Training & Behavior

Understanding Border Collie’s Hyperactivity and How to Manage it

Border Collies are known for their natural vigor and propensity for hyperactivity, particularly in their younger years. If you’re overwhelmed by your dog’s boundless energy, you might eagerly anticipate the day when things settle down. While exuberance is a common trait in this breed, most Border Collies mellow out as they mature.

However, this timeline can vary significantly from one dog to another. Rather than solely relying on age as a predictor, focusing on actively managing your Border Collie’s high energy levels is crucial. To address their hyperactive tendencies, it’s essential to implement strategies that can help your Border Collie navigate its most energetic states. This might involve engaging them in plenty of physical exercise and mental stimulation to channel their energy positively.

Training sessions focusing on impulse control and calming techniques can also be incredibly beneficial in teaching your pup how to relax and manage their excitement. Remember, every dog is unique, so finding what works best for your pet is crucial in promoting a more balanced and calm demeanor as they grow.

What Causes Your Border Collie to be Hyperactive?

triggers of hyperactivity

Border Collies, known for their high energy, necessitates proper understanding and fulfillment of their requirements to ensure a content and fulfilled life. Thus, preventing stress-inducing environments that can lead to undesired behavior and inappropriate outlets. Engaging them mentally and physically is crucial to avoid behavioral issues and promote their well-being.

Like humans, dogs require mental stimulation and physical exercise to maintain balanced energy levels.

If your dog exhibits excessive energy by day’s end, it might indicate that their physical needs are being met while their mental needs are overlooked.


When a Border Collie displays excessive energy and restlessness when left alone, it might be due to separation anxiety triggered by various factors. Changes in their usual schedule, introducing a new family member, or excessive attention during their puppy stage can all contribute to this stress. This heightened anxiety can manifest as hyperactivity when they are apart from their owners.

Things that only Dogs can hear

Certain sounds imperceptible to the human ear can trigger heightened activity in Border Collies. Dogs can detect frequencies of up to 60,000 Hertz, far beyond the 20,000 Hertz limit of human hearing. This includes specialized dog whistles that emit high frequencies exclusively audible to dogs.

Interestingly, commonplace household devices such as computers, TVs, and ultrasonic humidifiers generate sounds within this canine audible range. While these sounds may go unnoticed by their human companions, Border Collies, in particular, might find them irritating. Consequently, powering down these devices when not in use is advisable to provide a more comfortable environment for your energetic furry friend.

In addition to high-frequency sounds, dogs excel at detecting low-decibel noises that escape human perception. They can discern soft sounds like the faint scurrying of a mouse or the distant rumbling of a truck. A Border Collie could respond to such subtle yet distinctly audible stimuli when it appears unusually alert. Understanding and managing the auditory environment of your companion, including both high and low-frequency sounds, can contribute to their overall well-being and minimize episodes of hyperactivity.

Frightened or Anxious

Border Collies, known for their exceptional sensitivity and intelligence, are prone to experiencing anxiety, which often manifests in hyperactive behavior. Several factors contribute to their fear, including environmental changes, insufficient mental stimulation, or past traumatic experiences. The heightened sensitivity of these dogs makes them particularly susceptible to stressors, leading to feelings of unease and restlessness.

When a Border Collie feels anxious, it might exhibit various hyperactive behaviors to cope with its inner turmoil. Restlessness, constant pacing, excessive barking, or an inability to settle down are common signs of this anxiety-driven hyperactivity. It’s essential to recognize these signs and identify the underlying triggers to help alleviate their anxiety and consequent hyperactive behavior.

Suppressed Natural Habits

Initially bred for herding sheep, Border Collies thrive in environments reminiscent of pastures with expansive fields and the company of herding animals. Engaging in herding activities, they find fulfillment and purpose, mirroring their instincts. However, when these canines are placed in unfamiliar settings, akin to our discomfort in new situations, they may experience anxiety. Consider the nerves felt on the first day of school or during a job interview when confidence wavers.

Dogs undergo similar emotions, especially when confronted with environments they’ve never encountered. This is particularly true if they are transported to a different country, exposing them to a novel world filled with unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells. In such instances, it becomes crucial for the pet owner to provide reassurance, acting as the anchor that communicates to the dog that everything is under control and that they are safe in their new surroundings.

Are Border Collies a Hyperactive Breed?

Border Collies typically exhibit a non-aggressive nature, yet their abundant energy levels make them susceptible to becoming hyperactive if overstimulated. This breed often experiences overstimulation when their lifestyle becomes frustrating, especially when owners attempt to rouse excitement. Repeated exposure to such situations can trigger automatic bouts of hyperactivity in these dogs.

During their early years, Border Collies need extensive exercise, particularly mental stimulation, to channel their surplus energy effectively. This requirement for cognitive engagement persists throughout their lives. However, as they mature, their exercise needs may not demand excessive physical activity; instead, a sufficient amount to maintain their overall health and fitness suffices.

