Training & Behavior

Are Border Collies Protective? Find Out If So And Why

When you decide to bring home a dog, what are the factors that may affect your buying decision? Well, for me, it starts from the breed, followed by the cost, and lastly, the dog’s temperaments and abilities. There are obviously a plethora of dog breeds to choose from. The highly intelligent Border Collie is no exception.

This dog breed has a lustrous coat and an enormous amount of energy. Because of its medium-sized structure and its playfulness, the Border Collies need time and a spacious area to run around. But, if you are looking for a dog that can watch over your home and look after each member of the family, you may come to think if the BC fits in. Another question that may cross your mind is, are Border Collies protective?

History of Border Collie & How They Developed Their Protective Behavior

This dog breed came to Britain when the the British Isles took under control of the Roman Empire, in the first century. The Romans brought along their livestock even their dogs to assists them in herding. A big and heavy-boned dog dominated the lands of Britain for almost 300 years.

Afterward, the Roman dominion came to an end when the Viking warriors set in. Along with them is another herding dog that has small body structure and looks like the Spitz. They mixed the large dogs of the Romans to these small herding dogs of the Vikings and produced the Border Collies.

In the midst of England and Scotland, the Border Collies started to establish its reputation as a herding dog. Because of their natural characteristics of working long hours, this dog breed is highly independent. Moreover, with its herding skills this sheepdog has a powerful instinct to protect the livestock assigned to it.

The Border Collies have an enormous amount of energy and an excellent level of intelligence. That’s one of the reasons why this dog was bred for herding purposes. As time went on, the creation of the modern-day BC concentrated solely on producing a sheepdog with a firm instinct to collaborate with its masters in gathering the sheep.

It is highly vigilant in getting the sheep back into the line once drifted away from the flock. Because of its alertness, the Border Collie also proves itself to be a good breed of protective dog. 

Brief Intro Into Temperament & Personality of a Border Collie

Naturally, the Border Collies are such a dog breed that boasts a plethora of wonderful behaviors. Because they were bred for that purpose, this dog is an innate herder. That actually makes them nip kids, other pets, or people surrounding them. It also develops loyalty and along with its herding instinct, the BC may always follow you at home. 

Border collie staring intensely on somethingThe strong sense of the Border Collie to focus is another worth-noting behavior of it. It stares hypnotically, making the sheep move away. That stare of the BC also paves way for them to concentrate on their herding job and other tasks as well.

Since this breed is a great performer in the field, the Border Collies are extremely intelligent. In fact, it is one of the smartest dog breeds in the canine world. With that, it has this attitude of outsmarting its owner most of the time. The Border Collie has an incomparable intelligence when work ethics and instinct are concerned.

Are Border Collies Aggressive & Dangerous?

In general, the Border Collies are not totally aggressive and dangerous especially if properly trained and not triggered. Although the Border Collie is a live storage of good doggy behavior, they may, sometimes, exhibit unpleasant attitudes. One of these is aggressiveness. Yet, the Border Collie is not generally as aggressive compared to other breeds.

Once you notice aggressiveness to the BC, it only means that there is something that triggers the behavior. With that, early socialization is highly crucial to provide to the BC. There are also times that the Border Collie may attack other people and pets. This is most likely to happen if the herding instinct is too strong.

But this doesn’t mean that it is a dangerous breed. In such cases, the BC makes themselves incompatible to live in a household where kids are in store.

Signs of Border Collie Aggression And Protective Instincts

The BC’s protective instinct tends to be fun and overwhelming at times. However, it may become worrisome if the protectiveness is too excessive. This may also lead to aggression as the dog is preventing someone from getting near its owner.

Aggression is a negative behavior of dogs that should immediately be addressed upon. Please do not ever ignore this dog behavior as it may escalate the problem.

Generally, Border Collies’ aggression can be seen once it growls and bites. For some, growling is usually a warning indicator prior to biting. But, aside from that, growling means that the BC has weak nerves.

Biting is another sign of Border Collies’ aggression. You do not have to ignore this and you do not need to wait for the breaking of bitten skin before doing any actions. Other signs of Border Collie’s aggression that you should have to look for are the following:

  • Snarling and displaying of teeth especially to strangers
  • Acts aggressively even with the family members
  • Attacks people or strangers unprovoked

Why Is Border Collie So Protective?

There are different reasons why the Border Collies are protective. First is that it is proud of its sheepdog bloodline. This dog breed highly cooperates with its master and establishes a strong bond with its owner.

Yet, the BC may have a trust issue to its human counterpart. But, the moment it puts that trust to people, this dog becomes a loyal companion. Moreover, because of its natural behavior of protecting the livestock and other animals, this doggy behavior is still present in today’s Border Collies.

The protectiveness of the Border Collies is similar with the other sheepdogs and herding breeds. This may become distrusting especially to strangers. To prevent this protective temperament, the BC needs frequent socialization. It also prevents shyness and aggression from strangers.

