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Breed Profile: Borador (Border Collie / Labrador Mix)

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Breeds By Meg Marrs 6 min read March 9, 2021 122 Comments

borador dog

When you combine two already-awesome things, you usually wind up with something even better. And this is especially true when you are talking about mixed-breed dogs.

For example, Labradoodles, chorkies and Gerberian Shepskies are a few of the most well-known and popular designer dogs, but few mixtures are as reliably awesome as the borador – a cross between a border collie and a Labrador retriever.

Borador mixed breed dog
Image from Pinterest

The Parent Breeds: Labrador + Border Collie = Borador

Anytime you are considering adding a mixed breed pooch to your family, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the basic traits of both parent breeds. While mutts aren’t always a perfect blend of their parents, and many favor one parent or the other, it is important to make sure you are prepared for your new pooch.

Labrador Retrievers

Labrador retrievers are one of the most popular breeds in the world (the most popular breed, according to the AKC). They are famous for being loving, fun, energetic and intelligent pups, and most people who can provide proper training and sufficient exercise fall in love with their labs.

lab-border-collie-mix

Although originally developed to help fishermen collect their nets and retrieve escaping fish, they also excel in hunting, therapy and bomb-sniffing contexts.

Of course, labs also make fantastic family pets; they are gentle with children, friendly with strangers and simply love to hang out with their people.

Labs are medium-sized dogs, who typically weigh somewhere in the 50- to 80-pound range. They have very thick, short- to medium-length hair and come in three different color forms: Black, golden and chocolate.

Border Collies

Border collies were originally used as herding dogs, but they also make great family pets.

Border collies have one of the most well-developed work ethics of any breed, and they are very smart (many authorities consider them the most intelligent breed). This means that you must keep them busy and stimulated, or else they may become destructive.

border-collie-lab-mix

Border collies are very good at a number of different jobs, and people frequently use them in agility, disc, obedience and tracking competitions. Most are very friendly and loving with their families, although they occasionally exhibit a bit of dog aggression.

Border collies are covered in fairly long, soft hair, and they are generally black with white masks, chests and feet. However, some border collies also display patches of brown. Most weigh between about 30 and 50 pounds.

Borador Traits and Characteristics

While boradors can vary from individual to individual, most are relatively similar in terms of appearance, personality and skills.

Borador Mix
Image from Pinterest

Size and Shape

Boradors are medium-sized dogs, who are generally about 15 to 17 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 35 and 65 pounds. However, all dogs are individuals, and some will fall outside of this range. Boradors usually have a lab-like build, although they are often on the thin side.

 Color Patterns

Most boradors have black and white markings, like their border collie parent. However, the amount of white fur varies greatly, with some individuals being nearly black and others possessing several large, white patches. The most common places to see white on these dogs is the face and chest.

 Temperament

Boradors are typically lovely dogs, who are sweet and affectionate with their families. While they will gladly bark at strange noises or people, they make friends quickly and generally get along with people and dogs alike.

Boradors are usually gentle with children (although they may “herd” children, thanks to their border collie ancestry).

 Neediness

Boradors usually prefer to be with their pack as much as possible. This can lead to separation anxiety and other problems, if they are left alone for long periods of time. Accordingly, these dogs aren’t a great choice for homes that remain empty most of the day.

borador collie labrador
Image from Pinterest

 Intelligence

As you may expect, when you cross two of the smartest breeds in the world, their offspring tend to be pretty sharp puppies. While this is usually viewed as a positive trait, you’ll need to be sure to keep their brains active to keep them from acting out in destructive ways.

Make sure to have some dog puzzle toys on hand to keep those canine brains sharp!

 Energy Level

Given the fact that both of their parent breeds are bursting with energy, it should come as no surprise that boradors are some of the most energetic dogs on the planet.

Owners who are not willing to go on multiple walks and toss the ball for a while on a daily basis should look elsewhere for a pet. Boradors who do not get enough exercise and playtime often become very destructive and depressed.

 Training Potential

Most boradors love to work with and please their person, so they are generally easy to train. However, their impressive intelligence can occasionally make training difficult, as they can be headstrong from time to time.