At What Age does Border Collie Hyperactivity Stop?

If you’ve ever wondered when these lively dogs will settle down, the typical timeframe is around three years. At this point, most Border Collies reach a level of maturity where they can maintain composure in various situations. Yet, even as they mature, their energy levels might remain higher than many other breeds for a few more years, ensuring they continue to bring their unique zest for life to every moment.

Which Border Collie is Calmer, Male or Female?

The temperament differences between male and female Border Collies can often be influenced by their sex hormones. Female Border Collies may tend toward calmer behavior compared to males due to higher levels of estrogen, which are known to promote muscle relaxation and a potentially more relaxed demeanor.

Conversely, male Border Collies might display more energy and, in some cases, heightened activity levels influenced by their male hormones, which can contribute to increased hyperactivity and possibly a more assertive or energetic nature. It’s important to note that individual personalities and behaviors can vary widely among dogs, regardless of gender.

Does a Border Collie Calm Down after getting Neutered or Spayed?

The belief that spaying or neutering helps calm dogs is widespread, especially among owners of hyperactive breeds like border collies. While the procedure offers various benefits, such as reducing specific behavioral issues related to hormonal fluctuations during heat cycles, it does not inherently lead to decreased a dog’s energy levels or overall hyperactivity. Instead, spaying or neutering can mitigate behavioral problems linked to hormonal changes.

If you have a hyperactive dog, focusing on training, providing regular exercise, and engaging them with mental stimulation at home are more effective approaches to managing their behavior and energy levels. These activities channel their energy constructively and help foster a calmer and more balanced demeanor over time.

How to Calm Your Border Collie?

containing your Border Collie's energy

Effectively calming a Border Collie requires a gentle approach and ample patience. Begin by scheduling a veterinary appointment to address any potential underlying health issues. Additionally, implementing a low-protein, low-fat diet is essential, as excessive calories from fats and proteins can contribute to heightened energy levels in these naturally energetic dogs.

Facilitate regular and substantial exercise for your pet. Consider leveraging their strong herding instincts by encouraging running and playing in a secure, open space. When leaving the house, create a haven within your home, such as a small room equipped with the dog’s bed, toys, and possibly a crate if they use one.

Enhance the calming environment by adding unwashed articles of clothing to the room. Soft T-shirts and sweaters, which retain your scent, can provide a comforting presence even in your absence. In cases of severe hyperactivity or separation anxiety, consider incorporating herbal calming remedies into your dog’s diet as an additional measure.

Plenty Of Mental Stimulation is a must for Border Collies

Border Collies are renowned for their quick wit and boundless energy, making regular physical activity essential. Due to their propensity for boredom, they thrive on constant mental engagement. Training a Border Collie is notably straightforward, given their high intelligence and active nature. Commencing obedience training as early as 3 or 4 months old lays a solid foundation. However, progressing to advanced training is advisable after 6 or 8 months when the dog is more mature physically and mentally. This ensures a more successful and fulfilling training experience.

Train your Border Collie with Smells and Aroma

Harnessing the power of scent can be a valuable tool in alleviating your dog’s anxiety when you have to leave them alone. Studies indicate that familiar human scents activate a region in a dog’s brain linked to positive expectations. To help ease your dog’s distress during your absence, consider leaving behind an item of clothing that bears your scent.

This tangible reminder of you can provide comfort and reassurance, creating a sense of familiarity for your furry friend while you’re away. Therefore, offering your dog an article of clothing imbued with your scent before you depart effectively promotes a sense of calmness.

Commit to Consistently Train Your Border Collie

Border Collies thrive on structured, concise training sessions. Keeping sessions brief—around ten to twenty minutes—helps maintain their focus and prevents their attention from drifting. A consistent schedule is vital; regular, short sessions aid their learning process. It’s crucial to monitor your Border Collie’s progress throughout training, adjusting techniques if needed to ensure you’re meeting the milestones effectively.

Regular Exercising

Ensure that your dog receives ample exercise to cater its exceptionally high energy levels. Daily physical and mental stimulation is crucial, as neglecting these needs may result in restlessness.

To effectively capture your dog’s focus during training sessions, allocate sufficient time for play give them opportunities to engage in vigorous running activities. Balancing physical exertion and mental challenges is essential to keep your Border Collie content and well-behaved.

Use a Distraction

A wide array of specialized toys exists crafted to soothe and engage dogs. These toys come in various forms, from durable chew toys to intricate puzzle feeders. Introducing these toys into your dog’s routine can be immensely beneficial as they not only keep your furry friend occupied but also assist in curbing their excess energy and hyperactivity.

The act of engaging with these toys not only provides mental stimulation but also serves as a constructive outlet for their instincts, promoting a sense of calmness and relaxation.

