Are Border Collies aggressive

Are Border Collies aggressive?


Do you intend on getting a Border Collie only for you to see one misbehaving in the park now you are Google searching; Are Border Collies aggressive? Have your friends stopped visiting you due to your dog’s behavior towards them? Almost 10% of dog owners say their dogs have exhibited a form of aggressive behavior towards them, their family members, or strangers. This article will explain in detail about dog’s aggression towards people.

What is dog aggression?

What is dog aggression

The word aggression itself cannot be explained or subjected to a particular behavior it has a range of behaviors that can be exhibited. You may think aggression is when a dog bites someone or when you are being scratched but the little growling or abrupt lunging is also a form of aggression.

Dog aggression can be said to be a range of different behavioral patterns that can cause harm to the owner and even the dog itself. This type of harm in particular is not only physical but includes mental harm. Examples of dog aggression include growling, scratching, consistency in obeying commands, nipping at the skin, biting, etc.

Types of dog aggressions

 As humans have different feelings so do dogs and the way it is being expressed may not always be in a positive manner. We can classify the aggression of dogs into different categories, this classification can help in discerning the reason for aggression in your dog and the way to control and help them.

Protective aggression

Every living thing has a loved one and the dogs are not left out. Protection is a way dogs show their undying love and loyalty to us, but this show of love can get out of hand and turn into protective aggression. Protection aggression is a type of aggression whereby a dog consistently nips at strangers who come in contact with their owners as a form of protection towards the owners. This may sound cute and all, but it is a potential way of destroying your social life as they would consistently nip at your friends, strangers, and even kids who come near you.

Fear aggression

This is the type of aggression caused by the flight or fight response of a dog. When a dog is afraid of something or someone, they believe attacking it before running away is the best idea this is why it’s never good to turn your back on a fearful dog.

Predatory aggression

Dogs are domesticated wild animals who still carry around this inbreed recessive instinct of their forerunners such as wolves. This instinct never fades but is silenced by the work of inbreeders. But when this instinct awakens what do you think happens? A full predator is born.

Dominance aggression

Border Collies are herd dogs who are known to always take control. Leadership is one of their inborn traits but when this leadership trait takes control of their actions; When you have a dog who sees himself as the man of the house and you a resident, dominance aggression sets in. they see you as a lower member of the social status, therefore they become aggressive to you to tame you.

Possessive aggression

Some dogs exhibit a behavior known as food guarding whereby they show force to anybody who comes near their food or toys irrespective of the person’s connected to them. They would nip, growl or scratch anyone or thing who comes near their possessions.

Social aggression

This type of aggression is caused by social anxiety. Some dogs hate being in the midst of people or even going to the park. They become aggressive when they are in large gatherings, crowded spaces, or noisy places.

Other types of aggression include territorial aggression, redirected aggression, pain inflated aggression, sexually related aggression.

Are Border Collies aggressive?

Border Collies history with aggression

You may be wondering about the temperament of Border Collies because of their bossy behavior. Generally, Border Collies are not known to be aggressive even though they are herding dogs. Though they tend to have a history of nipping at things, they are having no malicious intent and in fact, the nipping is to keep sheep in herds together. Any malicious behavior displayed by your Border Collie is due to a health issue.

How do you know an aggressive dog?

How do you know an aggressive dog


The first way to know a dog is aggressive is from its stance. The stance is very stiff and rigid sometimes they may stand as if they are launching an attack. They have elevated necks, heads, and ears to show power. This is to show they are uncomfortable with their environment or the person they are with.

When the threat becomes intense, they assume the submissive stance. The submissive stance is a way of lowering the body in a submissive way to protect their necks from danger.

But when they raise their hackles and their hair is raised only at the shoulders and rump region, it is a sign of fear instead of dominance. 

Showing of teeth:

This is to convey back off to the threats. This is often combined with growling and snarling to the target to show their displeasure.

Mouthing or nipping:

Mouthing is a technique used by Border Collies on sheep to direct them to the herd. Some of the time they use this technique on humans to direct them away from themselves or their things. Mouthing is done by using their mouth to direct or move things away.


