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Are Border Collies Affectionate? Breed Facts & FAQs

Written by: Greg Iacono

Last Updated on April 11, 2024 by Dogster Team

border collie dog holding red rose flower in mouth

Are Border Collies Affectionate? Breed Facts & FAQs

Border Collies are popular pets in the U.S. One reason is the Border Collie’s intelligence, which is off the charts. Another is their trainability, which is just as high and makes Border Collies a joy to train. One question many ask, however, is whether Border Collies are affectionate dogs. You’ll be pleased to know that Border Collies are extremely affectionate. Indeed, they crave human contact and, once bonded to you, will be one of the most affectionate dogs you’ve ever owned.

Knowing that Border Collies are affectionate, you likely have more questions about them. How do Border Collies show affection, for example, and do they like to cuddle? Read on to discover the answer to these and several other fascinating facts about this devoted dog!

How Do Border Collies Show Their Affection?

Unless you’ve owned a Border Collie or two, you might not know how they will show you their affection. There are more than a few ways they do it, some of which you might see with other dogs, but others are particular to this breed. Below are the most common ways your Border Collie might show their deep affection for you.

Signs of Affection
  • Your Border Collie will stare at you intently.
  • They may nudge you with their head.
  • Licking your face is a common way Borders show affection.
  • Many Border Collies jump on their owner’s lap to show how much they like them.
  • Border Collies sigh loudly as you pet or scratch them to show affection for you.
  • The most affectionate Borders will follow you around all day as you do chores, cook, clean, work, etc.
  • If a Border Collie brings you their favorite toy, it means they like you a lot.
  • Border Collies will often place their paw on your arm or hand when they like you (or want attention).
  • Leaning into their favorite human is another way Borders show affection.
  • Rolling on their back and exposing their belly for a rub is a common method Border Collies use to show you they like you.

Do Border Collies Like to Cuddle with Their Humans?

Cuddling is a favorite among all the ways that Border Collies show affection. If you’re a cuddle fan, your Border Collie will delight you with their cuddling prowess.

Sometimes, a Border Collie will cuddle with you for other reasons. One of them is to keep warm, and Borders also cuddle to relieve stress or protect their owner from the cold. We think you’ll agree; protecting you from freezing is a sure sign your Border Collie thinks you’re the best person in the world.

Cute boy hugs his border collie on the road
Image By: encierro, Shutterstock

Are Border Collies Prone to Separation Anxiety?

Separation anxiety is when a dog gets anxious or emotional when its owner leaves them alone at home. Many dog breeds suffer from this condition, although some get it worse than others. One of the breeds that suffer from separation anxiety the most is the Border Collie.

When you consider how affectionate they are and how much they like being around their humans, it’s not surprising that Borders often get a bad case of separation anxiety. Some get very destructive, also. For these reasons, breeders don’t recommend Border Collies for those who spend most of their day away from home.

Can Border Collies Get Jealous?

When a dog or other pet has this much affection for their owner, you can be sure that they’ll get jealous from time to time. That’s very true of the Border Collie, which can be quite jealous of anything (or anyone) that takes their owner’s attention away from them to focus on something else.

What can cause your Border to get jealous? A new baby or a new puppy or other pet can do it. An abrupt change in routine is another reason your Border Collie might get jealous. How do you know your Border is jealous? Below are some common signs that your furry friend is jealous of something or someone.

border collie dog thinking outdoors
Image By: SakSa, Shutterstock
  • Snapping their teeth
  • Pushing on their owner
  • Destroying something
  • Nipping
  • Barking
  • Chasing
  • Crying and whining
  • Being more clingy than usual
  • Having “accidents” inside your home
  • Sulking in another room

Why are Border Collies so Clingy?

If you’ve never had a Border Collie, you might not have heard the expression “Velcro dog” before. A Velcro dog is a dog that adheres to you all the time, like the ubiquitous fastener that’s been around for decades. Another way to describe this behavior is to call it “clingy.” As you might have already guessed, Border Collies are one of the clingiest dogs around.

Border collies were initially bred to herd sheep and, as a shepherd’s dog, became extremely close with a single human. Border Collies are also highly intelligent and social dogs with a high level of empathy. For those reasons, most Borders are innately clingy. Once bonded to you, your Border Collie will be at your side, for better or worse, its entire life.

border collie dog holding black toy ball in mouth
Image By: Julia Zavalishina, Shutterstock

Why Do Border Collies Paw at You?

We talked earlier about some of the ways that Border Collies will show their affection, and pawing at you is one of the most common. For that reason, we wanted to quickly look more deeply at this Border Collie method of showing affection because it’s not always to show you they like you.

Pawing at you anywhere is a sign that your Border loves you, but it can also be a sign of other things. For example, if your BC is anxious, it will paw at you for attention and to calm its nerves. Some Border Collies will paw at you for other reasons, including when they want a treat, need to go potty, or want to play. Lastly, if your Border is in pain from an accident, injury, or illness, it might also paw at you to try and communicate the problem and get help.

Border collie and nova scotia duck tolling retriever by the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin Germany
Image By: Zuzanna Paluch, Shutterstock

Do Border Collies Bond to a Single Person?

We mentioned earlier that Border Collies were initially bred to be sheep-herding dogs and, for that reason, grew very strong bonds with their shepherds. This innately bred behavior still holds to this day and means that, even in a big household with many family members, most Border Collies will attach and bond to a single person.

While this isn’t particularly bad, per se, a Border that’s bonded with a single person can be problematic when that person goes away for an extended time. That’s why everyone in the family should be involved with socializing with a Border Collie, which can often reduce or even eliminate this small problem.

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As we’ve seen, Border Collies are one of the most affectionate breeds. The reason is that Borders were traditionally bred as herding dogs and, as such, grew ultra-close with their owners. The typical Border Collie loves nothing more than being around you all day and will happily go wherever you go.

Border Collies can also be jealous dogs and don’t like it when someone takes the attention spotlight away from them and shines it somewhere else. Still, as affectionate, compassionate, and loving as they are, it’s hard to fault a Border for being a little jealous. They are remarkable dogs and make exceptional pets and companions.

Featured Image Credit: Julia Zavalishina, Shutterstock

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