’s intelligence and Lab’s friendly nature; the mixed breed is a wonderful blend of two separate genes. The impressive intelligence responds well to training and a consistent exercise routine. The former should include positive reinforcements along with rewards.
Daily exercise, as well as mental stimulation, is a must. Otherwise, this is what awaits; destructive behavior, incessant barking, and aggression. Also remember that bored dogs equal to unhappy dogs, no matter the breed.
As for the easy-going attitude the mixed breed picks up from its Lab gene, it makes the dog more socially active.
In all, expect a Collie Lab mix to keep you busy all the time. At the same time, look forward to receiving a lot of love, affection, and loyalty from the cross-breed. So are you ready to buy one? Have you thought about adoption instead?