Border Collie Lab Mix: Borador

Border Collie Lab Mix

A border collie lab mix is a cross between a border collie and a Labrador retriever. Also known as a borador, this dog is medium-sized, standing at 15-17 inches at the shoulder, and weighing between 35-65 pounds.

The breed’s coat is typically black, often with white accents on the chest and face. This dog has an approximate life expectancy of 10 to 15 years and makes an excellent addition to an active family.

A borador has traits of both the Labrador and border collie parents. This dog is sweet, intelligent, and easier to train than many mixes — as both parents are service breeds. The border collie lab mix is friendly with humans and other dogs, making it a great companion animal. These dogs aren’t the most effective guard dogs as boradors love to socialize with new people and animals. A borador is an excellent dog for an adventurous family as it enjoys being active and playing with older kids.

As this dog is half-border collie, it has a herding instinct and may try to herd small children. This herding nature makes the mix a challenging pet for families with babies or toddlers. With caring, energetic owners and plenty of exercise and attention, this dog is a fantastic pet for active couples or families with older children.

Border Collie Lab Mix Quick Summary

Breed typeMixed breed
PurposeFamily dog
Suitable forActive and outgoing families
Size15 to 17”
Weight35 to 65 lbs
Lifespan10 to 15 years of age
Color variationsBlack, white accents
TemperamentIntelligent, energetic, social
Daily exerciseHigh — Preferably 60 minutes twice daily
Daily food consumptionThree to four cups of high-quality kibble, split into two meals
Known health issuesElbow or hip dysplasia, eyesight loss in later years

Border Collie Lab Mix Appearance

Border Collie Lab Mix Borador

The border collie lab mix’s appearance is a combination of both parent breeds. A Labrador is 55–80 pounds depending on the sex of the dog, while the border collie is 25–45 pounds. The border collie lab mix is 35–65 pounds and is medium-sized. This mix has a double-layered coat with either short, dense hair or long hair.

Size and Weight

The size of the border collie lab mix depends on the parents, but it’s typically a medium-sized dog. There is some variation between male and female boradors, with a female standing about one inch shorter than a male. This mixed breed’s stature is slightly stocky, similar to its border collie parent, and the dog reaches its full size before turning one year of age.


The borador’s coat colors vary based on parentage, but most boradors have a black coat with white accents on the chest and face. Variations in coat color can include brown or yellow if the Labrador parent has this appearance.

The border collie lab mix has a double coat, featuring a dense bottom layer of short hairs, and a longer top layer of guard hairs. The guard hair length for this mix can be short or long. Boradors shed year-round, with shedding increasing in the hotter summer months.


The border collie lab mix takes after its parents, so its appearance can vary greatly between individual dogs. Weight, height, coat length, and color are all highly variable, but if the mix descends from two purebred dogs, owners can expect a combination of their features.

Border Collie Lab Mix Origins

The border collie lab mix has likely existed for a long time, however, this mixed breed only became popular with breeders in the 2000s — when the borador name was coined. Demand for this mix has steadily grown with active, adventurous families seeking a smart, friendly dog that can join them in outdoor activities.

A borador can be the direct descendant of two purebred parents, or the mix can be bred back into one of the parent breeds to strengthen the traits of that breed.

A cross between two boradors is possible, but the traits of the offspring, such as appearance and temperament, become less predictable in this process. To understand this mixed breed, it helps to also know some essential traits of the parent breeds: the border collie and Labrador retriever.

Border Collie

Border Collie

The border collie originated in Scotland and England in the 1700s and was bred to be an excellent sheep herder. This breed is hard-working, energetic, and intelligent. A border collie lab mix will inherit these personality traits, as well as the stocky build, double coat, and black-and-white coloring of the parent.

The Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador retriever, or lab, originated in England in the 1800s. Labs were bred from dogs imported from Newfoundland, Canada, and were named after the neighboring Labrador province.

The lab was originally a hunting dog, but now is one of North America’s favorite companion breeds. These dogs are friendly, intelligent, and energetic. A borador will likely inherit these desirable traits.

A Labrador retriever can be black, yellow, or chocolate brown. If a borador’s lab parent is yellow or brown, that coloring may be visible in the offspring.

