Border Collies are energetic intelligent dogs. As such, these dogs need a good amount of exercise and mental stimulation, otherwise they are prone to develop some undesirable behaviors. You may be wondering, do border collies bark a lot?
This article will answer that question as well as explain common reasons why Border collies tend to bark and how you can reduce this behavior if it becomes excessive.
So, Do Border Collies Bark A Lot?
Yes, Border Collies bark a lot. Border Collies being high-energy dogs get easily excited and overstimulated which can lead to excess barking. Working breeds like Border Collies also have a strong prey drive which can also lead to them barking more.
When Do Border Collie Puppies Start Barking?
Generally, Border Collie puppies start barking around 6 to 8 weeks of age, however, some puppies won’t start barking until a couple months later. Usually Border Collie puppies start making other sounds around two to three weeks of age, but they won’t bark until later.
Why Border Collies Bark?
There are a variety of reasons that Border Collies bark. Just generally, any dog barks as a way of communicating something. Most of the reasons why Border Collies bark are common reasons for any dog to bark, but some these reasons are exasperated with Border Collies because of their personalities.
Here are the most common reasons Border Collies bark:
Your dog is excited
One of the big reasons why Border Collies bark is because of excitement. Barking, like growling or howling, is a form of communication for our dogs.
When Border Collies get really excited, they want to express themselves, and often times this comes out as a bark.
If your dog is anticipating something exciting, like a walk, going to the park, or a visit from a special person, they sometimes get too excited to keep their voice contained.
Your dog is bored
Border Collies also bark because they easily get bored. Typically, when we get busy we don’t have as much time to spend with our dogs.
Since Border Collies have tons of energy, without a sufficient amount of exercise they will try and find things to do to keep themselves entertained.
One of these entertaining methods could be barking at things outside, or just barking to try and get your attention to play and engage.
To gain attention
Playing off the boredom factor, dogs often bark to get our attention. Whether it is because they are bored, we are busy, or they just want to play, Border Collies will sometimes bark to get us to engage with them.
Since Border Collies are very smart, they quickly learn how to get our attention. Thus, they will quickly learn that when they bark, we pay attention.
Therefore, if they are looking for us to pay attention to them and they can’t our attention with other tactics, they will sometimes resort to barking.
Someone strange is outside
Another reason Border Collies bark is because they see something or someone strange outside.
Everyone knows dogs typically bark at the mailman or UPS trucks, but dogs will also bark if they see a stranger walking around outside in what they view to be too close to their property.
Although border collies aren’t typically thought of as guard dogs, they will still keep a watchful eye and bark to alert you of a potentially dangerous new person outside.
Another common reason any dog including Border Collies bark is when the doorbell rings. Dogs quickly learn that the doorbell means someone is at the door. Often times this person is a stranger such as a delivery person that you dog doesn’t know.
Accordingly, anytime your dog hears the doorbell they will likely bark thinking there is a stranger at the door.
The funny thing is that sometimes even a doorbell on TV can trigger a dog to bark because they can’t tell the difference between the TV doorbell and the house doorbell.
They sense a threat
Sometimes Border Collies also bark because they sense some sort of threat. Sometimes the threat is more subtle than the obvious threat of a stranger being outside.
They may bark because there is a strange animal around, because they heard an abnormal sound, and some dogs even bark because they can detect things like earthquakes before they occur.
Dogs have a unique way of sensing when something is off, so although we may not always be able to quickly tell the reason, our dogs bark sometimes to alert us of abnormal occurrences they see as a potential threat.
Wanting to play or go outside
Another reason your Border Collie may bark is because they want to play. This goes along with the excitement and getting your attention reasons as well.
Your dog is excited to play, so they bark. They could also bark to get your attention if they want you to engage with a toy or take them outside.
You may have also noticed that when you are playing with your dog, they sometimes bark at you when you have a toy they want. This is because of play and excitement.
Barking while playing or when wanting to go outside, is our dog’s way of saying they are ready and excited for a fun time. Since Border Collies enjoy spending time with us, they look forward to these fun times where we are solely focused on them.
Separation anxiety or stress
Another reason why your Border Collie may bark is due to separation anxiety or just stress because they are anxious about something. The Border Collie is a breed that is more prone to separation anxiety than some other breeds.
Accordingly, if they are super attached to you and you leave, your dog may bark and whine while you are gone because they are anxious without you around.
They may also bark because they have anxiety about some other situation. For example, because they are scared during a storm, or because they are encountering a new situation that they aren’t comfortable in.
Talk to your vet if you think your dog could have anxiety of any type. Often times it can be improved with some training but sometimes in more severe cases, medication may be needed.
How To Stop Your Border Collie From Barking Too Much
Although barking is normal for dogs, sometimes it can get to be too much, or come at inappropriate times for us humans. If you are looking to curb excessive barking try the below tips:
- Don’t give your dog attention when they are barking solely for attention
- Don’t play until your dog is quiet
- Teach the speak and quiet command
- Give your dog plenty of physical and mental exercise to tire them out
How To Tell If Your Border Collie Is Barking Aggressively
Knowing your dog comes in handy with being able to tell if they are barking normally or aggressively, but there are some signs to look for.
Things such as the tone of the bark, your pup’s body language, and the situation are keys to determining the type of bark.
An aggressive bark is an entirely different tone than a playful bark. Additionally, your dog’s body language will shift if they are on guard versus if they are relaxed.
Also, and aggressive bark can also be paired with raised hackles and maybe even growling. You know your dog best, and chances are with a little time you’ll be able to tell the difference between a normal bark and an aggressive one.
Border Collies are a more vocal dog breed that typically bark more than some quieter breeds. The key is to remember that barking is just a way of our dogs communicating with us. There are many reasons why dogs bark at certain people or in certain situations.
Generally, Border Collie barking is just normal behavior, but if it gets to be excessive there are things you can do to reduce the behavior if needed. If you have trouble doing this on your own using the tips in this article, talking to a professional dog trainer is another great place to start.