Are Border Collies Loyal? A Comprehensive Look at Their Loyalty and Temperament

Border Collies are a popular breed of dog known for their intelligence, agility, and trainability.

One of their most desirable traits is none of these though, but in fact, is their impressive loyalty.

Many people wonder if Border Collies are loyal. Are Border Collies loyal to only one person or can form strong bonds with multiple family members? Just how loyal are these dogs? 

Well in this article, we’ll look deeper into that topic.

If you’re considering getting a Border Collie, it’s important to understand their loyalty and how it may impact your relationship with them.

You’ll want to make sure that this particular breed will have your back at all times, and that you can also trust to follow your guidance and command.

In this post, we’ll look at discussing the factors that can influence a Border Collie’s loyalty, such as training, socialization, and genetics, and by the end, you’ll have a better understanding of Border Collies and their loyalty, and be better equipped to decide if this breed is right for you.

Let’s dive right in.

Are Border Collies Loyal

The Loyal Nature of Border Collies

So to answer the question, right of the bat, are Border Collies loyal? The answer is yes. Border Collies are extremely loyal dogs.

Border Collies are loyal in nature, making them a popular choice for those looking for a companion or pet. They form a strong bond with their owners and are always eager to please and follow orders.

They’re affectionate and loving dogs that enjoy spending time with their family, and were originally bred for herding sheep, which can only correctly be done by a loyal dog, with a trustworthy human giving commands.

So in a sense, Border Collies have been genetically selected to be loyal to their owners, as they’re working dogs that need a reliable owner to take the lead. 

Border Collies are highly intelligent dogs too, which means that they can easily assess the situation and if they’re taught correctly, can learn to read their owners, can easily follow multiple commands, learn tons of words, do tricks and much more.

So where the topic of “loyalty” is concerned, Border Collies are one of the most loyal breeds of dogs on the planet.

Overall, if you’re looking for a loyal companion, the Border Collie is an excellent choice.

They’ll form a strong bond with you and be by your side through thick and thin. Their loyal nature makes them great family pets and therapy dogs, and their intelligence and trainability make them easy to handle.

Understanding the Border Collie’s Personality

Border Collies are intelligent, energetic, and responsive dogs that require plenty of mental stimulation and exercise. 

The Border Collie’s intelligence is one of its most notable personality traits. They’re highly trainable and can learn a wide range of tasks and commands.

They are also capable of problem-solving and can quickly adapt to new situations.

Despite their intelligence, Border Collies can be independent and may not always follow commands without question.

However, they have a strong desire to please their owners and will work hard to earn their approval.

Border Collies are generally friendly and sociable dogs and are rarely aggressive. They’re happiest when they have a job to do and thrive on activities such as agility training, herding, and obedience competitions.

The Working Dog: Border Collies and Their History

Border Collies are a breed of working dogs that were originally bred to herd sheep in Scotland. 

The history of the Border Collie dates back to the 19th century when they were first bred in the Scottish Borders region.

They were bred to work on farms, specifically to herd and manage sheep, and was developed over time to be highly intelligent and trainable, with a strong work ethic and a natural instinct following commands.

These dogs have been trained to work in search and rescue, as therapy dogs, and as assistance dogs for people with disabilities.

The Border Collie’s history as a working dog means that they have a strong drive to work and are happiest when they have a job to do. They thrive on being given tasks to complete, which in turn requires them to be loyal to your command and not stubborn.

Are Border Collies Loyal To Only A Single Person? 

While it’s true that Border Collies can form a deep loyalty towards one specific person (and can even showcase favoritism) this doesn’t mean that they can’t be good pets, or that they can’t coexist with other family members or other pets.

They will however be on the lookout for the “leader” of the pack, which it will expect will give it commands.

Loyalty is about trust, and it’ll trust that you, as a leader, will know how to navigate any specific situation.

At the end of the day, the Border Collie will follow commands of that person it trusts the most. 

For more information, we’ve created a separate article on whether or not Border Collies pick a favorite person, here.

Are Border Collies Loyal 2

Are Border Collies Protective?

