The Border Collie Lab Mix: Get To Know More About This Fun Breed

Every breed a dog has its own special characteristics. Some dogs are huge and playful; others are small and silent. While every dog of a certain breed doesn’t always fit the mold, it’s always good to do some research about dog breeds before you bring a new pet into your family.

One popular breed that you might want to consider is the border collie lab mix. These dogs are a mix of two popular breeds, and the result couldn’t be more fun. Let’s learn more about the “borador” mix, if this breed is right for you, and what you need to know before adopting.


Common Characteristics

Before we get into any specific details about this breed, I gathered up information from border collie lab mix owners. Every owner had something to share about their dog, so you can get an idea of what kind of dog you might have.

Generally speaking, border collie lab mixes are known to be:

  • Energetic
  • Playful
  • Athletic
  • Friendly

This is a breed that is often known for its ability to do fun tricks while not being too energetic to have around the house:

Does this look like a pet that you’d love to have around? Then keep reading and learn more about this fun cross breed.


The border collie lab mix is sometimes known as a borador. The dog is a mix of the Labrador retriever and of various border collie breeds.

border collie lab mix

The first breed that’s part of the borador mix is the border collie. There’s a lot of variation among border collies, but this is a dog that was made to be kept at work! In England, Scotland, and Ireland, this dog was used as a herding dog. They are still used today to help herd in many parts of the world!

The Labrador retriever is one of the most (if not THE most popular) purebred dogs around, but they’re also popular in many different mixes. The lab itself originates from Newfoundland and England - where the lab became a game retriever. Over the years, he’s still been a popular companion for sportsman, but he is also a good playmate for families.

Now that you have an idea of the origin story of both the Labrador retriever and the border collie, you can guess what type of dog the borador can be.

Size & Appearance

border collie lab mix Size & Appearance

When you get a dog that is a designer crossbreed like the borador, their physical appearance and characteristics are usually a blend of the two parent breeds. While it is impossible to know exactly where on the spectrum between the two parent breeds the mix will be, the following information should help you guess!


A border collie’s height usually ranges from 18 to 22 inches, while Labrador retrievers are taller and range from 21.5 to 24.5 inches tall depending on the specific dog. Labrador retrievers are also heavier than border collies, with the two breeds weighing in at 55-75 pounds and 30-45 pounds respectively.

In most cases, a borador will be somewhere between the two. A lot of border collie lab mix dogs are as tall as their Labrador retriever parents, but they are narrower and weight less than the lab parents as well.

Your borador could be:

  • Anywhere from 18 to 24.5 inches tall
  • Weigh between 30 and 75 pounds
  • Males are larger than females (in both border collies & Labrador retrievers)

That’s a pretty big range, but you should be prepared for the potential of your dog to be just as large as a Labrador retriever!


Just as a border collie lab mix is between its parents in size, it is also between the two in appearances! The borador comes in many varieties, and that is why people often can’t guess what type of dog this breed is when they first see it.

Some of the different colors that you might see on a border collie lab mix include:

  • Black and white coat
  • Completely black coat
  • Completely golden coat

You also might find that your borador has white markings on their face, chest, and feet, even if they have a completely solid coat otherwise. This is common in border collies, and these markings are often passed down to their mixed breed children.


border collie lab mix coat

The border collie can have many different types of coats. It may be short and smooth; it may be long and rough. From short to long and anywhere in between, these are all possible. Labs, on the other hand, have a double coat that needs regular grooming.

It might surprise you, but the border collie lab mix’s coat may shed more than you think! You can blame the lab side of the family for that. Labs tend to shed quite a bit, so your borador might shed a lot, too.

Still, the border collie lab mix is relatively dander-free. While not totally hypoallergenic, they tend to be a good breed for families with members who suffer from mild dander allergies.

Grooming Requirements

Depending on the type of coat that your borador has, you will need to take care of their coat carefully. Some labs have double coats, which means that your dog could also have one.

Thankfully, regular coat grooming can prevent them from shedding too much. Still, some shedding is inevitable when you own a border collie lab mix, so you should be prepared to take care of this hair issue.

Other than that, your dog will simply require standard grooming practices. Make sure to include cleaning your dog’s teeth as part of your monthly or bi-weekly grooming routine. This will make sure that their teeth and gums stay just as healthy as the rest of their body.

Space Requirements

The border collie lab mix is going to be a very energetic dog. This doesn’t mean that they cannot live in a small home like an apartment, but this dog will do best when they have an area that you can regularly exercise them in.

In some cases, this might be a backyard, but as long as you can walk to a local park and help them exercise every day, the border collie lab mix can be an apartment pet.