Noticing something really wrong around, the Border Collies are loud. It will try to do anything just to give warning to its master. The Border Collie may bark so loud until it gets the attention of its owner. Aside from that, barking is also a way for this dog to herd unruly flocks.

Border collie looking around on the snowy fieldAs mentioned, biting is a sign of the BC’s protective instinct. But until the protective reaction escalates to the point of aggression, this circumstance is exceedingly exceptional. Moreover, the Border Collie may also tend to chase other pets especially if it sees something it doesn’t like.

Starring and snarling should also be noticed sometimes to a protective Border Collie. You should have to be very keen on these behaviors because this dog breed is really friendly and it is unusual for BC to do those. Unless, there is something that triggers the dog to elicit such behaviors.

Is Border Collie Protective of Its Owner?

The Border Collie is highly territorial and protective of its master. It makes excellent guard dogs due to its propensity to defend the family. This breed of dog is not known for being friendly toward strangers and will frequently perceive them as a harm to its family.

If you want to assist your dog get over its aggressiveness toward strangers, think about socializing them frequently. Additionally, you should exercise extreme caution when walking or allowing the Border Collie to explore the outside environment. Ensure to eliminate any situations where the Border Collie would be triggered to protect someone else around.

Is Border Collie Protective of Animals

The BC are also protective to other animals. During dangerous times, the Border Collies also have this instinct to protect not only themselves but also other dogs and animals. It is as if defending the whole pack from the predators. With this, the BC is also protective to livestock.

Livestock And Herding

Border collie watching over the horses in the fieldDue to the Border Collie’s excellent smartness, it uses that in performing various tasks in the farm like herding and protecting animals there. It generally looks after the poultry animals, such as chickens, and alerts the owner once the predators, like cats and foxes, are around. Watching after the livestocks and threatening the predators away are ways for the BC to protect such animals.

The Border Collie also protects the sheeps. Aside from that, it also manages the sheeps under its control and stops the said farm animals from wandering around. The BC does not only protect the sheep but it was also bred to do so.

Is Border Collie Protective of Your Home & Family Members

This dog breed is also protective of your home and family member. And its territorial doggy behavior must be highly taken into account for this. A good family dog, the Border Collie is a great addition to the family. Proper training and providing its essential needs are keys in taking care of this dog breed.

It generally knows how to mingle well with kids, other members of the family, and even pets due to their strong bond to its master. This is to be credited to early socialization and proper introduction.

Border collie playing with its ownerMoreover, the Border Collies have a strong sense of protecting its family. It is a breed of dog that is highly protective of its property or territory. The Border Collies bark as a sign of warning to any family members once any new to their sight happens.

Is Border Collie Protective of Children?

The Border Collie is quite wary of kids. Yet, this dog breed would be the most loyal furry companion the moment it learns to accept a child into the family. The way a BC protects a kid is through giving warnings to them. Another way is that the Border Collie scares off things or people it perceives a threat to the kids.

But, there is nothing to worry about as the BC will not bite or immediately be aggressive to the children. Instead, guarding its human counterpart, it will protect them in all the way they can. It will go far from the kids and never leave them alone. The Border Collie gives its focus on them and keeps them intact together with the other family members.

How to Train And Discipline Border Collie?

If you want to discipline the Border Collie, try to do the same things as you discipline your kids.

One way of disciplining a Border Collie is to instill positive behaviors to this dog breed and resist from punishing it. As much as possible, shift its attention to another thing if the dog begins to act differently. If it complies, then it is of big help to praise it for doing so. Moreover, rewarding the BC and giving it treats is also good for the dog.

Yet, if you are suddenly losing track of your patience with your BC, simply walk away from it. Try to relax and calm down. Get back to your dog once you already gain your temper in. When it comes to giving command to the Border Collie, just use a short, sharp tone. Make sure that your voice command is straight to the point.

In addition to using your voice to discipline your dog, your manner also matters. Try and ensure to address your Border Collie’s inappropriate behavior right away. Through that, the Border Collie will understand that misbehavior is not acceptable. Do not procrastinate in disciplining the dog as this may cause confusion.

Limit the number of commands you give to your Border Collie to a single command at a time. Help keep the information straightforward and basic. Take into account that yelling won’t make the Border Collie behave better.

At What Age Do They Calm Down?

Border collie calmly looking in distant landSince the Border Collie is an energetic dog breed, there are lots of factors affecting the age that it calms down. Generally, you may expect this dog breed to calm at an age starting 12 and up 36 months. Perhaps, as the dog grows older, the intense energy that they have may decrease and they tend to be more inclined in lying down.

Yet, this may vary from one Border Collie to another. You may see some BCs around that age which are still active, until the dog reaches a specific age. Moreover, if your dog is female, calming down is noticeable a little bit earlier.


Are Border Collies protective? Well, the Border Collies have this innate protective behavior. Once this dog sees something unusual happening around it, it starts to warn its owner and family members by barking. The intense stare and threatening growl may keep strangers away. Yet, through proper training, a Border Collie may become a great protective dog that comes out of its love for its human buddy.

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