Do Border Collies Bark a Lot? All You Need to Know About Their Barking and How to Manage It

By Austin F

Are you thinking about getting a Border Collie but worried about the barking? Barking can be a big nuisance for any dog parent, and sometimes, you may not even know the dog is a barker until later in life. But you are in luck when it comes to border collies.

As a general rule, border collies do not bark a lot. Border collies can get triggered easily and may bark in these situations, but they are not constant barkers like other breeds. Like with any dog, the amount of barking can depend on their genes, training, and home life.

Keep reading, and you will learn more about the nature of Border Collies, the kinds of barking they do, what affects their barking, and ways you prevent excessive barking.

The Nature of Border Collies

Border Collies are smart, energetic dogs that love to work with people and play with other dogs. They are great at herding and may bark because they like to communicate with their owners.

Since they have lots of energy, they need plenty of play and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. They may bark excessively if they don’t get enough exercise or stimulation and this can be challenging for people who live in small spaces.

However, with good training and engaging activities, you can help your border collies reduce excessive barking and keep them feeling happy and healthy.

Factors That Influence Barking Behavior

Barking is natural in all dogs, but too much barking is not always good. Below are some reasons why your border collie might be barking more than you’d like.

Age and Developmental Stages

Puppies grow and change, and their barking changes too. When puppies are young, they bark more because they are curious and learning. As they get older, they learn to bark in a more controlled way.

If you get a border collie as a puppy, you’ll have time to learn what triggers them to bark and to hopefully train them out of it.


The environment is one of the biggest factors when it comes to barking.

Where a border collie lives and spends their time can affect their barking. If they are alone for too long during the day or have limited space to live in, they might bark too much because they’re bored.

Squirrel Photo

Loud noises like fireworks or thunderstorms can lead to barking.

Even animals outside, people at the door, or loud neighbors may cause your BC to bark.

When we moved to our current house, the squirrels drove my border collie insane. He would lose his mind barking at them. It took a long time to train him out of it, but nowadays, he watches them and is perfectly quiet.

Play and Work

Some border collies are just naturally more vocal when playing with toys, playing with other dogs, or herding. This is perfectly normal and should not be something to be worried about.


Aggression towards other dogs, people, or moving objects could be a reason for your border collie to bark. This is certainly not something that you want to reinforce and is probably one of the harder factors to train out of your border collie.

Health Issues

Another cause of excessive barking could be an underlying health issue. When dogs feel pain or discomfort, they might bark more often.

You might want to consult a vet if you think your border collie’s barking is sudden or unexplained.

Many things can lead to barking in border collies, but there is often a trigger that causes it. You can help your pup by figuring out this trigger and changing it or training them to overcome it.

Understanding Different Types of Barking in Border Collies

Identifying the different types of barking can help you address the reason behind your dog’s barking. Some common types of barking in border collies include:

Territorial Barking

When border collies feel that their home or yard is in danger, they may bark to protect it. This is called territorial barking, and it can be loud and continuous.

A good way to address this barking is by training the dog to understand that strangers are not a threat.

Socialization and positive reinforcement can also help border collies manage their territorial barking.

Attention-Seeking Barking

Border collies may bark to seek attention from their owners. This type of barking is often short, high-pitched, and repetitive.

To stop attention-seeking barking, you can avoid giving your border collie attention when they bark and instead reward them only when they’re quiet.

Positive reinforcement training can also help border collies learn to control their attention-seeking barking.

Separation Anxiety Barking

Sad Border Collie Photo

When a border collie is anxious or stressed when their owner is not around, they may bark excessively. This is known as separation anxiety barking.

This type of barking is usually persistent, and they may show other signs of anxiety, such as destroying things or going potty in inappropriate places.

To address separation anxiety barking, you can train your pup to be comfortable being alone. Gradually leave them alone for short periods of time and provide them with mental and physical stimulation when they are alone.

Fear Barking

Fear barking happens when your dog fears something, like loud noises, new people, or animals.

