Border Collie’s first got the “Doodle treatment” by crossing them with purebred Poodles to create a Bordoodle. These have gone on to become a popular Poodle cross. However, as time has gone by there has been development, intentional and accidental, of double hybrid Doodles. This is where a Doodle such as a Labradoodle is mixed with another, different pure breed.
In this article, we will look at the Border Collies’ continued dalliance with the Doodle’s in terms of a Labradoodle Border Collie cross. We will explore the potential merits and pitfalls of matching the much-loved Labradoodle with a Border Collie.
Table of Contents
The Labradoodle is a cross between a Labrador Retriever and one of the three sizes of Poodle (Standard, Miniature, or Toy). As the German Shepherd is a large breed itself, it is most commonly a Labradoodle with Standard Poodle parentage that is selected for a cross between the two.
While this mix was noted to have occurred as early as the 1950s it was around 1989 that the term Labradoodle became commonplace, and the popularity really increased.
The publicity surrounding the Labradoodle increased in the early 1990s where many guide, assistance, and/or therapy dogs associations realized the Labradoodle would be an option for individuals who experienced dog allergies.
Often the addition of Poodle genetics greatly reduced the amount of shedding that would be associated with Labrador Retrievers.
The Labradoodles smarts and low shedding coat attracted the attention of normal domestic pet owners and there was a meteoric rise in the number of breeders over the course of the ’90s and 2000s.
Generally, Labradoodle owners favor the breed’s natural friendliness while their energetic and affectionate nature makes them popular for active singles, couples, or families with children.
Border Collie History
The first mention of the Border Collie breed can be discovered as far back as the 1800s. The breed originated in the border regions of Scotland and England where they were prized by shepherds for their working credentials in herding and protecting large flocks of sheep and cattle.
The term “collie” is a Scots term for sheepdog and the “Border” aspect reflects the area where the breed grew from.
Border Collies are an incredibly intelligent and energetic breed, traits that have been fostered through centuries of breeding practices. Many working farms in the United Kingdom still have at least one Border Collie, demonstrating that even the best technology is no sure-fire replacement for this dedicated breed.
While the Border Collie succeeds in many working dog domains outside of purely farm work including dog sports, agility trials, and sheepdog herding they have also become popular the world over as a domestic pet for active families.
The Border Collie is a medium-sized dog, with a double coat that will shed. In terms of color they are most commonly back and white however can come in variations including blue, brindle, lilac, chocolate, liver, sable, red, and tan. The breed can also display merle patterning.
What Do We Call a Labradoodle Border Collie Mix?
This hybrid mix is relatively new and there are not many documented cases of intentional breeding. Alas, while we have Borderdoodle to describe a Border Collie X Poodle and we have Borador to describe a Border Collie X Labrador there is no definitive term to name a Labradoodle Border Collie mix.
We could become inventive and go for the Labraborderdoodle however that really is quite a mouthful.
Why is this Cross Being Bred?
As mentioned above, this cross is not yet as popular as single hybrid Doodle pairings. The prevalence and popularity of the Labradoodle however is leading to an increase in crosses with them over Poodles both in part to their availability and individual’s seeking to find a “new take” on Labradoodles in an already flooded market.
Some less scrupulous breeders may be creating Labradoodle Border Collie mixes as a result of being unable to source a purebred Poodle for a more established Borderdoodle.
The Benefits of the Labradoodle Border Collie Mix
Both the Border Collie and the Labradoodle are loved individually therefore it is undeniable that some positive pup traits will be passed to the offspring of such a mix.
One of the allures of mixing the Border Collie with the Labradoodle is the potential to reduce the shedding associated with a Border Collie which can be off-putting for those with sensitivity to pet hair or dander.
In terms of mixing the personality and traits, a Labradoodle Border Collie will be hard-wired to be energetic, have oodles of stamina and be extremely smart.
The Cons of the Labradoodle Border Collie Mix
On of the cons of foraying into a Labradoodle Border Collie Mix, or indeed any double hybrid dog is the lack of predictability about how the litter will present. Bear in mind you are effectively rolling the dice with three genetic recipes at play, the Poodle, the Labrador, and the Border Collie.
Especially if a first-generation Labradoodle is used, there is a much great chance of “throwback” Poodle or Labrador genetics coming to the fore.
In general, as a mix of Labradoodle and Border Collie is not widely being bred it can be hard to say with certainty that it would provide any key benefits over say a more available Border Collie Poodle cross.
If you do decide to go for a Labradoodle Border Collie cross that may have been the result of an accidental or experimental match there is more chance of health issues that normally can be bred out with more structured breeding programs.
Size and Weight
There is a lack of definitive information available regarding the potential weight and size of a Labradoodle Border Collie mix therefore we will look to each of the parent breeds as the best indicator.
