What do you get if you mix a Border Collie with a Lab?
Answer: A Borador!
History Of The Border Collie Lab Mix
The Border Collie Lab Mix dog is a medium-sized, mixed-breed dog that you get when you cross a Border Collie with a Labrador; it is often called a Borador dog, or simply a Borador.
This designer dog breed comes from crossing two very traditional and popular purebred dogs, and only been recognized for around 20 years or so.
The result is a special kind of hybrid dog, that’s adorable, active and loves to play. They can become great family pets and will form strong bonds with those closest to them,
and, the Borador puppy is one of the cutest puppies you can imagine!
The parent mix
The Borador is a strong cross-breed resulting from the impressive heritage of both its parents:
The Border Collie parent, gives it energy and a strong working instinct, from an early English and Scottish border herding dog bloodline.
Fact: Did you know that the work Collie actually means ‘sheepdog’ in the Scottish-Gaelic language?
The Labrador parent – the Lab, well what can you say, they’re one of the world’s most popular, lovable and gentle dog breeds.
The hybridization of these two easily recognizable breeds produced a crossbred dog that is highly intelligent, obedient and likes exercise. It is also loyal and can work hard.
The Borador has the best of both of these popular breeds.
Why do some look more like a collie than a Labrador?
You cannot predict what a Borador puppy will look like until it’s born. Even as it grows its appearance may change, to look more like one parent than the other. That’s normal!
Mixed breed dogs do not actually inherit exactly 50% of the genes from one parent and 50% of the other. Their characteristics can be more like one parent than the other. What it is going to look like will only be seen as it grows up.
The Border Collie Lab mix is not a purebred dog and it is therefore not officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC); unlike its parents, the Border Collie which was recognized in 1995 and the Labrador which was recognized in 1917.
Hybrid dogs can be recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC) and the Dog Registry of America (DRA). The Borador dog is now recognized by both of these in the US.
What are the main characteristics of a Borador?
A quick summary: the Borador will have bits from both parents. It will normally be slightly taller that its Border Collie parent, Height around 16-19”, and weigh somewhere between 40-60kg. It will be very smart and friendly, probably black in color with a touch of white, with possibly tan or brown too.
But most of all it will be good natured and very energetic.
Loyalty and companionship:
A Borador will be totally loyal to its master and family and be their companion for life.
They are friendly, gentle and like to run and play; that is when they are happiest. This makes them a great dog for a family.
They come from two of the most popular dogs in the world. In fact, the Lab has ranked the Number 1 most popular dog in the US since 1991
It is always best to begin obedience training early in the puppy years. This hybrid dog has two very trainable and smart parents; therefore the Borador dog will be easy to train too.
This highly-disciplined crossbreed dog has a good work attitude and memory. It will learn to follow instructions and behave when trained properly.
Power and intelligence:
Border collie Lab mix dogs are strong and clever, need to keep active and will love challenges mixed with fun.
Early socialization and discipline training is recommended for this dog breed, to get it used to other people and other dogs.
The Borador puppy temperament will be friendly but it can get a bit overexcited at times. Good training will help control this energy. This will familiarize them with different types of situations, people and surroundings which they are likely to encounter in their lifetime.
People love a well behaved and playful puppy and so will its doggy friends.
It’ll be friendly, gentle and fun to be around. (even better when trained!)
They’re loving, kind and nice to look at and generally safe around children and other dogs. A fun dog to play with as it has lots of energy, loves to chase and play fetching games.
Boradors, like their parents, are highly disciplined and are at their best when they have a purpose – to keep active, work hard and please their master.
Obedient, playful and full of energy!
Therefore they need to gets lots of exercise from long walks and running around. They will be happy pets when they are kept active and not left alone for long periods of time; otherwise they’ll become naughty and maybe even chew and destroy things or bark too much.
