Destin Benoit
Your guide to this review today is by dog trainer Destin Benoit
Published 15:37 pm

The Borador is a crossbreed from the Border Collie and Labrador. This is not a new pairing and Boradors have been around for years. Animal shelters were the best place to look for them! Things are very different now as the seemingly insatiable demand for novel cross breeds produces more and more pups. This is a particularly desirable cross as both parents are working dogs and the pups are both affectionate and intelligent.

Ideally, they suit a family with an active lifestyle who want a dog to join them on outdoor adventures. They need a lot of exercise but little grooming. This is a friendly and very happy breed with few behavioral issues and who will make a loving and loyal companion. Read on to find out the low down on the energetic Borador.

Border Collie and Labrador running

History of the Borador

No doubt there have been Borador puppies around for years thanks to natural, and possibly accidental, breeding between two of the most popular dog breeds. However, over the last decade or so there has been a rise in the popularity of the designer mixed breeds and breeders have purposefully crossed Labradors with Border Collies. It started in earnest in the US in the early 2000s and the results have become popular household pets! They are also popular as service dogs.

Boradors are a first generation (F1) mix which means that both parents are purebred dogs. The resulting offspring are therefore generally healthy (thanks to the genetic mix) but their characteristics can be unpredictable – even within the same litter. The breed is not recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Who Are the Parents?

The parents of a Borador dog are a pure bred Labrador and a pure bred Border Collie.

Labrador

Labradors are friendly companion dogs but are also very useful as working dogs. They were bred to assist fishermen and were adept at hauling nets and fetching ropes around the North Atlantic. They are both hardworking and good natured and the most popular breed in the US. These days they work as assistance dogs and search and rescue dogs but most are simply much-loved pets.

They can suffer from inherited joint issues called hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia and from progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) which is also inherited.

Labrador

Border Collie

The Border Collie is the workaholic of the dog world. They were bred to control and move sheep around farms in the Northern regions of the UK. They seem to have unlimited stamina and energy. Thanks to their intelligence, they are easy to train and excel at canine sports such as agility and flying disc competitions.

They are a medium-sized breed who weigh around 30 to 45 pounds and have a long coat which can shed. This is no lap dog and they are not that keen on cuddling up on the sofa! They would rather be running around a field and this can be exhausting for owners. They do need to be socialized early on so that they can live alongside humans as a pet.

Border Collie dog

Quick Facts About the Borador

Here are some quick facts about the Labrador Retriever Border Collie mix.

  • The pups are very variable

You never know what you are going to get because this is an F1 breed. Their parents are from two entirely different breeds and you cannot predict what each genetic combination will be. Colors are very variable as is the length of coat. Variations within one litter are also common.

  • They don’t make great guard dogs

Some Boradors will bark to let you know that there is an intruder in your home but most will roll over for a tummy tickle.

  • They have endless energy

If you are a couch potato – do not get a Borador. These guys like a whole lot of exercise every single day!

  • They smell sweet

This breed does not have a strong odor but they do like to roll in the mud so one bath a week may be needed.

Things You Should Know About the Borador

The Borador is a combination of two of America’s favorite breeds but the characteristics of any single pup can be unpredictable. It is important that you are able to cope with a pup that displays the characteristics of a Labrador or a Border Collie because you may get either.

It is also important that you know how to care for your Borador so here’s the low down to get you started.

Health

Boradors can live for 14 or 15 years. As they are a crossbreed, they are generally healthy but they can inherit genetic health issues from either parent.

From their Labrador parent, they could inherit the following issues.

  • Hip or elbow dysplasia
  • Hypertrophic osteodystrophy
  • Luxating patella
  • Cruciate ligament rupture
  • Osteochondritis
  • Panosteitis
  • Wobbler’s syndrome

From their Border Collie parent, they could inherit the following

  • Lens luxation
  • Seizures
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Osteochondritis dissecans
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Patent ductus arteriosus
  • Collie eye anomaly

Borador puppy

Feeding

One of the major potential health issues in Boradors is obesity but this can be avoided if you pay careful attention to what and how much you feed your dog. Overfeeding is a big problem for dogs and it is important to regularly check your dog’s weight.

Most Boradors will do best if you feed them a premium dry food. The amount you give them will depend on their size and exercise levels. Some kibbles are specifically designed for pups or for seniors. As a treat, you could occasionally top the kibble with cooked meat or vegetables.

