Border collie & lab mix information

Dubbed America's top family dog, the Labrador retriever appears happiest when it's with its people or hunting birds, while the energetic Border collie, the dog world's overachiever, excels at working the fields. Combine the two and you get the Borador: a designer, hybrid dog not recognised as a purebred by the American Kennel Club.


A Borador's body typically is not as stocky and square as the Labrador's--rather, it's lithe and agile, much like a border collie. The Borador doesn't have the angular, square head of the Labrador, and instead its wide forehead tapers to a narrow muzzle like a cone and ends in a pointy nose. The coat is typically short and shiny black with a white blaze on the chest, occasionally with black spots. The teardrop-shaped feet might be webbed like a Labrador's to aid in swimming, and most Boradors love to swim.


Friendly, curious, eager to please, the Borador exemplifies the best characteristics seen in both breeds. It makes an excellent family dog, bonding with the people it lives with while accepting new friends easily. The Borador usually gets along well with canines its size or larger; however, because it possesses a strong herding instinct, smaller dogs can trigger the Borador's natural drive to chase and herd.

Herding Instinct

The Borador's herding instinct trumps its tracking and retrieving abilities. Although the Labrador's sense of smell exceeds other breeds, according to the website Club Labrador, the Borador doesn't usually have a "good nose;" it will make a better guide dog than a Search and Rescue tracker. That said, carefully observe your mixed breed's parents, if you can, to get a better idea of the traits that will transfer to your dog.


Borador owners must train their dogs early to keep "four on the floor" and not jump up to greet strangers. A bonafide extrovert, this breed greets people with zeal, which can be mistaken for aggression. Teach a solid "sit" early in its life and use it frequently, whenever people approach. The Border collie and Labrador train easily, and that capacity isn't lost in the Borador. Aggression rarely shows up in this breed.


The Borador can live up to 14 years and needs an outlet to expend its high energy. This breed is no couch potato. Boradors love to run and play and will not stop until you end the play or until they become exhausted. The under-exercised and bored Borador can become a destructive chewer in the house, so be sure to take long walks and incorporate at least one rousing game of fetch each day to satisfy its need for exercise. Throw a tennis ball, frisbee or your dog's favourite toy.

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About the Author

Tina Boyle has been writing since 2000. Trained as a journalist, she has traveled to over 150 US cities. She specializes in travel, culture, pets, business and social networking and regularly publishes in newspapers, magazines and on Web sites. She received a Bachelor of Arts in writing from the College of Santa Fe.