Not only are Border Collies loyal, they’re also pretty protective by naturea.

Once again, they’ve been bred to herd, which is another way to say “protect” and they may of course display protective tendencies when their owners are at risk

With that said, relying on them Border Collie exclusively for protection in dire circumstances might the best idea.

Other breeds such as German Shepherds or Pitbulls are better suited for protection roles. Border Collies aren’t the best guard dogs.

If you want to learn more about whether or not Border Collies are protective, you can check out our article on that topic, here.

Establishing The Most Loyal Person

How do Border Collies determine who their most “loyal human” is? How does one of these dogs know to distinguish their owner, from other people?

Even though it appears to be obvious, there are in fact several factors influence a dog’s affinity towards a particular person, ultimately leading to a strong loyalty bond.

Key factors in determining a dog’s most loyal person include:

Early Socialization: The first six months of a dog’s life are critical for socialization. Positive interactions during this period influence their behavior for life, and so exposure to diverse people and situations fosters a well-rounded personality.

Attention: Dogs often bond closely with individuals who provide them with attention and care. Physical affection, grooming, and spending quality time reinforce this bond.

Personality Matching: Dogs might gravitate towards people who share similar energy levels and personalities. Active dogs might prefer energetic individuals, while calmer dogs might favor more tranquil companions. At the end of the day, your dog will look up to you, so make sure you’re lead by example.

Positive Associations: Dogs tend to favor those who provide rewards, treats, and positive experiences. Being a source of joy and nourishment contributes to their loyalty.

Respect: Sometimes, love is not enough, and your dog needs to know that it has boundaries. Being strict with boundaries and letting your dog know that it can’t walk all over you, will keep the relationship grounded. It shows competence and discipline on your side.

Enhancing Your Relationship With Your Pup

The next are some common practices to take into consideration to enhance your bond with your dog:

Spend time together: Spend at least 30 minutes of focused time together, engaging in activities like fetch or hide and seek. Practice commands and get your dog accustomed to what different things are called and what your expressions mean.

Sports: Participating in competitive team sports like flyball or agility training will take your relationship to newer highs, and create something solid in the long term.

Mealtime Bonding: Incorporate mealtime as a bonding experience, maintaining eye contact and offering homemade treats is a great way to connect with your dog. Food will be an important part of your day to day lives, make it fun and engaging. 

Don’t punish your dog: Punishing your dog for misbehaving is a surefire way to break trust. It takes a lot of time to rebuild trust with your dog (could take years) and your dog might be scared of you, and might not even trust you anymore, which is something that you definitely don’t want.

Grooming and Care: Grooming time is a great way to use time that could otherwise be lost, to have fun with your dog and create boundaries and limits.

Socialization: Everything is not all about you though. Positive interactions with other dogs and other people, help expand your dog’s social horizons and gets your dog to see a different side of life that you’ll probably not be able to give it.

General Kindness: Consistent kindness and care are essential for your dog to be healthy. Always be a beacon in your dog’s life, you’re the one it’s looking up to at all times after all.

Don’t ignore: Ignoring, as a strategy to make your dog do or stop doing something, is a terrible idea. Best case, your dog will not notice you trying to ignore it (which changes nothing), worst case your dog actually senses something is wrong, and could get scared or confused.   

By following some of these tips, you can make sure to build an unbreakable, solid and long-lasting relationship with your Border Collie.


In conclusion, yes Border Collies are extremely loyal dogs. They’re one of the top most loyal dog breeds, known for their loving nature and great companionship.

As discussed in the previous sections, Border Collies tend to form strong bonds with their owners and are often considered one-person dogs.

However, with proper socialization and training, they can also be friendly with other family members and even learn to be protective of strangers.

But overall, if you’re looking for a loyal and loving companion that can have your back 100% of the time…

or if you need a dog to bounce your ideas off of, that you can interact with and make a lifelong bond with, a Border Collie might be the perfect pet for you.

Just be sure to provide them with plenty of attention, training, and exercise, and follow some of the guidelines we’ve mentioned above, to ensure a happy and healthy relationship.

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