Border Collies are smart and affectionate dogs, although their barking might be a bit bothersome, especially if it goes on excessively. Understanding why your Border Collie keeps barking can make it easier for you to manage the issue.
Below, you can go through potential reasons behind their barking and how you can reduce it.
Border Collies are generally a highly energetic and vocal breed. A part of this involves barking, especially considering that these dogs rely on this method to communicate their needs and requirements at any given moment.
If you provide a healthy environment and household for your Border Collie, you can rest assured that their barking comes from a communicative need. However, some environments and situations might stress your dog out, causing them to bark even more.
In such cases, make sure you try to figure out the cause, following which you can then take steps to deal with the issue and reduce the amount of barking.
There are numerous reasons that can help explain why Border Collies tend to bark so much. As long as you are aware of the reason, you can then respond to your dog’s needs.
Boredom is quite a possible reason behind your Border Collie’s barking. Considering that Border Collies are highly energetic and enthusiastic dogs, they require plenty of stimulation on a daily basis that can help them release their energy.
This involves ample exercise every day in addition to mental stimulation. However, in certain situations, if you are unable to provide this kind of stimulation to your dog, they will end up getting restless and expressing it through their barking.
If this kind of lack of stimulation is a regular or frequent occurrence, your dog is bound to exhibit excessive barking.
Also Read: Do Border Collies Bite or Nip?
Instinct can help explain a lot when it comes to the barking behavior of Border Collies. These dogs were initially bred and used for the purpose of herding, as a result of which they had to express themselves and communicate through their barks.
This kind of instinctive behavior is a distinctive part of your Border Collie even if they do not have to herd sheep and other livestock anymore. By relying on their instinct, these dogs can attempt to convey a certain need whenever required.
While frequent barking is instinctive, excessive barking is when there might be a problem.
Border Collies use barking as a way of communicating with you. For instance, if they are feeling excited about something, they might bark to indicate this.
Even if you return home from work or the store, barking might be their way of expressing their happiness at your return. Apart from this, however, Border Collies might also bark to alert you of some threat nearby that they may have sensed.
The reasons for communicating are plenty, which is why it can be a bit difficult but necessary to determine it so that you can communicate back in your own way.
Loneliness can end up increasing the amount of barking from Border Collies. If you leave your dog alone at home for too long, they might end up becoming lonely and restless, causing them to bark out in frustration and separation anxiety.
Even at home, if you do not give your dog enough care and attention, they might become lonely and feel neglected.
Typically, Border Collies are quite affectionate, friendly and loving. The barking might be a natural result of that, but it is also possible for some dogs of the breed to experience more stress and anxiety.
This could be due to past trauma or due to an abusive and neglectful household.
Border Collies tend to be highly playful. They love running around and cuddling up to their families, not to mention that playing around with toys can cause them great excitement too.
If they want to indicate that they want to play with you or even if they are simply happy and excited, they might end up barking a few times to express this.
Of course, this might not always be an ideal situation, so make sure you know how to calm your dog down at the right time.
Also Read: Do Border Collies Like to Swim?
Hunger tends to be quite a common reason behind dogs barking. If it is time for their meal or if you have forgotten about it, they might bark a couple of times to remind you.
If they are feeling extremely hungry after playing around or exercising too much, their barks might become even more pronounced and frequent since this might be causing them to become frustrated.
In a similar vein, if they feel the need to urinate or excrete, they might bark at you to help them out or guide them. This is particularly the case for puppies who might not yet be fully trained.
If your Border Collie is barking out of fear, this can end up being a real cause for concern that you should take care of immediately. First, figure out what it is that is making your dog afraid.
It could either be the presence of another animal nearby that might be threatening them or it could also imply the presence of another person they might be afraid of.
Make sure there is nobody in the house that is actively and consciously troubling them. If there are certain activities causing them fear, you must try to eliminate the fear through proper training and socialization.
It can be easy for excitement to transform into aggression when it comes to Border Collies. Their high levels of energy particularly make them prone to this, especially if they do not get enough exercise and attention every day.
This might result in excessive and loud barking that might trouble the whole house, not to mention that certain associated behaviors might cause damage as well. For instance, they might chew or bite the things and people around them, leading to all sorts of problems.
Their aggression might also stem from feeling protective and territorial. If they want to protect you and keep threats such as other animals and people at bay, barking might be their way of acting on it.
It is possible that your Border Collie might be feeling sick or ill. Feeling any kind of pain or discomfort might cause them to bark excessively to express this and to convey that they need help.
Injuries or wounds might also cause them to feel uncomfortable, as could certain kinds of infections and diseases.
When it comes to such medical issues, you should look out for other symptoms they might be exhibiting so that you can figure out the problem and take them to the vet for timely treatment.
Barking might be normal in Border Collies, but it can get a bit annoying to be on the receiving end of it, especially if it becomes excessive. You can learn some ways to reduce your dog’s barking levels below.
You should provide training and socialization to your Border Collie from a young age. Teach them commands and certain action words that can help them understand what they need to do.
Introduce them to other people and animals from a young age too so that they become familiar with being around company.
Use treats, rewards and praises to ensure they repeat the good behavior instead of punishing or scolding them. You can also occasionally consider crate training.
Provide as much as two hours of exercise to your Border Collie on a daily basis. This could include running around, fetching, taking long walks or simply playing games in the yard.
This can help them release some of their energy and tire themselves out, causing the barking to automatically reduce.
Make sure you provide sufficient care and attention to your Border Collie. Play with them, cuddle with them, feed them well and punctually and do not leave them alone for too long.
At the same time, teach them to be alone and still happy so that they do not become fearful. Make sure you create as healthy and secure an environment as possible.
What you feed your dog can also matter. While proteins and fats are important, you must not overdo them as this could end up giving your Border Collies excess energy.
Make sure the food you provide is balanced in different nutrients.
Giving toys and puzzles to your Border Collie can help keep them occupied and mentally stimulated while also tiring them out. Since Border Collies are smart dogs, giving them these can help keep their minds active and sharp.
This can also distract them from barking.
Also Read: Can a Border Collie Live in an Apartment?
Border Collies bark quite a bit due to their instincts, boredom, communication, aggression, fear, loneliness and more. It is important to reduce the level of barking and calm your dog down through proper training, care, exercise, healthy diets, stimulation and security.
Take them to a vet or hire a professional trainer if nothing seems to work.