Nevertheless, most boradors respond well to firm, consistent training based on positive reinforcement, so grab your clicker and a handful of treats and teach your borador a new trick!

 Health Profile

Boradors are generally healthy dogs, who are not especially susceptible to many illnesses or ailments. Like most other dogs, they can become obese if overfed and under exercised, which can lead to things like diabetes and joint problems, so you’ll want to keep your pup fit and trim.

Bloat can also be a concern, given their relatively deep chests, so encourage your dog to eat slowly (consider investing in a slow eating bowl or – even better – start a hand feeding routine) and insist on a period of calmness after meals.

 Maintenance Needs

Boradors tend to have the short hair of their lab parent, which means they need relatively little grooming or maintenance.

You’ll need to bathe your pup regularly (once every week or two is a good dog bathing schedule), brush him off afterward to remove as much fur as possible and that’s about it. Of course, you’ll also want to use a good flea and tick medicine too.

 Lifespan

The average lifespan of boradors can vary widely, but most probably live between 10 and 12 years. Dogs who receive proper veterinary care, a healthy diet and plenty of exercise will generally outlive those who don’t, so owners play an important part in their dog’s lifespan.

Best People and Families for Boradors

The best families for boradors are active and love to get out and about with their pooch. They want a lot of attention from their family, but this doesn’t mean lazing about on the couch all day – they want to get out and do something.

Fortunately, these are glass-half-full dogs, so it doesn’t matter very much what you do!

Borador Collie Lab Mix
Image from Imgur

They are perhaps better suited for large families than they are for small families, as this will allow the humans in your pack to take turns trying to wear out the pup (it won’t be easy), rather than the responsibility falling to one person.

They may not be the best choice for families that already have other pets (particularly cats), although some seem to get along with other pets more than others.

***

Have you ever met a borador, or do you have one yourself? We’d love to hear about your experiences. What kinds of things surprised you about your borador? Did she present any special challenges?

Let us know in the comments below!

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Meg Marrs

Meg Marrs is the Founder and Director of Marketing at K9 of Mine. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! She loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!

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122 Comments

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Sharon

We have a Border Collie, her mother had 1/4 of lab in her. I’d say our puppy is more Border Collie than lab. We’re a couple with a granddaughter who visits. The puppy is bringing great joy to us! So smart, yes is active when she’s playing.

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Laura

We’ve been hoping to adopt a Borador for a while now, ever since meeting a friend’s. Finding a reputable breeder has been hard. Does anyone know of a good Borador breeder in the Western US or CAN?

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Susan

I was just looking up the life expectancy of these dogs as mine is 14 years old today. She is a lovely dog, we’ve had her since the day she was born and her mum who was a Lab sadly died a few years ago. My dog is called Betty and her Dad was a border collie, she is a very nice natured dog and looks more collie than lab with a shorter coat. Her two brothers (kept by other family memebers) look more lab, one of her brothers is still alive and the other died two weeks ago. She’s still pretty fit and can manage a 4 mile walk as long as it’s not too warm outside. She gets a bit anxious if we aren’t with her, more so since her mum died. It will be a sad day when the time comes. I’m aware we are on borrowed time with her being 14.

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Ben Team

Betty sounds lovely, Susan. We’ve got our fingers crossed that she lives for many more years!

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Barb Warner

I have a 3 yr old boy I got at 8 weeks. He is the love of my life and best dog I’ve ever had. Easily trained (by me), NOT food motivated, very sociable … gets along with all dogs, puppies and older dogs and even cats.
Once this pandemic crap is over, I’ll have him trained as a therapy dog so I can take him into hospitals and retirement homes. He loves the dog park and definitely is high energy. He has played with dogs who (according to the owner) who have never played with other dogs. We get lots of play date requests. My Sarge wins over everyone and I am blessed HE chose me to be his Mom when he was 5 weeks. I was holding him and his sister. He crawled up my sweater and licked my cheek.

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Ben Team

Awww! He sounds absolutely wonderful, Barb.
Thanks for telling us all about Sarge!

