Do Border Collies Bark A Lot? (And What To Do If They Do)

Thanks to how intelligent, athletic, and adorable they are, Border Collies are a very popular dog. Most people see these dogs in movies and decide that they want to get one. However, the Collie is a herding breed and truly excels when kept on a farm to herd sheep.

Not everyone that wants to own a Collie has the luxury of having sheep or a farm. That’s why it’s vital to learn more about Border Collies before looking to bring one home. One of the biggest questions that potential owners have is, do Border Collies bark a lot?

Do Border Collies Bark A Lot?

One of the most pertinent questions that potential dog owners have is how much a specific breed barks. When it comes to border collies, the answer is an unequivocal yes. They’re a barking breed and aren’t timid at all. Barking is their method of communicating with owners. They tend to bark as a method of expressing their emotions and gaining the owners’ attention.

The barking habits help ensure that collies are effective guard dogs. When they notice anything out of the ordinary, they’ll start barking to inform you of any potential threats. However, for owners that live in a crowded neighborhood, this can quickly become a very annoying trait.

That’s not to say that there’s no way to stop your Border Collie from barking. The critical thing that owners need to identify is what’s triggering their dog to bark. Once they identify the trigger, they can train the dog to be better behaved and more disciplined.

Why Do Border Collies Bark?

One of the best ways to stop your dog from barking is by identifying what’s causing them to bark in the first place. All dogs bark, but a lot of them have different reasons behind why they choose to bark. Border Collies are communicative dogs, and they bark for many other reasons.

Here are all the reasons why Border Collies tend to bark so much!

Natural Instinct

Each dog breed exists for a specific purpose, and Border Collies were bred to herd sheep. That’s why these dogs are super intelligent, athletic, and communicative. They have something known as the herding instinct, which has come about after more than two hundred years of breeding.

Border Collies herding instinct is different from other dogs as well. Instead of driving the livestock away from the handler, Border Collies function as gatherers. They bring the livestock back to the handler.

Instead of using force, Border Collies tend to use their “eye,” a threatening stare-down. If the livestock refuses to listen, these dogs then escalate the encounter by first barking, nipping, and finally resorting to biting.

Border Collie breeds that have a stronger herding instinct will definitely be more prone to barking. Those who come from a line that doesn’t have a strong herding instinct will definitely be calmer.


Most dogs bark as a form of communication. Where border collies become different is they have a lot more to say than other dogs. These dogs love communicating and bark when they’re bored, stressed, fearful, excited, curious, lonely, and playful. They’re brilliant dogs, so their perception is a step ahead of other canines.

Their instinct to communicate frequently also makes them brilliant guard dogs. They’ll give a warning bark to their owners whenever something unusual starts to approach. However, while they might be smart, most collies won’t distinguish an actual threat from a casual squirrel without extensive training.


One of the most pertinent reasons why border collies bark is because they end up getting bored. The dogs have been bred to work super hard. They don’t enjoy taking breaks and want to work every day. It’s one of the main reasons why the breed has so much energy.

When dogs have so much energy, they need a lot of mental stimulation. The activities that would be enough for other dogs’ breed won’t be enough for the Border Collies. When they aren’t actively doing a job, they can get bored very quickly.

Once they get bored, they’ll try to express their boredom by creating their own work. They might assign themselves the task of barking at everything and anything that moves. Border collies need to get a lot of exercises and adequate mental stimulation levels to ensure that they stop barking out of boredom.

Lack of Social Interaction

Border collies are among the most social dogs globally. They love interacting with their owners, and they need companionship. If left alone for an extended period, the dog will start barking to get more attention.

It isn’t just about being left alone. Anytime the Border Collie feels like it isn’t getting enough affection or attention, they will start barking. When it comes to engagement, Border Collies require a lot.

For owners that aren’t ready for it, their demand for constant attention can become very draining. However, those that lead an active lifestyle and capable dog trainers can definitely get the most out of the Border Collie.