They will become well-behaved with proper training.
|Size||Medium to Large-sized||Medium to Large-sized|
|Height||16-19” (41-48cm)||16-19”” (41-48cm)|
|Weight||40-60lb (18-27kg)||40-60lb (18-27kg)|
|Lifespan||around 13 years||around 13 years|
|Litter Size||5-9 puppies/litter|
Coat Medium length coat, more like the Lab don’t shed too much
Coat Color: Depends on the parent mix – often pure black, or mainly black with some white, tan or brown bits. You just have to wait and see!
Boradors are kind, loving and good tempered. With early puppy training they will mix well with people and other dogs. They are very energetic dogs and love to play with children, especially chasing and rough and tumble fun. They need to be kept occupied a lot of the time otherwise they will get bored and get up to mischief or even sulk!!
Feelings and signals:
They are very clever dogs and will communicate with you in their own way
Fact: The Borador has the same level of intelligence as a two and a half year old child.
They will let you know when they are happy and feel sad if you do. A Borador will also show when they are bored by barking or chewing things they should not chew. They will always seek attention from you.
Fact: When its tail is up – it’s happy, but when its tail is down it’s not!
How should you train a Borador?
One look at its cute little face and you may be tempted to let your Borador puppy get away with anything. However, it is important to begin training early as it will quickly grow into a very strong and energetic dog.
There are several types of training required: obedience, discipline, agility and socialization.
Each is important to help your busy little Borador puppy fit in and behave. The wider the training, the more versatile and adaptable a cross-breed dog will be.
The blend of training will depend on whether your puppy is to be used as a working dog or mainly a family pet.
How do you begin puppy training?
All puppies get excited and just want to keep playing; however, so that you can go out in public and socialize with them they need to learn how to behave. It will take time and patience but it will be worth it in the end.
So, if you are not going to use a professional dog trainer – Here are some tips to begin your training:
1) Develop your basic command words: Find the keywords you think you will use most like Sit, Stop, and Fetch etc. and be consistent each time you use them. Use small treats as a reward in early training.
2) Crate – Buy a crate and get puppy used to going into it. This will eventually become its nest and it will sleep there. You will have to lock the cage in the early days so it knows it has to sleep there, plus it’s useful experience when transporting your pet.
3) Potty training – May be hit and miss for a new puppy who gets easily excited and lacks control, however products are available, such as mats and odour sprays to attract puppy go to the same spot each time.
4) Walking on a leash -Voice commands and road awareness is very important for your puppy’s safety.
Health and Risks
Any mixed breed dog, from purebred dogs, could have congenital health problems, from both parent’s breeding history.
Because it will not be an exact 50% Lab and 50% Border Collie it’s difficult to guess which health issues it could develop. Those most likely include:
Hip Dysplasia (and possibly Elbow Dysplasia)
Common in both parent breeds. Hip dysplasia is a mal-formation of the hip joint, where the ball at the top of the leg does not fit properly into the socket and the ligaments attaching it are weak. This allows excess movement of the fitting which can eventually lead to stiffness and pain for the dog.
Continuous use, wear and tear with this naturally active dog can lead to hip degeneration in one or sometimes both hips causing pain and limited mobility. Even with early diagnosis and treatment it can lead to further issues such as arthritis and extreme pain.
Early warning signs are – stiffness when getting up or walking, reluctance to get up when prompted and its usual walking style can change. It can occur early in the puppy years or not until later much later in life. The only way to investigate is to trace the health history of the birth parents.
There is no cure for hip dysplasia; only pain management, where anti-inflammatories may be prescribed by your Vet. You must be careful not to allow the dog to jump too much or risk slipping or falling and be mindful of the possible pain causes by exertion.
Bloat (Gastric Dilatation-volvulus)
Affects many deep-chested, larger dog breeds that like to eat large volumes quickly, drink too much water after eating or even eat too close to exercising.
Any of these factors can cause excess gas to build up in the stomach and if the dog is not able to pass the excess air, the stomach can twist and reduce the blood flow to the heart, which can result in death.