This kind of barking is usually high-pitched and short. Your dog may also show other signs of fear, such as shaking or hiding.

To deal with fear barking, you can slowly introduce your BC to the things that scare them positively and safely. Using positive reinforcement training can also help control fear barking.

Play Barking

Border collies may bark when they are feeling playful and excited. This is known as play barking and is usually accompanied by happy and lively behavior.

To manage play barking, you can engage your border collie in play activities that are safe and appropriate, such as playing fetch or tug of war.

Redirecting their energy into these activities can help prevent excessive play barking.

Preventing Excessive Barking in Border collies

To have a good relationship with your dog, it is important to prevent excessive barking. Once you know what is causing the barking, you can follow these tips depending on your situation.

Proper Exercise and Mental Stimulation

Border collies are very active dogs and need lots of exercise and fun activities to stay happy and healthy.

Enough exercise can help stop your dog from getting bored and stressed, which can make them bark too much.

Playing, walking, running, and using toys are all good ways to keep your pup active and happy.


Make sure your BC is comfortable in various environments and situations by socializing them from a young age.

This can help to reduce anxiety and fear that can lead to excessive barking. Introduce them to different people, animals, and environments, and reward them for good behavior.

Positive Reinforcement Training

To train your border collie to stop barking, you can try using positive reinforcement techniques like clicker and treat training.

Reward your dog for good behavior, like being quiet or barking on command. Don’t use punishment or negative reinforcement, as it can make your dog afraid and cause more barking.

Environment Management

You can help prevent excessive barking in your dog by managing or changing their environment.

If your dog barks a lot at loud noises like thunder or fireworks, give them a safe and comfy spot to go to.

If your dog barks at people or animals they see from the window, cover it up with curtains or blinds.

Seek Professional Help

If your border collie keeps barking even after you try several different ways to stop it, asking for help from a veterinarian or animal behaviorist might be necessary.

They can figure out what’s causing the excessive barking and come up with a plan that is right for your dog.


Border collies are not known to bark a lot, but different things like genes, training, and surroundings can make them bark more or less.

You can learn how to handle your border collies’ barking by understanding the different types of barking and using the right training, socialization, and environment.

By doing this, you can help your pup become a happy and well-behaved companion.

1 thought on “Do Border Collies Bark a Lot? All You Need to Know About Their Barking and How to Manage It”

  1. We have a BC who play barks. I always do my best to moderate his play, send him inside to calm down, give him exercise. Our neighbors complained this week and I admit, it really upset me. They’ve lived next to us for 4 years and literally nothing has changed in our lives or habits. But, they have a baby who is having trouble napping. I’ve got 2 young children, so I have been there. And didn’t complain when they had friends and music, motorcycles pulling out late at night right next to the bedroom, etc, or when he decided to mow the lawn during my toddlers baptize. I am upset because this seems very unreasonable. I considered them friends and I have watched their dog, brought in their mail, etc. They’ve hung out with this dog and know him, and that he suffers from Border Collie Collapse Syndrome and we can’t just exercise him to death to make him calm. He is not outside nuisance barking. In fact, he hates to go out alone and wouldn’t choose to stay out anyway. He is never out barking early or late. They are literally complaining that he runs out to play and chase the kids around here and there before I put him away, during the day.
    We are also just nearing the 6 month mark since my husband collapsed with a seizure and was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer with Mets to brain and bones, and he had to have brain surgery and lost his job. I guess I was just dumbfounded the way they texted to whine about how hard babies are.
    We are just making our dog stay in now, and I’ve dropped 100 bucks to make bikejoring happen for us, but I have to be so cautious with that because of his BCC. He does love it. Quiet commands don’t work well with him and he has pretty extreme anxiety, for which medication has not worked (made him tired after doing but 1000 times more restless and anxious after the med would wear off some). Anyway, we love him, but ai really feel like we are and have been doing our best with him and am frankly hurt and shocked the neighbors we thought were friends would complain already knowing all of this. Any other ideas for how we could help him be quiet out back? I’m tired, upset, and out of ideas.


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