What do you get when you mix the two smartest dog breeds in the world together?
You get an incredibly adorable ball of fluff called the Bordoodle. Or, if you want to get more technical about it, it could be called the Border Collie Poodle mix. These two breeds top the list of intelligent dog breeds and their looks are a winning combination.
Interested in bringing a Bordoodle home? Let’s find out if this energetic pup would be a good fit for your home!
Breed Overview of the Bordoodle
The Bordoodle is a relative newcomer to the Doodle craze. Back in the last 1980s, a breeder named Wally Conron was looking for a way to create a “hypoallergenic” guide dog for a blind woman whose husband was allergic to dogs.
In his quest, he crossed the hypoallergenic Poodle with the super smart and trainable Labrador Retriever to end up with the Labradoodle. Through a marketing gimmick, he popularized the funky name and the whole Doodle craze took off from there.
Now, breeders have created a whole line of designer breeds including the Goldendoodle, the Shepadoodle, the Cavapoo, the Bernoodle, and even some interesting combos like the Boxerdoodle.
And, of course, the Bordoodle is one of them.
This energetic pup is created by crossing the world’s smartest dog, the Border Collie, with the world’s second smartest dog, the Poodle.
The Parent Breeds
To understand more about a designer breed (the term for a hybrid of two purebreds) it’s important to understand the parents. Furthermore, the Bordoodle is a relatively new cross in the craze so there isn’t a lot known about this specific hybrid.
However, studying the parent breeds gives you an idea of what to expect.
The Border Collie was developed on the border between England and Scotland, which is how it got its name. The breed was descended from the Viking Spitz-type herding dogs mixed with the old Roman herding dogs.
As you might guess, these dogs were developed with a job in mind, herding sheep. This requires lots of energy and smarts to keep those sheep in line with minimal direction from the shepherd.
The official Border Collie breed developed mostly from one dog in the 1890s. Old Hemp, a sheepdog with the aforementioned heritage became known for his obedient and intelligent nature. All the shepherds wanted a dog just like him and people began bringing their dogs to breed with him.
All in all, Old Hemp fathered around 200 puppies and that was the basis for the breed as we know it today. Now the Border Collie is known for its incredible smarts, boundless energy, and loyal and obedient nature.
Don’t let the floofy haircut fool you, the Poodle has a sharp mind below all that fluff!
Originally developed in Germany, their tightly curled mop of hair served a purpose for their job. They were developed as duck hunters designed to plunge into cold water to retrieve hunters’ darts, arrows, and downed ducks.
Their thick hair served to protect them from the cold. Even the traditional Poodle puff haircut is based on the hunters’ method of cutting their dogs' hair. They left it long and thick around the Poodle’s important organs but trimmed it on their legs and in other areas so they could swim more easily.
From Germany, they traveled to France where people fell in love with the fluffy little pups. The aristocracy began breeding them smaller to be more manageable as house pets. They weren’t as concerned with duck hunting but they did love the Poodle’s relative cleanliness.
Nowadays, there are three officially recognized Poodle sizes (four if you ask the Europeans). In the US, the American Kennel Club recognized the large Standard Poodle, the Miniature Poodle, and the tiny Toy Poodle. French Poodle and German Poodle clubs throw a fourth category in there between the Miniature Poodle and the Standard called Moyen or Klein respectively.
Size & Appearance of the Bordoodle
As a hybrid breed, the appearance of the Bordoodle can vary somewhat. Plus, because of the size variations of the Poodle, Bordoodles can come in various sizes as well.
However, the most common cross is with a Standard Poodle. This yields a dog between about 16 - 22 inches tall and weighing between 35 - 65 pounds. Some breeders will also mix the Border Collie with the Miniature Poodle to create a more pint-sized package.
As far as looks, they tend to have athletic builds — both their parents are energetic athletes after all! They usually have thick, curly or wavy hair and are typically black and white like the Border Collie, though not always.
Some Bordoodles inherit the interesting heterochromia trait from their Border Collie parent, which means they have two different colored eyes. For example, they may have one blue eye and one brown one. If not, the Bordoodle usually has dark brown eyes.
Sometimes the Bordoodle is mistaken for the Aussiepoo, an Australian Shepherd/Poodle mix. You would be forgiven for this mistake as they look quite similar.
The Bordoodle’s Temperament
The Bordoodle’s temperament is generally perfect for a family dog. They are loving, energetic, super smart, and loyal. Bordoodles adore their families and will happily play with small children for hours on end.
Give them a job to do, and they are content to perform that as well. Though they still need training like any dog, their willingness to please makes the task much easier. If you want a dog that you can teach a bunch of cool tricks, the Bordoodle is a great choice!
They can tend to be a little standoffish with strangers, but as long as they are properly socialized as pups, they are not aggressive. This aloofness keeps them from showering guests with puppy love, which can be preferable for guests who aren’t dog fans. And eventually, their Poodle side kicks in and they become a little more friendly.