Be aware that many boradors love to do tricks, and many of these tricks can involve jumping around! If you like to keep many delicate decorations in your home, a dog that is as hyper and active as a border collie lab mix might not be the right dog for you.

Exercise Needs

border collie lab mix Exercise

Red alert: this dog is going to have a lot of energy, and they’re going to need to be exercised! If you prefer to sit at home with your dog and only take them out for occasional walks, then this is not the dog for you.

Both border collies and Labrador retrievers are very active breeds of dogs. A borador is a mix of these two active breeds and is just as active as either of them! This means that you need to exercise your dog to help keep them healthy and to help keep them entertained.

It’s worth noting that these dogs aren’t usually as hyperactive as border collies can be, but they need more than just a daily walk around the neighborhood. They want to run, jump, tumble, play, and more! If you aren’t ready to exercise with your dog, then this is probably not the right type of dog for you.

Nutritional Needs

You should feed your border collie lab mix two times per day. Split up a total serving of 1 ½ to 2 cups of food into two equal meals to be given in the morning and in the evening. This will help them maintain energy and help their body grow healthily.

As for food types, there are a few important characteristics you should look for when choosing a food for a border collie lab mix:

High protein: These dogs are very energetic, and they can benefit from having the extra boost of protein in their diet.

High-quality protein sources: Don’t feed filler! Look for high-quality ingredients.

Healthy carbs: Look for carbs that are easily digestible. While a grain-free diet isn’t necessary, research shows grain-free may be better for your dog!

Joint supplements: It can be very good for a dog mix like the border collie lab mix to have a food that is rich in supplements and vitamins that can support the health of their bones and joints. This will help prevent them from developing some health issues.

Medium or large breed blend: Most border collie lab mixes will be considered to be medium sized dogs, not large breed dogs. Still, you can get away with feeding a large breed formula to a mix breed.

There are plenty of dog food options out there that might work well for your Borador, but these are some of my favorites:

If you choose any of these foods, you’ll be giving your border collie lab mix a great start to a healthy day, everyday! Remember to keep an eye on your dog’s weight and reduce or increase their food as necessary to keep them living a healthy life at a healthy weight.


border collie lab mix Temperament

Generally speaking, a borador is a very good dog, in the traditional sense of the word. They are very good-natured, friendly, and they will do their best to be happy, fun part of your family.

Let’s break down what it will take to train your border collie lab mix, and also explain whether or not this fun mixed breed can work well with other pets or children. You’ll soon find out this breed is one of the easiest to get along with and the most fun!


Both parent breeds of dogs are very intelligent. Border collies are often used as working dogs because of how well they learn and how hard they work, and Labs are highly trainable. Labs are often used to assist their disabled owners.

What does this mean in terms of trainability? It means that they love to learn, follow orders, and are a very trainable dog. This does mean that you need to take the time to train them! Border collies can be very excitable, and no dog will naturally know how to follow your commands, so you must take the time necessary to train your borador.

Since these dogs are prone to chewing, barking, and herding people, early training and socialization is a must if you want them to be on good behavior throughout their life.

Don’t worry - training them is fun, especially when they are so eager to please!

Children & Other Animals

Overall, the border collie lab mix should be a great companion for children and other pets, but it all depends on how early you socialize them and how well you train them.

Labs are known to be great with dogs since they are gentle and like to play, but border collies might try to herd your children which can be a bit scary for some kids.

Still, the borador can be a great breed for children to be around, and they even like other types of pets such as cats. With exposure and a strong training emphasis from a young age, you’ll be able to have a house with kids, a border collie lab mix, cats, and other pets with no problems!

Common Health Issues

Every dog is at risk for health issues throughout their life. Some issues are preventable, but many common health problems that dogs deal with are issues that they are genetically predisposed to be affected by.

In the case of a border collie lab mix, they have higher chances of dealing with the following conditions due to their origins and parent breed’s genetics:

  • Chronic hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Collie eye anomaly
  • Gastric Torsion
  • Muscular dystrophy

Labs have a lifespan of between 10 and 12 years while border collies have a lifespan of 10 to 14 years. You can reasonably expect your borador to have a lifespan of between 10 and 14 years.

There are not many things you can do to prevent chronic health issues from occurring, but regular veterinary visits throughout your dog’s life will ensure that your pet lives the healthiest life possible thanks to close monitoring.


Have you settled on making the border collie lab mix part of your family yet? I hope so. These pets are super energetic, which makes them super fun! With patience, training, and a lot of exercise, you’ll have a loyal, obedient companion for years to come.

Have you ever owned a border collie lab mix? Let me know what they’re like in the comments, and then share this article with your friends who would love an active, athletic dog in their family!


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