Are Border Collies protective

Are Border Collies protective


From helping us hunt to companionship and even to guarding and protecting, dogs are known to possess many functions. When choosing a pet companionship, it chooses you in return by rewarding you love, affection, and protection. We all feel a need for security for ourselves, our families, and our properties from intruders, hence the need for security. Questions like; Are Border Collies good guard dog? Are Border Collie’s protective? are searched regularly by people who own or intend to.

If you are one of these people, this article will provide you detailed information about these frequently asked questions.

History of protective dogs

The use of animals as a protective medium can be dated back to ancient Chinese times who use lions for protection. But the use of dogs can be dated back to ancient times as the first use of dogs was known to be for livestock. Livestock guardian dogs (ancestral Mastiff-types) were used for the protection of livestock from predators like foxes, bears, and wolves.

Many currently used guard dogs were once used for farm purposes before they gradually evolved to be guard dogs such as the Dobermann and the Brazilian doggo.

Extinct ancient dogs like the bandogges were used to protect people and villages by chaining during the day and releasing them at night.

What are protective dogs?

What are protective dogs

Protection dogs are dogs trained to watch over or guard people or properties against threats and trespassers by either warning their owner or attacking the threats immediately.

There are different ranges of protection a dog can exhibit ranging from non-aggressive to aggressive protection. Types of protective dogs include:


This is a type of dog trained to watch out for intruders who come near you and/or your property and alert you of their presence. Most of the time, watchdogs won’t intervene or take action against the threats. They would only bark constantly at the threats and occasionally try to nip. They are sometimes called alarm dogs. An example of this is the Border Collie.

Protection dogs:

They are advanced training animals that will bark, lunge and snap at intruders WITHOUT actually biting them. They will immediately compose themselves on your command. They are trained to show warning force to threats; but if the intruder persists, they would be forced to rely on their instinct and bite them.

Guard dogs:

They are one of the deadliest dogs trained to not only alert you of threats and intruders but also take action against them. They do not stop biting the suspects even if the suspects resist, they only stop when the suspects stop moving. They maim for the throats or genitals and are used in war or for guarding high-security places. There are several types of guard dogs which are;

  • Personal guard dogs: This type of guard dogs are trained to protect their owners in different situations by alerting the owners of threat and attacking
  • Livestock guard dogs: This type of guard dog is trained specifically to protect the herd from predators. They bond with the herd from a young age and are. They are used for Protection and not moving off the herds. They are usually white to blend with the herd and to avoid being seen by predators.
  • Sentry dogs: This is a type of guard dog that is trained to guard the outside of a big property and attack any trespasser. They are usually more than more, that is, they come in packs.
  • Military/Police dogs: They are guard dogs used in the military and the police to detect bombs, mines, and ammunition as well as to catch criminals. They are required to be 20 inches tall and less than 5years old.

Attack dogs:

this is a type of dog trained to attack threats on command either by biting down the threat. They are found in airports or places where high security is needed these type of dogs is not trained to interact with people.

How do I know protective dogs?

Before a dog is considered to be protective, there are two qualities it must possess. The first is the physical quality and the other is the mental trait.

The physical quality is the overall visible look a dog has. This includes whether they look scary to people or not. This includes its height, size, weight, muscle composition, and coat color.

The desired height and weight for a protection dog is 22”+ at the highest point of their shoulders and 55+ lbs. respectively.

Statistics from a survey of 300 inmates who were convicted of burglary and other related crimes proved that 65% of unfriendly good-sized dogs would scare them away. Another survey conducted by the questioning of 589 convicted property offenders that dogs are more effective than alarms, locks, CCTV, and even neighborhood watch programs in discouraging them from entry.

A consensus was made from dozens of people which include police officers, dog breeders, owners, and trainers showed that having a dog is better than having none; but having bigger, louder, and darker looking dogs are more helpful in securing the house and neighborhoods because of their physical appearance.

The mental trait is the ability for the dog to discern actions to take when faced with intruders; also the ability to obey instructions like stop, sit and attack from the owners.