These are the significant reasons why a Border Collie tends to bark. It’s a combination of their natural instinct, communicative personality, and their need for attention. They’re one of the most intelligent and demanding dogs anyone can get.

Thanks to their friendly personality and their ability to learn tricks quickly, the Border Collie can make a great family pet. However, if not trained properly, there’s a big chance that your dog will grow up to be one that barks a lot.

There are a lot of techniques that owners can use to stop their Border Collie from barking. Not only are there ways to get your dog to start barking less in general, but there are solutions for specific situations as well.

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How To Stop A Border Collie From Barking?

It’s possible to train an older dog to refrain from certain barking habits, but the best course of action is to start with a pup. While the objective of the training is to ensure that your dog doesn’t bark needlessly, it’s essential to understand that there are certain times that you do want your dog to bark.

One of the best methods of training your dog not to bark is to teach them when it’s appropriate for them to bark. The proper times for a dog to start barking are when there’s someone at the door, someone trying to break-in, or if there’s anything unusual happening in the house. Many trainers believe that owners should always begin dog training by teaching them when it’s okay to bark.

Before working on getting your Border Collie to start barking less, there are a few other commands that they need to learn. The pup needs to master the four basic commands of ‘sit,’ ‘come,’ ‘stay,’ and ‘down.’ After they’ve fully got these commands, you can move the pup on to barking training.

It’s crucial to master these commands first because it teaches the Border Collie who’s in charge. It also gives you an idea about how quickly the pup can learn.  After mastering the basic commands, you should have an idea about the basics of dog training.

You don’t need any fancy supplies to train your dog. All you need is patience, time, and a store of your dogs’ favorite treats. To identify their favorite treat, try giving a few different options and so on which one gets the best response. Once you have everything ready, here are a few ways to get your Border Collie to stop barking.

Catching Him in the Act

In this first technique, you’re going to keep an eye on your Border Collie pup with your treats at the ready. Wait for when he starts barking at the wrong time. Don’t interfere with the barking; just wait until the pup decides to stop barking on its own accord.

Once the pup stops barking, you must start praising the pooch and give him a treat. Repeat the process several times, so the puppy can learn that it earned praise when it stopped barking and got a treat.

The next step in the process is introducing the quiet command. Once again, you’ll wait for the pup to start barking at the wrong thing. Let the pup tire itself out, and when it stops, you must say the word quiet and then give the dog the treat. Repeat the process a few times so that the dog can associate the command with the action and the treat.

Once the dog begins to recognize the quiet command, it’s time to extend the reward time. Extending the reward time helps the dog learn to listen to the command without expecting the reward. The more effort you put in, the earlier your Border Collie will learn to not bark when you quiet. Keep reinforcing the habit, and then your dog will only bark when it’s got a good reason.

Speak Method

The second technique is known as the Speak method, and it starts with calling your pup over. Once the dog comes, proceed to clip on the leash. It’s a method of establishing dominance and maintaining control over the puppy during the training.

After the puppy is on its leash, give whatever command you use to get your puppy to start barking. However, the minute he starts to bark, you need to provide the quiet command. If the pup stops barking immediately, proceed to give him a treat. If the canine continues to bark, wait patiently until they stop and then provide them with the treat. Repeat the process as many times necessary.

Once the pup learns to stop barking immediately on the quiet command, it’s time to start disassociating the command and the reward. The most effective of doing this is by extending the period between the command and the reward. Not only will this solidify the command, but it’ll also teach your dog to stop barking for longer.

By spending the proper amount of training using this technique, you’ll have a Border Collie that only barks when it’s appropriate.

Turning Away Method

The final training technique to help get your Border Collie to stop barking too much is the turn away method. It involves getting the dog treats ready and then taking a dog to an area where they tend to bark incessantly. Once you’re in the area, start playing with your dog to get their energy levels up.

When the dog starts barking, stop playing and turn away. Even if the dog tries to gain your attention, you should continue to ignore it. Once the dog stops barking, introduce the Quiet command, and give them a treat. Repetition is key and is crucial to the success of this technique.

