Labrador Retriever vs Border Collie

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
12 to 14 years
Size:

Large

Maintenance Level:

Medium

Shed Level:

Medium

Best For

Labrador Retrievers are best for large homes with plenty of indoor and outdoor space, and with pet parents who are ready for an active and adventure-filled life.

Labrador Retriever Temperament

Cheerful and animated, this large dog breed has stamina and energy to spare, able to keep up with your family and all your activities. You’ll want to funnel that energy into positive outlets, like outdoor activities and training. And thanks to their high intelligence, learning commands and tricks com...

Cheerful and animated, this large dog breed has stamina and energy to spare, able to keep up with your family and all your activities. You’ll want to funnel that energy into positive outlets, like outdoor activities and training. And thanks to their high intelligence, learning commands and tricks come relativity easy for them. Labrador dogs love having a job to do and excel at things like agility courses and, just like their name implies, retrieving items. In fact, their superior intelligence is why they often make great assistance dogs, working as therapy or service animals.

A people-pleaser, Labrador Retrievers have a pleasant personality and love interacting with humans. Get ready to be showered with lots of affection! They also easily make friends with dogs and other animals, including cats, although not all cats are as excited to meet them as they are—a Lab’s large size and high energy level can be a bit intimidating. Slow and controlled introductions to other family pets will help make the transition go smoothly. Considering the staying power of the Labrador dog breed’s popularity, it’s a safe bet your Lab will fit right in with the all the loved ones you choose to introduce into their life.

While they’re generally good-natured, like any dog breed, Labs may develop aggressive tendencies if they don’t receive proper training or have experienced abuse. Addressing any biting issues early on, providing proper socialization when they are puppies (aka safely exposing them to lots of new people, places and things) and working with a professional dog trainer can help avoid behavioral issues when they get older.

Labrador Retriever Traits

Friendliness
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Playfulness
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
12 to 15 years
Size:

Medium

Maintenance Level:

High

Shed Level:

High

Best For

Border Collies are best for experienced dog parents who have ample time to train, walk and play with their pet. They'll do well in single-dog homes with plenty of space to run.

Border Collie Temperament

Intelligent and loyal, Border Collies like their routine and being a partner with their human. A Border Collie is a working dog and is happiest when given a task to do, preferably with or alongside you. If they aren’t given a job—long walks do count—they may com...

Intelligent and loyal, Border Collies like their routine and being a partner with their human. A Border Collie is a working dog and is happiest when given a task to do, preferably with or alongside you. If they aren’t given a job—long walks do count—they may come up with their own job requirements. And these requirements (think: hunting socks, digging holes, chewing furniture) may not be what you had in mind.

A Border Collie was bred for herding sheep and take their role as Herder-in-Chief seriously, which can become a problem in houses with small children or other animals. They appreciate order and may get overwhelmed in a chaotic household or a household where they can’t readily predict their next walk or play session. But that doesn’t mean the Border Collie breed isn’t a great choice for a family pet. They are happy to be part of the pack but need guidance on what their role entails. They’d also do well as the solo dog to a solo pet parent, provided their human has plenty of time for them and can make them a true partner in their lives.

Border Collies are fiercely loyal to their people, and this protectiveness can potentially lead to aggression around strangers or other dogs. On top of that, their intelligence can give them an “I know best” attitude, and they may appoint themselves Park Ranger at the dog park to make sure other dogs stay in line, which may not be appreciated. For those reasons, a Border Collie needs to be well-trained as a puppy to be primed for playing nicely with others.

Border Collie Traits

Friendliness
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Playfulness
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents
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