Border Collie Lab Mix Personality and Temperament

Border Collie Lab Mix appearance

A border collie lab mix has all the positive traits of its hard-working parents — intelligence, energy, and friendliness. This playful mix is very social and needs a family that can keep up with its needs for exercise, playtime, and companionship. A borador owner should enjoy plenty of outdoor time with their dog and should challenge their pup with games of fetch and thorough training activities to satisfy herding and retrieving needs.

The energetic borador needs plenty of chewing, training, and playing during the puppy months, and throughout their life. This dog needs to spend a lot of time with its family on a regular basis.

While these qualities have made this lovable mix a popular choice for American families, this dog is not suited for owners with long working hours, small living spaces, or minimal outdoor space.

Taking Care of a Border Collie Lab Mix

Border Collie Lab Mix

The most important care requirements for the border collie lab mix are exercise and socialization. This dog has average feeding and grooming needs for a medium-sized dog.

Food Needs

A border collie lab mix needs a healthy diet with high levels of vitamins and minerals. A full-grown borador requires three to four cups of high-quality kibble each day. Kibble meals can be supplemented with occasional protein or vegetable treats.

This medium-sized dog is prone to bloating, so owners can avoid health issues by splitting daily meals into morning and evening feedings. Owners should note that Labradors are susceptible to obesity, and the borador inherits this trait. Obesity is avoided by providing food on a regular schedule while avoiding overfeeding and excessive treats.

Grooming Needs

A border collie lab mix will shed regularly. With consistent brushing, shedding is very manageable. Owners can expect to brush their mix daily to avoid hair deposits in the home, especially in the warm summer months.

Bathing this dog weekly will keep its coat clean and healthy. Trimming the mix’s nails on the same weekly schedule keeps the grooming routine simple.

Exercise Needs

Owners can plan to spend at least two hours outside with the border collie lab mix, daily. This lively mix loves all high-energy activities, so running, hiking, and games of fetch are all great ways to exercise with this breed.

Ideally, two daily exercise sessions ensure the mix is healthy and ready to rest at the end of the day. This dog does well with access to a backyard throughout the day and a large indoor living space to explore.

Owners with smaller homes or apartments can avoid boredom in their borador by rotating exercise and care duties between family members and increasing outdoor time. An excellent exercise routine will keep a border collie lab mix happy and well-behaved.

Mental Needs

The border collie lab mix is highly intelligent, like its parents, so this dog needs a lot of mental stimulation to avoid boredom. Owners can ensure that their borador is properly challenged by providing lots of playtime, extensive and advanced training beyond basic commands, and positive reinforcement for good behavior.

Borador puppies love to chew and need a lot of chew toys to avoid damaging household items. With consistent training, the borador quickly learns which items in the house are off-limits for chewing.

Common Health Concerns

The border collie lab mix is a healthy, long-living dog. With proper care and awareness of common health issues, this mix will live a healthy, active, and rewarding life with its family.

As this dog inherits traits from both parents, owners can look out for health issues such as hip dysplasia and collie eye anomaly. A breeder that works with both parent breeds can provide genetic tests from the parents to ensure optimal health conditions.

Training a Border Collie Lab Mix

Training a border collie lab mix is easy, exciting, and rewarding. The mix’s parents are both great human companions and loyal workers, so the borador will respond well to training with its  family. Lots of quality time with all family members during the puppy and adult stages means that the dog will pick up on new tricks and commands quickly.

The best training method for this dog is positive reinforcement of good behavior. Because this dog has a lot of energy, rewarding good behavior helps reduce difficulties with chewing, barking, and escaping.

Owners can challenge their borador with plenty of commands and tricks that are too advanced for other breeds. If the mix displays collie herding behavior, it is essential to discourage nipping and the herding of small animals and children.

Beginning a training regimen early in the puppy phase ensures that this dog will be an obedient and happy addition to the family.

Border Collie Lab Mix Temperament

Border Collie Lab Mix Cost

The border collie lab mix is a popular mixed breed and is bred from two expensive purebred dogs. Fortunately, because it’s a mix, the borador is more affordable than either of its parents.

How Much is a Border Collie Lab Mix?

A border collie lab mix is $200 to $500. This price varies depending on several circumstances, such as region, age of the dog, and traits of the parents. Older boradors may be less expensive, as they’re past the prime socialization and training ages. Adoption and rescue provide a cheaper alternative to purchasing border collie lab mixes.

How Much Does it Cost to Raise a Border Collie Lab Mix?