It’s also essential to change the location once your dog learns not to bark inappropriately in the first area. Choose another place where there are different distractions or triggers that cause your Border Collie to bark. It’s definitely the training method that requires the most patience. Still, it’ll ensure that your pup grows into a Border Collie that doesn’t bark incessantly at everything.

There are scenario-specific solutions that can help ensure that your Border Collie doesn’t bark.

Barking at Neighbors

A dog that barks at neighbors isn’t pleasant for anyone and will eventually start causing complaints. The untrained Border Collie will definitely bark at neighbors if it sees them because they’re very communicative dogs. Anything that seems like a stranger is a threat to them, and they start barking to deter the danger and warn their family.

Nobody likes having a dog barking at them whenever they got home, so teaching your dog to stop is essential. One of the most effective ways to get your dogs to stop barking at the neighbors is by introducing them to the dog. Interacting with the neighbors around the dog is also an excellent way to show your little buddy that they aren’t a threat.

The neighbors are probably just as tired of the dog always barking when they’re in the vicinity and will likely cooperate.

Barking at the Mailman

A mailman’s point is that they’re supposed to come and deliver the mail discreetly without disturbing the household. However, a Border Collie will definitely start barking when the mailman approaches the house. To stop this habit, follow the same method as is the case with neighbors.

Once the dog stops perceiving the mailman as a threat, they’ll stop barking continuously whenever one approaches the house.

Interested In Training Your Border Collie The Right Way?

If you haven’t trained your border collie properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether it’s barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.

The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.

With Brain Training For Dogs you’ll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog won’t listen, you’ll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, that’s given proven results. Not to mention the fact, you’ll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.

So instead of worrying about whether they’re going to be well-behaved or not, you’ll only have to worry about how much fun you’ll have with them!

And in most cases it’s still going to be:

  • Cheaper than hiring a professional.
  • Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
  • And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.

Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your border collie completely and never worry whether they’ll be naughty or not. Instead, you’ll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them, will always be there, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT. 

And the best part is it also has a 60-day money-back guarantee! So there’s no reason not to give Brain Training For Dogs a try!

So if you’re tired of your dog’s bad behavior, or how they react around other people and pooches, then give it a try! You’ll be amazed by the results!

(You can also check out a full review here, to learn exactly what the course has to offer!)

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What Should You Avoid Doing?

One of the most important things to avoid when training a dog to stop barking is using forceful reinforcement. Using a violent punishment to deter the dog from barking can, in turn, make the dog more aggressive and cause them to bark more.

Also, always paying attention to your dog when it starts barking is negative reinforcement as well. The dogs will begin associating their barking by getting your attention. As a result, they’ll start frequently barking to get your attention.

One of the most important things to avoid is stopping your dog when they bark appropriately. If there’s someone at the door or someone trying to break in the house, it’s perfectly normal for your dog to start barking. Discouraging it from barking all the time might lead to the dog losing some of its guard dog instincts.

Also, when training the puppy, it’s essential to avoid putting them through a long session. Border Collies get bored quickly and have a very short attention span. That’s why instead of training them for long hours, the best method is to train them for short periods then give them a break. Instead of singular long sessions, it’s best to do multiple small ones.

Another crucial don’t is letting the barking training come in between the exercise time of the dog. Border Collies are incredibly energetic and active dogs. If they don’t receive enough physical and mental stimulation, it doesn’t matter how much training you do; the dog will bark.

One of the most important things to avoid when looking to get a Border Collie that barks less is herding lines. Don’t adopt puppies that come directly from herding parents. These dogs will have a stronger herding instinct, and it’ll become harder to train. Buy these beautiful dogs from dealers that actually know what they’re doing.


The Border Collie is one of the most graceful, athletic, and intelligent dog breeds you can get. They’re natural barkers, but you can ensure that it does not get constant with the proper training. Even though it’s natural for them to bark, nobody wants a dog that loses its head over every single thing. Following these techniques will help ensure that you have a Border Collie that’s the perfect family dog!