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  Border Collie Behavior -
Border Collie Behavior
Border Collies are highly intelligent dogs. Their brains in combination with their high energy level can sometimes get them in trouble, especially if left unattended. This section of All Border Collies has information on what you can do to manage certain undesirable habits your Border Collie may develop. If you have a specific question that is not covered here feel free to e-mail it to us.

How to prevent many problems!

Border Collies and Nipping

Links to Other Sites

Separation Anxiety in Dogs - written by Ron Hines DVM PhD

Border Collies and Cats - written by

Digging and Other Obsessive Behaviors - written by

How to prevent many problems! -

Border Collies are very energetic and active dogs that can easily become bored and destructive if not givin the exercise and stimulation they need. You should give your Border Collie a chance to exercise at least  2 hours a day. This means long walks/jogging, going to the park, playing fetch, etc. Ideally your Border Collie should also have another outlet for its energy, be it herding, agility, etc. It is also important that your Border Collie gets a lot of mental stimulation. A few 10 minute training sessions a day will help to prevent destructive behavioral issues.


This is not bad behavior. Undesirable, yes, but perfectly natural for a BC.

It does not necessarily imply that the dog is dangerous or suffering from behavioral problems. The dog is merely doing what it has been bred to do in a situation where its instincts are out of place.

If the dog is not getting its way with the animals (or humans) it is attempting to control it will re-enforce its will by diving in and nipping at the heels of stock. In working sheepdogs this behavior is controlled but is not discouraged as it is sometimes necessary to encourage stubborn stock to move in the direction required. In the formal discipline of sheepdog trials it is frowned upon - dogs are supposed to be able to move the sheep by 'eye' alone - but even the best may grip when frustrated.

A willful Border Collie may nip out at arms, ankles or the back of the legs. This may also occur when a normally sound dog becomes over stimulated and excited.

Training may help control this but success will depend on the strength of the dogs instinct. In most cases nipping will remain an unpredictable part of the dogs behavior all its life.

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