Because the border collie lab mix is a healthy and strong mixed breed, the costs of care are standard for a medium-sized dog. Food, grooming, healthcare, and other expenses cost $1000 to $1500 per year.

Should You Get a Border Collie Lab Mix?

The border collie lab mix is an excellent family companion, possessing the best traits from both of its parents. While this mix is a great addition to many homes, it’s not a great fit for certain caretakers and lifestyles.

Border Collie Lab Mixes are Suitable for:

The border collie lab mix is a fantastic dog for active families that spend plenty of time outdoors. The mix is very friendly with older children and other dogs. The breed can even be trained to live happily with cats.

The dog’s intelligence and energy provide plenty of adventures for the whole family. The healthy mix of traits from both parent breeds ensures that, with proper care, the border collie lab mix will be a loving family member for many years.

Border Collie Lab Mixes are NOT Suitable for:

The border collie lab mix has hardworking, intelligent parents and needs plenty of exercise every day. The dog isn’t suited for small families with long working hours or small living quarters. Plenty of outdoor space is needed for these dogs to be happy, and families with small animals or children may wish to choose a different breed due to the mix’s herding and hunting tendencies.

Other Labrador Retriever and Border Collie Mixes

About John Woods 299 Articles
John Woods is the founder of All Things Dogs, member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, graduate in Animal Behavior & Welfare and recognized author by the Dog Writers Association of America.


  1. My doctor recommended a Service Dog as a diabetic alert dog. After doing a lot of research I chose a borador pup. After only a few days he knew basic commands. At 6 most he was doing his job and was registered as a service dog. Very intelligent and loyal. Perfect size for a female. Best dog I have ever had.

  2. I have had my border collie/lab mix since he was a puppy. My late husband and I got him as a rescue. Shortly after getting him, my husband was diagnosed with lung cancer. Our puppy, Brady never got any formal training as neither my husband nor I had the time or energy. My husband passed away when Brady was 3. Even without proper training he has been a great comfort to me. He is now in the later years of his life, age 11. I dread the day when I no longer have him as a companion. He is the best dog. Very sociable with other dogs and is great around children. If you’re looking for a friendly, lovable, easy to train mixed breed, I would highly recommend you check this mix out.

  3. Hi I have a borador he is a ball of energy but I have to agree that he is probably the smartest dog I’ve ever had and seen . He can be hard to deal with when you come home from work if you work a hard labor job like myself. But he keeps me going and I love him tremendously he helped me through a hardest time in my life and he was my second chance, so ironically his name is Chance and his nick name is orangutan lol but make sure you have a very active lifestyle and if you don’t have time to do the daily exercise then concider another breed. But definitely the top 2-3 dogs in the world for everyone so just make time for them and you’ll reap the rewards.

  4. We rescued our borador Charlie at 13 weeks old. He has been the sweetest dog and easily outsmarts us. He loves attention and long walks. He even runs along with our mountain bikes. His favorite time of day is when you are throwing a tennis ball or stick. He socializes very well with other animals. We got lucky with a larger than average mix. He is 95 lbs and wears XX-large sweaters. His paws are to large for any boots we have tried in the snow. After 3 years with him we can’t imagine a different breed for our family!

    • Hi Camille!
      Do you happen to remember how much Charlie weighed at 13 weeks? I just adopted my new Borador puppy, Cleo, from the humane society. She is 14 weeks old and weighs about 25 pounds already! We have been told she is large for her age, and are trying to estimate how big she will get! Thanks!

  5. Bella is the 2nd borador I have owned. My first was named Shadow because she was always by our side. She was born to a well loved pet border collie. By the time we had her at 9 weeks the mother dog with family help had taught her basic house manners. She was nearly 17 when she passed away, a great loss to our family.
    Our new dog had a labrador mother and was bred on a family farm. The dogs lived in the barn, handled frequently I was told by the children, all girls. She is a beautiful loving dog too. However she has her own agenda at times and cant understand why we don’t see things her way. She is now 9 months old, walks well on leash but very easily distracted. She is also highly reactive to loud noises and is wary of men outside the family.
    We walk every day in as many different environments as Ican find. Her confidence is building and I am sure she is going to be just as loyal and loving as our first Borador. Whether she will ever be as calm remains to be seen. I have no regrets about our decision to stay with this mix of breeds. However no 2 will be exactly the same.

