Training & Behavior

Do Border Collies Bark a Lot? How To Calm Them Down

Border Collies are visually stimulated. This is why they will almost bark at anything. Besides, it’s embedded in their genes.

Border Collie with eyes wide open

A dog may bark for a number of reasons. Some of which include:

  • Trying to grab their owner’s attention
  • Want to express emotion
  • If you are within their territory

Any noise may stimulate a barking response. This is regardless of how loud or slight the source was such as:

  • Rustling leaves
  • A banging window
  • Lightning
  • Thunder
  • A ringing doorbell

Additionally, behavioral problems could be the cause of their barking. For instance, your Border Collie might be barking out of boredom, fear, or simply because of separation anxiety.

What Is a Border Collie?

Border Collies are medium-sized herding dogs from Britain. They are landrace sheepdogs descended from all over the British Isles. Soon after, they were standardized in the Anglo-Scottish border region.

exercising your Border Collie via running

These overachieving pooches come with a long list of extracurriculars under their belt. This includes running, herding, and search-and-rescue. Because of this, they were considered among the most intelligent breeds in the canine world.

In fact, they can be seen competing in sheepdog trials, and often come victorious. Aside from that, they also do great in a plethora of dog sports similar to:

Are Border Collies Prone To Bark?

Whenever you plan to buy or adopt a dog, their barking tendencies and behavior should be a major consideration. This is regardless of what breed you plan to get. In such cases, Border Collies are not exempted either.

One of the reasons why Border Collies bark so quickly is the fact that it is what they’ve been doing for the longest time.

Basically, these dogs are among the top breeds for herding. Hearing them bark is their way to communicate to the animals they’re herding and to their owner. As a result, it is so natural for them to bark that it has become innate in their breed.

Why Do Border Collies Keep Barking?

On the other hand, if you hear them barking incessantly, then there may be a problem. The question is how are you going to deal with it as their owner? The answer lies in the situation why your dog is barking excessively. Let us check different scenarios and what actions you can take.

There’s a stranger on your property – Border Collies are territorial and a bit protective. Although alert-barking is used to inform the owner of the situation and warn anyone approaching, it’s not enough to consider them a guard dog. The amount of socialization a Collie receives from when they’re puppies can have a significant impact on its aloofness and how likely they are to bark at strangers.

Playful barking – It is common for collies to bark during playtime. Barking is a method for communicating and expressing emotions. Hearing them bark is very common during such activity. Because Collies are the world’s smartest breed, they express themselves more often. You can expect playful barking among these dogs no matter what activity you two are doing like:

  • Playing tug of war
  • Hide and seek
  • Engaging in rough play

Boredom – You should allocate a portion of your time to your Border Collies. This time must be spent on mental and physical stimulation. Otherwise, it could negatively impact their behavior. This could be a triggering factor for Collies to bark at their owners non-stop to get what they want. You’ll never want to see your Border Collie bored for sure.

Seeking attention – Despite their independent nature, Collies still crave their owner’s affection. Working breeds in general tend to form a close bond with their owner. The same thing can be said to Collies. If they need more love from you, rest assured that they will be a bit barky until they got your attention.

What Are Some Of The Barking Triggers?

Much like other dogs, Border Collies are barking to communicate with their owners. However, these dogs are a lot more vocal compared to other breeds. For reasons like stress, boredom, fear, anxiety, excitement, curiosity, loneliness, and so forth, they’re going to bark for it. Other known triggers for their barking are when there are strangers or other dogs.

Is Your Border Collie Lonely?

Border Collies are not only smart but also among the friendliest dogs. They seek companionship most particularly from their family. Leaving them for extended periods or not giving them affection and attention may force them to howling before barking about their loneliness

Since these dogs are smart, they’ll eventually find out that barking at you is what they need to get your attention. And to them, attention, is attention regardless of the method they used to get it. If you have opted to disregard it, this will only make them bark at you more and more. Fortunately, you can easily prevent this by giving them your time.

Interact with your dog. Just a little love and affection is what they want. However, don’t give it to them when they’re barking for attention. It only fuels bad behavior to them.

Is Your Border Collie Bored?

The Border Collie is one of the most active dogs in the world. This is one reason why they bark so much. The dogs have been bred to work hard, and they do not like taking breaks. Border Collies have so much energy because of this reason.

Border Collies are both intelligent and energetic. Because they require mental stimulation in addition to all their physical energy, they can become bored quickly if they’re not doing anything. They frequently express their boredom in a number of ways like:

How to Stop Border Collie’s Barking?