One of the most important mental traits is intelligence which can be distinguished into two which are;

Instinctive intelligence: this is the type of intelligence that was deposited by nature. This intelligence is in the genes. They are also known as instincts.

Adaptive intelligence: this is the programmable intelligence that is being taught to the dogs by the breeders. They are gained by teaching the dog and involves them in problem-solving skills that ensure the use of their memory. 

Other quality traits include a sense of loyalty; dogs should have an undying sense of loyalty to not only but their family members. The importance of being loyal to your family members is to avoid attacks on them as strangers. This sense of loyalty ensures obedience and control over them. An obedient dog is a good boy while a disobedient dog is a liability.

Alertness and vigilance are very important. Of what use is a sleepy dog who does not alert you about the presence of threats. Or who wants to have a dog who would gladly open the doors wide for intruders in exchange for treats and a few belly rubs. The more alert and vigilant your dog is, the more secured you and your properties will be.

The ability to be suspicious of strangers and strange activities and also willing to accept the owners’ friend; being confident enough to decide whether a stranger is a friend or a foe and deciding whether to attack or stand by is necessary.

Are Border Collies Protective dog?

Yes, Border Collies are part of the types of protective dogs, their herding traits sure do play an important role, but they are not protection dogs rather they are watchdogs.

Why do you think Border Collies are rated number one in intelligence for dogs and why were they originally bred specifically for herding purposes; because of their high intelligence and their high energy level.

Early modern Border Collies were specifically bred by focusing on the development of their strong instincts to work with their shepherds in the gathering of sheep.

One of the characteristics of a good protective dog is alertness which the Border Collie possesses in great amount. They are to have the stamina to make endless pursuit around the field and also to be vigilantes of sheep drifting away from the flock.

Are Border Collies good guard dogs?

No, Border Collies are not good guard dogs, rather good watchdogs. As stated earlier, guard dogs do not only alert their owners about threats but also tackle the threats. This is unlikely because Border Collies would alert but not tackle the threats. This can be dated back to the way they are bred.

Statistics from 14 renowned specialist states that a good guard dog does not necessarily require a high working and obedience level. This obedience level is what Border Collies lack because they are giddy dogs. Border Collies are like two years old whose main job is to explore around.

A good protection dog should be calm especially in the home to be able to discern actions properly and act on them. An overly excited dog like the Border Collie would not be able to successfully do this.

Protection involves both indoor and outdoor, but Border Collies are outdoor dogs making them inadequate in guarding. Their instincts were naturally to be farm dogs and this makes them inclined to the outside than the inside.

Even if Border Collie attacks intruders, their bites are not strong enough to take them down, unlike Dobbermanns whose bites can cause severe damage. They bite to warn off strangers and not to kill, unlike real guard dogs whose main job is to ensure the intruders stop moving.

When breeders were breeding Border Collies, they ensured the dominance of instincts like vigilance, intelligence, and so on. They also ensured the instinct of not harming the sheep was inbred in them or else the Border Collies would be killing the sheep off along with the intruders. This instinct is one of the reasons Border Collies only bark at threats (to alert the shepherd about danger) rather than tackling it as a guard dog would. This is one of the inbred instincts that is disadvantageous to Border Collies being guard dogs.

Despite not being protection dogs will a Border Collie protect you?

Although Border Collies are social dogs, they are often reserved for strangers. If they see strangers approach, they alert by barking in the direction of the stranger. They use a technique called the gripping stock; nibbling at strangers and the giving eyes; staring intently at strange things to protect themselves and their owners. This is a technique used on stubborn herds that are being applied in the modern era.

Bottom line

The reply to the question, Are Border Collie’s protective or are Border Collie’s good guard dogs cannot be a definite yes or no. This is because, with the right amount of training, you can make any dog which includes your Border Collie a guard dog. This is not instinctual but adaptive (learned). It is also important to think of the dangers and your responsibilities when you train it to be a guard dog as it is a foreign intelligence to them. Rather get yourself an inbred guard dog like a German Shepherds who are not strange to guarding.

So, instead of forcing traits that were there by nature, allow your Border collie to be the happy dog that he is and save yourself from trouble and impending lawsuits. 

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