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Jess

I have a borador Rex. He is 8 months and we love him soo much. I run a daycare and have 6-10 kids under the age of 5 and he is amazing with them. They are his best friends. He gets sad when they go home. One problem that we do have is that he barks and growl’s at strangers. He even does it to our teenagers friends. Once he knows you he is all smiles, but out on walks or when a new person comes over it takes a good 20 minutes for him to stop. Out in walks he barks at every person but other then that he is AMAZING. I’m hoping as he grows up he will learn not to be so spooked at strangers.

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Brenda

I just brought our new boy home yesterday. His name is Jack he is a Lab Border Collie mix. He is the funniest cutest puppy. I am looking forward to spending a lot of time with my new running partner.

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Ben Team

Congratulations, Brenda! Enjoy your new pooch!

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Stephanie Lippel

My guy is a border collie/lab mix, possibly with a little bit of something else because his fur is strangely short and curly. Otherwise, he has all the characteristics of a borador.
He’s eight and a half now, and has just started to slow down a bit. He was very active when he was younger, and still has quite a bit of energy, but his hips are starting to bother him. He is absolutely the sweetest, most attentive little guy out there. I love him so much, and so does everyone who meets him.

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Ben Team

He sounds wonderful, Stephanie! Feel free to share a photo of him with us!
🙂

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Ankush Sharma

I’ve a borador we call him togo or pupu.
he’s vwry loving and cares a lot about us but he’s restless, always energetic.
he always wants to go out and doesn’t like to be left alone, he’s extremely intelligent, many people often tell me he’s sharp like a human mind.
As much as I’ve experienced, this breed doesn’t get sick, the only possible illness I’ve seen is fleas, so uses medicated shampoo & moisturizer for fleas and ticks.
also regularly feed him/her milk so he doesn’t suffer from constipation in winters, here in winters he was not having water so I’ve to increase water dose in food. Hairfall twice a year is also a pretty normal in this dog so train doggo to stay in the areas you’ve allowed him/her.

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Martha Hastings

My Labordor is a go with the flow friendly girl. She loves to be active, runs at the beach and chases/swims after balls is her favorite. Loves to greet everyone. Nicknamed the little sherriff because she tries to calm down the other dogs if they get rowdy! Fun police Captain. Color is English cream lab with white markings. Stunning, cute, and full of life and love. Well behaved, great traveler, excellent off leash. Loves all people and dogs. 32 pounds of sweetness.

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Ben Team

She sounds fabulous, Martha! Thanks for sharing.
🙂

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Neil Dickson

Hi, what a great article! We got Jessie when she was a wee tiny pup from a litter of 13, she was the runt. Her mum was a lab and her Dad a border Collie from Cork – yep, the family were on holiday and must’ve turned their backs. I have 2 kids and can honsetly say that Jessie, now 5, is THE most amazing dog. She runs with me along the river Lagan here in Belfast and through the feilds and forests, she’ll walk for miles with me and go swimming for her ball at every opportunity. I can’t tire her out but she does sleep really well. Great family dog, great pet and great companion. The only downpoint is the seperation anxiety, yeah, I kinda messed up by taking her to my workshop everyday and now I can’t as its too dusty and noisy, also she sometimes growls at my youngest (to be fair, he tortured her when he was 3-5 lol) but she knows its wrong and would never act on it. All in all a perfect dog I’d say!

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Amber Cole

We have a 10 week old borador and so far is the best boy, he’s happy and playful and loves everyone. Thanks for the info, we are excited to see him grow up

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Christine G

I adopted a black lab/wolf/border collie mix on college. He has since passed away after 16 amazing years. This dog was by far the most intelligent dog I have ever known. He knew the difference between his plush toys. He would stand between myself and a stranger if he didn’t trust the stranger. Every time I would get ready to leave the house he would grab my wallet and keys and put them by the front door. And I didn’t train him to do any of this. He eventually taught himself to climb a tree in the backyard after multiple times of me blocking every other exit he tried. He just took himself for walks and came home. But as a puppy they are very destructive if not exercised enough. They do need a lot of mental stimulation as well. But they are so loving and gentle and just the sweetest dogs. I miss my sweet boy!

