Do Border Collies Bark A Lot? - Four Paw City (2023)

Border Collies are energetic intelligent dogs. As such, these dogs need a good amount of exercise and mental stimulation, otherwise they are prone to develop some undesirable behaviors. You may be wondering, do border collies bark a lot?

This article will answer that question as well as explain common reasons why Border collies tend to bark and how you can reduce this behavior if it becomes excessive.

So, Do Border Collies Bark A Lot?

Yes, Border Collies bark a lot. Border Collies being high-energy dogs get easily excited and overstimulated which can lead to excess barking. Working breeds like Border Collies also have a strong prey drive which can also lead to them barking more.

When Do Border Collie Puppies Start Barking?

Generally, Border Collie puppies start barking around 6 to 8 weeks of age, however, some puppies won’t start barking until a couple months later. Usually Border Collie puppies start making other sounds around two to three weeks of age, but they won’t bark until later.

Why Border Collies Bark?

There are a variety of reasons that Border Collies bark. Just generally, any dog barks as a way of communicating something. Most of the reasons why Border Collies bark are common reasons for any dog to bark, but some these reasons are exasperated with Border Collies because of their personalities.

Here are the most common reasons Border Collies bark:

Your dog is excited

One of the big reasons why Border Collies bark is because of excitement. Barking, like growling or howling, is a form of communication for our dogs.

When Border Collies get really excited, they want to express themselves, and often times this comes out as a bark.


If your dog is anticipating something exciting, like a walk, going to the park, or a visit from a special person, they sometimes get too excited to keep their voice contained.

Your dog is bored

Border Collies also bark because they easily get bored. Typically, when we get busy we don’t have as much time to spend with our dogs.

Since Border Collies have tons of energy, without a sufficient amount of exercise they will try and find things to do to keep themselves entertained.

Do Border Collies Bark A Lot? - Four Paw City (1)

One of these entertaining methods could be barking at things outside, or just barking to try and get your attention to play and engage.

To gain attention

Playing off the boredom factor, dogs often bark to get our attention. Whether it is because they are bored, we are busy, or they just want to play, Border Collies will sometimes bark to get us to engage with them.

Since Border Collies are very smart, they quickly learn how to get our attention. Thus, they will quickly learn that when they bark, we pay attention.

Therefore, if they are looking for us to pay attention to them and they can’t our attention with other tactics, they will sometimes resort to barking.

Someone strange is outside

Another reason Border Collies bark is because they see something or someone strange outside.

(Video) 8 Things You Must Never Do to Your Border Collie

Everyone knows dogs typically bark at the mailman or UPS trucks, but dogs will also bark if they see a stranger walking around outside in what they view to be too close to their property.

Although border collies aren’t typically thought of as guard dogs, they will still keep a watchful eye and bark to alert you of a potentially dangerous new person outside.

Doorbell ringing

Another common reason any dog including Border Collies bark is when the doorbell rings. Dogs quickly learn that the doorbell means someone is at the door. Often times this person is a stranger such as a delivery person that you dog doesn’t know.

Accordingly, anytime your dog hears the doorbell they will likely bark thinking there is a stranger at the door.

The funny thing is that sometimes even a doorbell on TV can trigger a dog to bark because they can’t tell the difference between the TV doorbell and the house doorbell.

They sense a threat

Sometimes Border Collies also bark because they sense some sort of threat. Sometimes the threat is more subtle than the obvious threat of a stranger being outside.

They may bark because there is a strange animal around, because they heard an abnormal sound, and some dogs even bark because they can detect things like earthquakes before they occur.

Dogs have a unique way of sensing when something is off, so although we may not always be able to quickly tell the reason, our dogs bark sometimes to alert us of abnormal occurrences they see as a potential threat.

(Video) 5 Things You Must Never Do to Your Border Collie

Wanting to play or go outside

Another reason your Border Collie may bark is because they want to play. This goes along with the excitement and getting your attention reasons as well.

Your dog is excited to play, so they bark. They could also bark to get your attention if they want you to engage with a toy or take them outside.

You may have also noticed that when you are playing with your dog, they sometimes bark at you when you have a toy they want. This is because of play and excitement.

Barking while playing or when wanting to go outside, is our dog’s way of saying they are ready and excited for a fun time. Since Border Collies enjoy spending time with us, they look forward to these fun times where we are solely focused on them.

Separation anxiety or stress

Another reason why your Border Collie may bark is due to separation anxiety or just stress because they are anxious about something. The Border Collie is a breed that is more prone to separation anxiety than some other breeds.

