Do Border Collies Bark A Lot? Understanding Their Barking Habits

Border Collies are a popular breed of dog known all around the world, mainly for their intelligence, and working habits.

With that said, one common concern among potential owners is whether Border Collies bark a lot.

According to several sources, Border Collies are not known to bark too much. They’re not all that vocal, although every dog does bark to some extent and every dog is different. Excessive barking though is not normal and can be triggered by separation anxiety, boredom, the need to communicate, and stimuli like strangers or noises.

Excessive barking, can also be a sign of underlying health issues or behavioral problems that require attention from a veterinarian or professional dog trainer.

While all dogs bark to some extent, excessive barking is not common in dogs, and in this article on the question “do Border Collies bark a lot”, we’ll be going into the details of what makes a Collie bark, and what can be done about excessive barking.

Do Border Collies Bark A Lot

Understanding Border Collies

Border Collies are a breed of herding dogs that are known for their high energy and intelligence.

They were originally bred for their ability to work and herd sheep, and as a result, they need a job to do to stay happy and healthy.

Border Collies are quick learners, and are able to learn and perform a variety of tasks, which makes them great working dogs and even service dogs.

They are also highly trainable, which makes them a popular choice for obedience and agility competitions.

They’re not the best guard dogs, though. They do lack in that department.

With that said, due to their high energy levels, Border Collies require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation, and need to be kept busy or they may become bored and destructive.

One of the possible reasons for excessive barking in Border Collies, is a lack of exercise and mental stimulation, which we’ll be going over later on. .

Overall, Border Collies are a great breed for those who are looking for an intelligent and active dog that needs a job to do.

If you are considering getting a Border Collie, be prepared to provide them with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy.

Barking and Border Collies

Border Collies are known for their intelligence, stamina, their athleticism and for being somewhat of a workaholic.

With that said, Border Collies (just like any dog breed) can sometimes bark.

While some Border Collies may bark more than others, and generally speaking this breed is not very aggressive or vocal, it’s still important to know why they bark and how to control excessive barking if push comes to shove.

Reasons for Barking

Border Collies may bark for several reasons, including:

These are just some of the main reasons your Border Collie can be barking, at any given time.

They may also bark to communicate their needs or to alert their owners of potential dangers, to welcome new people to their homes (when you have someone over) or randomly at cars, birds, other animals or even shadows.

Understanding the trigger for their barking can help determine the best course of action to control it.

Usually, barking is brought on, by specific triggers and are sporadic, natural, and nothing to be worried about.

It also depends on the specific dog. Some dogs might never bark in their early years, but bark a lot at different things as they age.  

Excessive Barking

While barking is 100% natural and safe in dogs, it’s only when they start to excessively bark, that we start having problems.

Excessive barking can become a problem for both the dog and its owner. It can lead to stress, anxiety, and even complaints from neighbors. It’s just not normal in the long term, and without any clear trigger.

Excessive barking is usually a sign of:

  • Pain.
  • Fear.
  • Distress and unease.

To control excessive barking, it’s important to identify the cause and address it accordingly.

Try answering these questions:

  • When does your dog bark excessively? What causes it?
  • Is the barking associated with particular sounds or things?
  • Does the barking happen when you’re not home?
  • Does your dog get enough exercise? 

If you can’t find a reason or specific trigger that makes your Border Collie bark excessively, then you’re most likely dealing with some sort of underlying health issue.

Training and Control

Training Border Collies to control their barking tendencies can be challenging but rewarding.

The basics of training your Border Collie stop barking, is rooted in what’s known as positive reinforcement techniques.

Just like when you want to teach your dog to anything else, the strategy should be based on use treats and praise, to encourage a “quiet” behavior and should not reinforce barking (the “loud” or “unwanted” behavior).

Teaching the dog to respond to commands such as “quiet” or “speak” can also help control barking.

In any case, consistency and patience are key when training a dog to control its barking tendencies.

Do Border Collies Bark A Lot 2

Training Border Collies to Control Barking

As we went over in the last section, training is essential to help Border Collies control their barking behavior.

NOTE: If the barking is not caused by an underlying health condition like an infection, food poisoning, a broken tooth, etc. you should take your dog to the vet immediately.

Otherwise, you can most likely train your Border Collie to stop braking. 

A qualified dog trainer can help you train your dog to control their barking, but if you want to do so yourself, here are some tips to help you train your Border Collie to control their barking:

  • Positive reinforcement: Use positive reinforcement techniques such as rewards and praise to encourage good behavior. This will help your Border Collie learn that good behavior is rewarded.

  • Obedience training: Obedience training can help your Border Collie learn to follow commands and control their behavior. This can be helpful in controlling barking behavior.

  • Attention: Providing regular attention to your Border Collie can help reduce their barking behavior. This will help them feel less anxious and more secure.

  • Mental stimulation: Border Collies are intelligent dogs that require mental stimulation. Providing them with puzzles, toys, and games can help reduce their barking behavior and better the bond between you.

  • Environment: Creating the right environment for your Border Collie can help reduce their barking behavior. Providing them with a comfortable and secure space can help them feel less anxious and reduce their barking.

  • Desensitization: If you know what the trigger is that causes your dog to bark, you can gradually get them used to the trigger and help to soften their response to it, over time.
  • Other dogs: If your Border Collie is barking at other dogs, socializing them can help reduce their barking behavior. This will help them learn to interact with other dogs in a positive way.

All in all, training is essential to help your Border Collie control their barking behavior.

By providing the right environment, mental stimulation, and attention, and using positive reinforcement techniques, you can help your Border Collie control their barking behavior.

Remember that if you’re struggling to train your Border Collie, consider seeking the help of a qualified dog trainer!

Influence of External Factors on Barking

External factors can have a significant impact on a Border Collie’s barking behavior too.

Here are some of the external factors that can influence a Border Collie’s barking:

Territorial and Guard Dog Instincts

Border Collies are known for their territorial and guarding instincts.

They may bark excessively to warn their owners of potential danger or to protect their territory.

This instinct can be heightened if there are other dogs or animals nearby, such as cats or livestock.

Of course, this is probably a one time event, in which the trigger for barking, is obvious. In this situation, barking would be natural for any dog who wants to protect and a Border Collies would let that be known.

Seeking Attention

Border Collies are intelligent dogs that require plenty of mental and physical stimulation.

The feeling of being neglected or ignored, can cause a Border Collie to express itself and not hold back.

If they are not receiving enough attention or exercise, they may bark excessively to get their owner’s attention.


If a Border Collie is feeling frustrated or anxious, they may bark excessively as a way to express themselves.

This can occur if they are unable to perform a task or if they are not receiving enough physical exercise either.


Border Collies that have not been properly socialized may bark excessively when they encounter new people or animals, in later stages of their lives and for no apparent reason.

Socialization is crucial for dogs that are so group-oriented as Border Collies, and must be done early on or the dog might grow up to be a social outcast, which nobody wants.

Fortunately, most of these behaviors can be reversed, although it’s better to treat than to cure, and the later a Collie gets socialized, the harder it’ll be.

Environmental Factors

External factors such as birds, cars, bikes, and neighbors can also trigger a Border Collie’s barking behavior.

For example, a Border Collie may bark excessively at passing cars or when they hear a loud noise.

In conclusion, external factors can also have a significant impact on a Border Collie’s barking behavior, and owners should be aware of these factors and take steps to address them through training, socialization, and fostering a rich, safe environment for their dogs to live in.

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