Are Border Collie Aggressive
Dog Care Tips · Dog Behavior

Are Border Collie Aggressive? 6 Factors

Last Updated/Info Checked on October 19, 2023 by Scott

Border Collies are known as herders. They were bred to do this job that they do even now. 

Some owners mistake their herding compulsions as aggression. But it’s not the dog really. 

Border Collies are not aggressive. That’s why they don’t fall in the dangerous dog category. Instead, they do things with robust seriousness. They have the intelligence for that. Sometimes that precedes other breeds. Even a flick of your eye or raising your eyebrow could send it down to do the job it’s assigned to. Just because of this people take them as aggressive dogs.

Not having sheep to gather, these dogs could chase around kids, other small animals, or even cars in hopes of gathering them. 

You see, it’s in their genes to do this job. 

Related: Border Collie separation anxiety

Are Border Collies Aggressive? 6 Traits That Say No!

Here’s why:

1. Highly Sensitive Dogs

Score 5/5 

This breed is highly sensitive in the sense that it learns your cues and acts on them without needing a lot of training. 

As I said above, move your finger, point to the job you’ve assigned to it, and it will move swiftly like a torpedo to please you. 

Their impulse to do things with such intensity shows as if the dog’s going to attack. 

Nay, it’s not. 

It’s just there doing its job. 

2. They Love Their Family Beyond Reason

Score: 5/5 

Dogs seem complicated but their personalities are quite simple when you look at the origin of their breed. 

Collies are herding dogs. They are supposed to form a close association with their owners. 

They look up to their cues and don’t waste a single moment to get their rewards. 

For most, “Who’s a good boy? You are!” is a reward enough to continue doing what they are called for their entire lives.

Even, Border Collie’s aggression toward other dogs is also nearly non-existent. But if you’re wondering “Why does my Border Collie attack other dogs?”, then you may look into the reasons pertaining to its health!

They may get suddenly aggressive towards other dogs because of an internal problem that needs to be addressed.

3. Love Kids

Score: ⅘ 

How could a dog so affectionate with its owner not love his little humans? 

I haven’t seen an owner worrying about a Collie hurting their kids. 

In fact, they think that the kids are sheep too that need extra attention and care. 

Obviously, you have to make sure that it doesn’t spiral out of control. 

I’m not saying that the dogs will have any malicious intent when dealing with your kids. 

But looking at the way they do everything with sheer intensity, you may have to train them to be gentler with them. 

That’s not hard to do because…

4. They are easily trained

Score: 5/5

The dogs derive their tendency to be trained easily from their acute intelligence. 

You can teach them a variety of commands right from the comfort of your chair. 

Just incorporate positive reinforcement into their training routine and you both will be good to go. 

Let’s say a Collie gets aggressive out of nowhere, which it may sometimes when it finds its job under threat, then training them to stay calm wouldn’t take a lot. 

5. They are not the barking type

Score: ⅖ 

You may have realized that your pooch seldom barks or howls. 

That’s because the breed isn’t made for that. 

It does its work with heightened activity, always running around to contain whatever it is that needs containment according to them. 

One deadly stare does the job of telling sheep where to go. 

The increased activity around their jobs and using eyes and gestures to control sheep has rendered the dog quieter than most breeds. 

I know you may think that barking alone isn’t the only indicator of aggression. 

I second that but at the same time, we all know that it’s the first step. 

When a dog doesn’t bark a lot, it may not be aggressive. 

Take yourself as an example, why would you shout if you’re not angry or have other problems?

6. Less Prey Drive

Score: ⅗ 

Collies aren’t hound dogs. They don’t find chasing and catching games as appealing as guarding sheep. 

That’s not to say that the wolf inside them has completely died. 

They still get a decent ⅗ score, which is evident from the way they chase around potential prey ONLY when it’s necessary. 

All of their energies are otherwise spent on doing their jobs. 

Just as when we work on our laptops, only to get up and eat out of necessity, Border Collies do the same. 

Are Border Collies Biters?

These dogs do not have as much of a potential to nip and bite as hound dogs. A decent ⅗ should give you an idea of their tendency to be mouthy. 
Even when they do bite, that’s not because of aggressiveness. That’s their way of saying that their love for you is unconditional. 

Are Border Collies good family dogs? Are they protective?

They sure are. Because they are working dogs, they form an unbreakable bond with their owners and their families. 
They are also good with kids, other pets, and strangers. Thus, their collective traits of being lovey-dovey make them a good choice for singles or larger families. 

Do Border Collies turn on their owners?

These dogs are known for hyperattachment that could lead to separation-related odd behaviors if they are left alone for too long. 
Such a breed, therefore, has minimal chances of turning on its owners. 
They could, however, turn on other people who are threatening their most loved person in the world.

Are Border Collies mean?

Well, they may not be mean to their owners but they could get out of the way to deal with “threats”. 
If you find your dog to be unrealistically mean, then do visit a vet because such a harmless breed could only get super aggressive when there’s an underlying health condition. 

Are Border Collies Aggressive? Conclusion

These dogs are not aggressive at all. In fact, we trainers put them in line with the most accommodating, congenial, and harmless dogs in the world. 

Their main business is taking care of the tasks assigned to them. Even these days, they could be seen herding sheep or other farm animals!

At the same time, do check the dog for any potential health deterioration signs if your Border Collie has become suddenly aggressive towards other dogs. Or, if you can’t find the reason for your dog’s aggression, here’s a video to get help to tame your angry Collie.

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