Accordingly, if they are super attached to you and you leave, your dog may bark and whine while you are gone because they are anxious without you around.

They may also bark because they have anxiety about some other situation. For example, because they are scared during a storm, or because they are encountering a new situation that they aren’t comfortable in.

Talk to your vet if you think your dog could have anxiety of any type. Often times it can be improved with some training but sometimes in more severe cases, medication may be needed.

(Video) Nana the Border Collie Performs Amazing Dog Tricks

How To Stop Your Border Collie From Barking Too Much

Although barking is normal for dogs, sometimes it can get to be too much, or come at inappropriate times for us humans. If you are looking to curb excessive barking try the below tips:

  • Don’t give your dog attention when they are barking solely for attention
  • Don’t play until your dog is quiet
  • Teach the speak and quiet command
  • Give your dog plenty of physical and mental exercise to tire them out

How To Tell If Your Border Collie Is Barking Aggressively

Knowing your dog comes in handy with being able to tell if they are barking normally or aggressively, but there are some signs to look for.

Things such as the tone of the bark, your pup’s body language, and the situation are keys to determining the type of bark.

An aggressive bark is an entirely different tone than a playful bark. Additionally, your dog’s body language will shift if they are on guard versus if they are relaxed.

Also, and aggressive bark can also be paired with raised hackles and maybe even growling. You know your dog best, and chances are with a little time you’ll be able to tell the difference between a normal bark and an aggressive one.


Border Collies are a more vocal dog breed that typically bark more than some quieter breeds. The key is to remember that barking is just a way of our dogs communicating with us. There are many reasons why dogs bark at certain people or in certain situations.

Generally, Border Collie barking is just normal behavior, but if it gets to be excessive there are things you can do to reduce the behavior if needed. If you have trouble doing this on your own using the tips in this article, talking to a professional dog trainer is another great place to start.


Does a Border Collie bark a lot? ›

Border Collies are definitely big barkers. So if you're still looking into different dog breeds, please keep that in mind. While they are super loveable, intelligent, and trainable… They also have a high barking level, high energy level, and need a lot of mental stimulation.

Why won't my Border Collie stop barking? ›

Boredom. When your Border Collie is barking for attention, it's likely because they are bored. Border Collies are an extremely active breed, and need physical and mental stimulation to be satisfied. Be sure to play lots of mind stimulating games with your BC, as well as at least two training sessions per day.

What are Border Collies not good at? ›

Because they are very sensitive to movement, any fast movement that they cannot control can be very disturbing to them. No wonder so many Border Collies hate traffic. Remember though, it is this sensitivity and intelligence that we find so appealing.

Why do Border Collies bark at everything? ›

Border collies are known for barking a lot and they generally like to be heard. They will often bark when they are hungry, excited, bored, playful, lonely, or in need of their owner's attention. Thankfully, border collies are intelligent dogs and they can be trained to bark less.

Are Border Collies talkative dogs? ›

Barking Level

Border collies are a chatty breed, due to being herders by blood. Despite this, they're very trainable and aim to please their owners, so you can curb this behavior with the right cues.

Are Border Collies difficult pets? ›

Border Collies can be excellent companions. However they do not thrive on being kept shut in a house with no exercise, they don't like being pulled and nipped by children and they don't like being shouted at. They are very sensitive and the quieter and calmer these dogs are handled the better they respond.

Can Collies be trained not to bark? ›

They are highly intelligent and learn most new behaviors very quickly. However, you may find that when it comes to vocalizing their feelings, teaching your pup to be quiet can be more than a little challenging. Collies can be taught just about anything, but they tend to be a bit on the stubborn side.

Why do Border Collies put their paws on you? ›

By putting his paw on you whilst you are petting him, he is expanding contact and reciprocating affection back to you. While this act can be interpreted as an expression of love, your dog pawing at you can also be credited to numerous other feelings. He wants to play, he wants food, he's anxious, or may be in pain.

What is the best command to stop a dog from barking? ›

A popular method of curtailing excessive barking is teaching the “quiet” command. Use a calm, firm voice to tell your dog to be “quiet” and positively reinforce correct behavior with treats and affection.

Do Border Collies have mental issues? ›

Border Collies have long been considered the most intelligent dogs on earth, but also the most mentally complex. Owners may be presented with many behavioural issues ranging from obsessive patterns of activity to a host of different anxieties, phobias or neuroses linked to a higher-octane canine brain.

Are Border Collies biters? ›

Working Border Collies need to be courageous and extremely tenacious. Its teeth are part of its toolbox to do its job. Although not normally an aggressive breed they move quickly and can bite hard if they loose control - or feel the need.