Both the Border Collie and the Poodle are energetic dogs. Surprisingly the Bordoodle is a little calmer than its parent breeds, but that doesn’t mean it is a couch potato. A Bordoodle will be content to snuggle with you on the couch — but only after they’ve been properly tired out!
Their intelligence also requires plenty of mental stimulation. If they get bored, they may find other ways of entertaining themselves — which usually spells disaster for your furniture.
Bordoodle Fashion: Coat & Colors
In appearance, the Bordoodle tends to take after the Border Collie. They will have medium-length hair that is wavy or loosely curled.
They usually end up black and white, taking after the coat color and pattern of the Border Collie. However, the Poodle contributes a variety of other colors as well. You can find Bordoodles in brown, silver, cream, red, white, black, apricot, and any combination of these colors.
Exercise & Living Conditions for the Bordoodle
Bordoodles come from two lines of working dogs, which means they have a lot of energy to burn. A quick walk around the block once a day won’t cut it for these active pups.
They can live in apartments or houses with small yards as long as they are given the opportunity for at least 90 minutes of exercise daily. They enjoy spending time with their families and are overjoyed when you want to play or teach them a new trick.
But ideally, Bordoodles love a house with a yard. They love the opportunity to romp around, playing and entertaining themselves with the sights and sounds of the outdoors. They have active minds that don’t do well being cooped up indoors all the time.
Bordoodles are fantastic with little kids and you can count on them to help wear each other out. However, if your Bordoodle starts getting bored, he may try to herd kids or other pets, which can be annoying for the other animals or intimidating to small kids.
Training of the Bordoodle
As to be expected from the child of the world’s smartest dog breeds, the Bordoodle is an intelligent pup. This, plus his willingness to please helps make training a breeze.
But it still takes work. He doesn’t come with all the kinks worked out automatically!
Along with all the regular manners and commands, Bordoodles require lots of early socialization. They are naturally suspicious of strangers and can become overly shy or overprotective if not accustomed to guests entering the home.
Make sure you introduce him to both humans and dogs early on — both by having them come over as well as going out for walks or to the dog park.
The Bordoodle requires a significant amount of grooming to keep his medium-length hair tidy and tangle-free. To make the experience more pleasant for both of you, be sure to introduce him to grooming early on and accompany it with treats and other pleasantries.
The Health of the Bordoodle
In general, hybrid dog breeds tend to be relatively healthy. By mixing the gene pools, there is less risk of dogs inheriting the typical health issues of their breed.
However, though the likelihood may be lower, designer dog breeds are at risk of inheriting common health problems of either parent breed.
In the case of the Bordoodle, both parent breeds can suffer from hip dysplasia and eye conditions. Most commonly, they are affected by collie eye, progressive retinal atrophy, and cataracts. Without treatment, loss of eyesight can follow.
Each individual is different, though. The best way to ensure a healthy pup is to get yours from a reputable breeder who has information on the pup’s individual parents and not just the breed as a whole. Plus, regular trips to the vet, vaccinations, and other routine care will help keep the Bordoodle healthy.
A well-cared-for Bordoodle can easily live a long life of about 11 to 16 years.
Bordoodles as Family Pets
Bordoodles are excellent as family pets. They get along well with small children and will happily play with them for hours. They may try to herd them once in a while, but as long as you correct this behavior early and firmly, they will learn it is not tolerated.
They need about 45 minutes of vigorous exercise each day and plenty of mental stimulation. With various people in the house for them to play with, they usually get enough but it can be hard to keep up with a Bordoodle if you live alone.
They don’t shed too crazily, which is nice for keeping your house clean. Weekly brushing easily keeps it under control and it’s a great bonding time for you and your pup.
Finally, at the end of the day after he’s been tuckered out, the Bordoodle is happy to snuggle with you on the couch while you watch your favorite TV show. Though energetic, he can be calm and just enjoy being with you.
Other Border Collie Crosses to Consider
As the world’s smartest dog, the Border Collie gets a lot of attention. Mixing it with other dog breeds has produced some interesting and beautiful results.
Is the Bordoodle Right for Me?
If you have the time and energy to dedicate to play and training, the Bordoodle could make a wonderful addition to your family. You definitely have to be on your toes to keep up with this smart little pup. Bordoodles are regularly known for outsmarting their owners so you’ll have to be on top of your game!
But their loving, affectionate natures make them wonderful family dogs. They’ll be your kids’ best friend and fill your days with love and laughter.
It’s hard to regret the decision to bring a Bordoodle into your home — even when you’re staring at the mess they made of your couch one day when they got too bored. The look of remorse on their cute little faces will melt your heart and spark forgiveness all at once!
Get more expert advice on pet-parenting by visiting the Off Leash blog at TryFi.com.
TryFi's The Fi Dog Collar is a must-have for any pet parent, it's a GPS tracking collar that helps you keep tabs on your dog's location, activity, and sleep patterns, and alerts you if they escape your backyard. Try the Fi Dog Collar today!