Use A Crate To Calm your Border Collie

Crates serve as excellent tools for short periods when you cannot supervise your puppy directly, fostering a sense of calm and teaching them to relax. Adequate sleep is crucial for managing biting tendencies, especially in these breeds, making a consistent sleep routine essential. Providing your pup with a safe chew toy or a stuffed toy can aid in soothing them, encouraging relaxation and better sleep. Additionally, a crate aids in-house training by creating a designated space for the puppy.

Give Enough Space for Your Dog to Play

Create ample space for your furry friend to roam and indulge in playful activities. For smaller to medium-sized dogs, a minimum area of 100 to 200 square feet is essential, while larger breeds or multiple dogs might require 200 to 500 square feet or more. Set aside a secure zone where they can frolic off-leash, engaging in games like fetch or tug of war. Opt for pet-friendly landscaping such as grass, artificial turf, or soft ground coverings to ensure comfort and safety.

Enhance their play area with interactive elements like tunnels, obstacle courses, or agility gear. If suitable for your pet, consider introducing water features like a small pool or sprinklers for added enjoyment. Tailor the space according to your pet’s breed or size, considering their specific needs and preferences.

Increase Socialization

Encouraging interaction with other animals aids in calming Border Collies. When introduced gradually and socialized from a young age, they generally exhibit good behavior around other pets. To introduce your Border Collie to other animals successfully, prioritize early socialization. This process helps them understand proper conduct and fosters positive connections with other creatures.

Give Your Border Collie a Massage

Massaging your Border Collie can effectively promote calmness and reduce stress. Not only does it enhance your bond, but it can also address potential health issues and maintain their overall well-being. Incorporating specific techniques can effectively ease muscle tension and contribute to a more serene temperament like for instance:

  • Circular motions: Using your fingertips, gently create small circular movements on your dog’s muscles, ensuring a consistent and gentle pressure to encourage relaxation.
  • Kneading: Employ a delicate touch with your fingers to massage specific muscle areas, being cautious around their skeletal structure to avoid exerting pressure on bones.
  • Long strokes: Start from their head and proceed towards the tail, using your palm to stroke their entire body. This method induces relaxation and amplifies the overall calming effect.

By consistently practicing these methods, you’ll foster a tranquil atmosphere at home for your Border Collie.

Check Your Compatibility

Assess your compatibility with the dog by considering its history, especially if it was someone’s pet before. The dog may already have a strong bond with them, and understanding this dynamic is crucial.

Observe the dog’s behavior when you and your family come home – does it immediately get along towards your 10-year-old family member?

If you desire a similar connection, there are steps you can take to enhance your bond. Your furry companion undoubtedly has its preferences.

Whether it’s the excitement of bounding through the dog park, the thrill of chasing a tennis ball, or a special attachment to a particular toy, indulge in these activities with your pup. Tailor your activities to match your dog’s energy level—whether that means embarking on an adventure along a hiking trail or agility course, engaging in a spirited game of fetch, or simply snuggling up on the sofa for a cozy movie night. The key is to spend quality time doing what your dog loves most.

Rule Out Health Problems

By understanding the particular health concerns that affect Border Collies, we can create a customized preventive healthcare strategy to identify and ideally mitigate predictable risks. Certain illnesses and health issues in dogs are linked to their breed’s genetics. Veterinary professionals and experts in canine genetics commonly agree that the conditions highlighted in this discussion have a notable frequency or impact within the Border Collie breed.

Avoid Leaving Your Border Collie alone for too Long

It’s essential to remember that Border Collies thrive on social interaction and require substantial attention from their owners. Leaving them alone for extended periods can lead to potential issues, including destructive behavior or the development of behavioral problems.

To ensure their well-being and happiness, it’s crucial to dedicate quality time to your Border Collie and provide both mental and physical stimulation. Engaging in activities and spending time together are essential to keeping them content and fulfilled.

Play Relaxing Music

Similar to humans, dogs can experience a range of mental and emotional challenges, among which anxiety is a common concern. Anxiety in dogs often arises when their fundamental needs aren’t adequately met. Consequently, various approaches have been suggested to address this issue, from aromatherapy to calming music as a potential treatment for anxious dogs. These interventions aim to provide relief and support to alleviate the symptoms of canine anxiety.


why you must stimulate your Border Collie

Understanding and managing a Border Collie’s hyperactivity requires a comprehensive approach rooted in their unique characteristics. Owners can effectively channel and control their Border Collie’s exuberance by acknowledging their high intelligence and energy levels and incorporating mental and physical stimulation through activities like interactive games, training, and regular exercise.

Additionally, establishing a consistent routine, providing ample socialization, and ensuring a stimulating environment will significantly address and mitigate their hyperactivity. With patience, understanding, and a tailored approach, owners can create a fulfilling and balanced life for their energetic Border Collie.

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