Do Border Collies Make Good Guard Dogs? (And 5 Alternatives)

If you’re looking into making a guard dog part of your home for protection, it’s important to do thorough research on which breeds will be most effective for you, your lifestyle, and purposes. Border Collies are great companions and make wonderful family dogs. 

 But, the purpose of a guard dog is to sound an alarm, attack, and restrain intruders. Border Collies are the smartest dogs on the planet who are notorious herders from the border of England and Scotland. But are Border Collies good guard dogs? Are Border Collies Good Guard Dogs? 

 Even though Border Collies are very capable watchdogs, they will not restrain intruders. Their natural instincts do not lend to natural guard duty. Ergo, having one as a guard dog may prove to be problematic and difficult. They will bark and chase, but it’s not common for them to attack. 

 Will A Border Collie Protect You? 

 Yes, a Border Collie will protect you but not in the same way as other breeds. They come from a long line of sheepherders. They’ll bark, growl, lunge, and even bite to an extent, especially when danger is afoot. But these things aren’t to harm or kill. So, it won’t have the same power or ferocity as a German Shepherd, for example.  

 Can You Train A Border Collie To Be A Guard Dog? 

 Every dog is individual and different. You may have a Border Collie mixed with a breed known for guardianship. So, with the right training and dedication, you can turn a Border Collie into a guard dog. But, for purebreds, it’s not part of their nature, and it may be painstakingly difficult to get them into the same mentality and assertiveness as dogs like Cane Corsos. 

It’s asking a lot of a Border Collie to become a guard dog. It can happen, but you should use your best judgment to determine if such a thing is right for your Border Collie. There are classifications of guard dog training that you can consider in conjunction with your purposes: 

 Attack Dog 

 This kind of training applies to law enforcement and military purposes, but it also has hunting uses too. The dogs receive every kind of training, even fierce aggression against armed intruders. This can be extreme for a Border Collie and puts it outside of its comfort zone. 

 Guard Dog 

 Guard dog training will enable the ability to be aggressive, but only in certain situations that require restraining or attacking unwanted animals or people. You can train a Border Collie for this, but it’s pressing to their abilities. 

 Personal Protection 

 Now here’s where Border Collies are getting into their zone of ability and where they work best. This training offers protection for a person to whom they have a strong bond. Extra training ensures they know the difference between who’s a friend and who’s an enemy. 


 Very much like a guard dog, sentry training requires less human direction because they guard a particular area. This means they’re often independent of being part of a family unit. You can train Border Collies for this, and they will do very well, but then you’d miss out on the special love and affection they offer. 


 Watchdog detail is where Border Collies perform best. This training will alert to strange activity and people in the vicinity with growling and barking. They won’t pack too much of a punch, but they are an effective deterrent.  

 Other Kinds of Training 

 Even if you don’t go the guard dog route with training, there are other kinds of training to think about. These are also excellent for Border Collies and will amp up their protective capabilities. 


 If you can’t afford any other kind of training, this is a standard for guarding and protection. Agility training will prepare dogs for jumping, racing, and obstacle courses. This will be most beneficial for any dog’s ability to deter intruders from home. This requires a strong bond between the owner and the dog through physical gestures and voice commands.  


 This will teach any dog how to behave around people and animals. This includes basic commands, but the end goal is to ensure they’re good and well-mannered. Housebreaking, excessive barking, and destructive chewing are some things that come under control. Most puppies begin with behavioral training. 


 Once a pup gets a little older and understands some basic commands, obedience training puts those to good useIt also advances those commands and helps the dog to further understand its roles as part of the family unit. The goal of this kind of training makes dogs more obedient to their owners. 


 If you want your dog for working purposes, including guardianship and protection, vocational training will hone and fine-tune their natural instincts while increasing their skill base. This means they’ll have a career where they learn specific things to perform particular jobs.  

They can learn how to do search-and-rescue, provide disability assistance, work with law enforcement, hunt, and herd. What they learn should be appropriate to their breed and temperament. Vocational training is expensive, rigorous, and time-consuming.  

Want To Train Your Border Collie With Peace Of Mind?

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!)

 5 Good Guard Dog Alternatives 

 If you’re looking into a Border Collie as a guard dog, then it’s also likely you’re not looking for a super ferocious dog like a Bullmastiff or something as massive as a Cane Corso. The following is a list of impressive guard dogs that also make great house pets. 


 Boxers make good family guard dogs due to their high energy, muscular build, and intimidating stance. They’re full of love and perfect for indoors but not small spaces. Yes, they have a reputation for being stubborn and difficult to train, but if you get them as a pup with good, consistent training, they’ll be fine.  

