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Border Collie vs. Labrador Retriever

A photo of a yellow lab and a photo of a border collie, meeting in the middle on the diagonal with the letters VS in the middle

The Border Collie and Labrador Retriever are among the most favorite family dogs around the world. They are quite different in appearance but a lot of their behavioral characteristics are similar. For example, both these breeds have a good temperament and are very intelligent. Read on to know more about these pups and find out which of them is better for your family.

Border Collie

A Father, Mother, and Puppy border collie laying in grass

The word “Collie” means sheepdog in the Scottish language. Border Collies are considered the best sheepherders in the world and can herd anything from geese to children. This breed originated in Scotland in the mid of the 19th century. However, it thrived on the border of Scotland and England. This is the reason why these pups are also known as Scotch Sheep Dogs.

The canines of this breed are quite intelligent and loving and can become good family companions. These medium-to-large-sized dogs have a high level of energy and need a great amount of daily exercise. Border Collies have a silky and straight double coat that comes in single and multi-colors. Some common coat colors include white, black, blue, blue and red merle, chocolate, and gold.

Labrador Retriever

A chocolate lab and a yellow lab running and jumping into a lake

Labradors Retrievers were bred for retrieving fish and/or ducks for fishermen. They originated in Canada and were improved in England in the early 19th century. These intelligent, gentle, and loving canines are quite reliable for the owners. This is because Labs are very easy to train and make perfect family companions. They are also ideal for families who have small kids and other pets.

These large-sized dogs have a straight double coat that can have three different colors, black, yellow, and chocolate. Although Labradors are energetic, their quick-learning capabilities make them suitable for new or inexperienced owners. They require regular exercise to burn their excess energy and to stay healthy and happy.

Differences Between Border Collie and Labrador Retriever

The following are some significant differences between these two breeds.

CharacteristicsBorder CollieLabrador Retriever
Height18 to 22 inches21 to 24 inches
Weight27 to 45 pounds55 to 80 pounds
Lifespan10 to 17 years10 to 12 years
ColorMulti-color (black, white, red, gold, blue, etc.)Single color (yellow, black, and chocolate)
Recommended for New OwnerNoYes
Price$600 to $800$1000 to $2000

Similarities Between Border Collies and Labrador Retrievers

Close up portrait of a yellow lab outdoors

Some of the most common similarities between Border Collie and Labrador retriever are as follows.

Purebred – Both Border Collie and Labrador retriever are purebred as they were developed without any crossbreeding.

Shedding – Both these breeds are not hypoallergenic and will shed a lot of hair. Labradors can shed quite heavily during the months of seasonal shedding.

Exercise Needs – Both these canines have great strength and energy levels. This means they will require plenty of exercise to stay healthy and happy.

Living Environments – Both these dogs are comfortable in every living environment but prefer backyard living. For an apartment or indoor living, their exercise needs must be fulfilled.

Temperament – Both Border Collies and Labradors are loving pups that make a strong bond with their family. However, Labs are slightly friendlier than Sheepdogs when it comes to kids and other pets.

Intelligence – Both these breeds are extremely intelligent because of their working history. They are also very loyal and active and can alert their owners in case of an intruder.

Barking – Labrador and Border Collie are fairly vocal and bark for every small reason.

Health Issues – Some of the common health problems that both breeds can face are epilepsy, hip dysplasia, and advanced retinal atrophy.

What is Better about Border Collie?

Adult border collie laying down in snow

When it comes to beautiful looks, Border Collies are always one step ahead of Labs. This is because they have multi-color coats that look pleasing to the eye. These smart and loyal pups have a very protective attitude towards their families or owners. However, they are only recommended for professional or experienced owners due to their independent nature.

Border Collies can run quite fast and do very well in dog races. They are much economical as compared to Labs, costing around 600 to 800 dollars.

What is Better about Labrador Retriever?

Close up portrait of a black lab with ocean and blue skies in the background.

Labradors are great pets for families due to their background of serving as fishermen’s companions. They love to socialize with other pets and strangers and do quite well with small kids. These pups are loving, obedient, and gentle which is why Labs are considered easy to train. They require very minimal effort for grooming and can be handled by new or inexperienced owners.

Who Should Get a Border Collie?

Border collie puppy in grass

This is a highly adaptable breed that can be kept in backyards as well as apartments. However, you must have sufficient experience with canines to handle these independent pups. This is because they can be a little too stubborn for novice owners.

If you are interested in dog races and other dog sports, Border Collies can be a good choice for you. They have a top running speed of 28-30 mph and can compete in several competitions.

Who Should Get a Labrador Retriever?

2 yellow lab puppies on a log outdoors

Labs also have high adaptability skills, and owners with every type of living can adopt them. They are also ideal for new owners because they don’t need a lot of effort to manage. Their gentle personalities and minimal grooming needs will be ideal for people who are looking for low-maintenance pooches.

Families with kids and other pets should get Labradors because they love to play with them. They are also comfortable with strangers. Therefore, families who have daily visitors or guests can also adopt this breed.

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