As a general guide, Boradors need between one and two and a half cups to provide all the nutrition they need and to provide energy for an active lifestyle. Talk to your vet if you are not sure about which brand to choose. It is best to select one with a high proportion of meat protein and no cheap fillers or artificial additives.

Care

The most important thing you need to do to care for your Borador is provide them with plenty of regular exercise. This means that they need a lot of walks and runs. This keeps them physically active and stimulates their minds. They are a very energetic breed who will be up for a game at any time of the day. They need a family that will give them plenty of attention and who have an outdoor lifestyle. Given their heritage, their favorite game of all is obviously going to be ‘fetch’!

All dogs are different, but most Boradors will need at least 60 minutes of exercise every day. They will do best in a home that has a yard or garden where they can run around. This does not mean that apartment-dwellers can never have a Borador. It just means that you will have to make sure that you take them out at least twice a day. They are not a lap dog!

Your Borador’s mind needs just as much exercise as their body. They are highly intelligent and need to use that intelligence every day. A bored Borador is likely to engage in destructive behavior because they are happiest when they are working. If your Borador is simply a family pet, you will need to supply plenty of dog puzzle toys and other challenges to keep their brain stimulated.

You may think that this breed can withstand all sorts of weather given their working dog heritage but that is not actually the case. Their coat will keep them quite warm in the winter but they may still benefit from a coat or boots if you are going out in very harsh conditions. They cannot withstand very hot weather, particularly as they like to run around a lot. You need to enforce rest in a cool place and be vigilant for the signs of heat stroke.

Grooming

Borador pups have very variable coats depending on whether they take after their Mom or their Dad. You will find Boradors that are solid black (often from a Black Lab Border Collie mix), solid brown or solid tan but they can be a combination of these colors. Their coat is also very variable and can be short, medium or long.

Long and medium fur will need some attention. It will need to be brushed regularly to keep it free of tangles. Brushing also helps to distribute oils so that it looks shiny. You need a soft brush or a comb for this task. Luckily, most Boradors do not shed that much so you will not have too much cleaning to do unless you are unlucky and get one of those pups that is a heavy shedder. They produce very little dander (which is great for people with allergies) and when they do shed, it is fine hairs and not big tufts of fur.

Your dog’s nails will also need some attention to keep them neat. You can get a professional groomer to do this or you can do it yourself using dog nail clippers. Most owners find that a guillotine-style clippers is best. Get your pooch used to this procedure when they are young and they will tolerate it very well as they get older.

Temperament

In terms of personality, you will have a sweet and happy furry friend who is absolutely devoted to you and your family. If there is any downside to the Borador’s personality it is that they are very excitable and extroverted. However, this rarely spills over into aggression.

You will have a pup that is very inquisitive and wants to check everything out but they are also a breed who is eager to please. They make a great family pet and form strong relationships with both the adults and children of the family. New family members and other pets are accepted with no problems! However, there have been some instances where Boradors have not got along with smaller dogs or cats in the same household. This is unusual but may be something that you should bear in mind.

This is a very intelligent breed and you will have no problems training them. It takes just a few repetitions and some praise for them to get the hang of a new command or learn a new skill. You will need to be careful about using tasty treats during training because your Borador may become so excited and distracted by the treats that they forget to focus on the skill that they are supposed to be learning!

You are unlikely to encounter many behavioral issues. This is a sweet, friendly breed who are so eager to please their human companions. They will love a cuddle and a tummy tickle and will roll over at the slightest sign that you are going to give them attention.

Border Collie Lab mix puppies will want to be involved in everything that your family does and their tail will wag vigorously to show that they are happy. The only time that you may encounter any aggression is if they try to dominate small dogs. With a bit of persuasion, they should be able to curb this behavior.

Barking should also not be an issue. They do not usually bark at strangers or at people walking past your yard. They may bark when you are playing with them from sheer excitement. Most are just too friendly to be useful guard dogs.

Borador dog in the grass

The Last Word

The Borador is a combination of two of the most physically active breeds around so brace yourself for a bundle of energy! This medium sized breed is sweet natured and will love to spend time with their human family. They are quite easy to look after and are easy-going and gentle so families with young children can easily welcome one into their home.

This breed needs a lot of attention and exercise and would best suit a family that has an active and outdoor lifestyle. Supplement this with plenty of brain-stimulating interactive toys and you will have a happy Borador!

Destin Benoit
A former Special Forces Canine Handler, Destin Benoit has extensive knowledge and experience with military canine training. He has worked with multiple military dogs in the most stressful places and situations in the world. Currently, Destin is a SOC Canine Handler, aiding in the protection of the US diplomats abroad.

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