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Ben Team

Awww! Thanks for sharing, Christine.
🙂
He sounds like he was a wonderful pooch.

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Doug

I’ve had two Lab – Border mixes. Spot on with
most of the article, including the separation anxiety and bloat.

My second one had to be put down because of bloat (aka twisted stomach/GSV). It was cost prohibitive to save her life.

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DONNA GILBERT

Advice: acclaimate boxer collies/ lab mix to cats. A 2 y/o neuter mixed who loves chases cats & take the lead when we walk. Actually dog pulls me continuosly while walking him.Help!!!. Also advise on simple commands for obedience.
Donna

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JENNIFER WHITING

I got a borador as a puppy……she is very active/lovable/funny, never owned a dog before (only cats) but decided where i moved too was ideal countryside for walks…..she greets me after work which i love (only 6hrs) but me & a neighbour let each others dogs out once home so never shut in for long/alone, would recommend this sort of dog with kids (any age) my young grandkids love running/playing with her & she is always giving them a reason to chase her.

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Jenn

I have an almost 11-year-old Chocolate Lab/Border Collie & I had no idea they had a special nickname! My Mocha has been a great dog & is still full of energy!

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Stam

I am the proud owner of a borador. His name is Bruno. He is the BEST dog I ever had. Intelligent, energetic…I swear, sometimes I feel he’s ready to speak. He’s my best friend, my companion, my brother, my son. I won’t trade him for the world. I saved him…and he saved me. Greetings from Hellas. Keep up the good work!

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Meg Marrs

Aw Bruno sounds awesome!

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Jane Ashby

I have a lab/border collie cross. Lottie is my baby girl. She barks too much when she sees someone walking by our house, but she is just trying to alert us of a “possible intruder?”
She is wonderful with everyone who comes into our home. She adores my three, small grandchildren. She can sometime get very excited and jump up on visitors.
Lottie is fine with her cat brother. She sniffs him sometimes and he hisses but they coexist very well.
I would definitely recommend a Borador to anyone! My experience has been wonderful!

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KENNY FYE & DAWNA MENCHACA

Go too YOUTUBE FOR { SNOOPY DOO JACKSON}

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MaxH

I am now on my second Borador. The first one was the BEST DOG EVER who used his superior intelligence to do the right thing and was gentle to all animals. I could have him sit and stay without a leash outside a restaurant while I fetched food on busy streets. My second Borador is just as good—super smart, athletic, good with kids/small animals, and the cuddliest dog I’ve ever known. Yes, they need to be exercised and stimulated, but if you can provide that, you cannot do better than Boradors. My godson says “you always have the best dogs,” which is true.

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John

Unfortunately my borador will need to be put down in the next few days but he has lived to the ripe old age of over over 13 years. This is despite him being an “outside dog”. However he’s always had a double walled and double roofed dog house I made myself, the inside wall of which was made with cedar and the inside of the walls and roof were insulated with styrofoam. He’s always had plenty of blankets and a dog bed lining the bottom to keep from getting cold in winter and I’ve always ran anywhere from 250-750 watts of heat lamps to keep cold air from entering his dog house. I’ve also zip tied a fan in his kennel in the hotter months to help him cool off. He has always been the sweetest, most affectionate, and gentle dog I’ve ever known and I’ve been blessed to have him as the first dog I’ve ever owned. Unfortunately he’s basically stopped eating for the last 2 weeks or so, only eating enough and drinking enough to keep himself alive. It’s gotten worse in the last week too. After several days of trying the most expensive Purina, Diamond, and Royal Canine dry foods as well as canned wet dog food to no avail I found that he would eat chicken nuggets and triple cheeseburgers from McDonalds (plain and with no grill seasoning). After a few days of that he’s slowly tapered off of how much he eats of it too despite me buying it fresh and warm every single day on the way home from work and hand feeding him. He’s been dewormed and has been given shots of antibiotics yet they have only done so much to improve his health. I just read above that the life expectancy of a borador is 10-12 years. This breaks my heart. I fear it’s time I say goodbye to my longtime friend.