Do Border Collies misbehave? ›

Border Collies are working dogs known for their high energy levels and intelligence. Their character traits can lead to destructive and obsessive behaviour if they are not exercised and mentally stimulated enough. If over-exercised, the same can happen. In addition, they have natural herding instincts.

How do I get my Border Collie to stop barking at strangers? ›

As soon as someone arrives and the dog starts barking, simply pick up the long line and lead the dog into another room, leaving them there before going back and greeting the visitor. Don't say anything to the dog and don't give her any treats. We need to be careful not to reinforce the barking.

How do you calm a Border Collie? ›

Border Collie Puppies are spirited and energetic pets. It's important that you use techniques such crate training, obedience classes, tie downs, massaging, aromatherapy oils, and routine to ensure your puppy is a calm pet.

Are Border Collies needy dogs? ›

As a Border Collie owner, you are probably able to answer “yes” without hesitation. Border Collies are known for their unwavering devotion to their owners, They are affectionate, loving, and loyal creatures, sometimes to a fault. They are also bred to be working dogs and to look to their owners for directions.

Do Border Collies bark when left alone? ›

If your Border Collie pup tends to bark when left alone, try leaving the radio on for company. Make sure your Border Collie pup get plenty of daily exercise. A tired border collie does not have the energy to bark.

Do Border Collies follow you everywhere? ›

Working dogs, such as Border Collies and Labrador Retrievers, will follow people because they were bred to follow human orders and they are waiting for cues as to what should be done next. Other dogs, like Terriers, are quite a bit more independent and are much more likely to go off and do their own thing.

Can Border Collies understand words? ›

A border collie named Chaser has attained the vocabulary of a 3-year-old child, according to a study in the journal Behavioural Processes.

Is A Border Collie a good first dog? ›

As one of the dog world's most intelligent breeds, Border Collies are quick learners. Combined with their eager-to-please nature, training a Border Collie is fairly easy but their high energy and intelligence means they're not the best choice for first time owners.

Are Collies good house pets? ›

The Collie is a highly social animal, devoted to his family. They're sensitive dogs that seem to have a special understanding of their humans' feelings. They love and need to be with their family. Collies are excellent companions for everyone in the family, young and old.

How many walks does a Border Collie need? ›

Your Collie will need a minimum of two hours exercise every day, but with Collies the more, the better! We'd recommend spreading this across the day in several walks with off-lead exercise in a secure area. On top of this, Collies love to keep their brains active, too!

Do you ignore dogs when they bark? ›

Ignore the barking

If you believe your dog is barking simply to get your attention, try to ignore them. Regular exercise and the use of puzzle toys can keep your dog occupied during a work call or when you're watching TV.

Will a dog eventually stop barking? ›

Eventually, dogs do get tired of barking, but if your pooch has been woofing for several minutes, you'll need to figure out why before you can do something about it, says Haylee Bergeland, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA, RBT, and Daily Paws' pet health and behavior editor. Then, your dog (and your ears) will thank you.

Where should my Border Collie sleep? ›

Anywhere in the house close to the centre of the action in your home is ideal. If you lock your Border Collie up in a laundry away from the rest of the family, it is likely to cry and carry on. Put a nice, comfortable bed somewhere in the living area of your home and your Border Collie will be happy.

What does it mean when a dog puts his head on you? ›


Others show affection by resting their head on your knee, and some lean against you. It's important not to push your pet away when he's expressing his love. That's the time to strengthen your bond and enjoy the special moments of affection.

Why are Border Collies not cuddly? ›

Collies love to be petted; they often see petting as a reward for their hard work and dedication to their owner. While petting is linked to their work because of their history as herding dogs, it doesn't mean they prefer this over cuddling!

What does it mean when a dog puts their paw on you while you pet them? ›

We pet our pups to show our love and affection. Turns out they do the same. "By putting his paw on you whilst you are stroking him, he is further extending contact and reciprocating affection back," writes Rebecca Forrest, an assistance dog trainer, for The Dog Clinic.

What can I give my dog to calm down and stop barking? ›

For dogs who bark out of sheer boredom, it may be useful to leave some extra toys around to keep them occupied while you're away. Chew toys, food-dispensing toys, and other amusing diversions can help your pet stave-off boredom and resist the urge to bark.

How do you calm a barking? ›

When your dog is barking, say “Quiet” in a calm, firm voice. Wait until they stop barking, even if it's just to take a breath, then praise them and give them a treat. Just be careful to never reward them while they are barking.