Whether you like it or not, Border Collies are notorious barkers. It is just impossible to keep them silent for a few hours. But you should be happy because this is their normal state. While occasional barking is completely fine, demanding and excessive barking is where the problem lies. Luckily, there are a number of things that you may do if Border Collies bark a lot.

The very first method that you can do is to introduce them to a calm environment. Remember this, any tense or overexcited dog will fail to respond or listen to you. Unlike a controlled and calm dog that is more approachable.

The rest lies in your dedication and patience. Teaching them not to bark is something that doesn’t happen overnight. You’ll need to work together with your pup throughout the process. It will be smart of you as well to bring treats for every good behavior your dog has done.

How To Prevent Excessive Barking?

Your dog is not barking excessively for nothing. If this happens, it is definitely something for a reason like unmet needs or they are facing an overwhelming situation and so on.

It doesn’t matter if you have bought or adopted a dog. What matters is you give them your time to be exercised and exhaust their energy. Through this, it can minimize their instances of barking. By committing time and energy and of course, using proper techniques, you’ll definitely see some progress.

Health & Diet Tips To Help With Barking

Dogs suffering from separation anxiety typically bark excessively when they’re left alone or feel alone. In addition to barking excessively, these dogs often display other symptoms, including:

  • Pacing
  • Destruction
  • Depression
  • Inappropriate elimination

Compulsive barkers are sometimes barking simply to hear their voices. They also frequently exhibit repetitive behaviors.

Greeting barks are nothing to be afraid of. Normally, it is a friendly greeting toward the person. What’s not normal is when your Collie is greeting virtually anyone it meets. In this regard, be vigilant. Their excessive barking could already be a sign that they are hungry, needs to relieve themselves, or simply like your attention.

Training & Exercise To Help With Excessive Barking

Collies born for agility

Since Border Collies are smart, it is easy for their owners to teach them anything. However, there are just instances where their stubbornness act up. If you wish to stop them from constant barking, you have to figure out what method to use that will stick to them.

The Turn Away Method

This is one training approach that can help you regulate the incessant barking of your dog. To do this, simply follow the 5 steps below:

  1. Prepare their favorite treats – bring some treats and put it in your pocket. Give it as a way to reward your dog whenever they’ve done something right.
  2. Bring them to places – take your pups to areas in which they have a big tendency to bark excessively. Once there, spend a bit of time playing with them.
  3. When your dog barks – each and every time your dog begins to bark, just turn away from them. Basically, just ignore them for a few minutes. It can be difficult, yes. But trust the process for the meantime. The concept here is to instill that they’ll get nothing from you if they bark and bark.
  4. It’s about the timing – by the time your dog is calmed down, that is when you enter and give the “quiet” command. This is when you should pop its favorite treat.
  5. Keep the cycle going – redo the process time and time again. But in every new cycle, pick a different location, with and without distractions. Whenever they get it right, be sure to reward them. Now, it is best to anticipate that this process would take a little time. Eventually, your pup will realize that there is no reward for their bad behavior.

Another way to help your dog stop barking is by exercising them. Keep in mind that tired dogs are quiet dogs. Exercises like walking, running, playing fetch, or taking a trip to parks before you leave will do the trick.

Things To Avoid Doing To Prevent Barking

Now, you have an idea about the question of whether Border Collies bark a lot. It is something that depends on the situation actually. But did you know that there are ways you can prevent them from barking? With a bit of effort on your end, you’d be able to control your Collie’s barking behavior.

  • Compose yourself – the golden rule to prevent your dog from barking is to be firm and calm. Never ever yell at them. Shouting will only stimulate your Collies to bark harder. It gives them the impression that you are joining in.
  • Verbal cues – train your Collie to understand what quiet means. Dog’s main communication is through barking. They don’t have any idea of what you want if you are yelling.
  • Contain the situation – you should never ignore this problem. The longer your dog is doing something, regardless if it is good or bad, the more it is embedded in their system.

Be mindful though that it is okay for your dog to bark in some situations. Perhaps when a stranger is in front of your doorsteps or when people are lurking around your house. Know when you should draw the line when their barking is okay and not.


Border Collies are indeed very smart and intelligent dogs. They have come from a lineage of worker dogs, with a specialty in herding. This comes naturally for them to bark often to control the crowd on the farm.

This trait has been passed on from generation and generation. Now, with a totally different purpose, dog owners find it a challenge to control their barking tendencies. It should not be a problem after all. Take advantage of the intelligence that these dogs possess and train them on how to control it. With tips shared, use it to prevent them from excessive barking.

By doing this, it is going to give you an upper hand of the situation. At the same time, this will give your dog new challenges and something to learn, which their breed thrives on. Simply put, it is a win-win for the two of you.

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