Aggressive dogs use their claws on skins, this may or may not draw out blood. Scratching is also the dog form of back away.


Biting is the use of their teeth on the skin of their stress to show displeasure. Quick biting is to show warning while the death grip biting is to kill. this is often used by attacking dogs.

Reasons for aggression in dogs


If your loving dog suddenly becomes aggressive, check out any undiscovered sickness such as arthritis that may cause discomfort. Also, find out about any head collision which can cause brain inflammation.


If your Collie suddenly becomes aggressive around someone or something your dog, it may be scared of them. Try checking out any activities of your Border Collie with such items or persons. Dogs are often aggressive to people or things that abuse them.


Most female dogs in heat become sexually frustrated during which can cause aggression if they don’t mate anytime. This is almost like humans.


Dogs are social animals and operate in a social status system. Some dogs believe you the owners, are beneath them in the social status, and become aggressive to you to keep you in check. When getting a dog ensure you establish yourself as the head of the house to them.

The Leash:

As funny as it may sound most dog aggression is due to the leash. You notice your dog is calm and collected all day but suddenly starts growling and barking when it’s time to put on a leash then you think he is acting out. Most of the time the leash is too small and choking the dog making it frustrated and aggressive.

Past trauma:

After getting that little beautiful Border Collie dog staring at you at the pet store. then you get home and it turns out to be a nightmare. This can be due to its past experiences with people, ensure you check for its record of human interaction and you will surely find a case of abuse in it.

How to tackle dog aggression

Before tackling dog aggression behavior, you have to differentiate whether it is intending dog aggression in puppies or aggression in adult dogs.

As a devoted pet owner, not even scratches, claws or injuries will separate you from the love of your Border Collie. Rather than giving up your Border Collie, why not use these few tips to tackle its aggression

For puppies:

Watch out for dominant behavior:

Ensure you watch out for dominant behaviors in your puppy before it grows into and aggression by always defining who the head of the house is which is you the owner.

Ensure you socialize well:

Dogs have social anxiety as humans do, so ensure you socialize your dog properly before he grows into an adult to avoid social anxiety which will, in turn, lead to social aggression.

For adults:

Dog-owner aggression

  • Seek professional help: by talking to your local veterinary doctor who will, in turn, lead you to a perfect dog therapist. Aggression is not a physical but a mental behavior that needs therapy.
  • Don’t punish aggressive behavior: As they say, you cannot put out a fire with fire; punishing an aggressive behavior will only lead to more aggressive behaviors which is something you don’t need in your home.
  • Go for a medical check-up: Does your dog only growl when it is being touched in a particular place, ensure that place is checked for a likely internal injury or tumor.
  • Avoid threatening stance: Stances like leaning over or prolonged direct eye contact can be threatening to the dog. Also, avoid putting your Collies in threatening positions like a tight corner.
  • As they say, let a sleeping dog lie: Do not make loud or dangerous sounds while your dog is sleeping intending to scare it, this will activate their fight or flight response.

Dog-dog aggression

Is your dog only getting aggressive when it’s time to go to the park well it may seem to be is being bullied there? Check out the way it plays with other dogs in the park and ensure it is not being bullied.

Dog-things aggression

  • An example of dogs with things aggression is dog-food aggression and sure you don’t take away your dog’s plate while eating, it is considered disrespectful and also ensures your dog does not have a history of starvation as most of the dogs with this history are normally aggressive to food.
  •  Are Border Collies aggressive with items? Yes, some already aggressive Border Collies are possessive with items like furniture, immediate or slow withdrawal is advised.

Bottom line

No matter the severity of your dog’s aggression, living with them is not easy at all as there is a constant fear of another episode of aggression. Today you have the perfect pet-owner relationship, the next day you are searching, why are Border Collies aggressive? It is like living like a prison in your own home. But beneath that scary Collie is a broken, scared, and poorly socialized dog wanting to be reformed.

You May Also Like

Are Border Collies protective

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *