Can Border Collies Be Left Home Alone?

By John Martin - September 11, 2022

Border Collie home alone

Border Collies are affectionate and loving and generally quite adaptable. Thus, if you want to leave your Border Collie home, you can do some for a short period of time but never for too long.

You can go through some specific details about leaving these dogs alone at home, what you can expect and how you can get them used to staying alone for a few hours.

Can You Leave Border Collies at Home Alone?

You can leave your Border Collies at home alone for some time. However, it is essential to not turn this into a habit, especially if you are bound to be gone for more than a few hours at a time.

Generally, these dogs are social, loyal and friendly. Since they have a herding origin, they tend to enjoy being in groups and around people, which is why they can end up becoming anxious if you leave them alone for too long.

Moreover, each Border Collie is different, which is why you must also take your dog’s reactions and behavior into account before leaving them alone. Make sure you also do not leave your Border Collies alone if they are puppies, untrained or even too old.

How Long Can a Border Collie Stay at Home Alone?

You can expect your Border Collie to stay at home alone safely and comfortably up to a maximum of four hours. Any more than this and your dog is likely to become stressed out and start panicking.

You should, therefore, avoid doing this regularly.

This time period can vary depending on your dog’s specific temperament. If they are generally prone to fear and anxiety, they might not be able to stay alone at all.

Some might even be okay with staying alone for longer, although this is bound to be rare.

What Happens If You Leave Your Border Collie Alone for Extended Periods?

In case you end up leaving your Border Collie alone for too long, you might be putting them at risk of stress and separation anxiety, which can end up creating issues for both you and your dog.

Although most Border Collies are quite smart and flexible, they need some company to thrive and remain happy. If they are alone for an extended time period, the following consequences can occur.


Your Border Collies might end up becoming too stressed. They can start panicking if you do not return soon while also exhibiting signs like frequent pacing.

If your dogs already come from a background of isolation and neglect, this can end up acting as a trigger for them, causing them to become fearful again.

Often, even without a traumatic past, a single prolonged incident might end up being traumatic and stressful enough, resulting in consequences that last for a long time.

Separation Anxiety

If you stay away from your Border Collie for more than a few hours, it is likely that they might develop separation anxiety. Since these dogs are easily affectionate, this can sometimes turn into an issue that can make them anxious whenever you leave them alone.

Some signs that can suggest that your Border Collie has separation anxiety include:

  • Excessive barking and whining
  • Growling, biting or nipping
  • Chewing objects and scratching walls and furniture
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Urinating or defecating around the house
  • Eating their own feces (coprophagia/coprophagy)
  • Pacing and drooling
  • Reduced appetite
  • Jitters and shivers
  • Drowsiness
  • Depression

Not all of these signs may exhibit themselves. Make sure you look out for a few that can help you identify the issue accurately.

How to Make Your Border Collie Comfortable Alone

There are some measures that you can take to make your Border Collie more comfortable alone so that you can go out for some time. Even after these measures, however, you should not leave these dogs alone for more than four hours at a time, sometimes even less.

Take a look at some methods you can use.

Ask for Assistance

The easiest solution to stepping out of the house is to ask for some external help. Ask your neighbors, friends or family if they can take your dog in until you return.

While this is not necessarily a permanent solution, it can help for rarer occasions. Ensure that your dog is comfortable and safe with the person you choose.

Provide Exercise

Border Collies tend to be highly energetic and active dogs. If you leave your dog alone with their energy levels still in place, this can increase the chances of them becoming restless, anxious and destructive in your absence.

Make it a point to provide enough exercise to your dog before you leave so that they can become tired and sleep while you step out.

Keep Them Well Fed

Ensuring that your Border Collie is comfortable can help them stay alone for longer. Feed them before you go and leave behind some food and water for them too so that they can access it whenever they feel the need.

With these, they are less likely to panic. You can also reward them once you return.

Provide Stimulation

Leaving behind some stimulation that’ll keep your little Collie busy and curious can prevent them from becoming too anxious or bored without you. You can gather some toys, games and puzzles for your dog and leave them near them so that they can play with them whenever they want.

Create a Safe Spot

If there is a spot in your house or yard that your Border Collie loves, set that up properly for them so that they can rest there and calm themselves down. You can also try out crate training if your dog seems to be okay with it.

Keep your Border Collie’s favorite things in that spot.

Call a Sitter

You can simply employ a sitter to look after your dog while you are away. This can also help for a more permanent situation, such as if you need to leave your Border Collie alone because of work.

Monitor Your Dog

If you can manage to install cameras in your house and yard, you can monitor your dog’s activities and behavior. This way, in case of an emergency, you can go back home or seek support from your neighbors, friends or family.

Leave Your Smell Behind

Dogs, including Border Collies, have a keen sense of smell. Thus, if you can find a worn t-shirt or any piece of cloth that has your scent, you can place it close to your dog while you are away so that they can smell it and feel relatively safer.

Record Your Voice

You can also record your voice and leave the recording on loop whenever you need to leave the house. Hearing your voice can help your dog feel safer and more comfortable alone.

If nothing works, consult a professional trainer or seek advice from the vet.

Also Read: Can Border Collies Live in Apartments?

Final Remarks

You can manage to leave your Border Collies alone for up to four hours at a time, but this can depend on the needs and temperament of your own dog. If you leave them alone for extended time periods, they might exhibit distress and symptoms of separation anxiety.

There are measures such as external help, exercise, regular care, stimulation, monitoring and more that can make your Border Collie feel comfortable.