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Ben Team

Hey, John. That’s absolutely heart-breaking.
We appreciate all of the effort your putting into keeping your buddy comfortable.
Please give him a hug and some scritches for us.

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Józsa

for your dog.
I’ve got a 5 month borador. I hope, she will be a good girl, Than yours was.

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Nicol Rampton

Absolutely love these dogs, have 3 myself! One is 8, one is 4 and the baby is 9 months. They really do have a lot of energy, sadly we can tell our oldest has started slowing down, but still does his best to keep up with the other two. Once you’ve have this breed you’d never consider another breed. Totally in love with them.

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Norma LaFave

We have a borador, she is thhe sweetest girl. She is not hyper lovws us and we love her. Friendly with other dogs. She is smart strong willed. She knows what she likes. We take for walks and frisbee and she love going on our Yamaha side by side. We adopted her from a pond she was 9 mo old. Love her so much she is almost 3 now she goes with us everywhere. She never forgets a person she meets.

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Mary Dowell

Do wonderful to hear so many wonderful things being said about my Borador! You’ve described my dear Nikki (Nikita) to a T. Thank u for the work that you’ve done/are doing.

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Misty L Griffitts-Tompsett

We just adopted what we suspect is a borador from the pound. In less than a month he is housebroken, kennel trained, and just a super awesome dog. He loves to play and he loves to cuddle. I can’t imagine someone so cruel as to have just thrown away our awesome dog(the people at the pound found him at the dump), but I also can’t imagine our home without him. On a side note. He loves wrestling with his canine companion, and chasing the cats

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George Frew

On my 6th dog..a beautiful 10 yr old male Golden Retriever who might not make it to Christmas. I will be picking up a 14 WK old puppy , a 4 breed mix..mother ( Bernese Mt/ Blue heeler), father ( black lab/border collie)..I have had dogs for 53 years..
..obedience training & competition to the highest level winning titles all the way.I see this new pup as a new and wonderful challenge & companion. Suggestions ? -:)
George Frew

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Linda Louis

Hi,
I live in India, a land where a large number of good breeds of dogs end up on the streets. I had adopted two such streeties, one of them being a male Borador, although we weren’t aware of that art that time. Since so many breeds get mixed up on the streets of India on a regular basis, we didn’t bother thinking so much about its lineage. Now that it had been so many years since I lost my darling Viktor in an accident (while moving from one city to another), I came across the pictures and article on this type of dogs. I was honestly surpassed to know that we (me and my husband) actually had set type if dog that we weren’t even aware of. The other dog looked like a cross between spitz/pomeranian and Labrador. (Yes labs are quite popular in India too!)

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lori ann peterson

I just rescued a 15 month old lab border collie mix. SO far hes awesome . Pulls a little on hikes but he was more of a city dog before so this is all new to him and hes loving it . He needs a little training but I can see hes very smart were joining a 6 week training session tonight .

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Gina

We have two 6 month old Borador (cute name) puppies. I always call them border retrievers. They’re brother and sister. The female is calm and affectionate and has longer hair. She is smaller like a border collie but it almost solid black. The male is more playful and is larger and built like a lab with the coloring of a border. He has a white chest. Hard to tell they are siblings due to the size difference. They are both extremely, amazingly smart. So easy to train and so eager to please. Wonderful companions.

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Ben Team

They sound adorable, Gina! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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Marissa Acuna

My boyfriend and I were just researching and trying to figure out what kind of breed my 8 mo. old puppy is and he randomly came across a picture of a borador that looked exactly like my puppy. So we then read about a million different articles and we now firmly believe that we have figured out what he is. Which explains so much with most of his behavior and just always being ready to play and do for car rides or runs. I definitely learned more about him with certain things I couldn’t figure out. He is also the goofiest and most loving puppy I have met and had in my life.