The Labradoodle comes in three size variations, largely dependent on the Poodle parent used. A Standard Labradoodle is the biggest and can be up to 24” in height and weigh up to 65lbs.
A Medium Labradoodle will come in at between 17” and 20” in height and weigh between 30 lbs and 45lbs.
The smallest, the Miniature Labradoodle, will be no taller than 16” and weigh between 12lbs and 25lbs.
Unlike the Labradoodle, which is a hybrid of two dog breeds, the Border Collie is a pure breed. This has led to uniformity in things such as expected size, build, and appearance. They are expected to be between 19” and 22” tall for a male and 18” to 21” for a female.
A male should weigh up to 45lbs while a female will weigh a little less at up to 42lbs.
It stands to reason that to try and encourage uniformity in the litter that a parent match would be of largely equal size therefore it is likely a Border Collie would be matched with a larger Medium Labradoodle or smaller end range of Standard Labradoodle. This pairing would give the best chance of producing litters of medium build dogs similar in size to their Collie parent.
Color and Coat Types
We really need to consult the crystal ball on this one as there are few documented pictures or accounts of Labradoodle Border Collie Mix coat and coat types. The few mentions of litters online often describe dark-colored pups with wavy to curly coats more akin to their Labradoodle parent than their Border Collie lineage. However, there is little detail regarding the parent match to say this will occur with certainty.
In theory, a Labradoodle Border Collie mix could present with any variation of Labradoodle coat type and color, any Border Collie coloring and/or their double coat, or a blend of the two.
Border Collies are most commonly found in black and white however have a vast variety of browns, reds, lilacs, tans, and sables and could also exhibit the merle pattern gene. The Labradoodle can come in about just about every shade including bi-color, tri-color, phantom, or merle.
That really means a Labradoodle Border Collie cross could be any mix of this. It is highly likely that the introduction of a Labradoodle will decrease the propensity for shedding at least in part. There is however, the chance that offspring may retain an element of double coat or a mixed coat pattern which may require more dedicated upkeep.
A Labradoodle Border Collie mix will most likely need regular tip-to-tail brushing and professional groomer trips to keep them in the best condition.
The Labradoodle Border Collie mix benefits from the potential to dilute the risk of passing on health conditions present in the purebred parent however if the Labradoodle is prone to any conditions that also affect the Border Collie, then these cannot be fully eliminated.
In a comparison of the Labradoodle and Border Collie the following conditions are of slightly higher risk in both breeds therefore could impact a cross:
- Hip Dysplasia
Thankfully this list is low suggesting this would make for a healthy pairing. In addition, there are screening measures that can be undertaken to reduce the risk of hip dysplasia. Of course, a Labradoodle Collie Cross could be susceptible to conditions or injury beyond this list
Predicting the temperament of a double hybrid dog can be extremely challenging. Especially when established breeding lines are not in place.
It is worth noting that with the rise of the Labradoodle, not all breeders have been as conscientious and there has been an increase in Labradoodles who may display problematic traits such as hyperactivity or be highly strung as a result of poor matching in the initial hybrid.
In addition, while they are purebred, poor Border Collie breeding can introduce some personality/behavior problems including a propensity to fear-based aggression or anxiety if not appropriately socialized.
It is, therefore, more important than ever with this pairing to do as much homework as you can around the parent’s history and mood.
That being said, a well-matched Labradoodle Border Collie cross litter has the potential to deliver puppies who will be smart as a tack, eager to please, and display stamina to outlast even the most energetic family.
The enviable mix of family brains will make for a dog that is alert, intuitive, and loyal to its owners. They will respond well to obedience-based training, and this should be started early to counteract any of the stubborn traits which can sometimes be enhanced by both Poodle and Border Collie genetics.
Who needs a gym membership when you have a Labradoodle Border Collie Mix? Not you that’s for sure!
These dogs are hard-wired to run, chase, herd, and retrieve. They not only will need upwards of 90 minutes of vigorous exercise a day, in adulthood, they will also seek out purposeful play in the form of fetch or agility tasks. This mix will never be happier than when you stretch their brains alongside their muscles.
A Labradoodle Border Collie cross will be a very active dog. This means that although they might fall into the bracket of a medium dog, they may require calorific content more akin to a large dog to reflect their increased energy expenditure.
If in doubt at all about feeding regimes and your dog’s weight it is always wise to seek veterinary advice.
There is a lack of definitive information on what to expect from a Labradoodle Border Collie mix as there just isn’t enough of them out there yet. Just like any hybrid dog, a significant part of the resultant mix is not just down to the breeds themselves, but the health and attributes of the specific parent dogs chosen.
If you do decide to go for a double hybrid, it is more important than ever to ensure you have done thorough checks with the breeder and that you are prepared to accept a little risk in terms of the variety of pups who may arrive.