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Do Border Collies Like to Cuddle? Facts & FAQ

Kristin Hitchcock

By Kristin Hitchcock


Border Collies do like to cuddle—at least some of the time. These dogs vary in personality and preferences, just like people. Therefore, some will like to cuddle more than others. Cuddling your dog from an early age may help them learn how to cuddle, increasing the chance that they will cuddle when they are older.

Border Collies are affectionate and bond closely with their owners.

They’re very active dogs, though, so cuddling will only be a small portion of their day. Unlike smaller, less energetic dogs, they won’t be happy to spend the whole day in your lap. They require at least some exercise each day and thrive most in active families. They love a good walk and spending time outside, so they’re best for families that like those things, too.

If you’re looking for a dog solely to cuddle, a Border Collie probably isn’t the best option. However, they will cuddle after a good exercise session and are affectionate.


Do Border Collies Bond With One Person?

Border Collies often prefer to bond with one person—at least more than they bond with anyone else. They will usually pick out “their” person and spend much of their time following them around. This behavior is probably due to inherited instincts, as they were once bred to work with a single person at a time.

Therefore, those with large families may want to look elsewhere for the perfect dog. This isn’t a canine that’s going to get along just as well with your children as they do you. Furthermore, issues can sometimes arise when a Border Collie’s chosen person isn’t around. They may not listen to anyone else, which can lead to behavioral problems.

However, a properly socialized Border Collie should not have separation anxiety. Crate training these dogs from an early age is vital, and they should be taught how to be alone. You should also ensure several people in the family partake in training sessions, which will help the dog learn to listen to everyone—not just the primary trainer.

These dogs are often described as “clingy,” and they do tend to follow one person around the house. However, that doesn’t mean that they can’t learn to get along with others or even follow commands from other family members.

Image Credit: Reshetnikov_art, Shutterstock

Why Does My Border Collie Lie on Me?

Border Collies aren’t lap dogs. They’re much too big for that. However, they don’t always get the memo, and many may try to cuddle like they are a puppy far after they’ve grown into adulthood. Luckily, this isn’t typically a sign of an underlying problem. Some Border Collies just have strange cuddle behaviors.

However, if the dog’s weight is causing issues, you can train them to cuddle you in a different way. Luckily, these dogs are very intelligent and people-pleasing, so training is very easy. You can often teach them to lie next to you instead of on top of you with ease.

Either way, this behavior usually isn’t a problem and is simply a sign that your dog likes you.

Do Border Collies Like to Sleep in Your Bed?

Border Collies do like to sleep on their owners’ beds—sometimes, at least. Once again, this is a matter of preference. If you take a Border Collie as a puppy and always put it in your bed to sleep, the dog will likely grow up expecting to sleep in your bed. This may be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your opinion on the matter.

You can absolutely train your Border Collie to sleep in your bed if you’d like. Many Border Collies will like this, though others may not like the cramped space or may get too hot.

If you don’t want your Border Collie to lie on your bed, you shouldn’t let it up on your bed, even as a puppy. This only confuses the dog later when you decide that it’s too big to sleep with you. While it is possible to crate train your dog for the night later, it works better if you do it early on. When a dog can’t remember any other way, keeping boundaries in place is much easier.

Most experts will recommend giving these dogs a quiet area where they can escape to have some alone time.

Border collie lying on the bed
Image Credit: Kuznetsov Alexey, Shutterstock

Do Border Collies Like to Be Petted?

Border Collies do like to be petted in most cases. Often, they like to be petted in the same areas that other dogs do. Heads, backs, and bellies are often accepting areas, though dogs will often have their own preferences.

You should try to pet your Border Collie as they like to be petted, at least when you’re simply enjoying time with your dog. However, it’s also important that you get them used to being petted everywhere. Dogs should accept touches on all parts of their body without getting nervous, including their tail and paws. You’ll need to touch and handle these areas regularly, providing praise and treats if necessary.

Getting your dog used to being touched all over makes it a bit easier to get them vet care and groom them. Often, vets and groomers need to touch the areas that our dogs don’t like to be touched. Plus, it also helps prevent misunderstandings when an adult or child touches them somewhere that isn’t necessarily on the approved list.

Why Are Border Collies Not Cuddly?

Some Border Collies aren’t as cuddly as others. Sometimes, this is a matter of preference. Dogs have different preferences and personalities, just like us. Some dogs are born less cuddly or become that way as they are socialized as puppies. Dogs may simply be more interested in other things. It’s not that they don’t like cuddling; there is simply always something else they’d rather do.

If your Border Collie is a rescue, it is possible that they weren’t cuddled as puppies. In my experience, rescue dogs that weren’t cuddled as puppies may not “learn” how to cuddle as an adult.

In this case, you shouldn’t take it personally. It isn’t that your dog doesn’t like you but that they prefer to get their attention through other means. For instance, some dogs may prefer to play with you instead of cuddling. On the surface, there is nothing wrong with this.

Keep in mind; Border Collies do tend to be more active than they are cuddly. Therefore, we only recommend getting one if you would be okay with a dog that doesn’t cuddle all that much. Many Border Collies do cuddle, but the odds of them liking to cuddle are less than for a lapdog breed, like a Shih Tzu. They’re much more likely to interact through playing or simply being close to you in the same room.

puppy Border Collie gives paw
Image Credit: Ann Tyurina, Shutterstock



Border Collies often like to cuddle, just like any other dog breed. In fact, if cuddled as puppies, these dogs almost always like to cuddle as adults. However, they are very active dogs that often like to play more than lie around. Therefore, they aren’t the cuddliest dog out there.

There is always the chance that your Border Collie won’t like to cuddle, though. Sometimes, dogs get too hot cuddling, especially if you live in a warmer climate. Other times, dogs may simply prefer to do other things besides cuddling.

Featured Image Credit: Kamil Macniak, Shutterstock

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