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Do Border Collies Bark a Lot? Reasons & Helpful Tips

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

a black and white short-haired Border Collie dog outdoors

Border Collies continue to impress us due to their intelligence, beautiful double coats, and extraordinary athletic performances. In 2008, Sweet Pea, an Australian hybrid Border Collie, set a record for balancing a tin on her head for 2 min and 55 seconds over a 100m (328 feet) paved road.1 The same dog also set another record for perfectly balancing a glass of water while walking down a set of 10 stairs.

Besides award-winning performances, Border Collies are energetic—and love to bark. Border Collies don’t typically bark excessively, but it depends on several factors like training, exercise, and age.

While a barking dog is a top choice for herders and security, your Collie may cause disturbance in city homes. Let’s learn more about the Collie’s barking behavior and if there are ways to curb unnecessary barking.

Divider 7The 6 Reasons Why Border Collies Bark

Barking is completely normal to dogs—it is a way of communicating. But what exactly makes Border collies and other dog breeds bark?

1. Territorial Disputes

Border Collies are territorial animals. They like to control their space, which could be a small residential home, a farm, or a home from a tender age. If a foreigner (human, other dogs, animal, or moving machine) intrudes into its private space, the dog will bark. The barking will be more insistent if the object keeps coming.

2. Fear

When Collies bark out of fear, the noise is certainly frustrating. This type of barking is different from that produced when the dog is protecting its territory. The dog will bark with its tail tucked and move backward. It will also try to make itself small by crouching down.

border collie at the beach
Image by: Pauline Loroy, Unsplash

3. Loneliness

Dogs are not solitary animals. They instinctually enjoy life in social groups to defend themselves against large, powerful animals and increase their chances of finding food and finding mates.

At home, a Border Collie will form close ties with humans and consider you as a pack mate. Being absent for a long time will make the dog bark.

4. Excitement

Dogs form strong bonds with their owners. However, because it is not possible to go with them everywhere, you must leave them behind for a few hours. When you return home, the dog will joyfully bark at you.

Male Border Collie
Image by: BIGANDT.COM, Shutterstock

5. Attention Seeking

A dog may bark to attract your attention if it is hungry or wants to go to the toilet or play.

6. Canine Dementia

Dog dementia is a type of cognitive disorder similar to Alzheimer’s disease in humans. The disease affects the dog’s learning ability, memory, and behaviors. In aging Collies, the disease will manifest itself in unprovoked barks accompanied by aimless wandering, confusion, and difficulty in learning new tasks.

border collie owner using laptop
Image by: eva_blanco, Shutterstock

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The 4 Ways to Stop Unnecessary Barking

A barking dog is unsettling. Unfortunately, it is difficult to completely stop a Border Collie from barking, but you can regulate the frequency of barking.

1. Find the trigger

Dogs bark when triggered. It may be because they are scared, want attention, or any other reason stated above.

Typical things that scare a dog are loud sounds like a vacuum cleaner or a mower, or even a neighbor’s dog minding its business near your home. Identify and remove the trigger, and the dog should stop barking.

Additionally, keep the dog indoors and lower window blinds to stop it from barking at passersby.

2. Training

One of the highly sought-after qualities of a Border Collie is its ability to learn fast through training. Spend some time training your dog to avoid barking unnecessarily.

For instance, if your dog barks because it wants to go outside, fit a small bell on the door so you can train it to jingle the bell to alert you. Similarly, train the dog to bring the feeding bowl when hungry.

Another important tip is to train your dog to be responsive to the “silence gesture.” Since training a Border Collie is typically easy, you should not have a problem training them to reduce their barking.

brown border collie sitting on grass
Image by: karenduplessis, Pixabay

3. Avoid shouting

Shouting at a barking dog will not stop it. In fact, the dog will be excited and bark more, thinking that you are joining it. Instead, use methods to reroute its attention.

4. Exercise

As herding dogs, Border collies are always full of energy and workaholics. Exercise your dog regularly to drain excess energy. A tired dog will bark less often.

You may take the dog for long walks, unleash and allow it to roam freely, and let the dog socialize with other dogs.

border collie dog getting trained
Image by: Dora Zett, Shutterstock

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Border Collies bark a fair amount, usually to attract your attention when they are lonely or excited. Though a barking Collie is attractive to herders and hunters, you don’t want it to bring the same traits in small indoor spaces. Identify the causes of barking and train your dog on how to bark less through training and exercises.

Featured Image Credit: Eudyptula, Shutterstock

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