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Stryker

I have a (just turned) 3 year old Borador. What a ball of energy he is… just before I got him I had a full blooded Lab which was my best friend. I took that dog everywhere and he was a lover to those he accepted as friends and very standoffish to those he didn’t trust. At 9 years old I had no choice but to put him down to a rare illness so my friends got tired of me “Not being myself” so they went out and got the Borador, named Stryker.

This dog has a very goofy character/personality. He is great but he has one bad habit and that he tries to corral anything with wheels. He is also very timid of loud noises and can become very protective if somebody is overly animated.

My sister came from another state with her family for a visit when Stryker was about 1 year old. I had trained him in the basic commands of Sit, lay down, come and a few more. In 24 hours my sister and her grown children had taught him how to shake hands with both paws separately with the command “Other paw” and the same with giving high five. There are some other things they taught him..

I am not sure after him if I would be willing to get another Borador as I’m getting up there in age and this guy takes all my energy. Due to personal illness I am able to spend nearly all day with him but for me that means constant walks, constantly always wanting to play and at times can get a little scary because if he’s on the go or out playing he doesn’t want to stop and at times I need to make him stop to even get a drink of water. He’s doesn’t eat much at all which is great on my wallet as I’ve had others that would pig themselves.

Anyway, enough rambling. If you got the time, the space and the energy then I highly recommend a Borador. They are so reactive to positive training (Most dogs are), They love their family, extremely smart and alert.

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Diane Sport

I’m pretty sure my Storm is a borador. He looks very much like some of the pictures. He is all black with a white patch on his chest. I have always wondered why he doesn’t look and act more like a Labrador. Yes, he is very smart and trainable. He is getting better but has chewed up a lot of stuff in the house. He has a female American Bulldog companion. And he loves to play with the chihuahua mix. He is smaller than a lab, but he is very svelte and handsome. He loves the dog park and daycare. He is way to much dog for me but I will keep him, because it would break my heart to lose him.

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Mellissa Raphael

I have a 6 year old Boradore – he is all lab in the body & appetite but has the black and white sock markings of a border collie. At 6, he’s 35 kilos and the absolute best mate of all time. I’m a single 34 year old, active and work full time. Now that he’s older he’s okay all day at home but as a puppy I did have dog walkers twice per week to take him outside. He is super calm and smart – walks off leash, sits at the front of the supermarket waiting without being tied up. Very polite. But not when foods around! Haha.
He does have some mild hip displacia that we manage by keeping his weight down, and he can no longer run long distance. But apart from that he’s the most loyal, tolerant, smart & gorgeous boy of all time.

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Linda

I adopted a 16 month old borador 2.5 months ago. He jumps on people and is VERY mouthy and nippy. Any suggestions?

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Ben Team

Hey, Linda. Check out our article about aggressive puppies. It may help you solve your issues.
Best of luck!

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Mellissa Raphael

Sounds like he needs some basic manners training. He needs to learn the work NO. Getting excited and giving a dog attention as soon as you see them can make them needy and jump. Ask people to turn away and give no attention when he goes to jump. With the nipping – that can be the hearding instinct kicking in. Distract and divert the behaviour with chew toys and mind stimulating toys like treat balls etc. Boradores don’t necessarily need heaps of exercise- but mental stimulation and playtime. Tug of war is also good bonding.
Think of the attention seeking like a child, they need to be stimulated and loved just the right amount as well.

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annette pitzer

I’m wondering about the name boracollie to describe a bortier collie and labrador cross..people might wonder what the bora is..how come wnoever started the mixture didn’t use something like borderlabs so the dog public will know what the 2 breeds are? that was supposed to be border collie

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annette pitzer

I know it can’t be changed but I was thinking borderlab would have been a better choice.

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Sheila

We have a 12.5 year old Borador. I have never had a dog before and was very hesitant when we brought him home. However, he is smart, loving, gentle, funny. He has the long hair of the boarder collie and has this little bounce in his step when he walks. He is so easy to train; he still continues to learn. Our yard is fenced but not gated, and he stays on our property without being restrained. We’ve received so many compliments on his temperament. We’ve been blessed with this awesome companion. Love him to bits!

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Ben Team

He sounds fantastic, Sheila! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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