What is the mental age of a Border Collie? ›

“Their stunning flashes of brilliance and creativity are reminders that they may not be Einsteins but are sure closer to humans than we thought.” According to several behavioral measures, Coren says dogs' mental abilities are close to a human child age 2 to 2.5 years.

What is lifespan of a Border Collie? ›

Border Collies are generally a healthy breed with an average life span of 12-15 years. Some can suffer from common health concerns like hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and hypothyroidism.

Is Border Collie a smart dog? ›

Border Collies are the brainiacs of the dog world—most people consider them to be the smartest dog breed. Besides being highly intelligent, these dogs are also known for their endurance, energy, loyalty, and friendliness.

Do Border Collies pick a person? ›

Border Collies usually prefer to bond to one person. They have an inherited instinct to do so because they are designed to work with one person as a team. In family situations this can cause problems when the chosen leader is absent.

Why are Border Collies so vocal? ›

Barking. The Border Collie is a barking breed. They are easily visually stimulated which is often why they bark so much.

Do all Border Collies have anxiety? ›

Border collies need a lot of activity and mental stimulation. Without it, they could start becoming destructive in their boredom. They're also prone to separation anxiety, so they don't work well in homes where they're left alone for the majority of the day. They need a lot of attention from their family.

Can a Border Collie be left alone? ›

While there is no cut-and-dried rule for the maximum amount of time you can leave your collie alone at home, you must not leave your dog for 10 or 12 hours. That duration is too long for a single stretch. Still, some people would insist that they have always left their collies that long without issues.

Do Border Collies have separation anxiety? ›

Research conducted by Furbo found that some breeds are more prone to separation anxiety than others, including pups such as Border Collies, Jack Russell Terriers and German Shepherds.

Are Border Collies always hyper? ›

Border Collies are not a naturally aggressive breed but they are very energetic and can easily be pushed over the top and become hyperactive. Overstimulation easily occurs in Border Collies that are frustrated with their lifestyle and frequently occurs when owners try to excite their dogs.

How long should a Border Collie be left alone? ›

While there is no cut-and-dried rule for the maximum amount of time you can leave your collie alone at home, you must not leave your dog for 10 or 12 hours. That duration is too long for a single stretch. Still, some people would insist that they have always left their collies that long without issues.

Is Border Collie easy to maintain? ›

A happy Border Collie requires regular interaction, play and training. On the plus side, they will be high-fiving you in no time at all– when they're not running rings around you with energy to burn. They thrive on regular exercise, so daily walks and games of fetch will keep them stimulated.

Why is my Border Collie so vocal? ›

Barking. The Border Collie is a barking breed. They are easily visually stimulated which is often why they bark so much.

Are Border Collies hyper energetic? ›

This high-drive, athletic breed is extremely energetic and requires daily exercise beyond just a walk around the block or a quick romp in the yard. They thrive when they have a job to do and space to run. A Border Collie who doesn't work must be provided with vigorous exercise every day.

Are female Border Collies calmer than males? ›

Females are less affectionate than males and are likely to become more reserved with age. "Entire" females will have mood swings when they come on heat. In general females tend to be more "moody" than males. From a competition perspective they have days of brilliance and days of less than excellent performance.

Is one walk a day enough for a Border Collie? ›

Your Collie will need a minimum of two hours exercise every day, but with Collies the more, the better! We'd recommend spreading this across the day in several walks with off-lead exercise in a secure area. On top of this, Collies love to keep their brains active, too!

How often do Border Collies need a bath? ›

Bathing a border collie

Typically, this breed only needs to be bathed every three months or so. If you take your dog on an extra muddy adventure, you can up the frequency (you don't want mud tracks all over your house!), but don't overdo it; going overboard and bathing your dog too frequently can irritate their skin.

At what age do Border Collies calm down? ›

General advice is a puppy will begin to settle down from ages 2 to 3. Border Collies however are a different kettle of fish! Some owners have seen their BC settle down from 4 to 5 years of age, while other owners say their 10-year-old is still acting like they're 6-months old.


1. Border Collie Puppy Training - 10 Skills To TEACH FIRST!
(McCann Dog Training)
2. A McNab Dog is NOT a Border Collie.
(Goats On The Go)
3. BORDER COLLIE TRAINING: Teaching the Place command
(Southend Dog Training)
4. 3 Tips To Tire Out Your BORDER COLLIE Puppy
(Fenrir Border Collie Show)
(Dogumentary TV)
6. How to Train a Border Collie? 6 Border Collie Tricks and Commands
(Little Paws Training)


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