  6. We just lost our Lab-Border Collie mix. We found her as a rescue in Texas and she proved to be the best dog we have ever had. She was an amazing dog. Smart, playful, social, and affectionate. We have been searching the Internet trying to find someone who is breeding this mix. If anyone knows of a breeder, please post or email!

    • There are 2 in the Memphis Tn shelter. We have their sister and she is amazing. We could only take one.

  7. I have a 9 year old borador named Weezer. She was a rescue. I have had her since she was 3 months ago. She is playful, loyal, and the friendliest dog I have ever had. She is so smart and was easy to train. She gets along well with adults and children. She loves other animals.
    The only downside is the she has a lot of allergies to foods, which I read is common. So she is on a high quality, non gmo, limited ingredient diet.
    I would recommend this dog to anyone who wants a true companion that is loyal to the core. I love this dog so much. Weezer is part of my family as much as any human.

  8. We got a border collie/lab mix on 8/5/2019 when he was 10 weeks. We’ve had him almost 4 months. We are currently trying to get the biting under control it’s been 13 years since we have had a puppy. This is our first time with this breed, he starts puppy training Wednesday and we have been training him, I am going to look into agility classes next!

  9. I just lost my black lab border collie. We got her very young appx at 3-5 weeks old. With our help we taught her in a day how to drink and eat out of a bowl and we also used an eye dropper to make sure she got the right amount. She never would stay in a crate as she would get out as sometimes she was too smart for her own good. Her Name was Tori and she was terrific and always wanting to learn. This is a breed I would gladly get again. I just hope the next one will be just as sweet and as easy to train as her. She was on the small end at her highest weight of 50lb but they say she was a miniture version.

  10. I have a beautiful Borador. I got her at 11 weeks old and she has been a fantastic companion to me for my depression. She is super intelligent and at times can be overly playful and I’m surprised by her ability to be an apartment dog. The only issue we’re having is that she doesn’t eat. At times one bowl of food can last almost three days. I put her food down at the same times everyday but she just won’t eat. Anyone have similar issues?

    • With the Labrador mix, this is highly surprising! Labradors love their food, but on the other hand, Boxers can be sensitive. Perhaps she’s more Boxer than Lab. What food are you currently feeding? Have you tried alternative foods? Sometimes kibble isn’t that enticing for some dogs, whereas wet food can give off a stronger, aroma. You also have the option to feed raw?

  11. I loved this article! I had a Black Lab Border Collie dog that I rescued. The first two owners didn’t understand the needs of this special dog. She passed away in November, 2019. She was the best dog that I have had and your article is so correct, easy to train, great with people, people pleasing, great with kids, loyal, loves to be busy, like some consistency, and just the most perfect dog. She is certainly missed as there will never be another one life this special dog.

  12. My first Lab x collie was from an accidental litter after the neighbouring farm’s collie visited my friend’s pedigree lab, she was the runt of the litter and came to stay for a fortnight’s holiday whilst my friend went on holiday, needless to say she never went back as she became my JR terrier’s bestie. She was the most loving, loyal and friendly dog I had ever had as well as being a good ‘watch dog’ and letting us know if anyone was around.

    About a fortnight after losing her I was given the opportunity of owning yet another of this wonderful mix. I called her Cadie. She is a very clever little girl, and very easy to house train and teach due to the fact that. She is total foodie and reward based training is brilliant for her, the description of this breed above is totally spot on!

  13. We adopted Charlie 3 years ago when he was 6 weeks old. He is a borderlab mix. We saw his mom but he gets his size from dad the golden lab. He weighs about 80 lbs. He has 2 different color eyes! Such a sweet personality! Devoted to my husband who has some memory issues! We adopted him for our granddaughters who can not live full time with a dog due to allergies. Best thing we did!!

    • Hi Sue. Could you answer a couple of questions on this breed, based on your experience? We’re looking to rescue a Borador puppy but have a couple of reservations. First, I’m concerned about the high energy level of this breed. How much exercise did you provide your dog daily? Next concern is for the shedding, how much does your dog shed? Other than that, this dog seems like a dream!

  14. Does anyone know where I can find a breeder of Borador puppies? I would like to buy one for a family pet but cannot find a breeder. I love in Northern Illinois but am willing to drive to get one.

  15. Does anyone recommend a male versus female? We are looking at adopting a rescue and I was curious if there are big differences in energy levels or temperament?

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