They’re well-suited for children and love being around their humans, which makes Boxers a good family dog. They’re wary of strangers and will protect the family from any threats or danger. Their look and bark are so intimidating; even the most nefarious characters will flee at a moment’s notice. But, when in a pinch, they’ll back you up in a heartbeat. 

 Treat Them Right 

 Boxers are very aware of mistreatment and disrespect; it’s arguable they understand this more than most other dogs. So, avoid punishing them in physical ways. But they’re flexible and versatile because they can learn to do almost anything. 

They’re fierce and ferocious protectors, but they won’t attack anyone. They can be aggressive, but it isn’t common to their nature. Of course, with the right training, they can learn to be some of the most accurate attack dogs. 


 With proper love and training, Rottweilers are great guard dogs who are intelligent, loyal, and know their role in the family. They take pride in their job, understand who they are and what they represent in their pack. They’re aggressive, but they also retain the cutest resting puppy face when calm or at play.  

They will not only defend their owners from intruders with the utmost vehemence, but they are also very aware of children, their vulnerability and will bond with them. They will also do well around other household pets, like cats, so long as they’re socialized right. 

 Docile Babies 

 Regardless of their bad reputation for being one of the most ferocious dogs, they are quite docile and happy with their humans. When they have their needs met, they’re actually big babies who love their belly rubs as much as any other dog. But when push comes to shove, they know when to flip the switch. 

With Rotties, their adult temperament and behavior often reflect how well they’re treated and trained. When all align the correct way, they are one of the best kinds of guard dogs to have as companions. 

(Find out more about Rottweilers as guard dogs.)

 Doberman Pinschers 

 Doberman Pinschers are yet another dog with a bad reputation because of the horror film “The Omen” in the late 1970s. Yes, they are ferocious with a breeding history specific for guard duty. But, with proper attention, care and training, Doberman Pinschers can be excellent guard dogs for property and family with assertive determination.  

Dobermans are actually gentle giants who love being part of their family pack. But when out in the yard or during in-house security detail, they will defend with everything they have at their disposal 

(Find out more about Dobermans as guard dogs.)

Females Make Great Guardians 

 Believe it or not, they’re excellent with children and other pets. This is especially true for females, where if you get a pup when a child is about three and let them bond, the Doberman will protect the child well into high school. The males will be a good all-around family dog that loves to frolic and play. 

But, training is essential, and it must be consistent, especially with the females. They are more apt toward domineering behavior that can get out of control if not kept in check. Males also tend to be more independent and will avoid listening to owners if not trained and socialized correctly. 


 The Boerboel, or South African Mastiff, is a farming dog from South Africa. Farming there is much different than in the United States.  They face very intense predators, vicious intruders, and other extreme dangers, like the weather. These huge dogs have a hunting instinct and an instinctual need to protect, making them one of the most fierce guard dogs. 

They need a few hours of exercise every day and plenty of territories to protect. They require an equal balance of indoor and outdoor living. Plus, they shouldn’t stay locked up too long. 

 The Perfect Family Guard Dog 

They are perfect for children and will guard the entire family, property, and other animals. Because of their farming background, they easily get along with most other pets. With proper socialization and training, they’ll do well under any condition.  

Boerboels are famous for having an even-keeled temperament. But they do not trust strangers and will not take a bribe from them, so you must introduce Boerboels to visitors and friends to avoid mishaps. They’re loveable and playful but can shift between being energetic and lazy. When a moment of danger arises, they are right there to protect and serve.  


 Although temperaments can vary, Akitas make great family guard dogs and constant companions. They’re at the top of the list when it comes to loyalty and defending their pack. Akitas originate from the mountains of Japan and often fought alongside Samurai warriors.  

Akitas have a perfect shape with a beautiful coat.  They are sharp, smart, accurate, and very aware of themselves, their pack, and their surroundings. Akitas aren’t prone to incessant barking and are often very clean and quiet, like cats. So, when they do bark, something’s amiss, and you should pay attention. 

 Playful But Fierce 

 Although fierce protectors and suited to guard duties, they are also very playful and only happy with their owners. They experience severe separation anxiety if left alone too long and will get destructive if bored or without proper training. 

This is why it’s very important to begin training and socializing right away, especially if there are other pets in the household. They’ll get along well with many other animals, but they will hunt down animals smaller than themselves without socialization. It’s within their instincts to do so. 


 Border Collies are great dogs and are perfect for families as watchdogs. But, they generally don’t make good guard dogs against intruders. With the right training, they can do this job, but it depends on their individuality and character. It’s not what they’re strongest at doing, though, because Border Collies are natural herders of flocks. 

They can be fierce and they will protect you, but their bark is more powerful than their bite. If you want a guard dog with defensive instincts, then go with something like a Rottweiler or a Boxer. Border Collies will bark, lunge, growl and bite. But this kind of defense won’t have the same effect as an Akita or Doberman Pinscher.