Early signs are: restlessness after eating, a bloated stomach and an inability to reject the air and excess food through ineffective retching. The dog may become listless and uncomfortable with a faster than usual heartbeat. Then, seek medical help to dispel the gas!
EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency)
Where insufficient enzymes are being produced in the pancreas affecting food absorption and digestion.
Early signs are: lack of appetite, weight loss, change in stool consistency and excess gas. A blood test will confirm and a replacement enzyme food supplement given.
Other conditions to be aware of include – a variety of eye problems – Cataracts, Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA), Epilepsy, and allergies causing skin conditions and itching. All of these need medical attention too.
Caring for your Borador from puppyhood into old age – what’s needed?
You will see very quickly just how much energy your Borador puppy has. It therefore needs lots of exercise for health, and to stop it getting bored and becoming naughty!
Keep active with walks and play – 2 hours a day is recommended. Puppies should not be exercised too much on hard ground as their paws are still delicate so a mix of hard and softer ground is recommended until they are at least 2 years of age.
Leash training is strongly recommended for discipline and safety at an early age, even though it may not always require one.
Feed as a medium to large-sized dog with a recommended type of specially-formulated dry food. They like to eat but can be fussy eaters so it’s best to ask the Vet if they need extra mineral and vitamins.
Be careful not to over-feed them as weight gain can put pressure on their hips.
This dog has medium length hair that does shed but not too much so it only needs to be brushed 2-3 times a week. Twice a year will have an extra shedding of their coat, so buy a good brush.
Bathing is only recommended when needed, but not too often as their coats contain natural oil; which can be stripped with over bathing. Certain shampoos have double effect of cleaning the dog coat and protecting it against fleas and insect bites.
Cleaning teeth, nails and ears: They need to look after their teeth so they don’t develop a build-up of plaque in their back molars if not managed. Chewing can help to break down plaque, so doggie chew toys and bare bones are recommended along with specially adapted soft tooth brushes and toothpaste. Nails grow quickly due to their activity level and need to be trimmed regularly, say once a month, and checked for infection. Their ears also need to be regularly checked for dirt build-up or infection. A Vet can advise.
What is life like for a Borador?
They like to keep active and have fun, with lots of tasks and play. They are at their best when doing something energetic and not alone.
Otherwise, with their high energy levels they may show their boredom through chewing things, barking or looking depressed.
They’re not suited to cramped conditions or solely indoor living. They thrive when they have lots of outdoor space where they run around, with or without company.
They make a great family dog. However, if you are not able to match their energy levels they’re not the dog for you!
Remember just how active and stimulated this dog needs to be before choosing one. They are incredibly cute but they have needs too! Unfortunately, they are sometimes more active than owners had imagined and this unfortunately results in many having to be re-homed.
A Quick guide to the Positives and Negatives of owning a Shollie
- Affectionate and looks cute, especially as a puppy
- Fiercely loyal to Master and family
- Highly intelligent/Smart and will just watch you
- Easy to train and groom, not a yappy dog
- Very active and energetic, and likes its naps too
- Sociable and gentle, will follow you around just to be with you
- Good with children and other dogs, when trained
- Can be stubborn (may fetch but not give you the ball!)
- They can get unsettled if not occupied
- Can be naughty and noisy if left alone
- Will bite and chew things when young, or bored
- Not suited to living in a small space
- Should not be left alone with small children as they are strong and may jump during play
- Can shed hair, but not too much
- Can be a fussy eater, but can eat a lot if they like it and may gain weight which is not good for their hips
Commonly asked Questions:
Q: What is its proper name?
Is it Borador, Boradore, Borderdor, Border Collie Lab mix, Lab Border Collie mix, Borador Labrador, or Border Collie Labrador Retriever mix?
A. It is the Border Collie Lab Mix, or Borador.
Q. How much does a Borador cost?
A. Approx. $350 – $1000 from a reputable breeder. Always best to adopt rather than buy if you can. Food will cost around $50 per month.