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Will a Border Collie Be a Good Guard Dog? Facts & FAQ

Written by: Rachel Giordano

Last Updated on April 17, 2024 by Dogster Team

Short Haired Border Collie

Will a Border Collie Be a Good Guard Dog? Facts & FAQ

Border Collies are considered the most intelligent dog breed on the planet. On a personal note, I can validate this because I own one, and believe me—she is too smart for her own good. Part of the herding group, Border Collies are workaholics and are happiest when they have a job to do, such as herding. They also excel in agility courses, obedience training, and most dog-athletic competitions.

Given their smartness, will a Border Collie be a good guard dog? Typically, they do not make good guard dogs, but their bark can be intimidating.

 Read on to learn why they are not considered good guard dogs and other information about the charming Border Collie.

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Why Are Border Collies Not Considered Good Guard Dogs?

Before we answer this question, let’s define what a guard dog is and what they do. A guard dog has a protective instinct for their humans and will attack should a threat arise. A true guard dog displays fearlessness and will go above and beyond to protect their human families. They are often of intimidating size and are loyal breeds.

That said, some debate encompasses the question of whether a Border Collie is, in fact, a good guard dog. Border Collies are intelligent enough to alert you to something unusual occurring outside your home and will bark—however, a Border Collie will not usually attack unless specifically trained to do so. Due to their alertness and willingness to bark if someone they are not familiar with approaches, they are better served as watchdogs.

What’s the Difference Between a Guard Dog and a Watchdog?

The answer lies within the titles. A guard dog does precisely that; he guards the home, alerts you to danger, and will often attack an intruder. On the other hand, a watchdog is alert and keeps a watchful eye on the property, and he will bark to alert you of something out-of-the-ordinary so you can take care of the issue yourself but usually does not attack.

A good example is a Golden Retriever. These dogs have an exceptionally sweet temperament but are also a large breed—the size here doesn’t matter because Golden Retrievers are sweet-natured and will not attack someone, even if it’s the first time seeing a particular person.

Border Collies have a sweet disposition but mean business when herding. They will nip the heels of whatever animals they are herding—they may even nip small children in an attempt to herd them, but it’s not a bite, and it’s not an aggression issue. In the end, it is safe to say that Border Collies are not aggressive enough to be good guard dogs, but they make excellent watchdogs.

Border Collie
Image By: Pickpik

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What Dog Breeds Are the Best Guard Dogs?

If you’re on the hunt for a good guard dog, there are other breeds that make excellent guard dogs and are bred to protect. They include:

  • Akita
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Beauceron
  • Belgian Malinois
  • Bullmastiff
  • Cane Corso
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • German Shepherd
  • Giant Schnauzer
  • Rottweiler
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Thai Ridgeback
  • Tibetan Mastiff

Tips for Keeping Your Border Collie Healthy and Safe

Even though the Border Collie does not make a good guard dog but rather a better watchdog, they are still incredible dogs to own. They are happiest with physical and mental stimulation and a job to do, which is why they are excellent herding dogs.

To keep your Border Collie healthy and happy, especially if you’re Border Collie will not be living on a farm or anywhere he will be herding all day, it’s vital to provide adequate exercise. Border Collies can get bored rather easily, making daily exercise crucial. Strive to exercise your adult Border Collie at least 2 hours daily, perhaps even more. An excellent way to exercise your Border Collie is to enlist him in an agility course or some other doggie competition. If you don’t have time for this type of activity, you can always play fetch in the yard or take your Border Collie on a couple of long walks per day.

Border Collies are extremely athletic and typically excel in playing Frisbee. For an indoor activity, you can buy interactive toys that exercise the mind, and the Border Collie has enough intelligence to appreciate these types of games.

Always provide fresh water throughout the day and feed your Border Collie a high-quality complete and balanced dog food. Keep treats to account for only 10% of his daily diet, and think of cool tricks to teach your Border Collie.

male border collie playing
Image By: Rita_Kochmarjova, Shutterstock

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In Conclusion

Border Collies are ranked the most intelligent dog breed. Even though they are not typically considered good guard dogs, they make excellent watchdogs, and if that’s good enough for you for protection, you can’t go wrong with owning one of these intelligent and fun breeds.

The most important factor in owning a Border Collie is providing adequate exercise—this is especially crucial if your Border Collie will not be herding livestock. As long as you provide the Border Collie with adequate exercise, they make excellent pets.


Featured Image Credit: anetapics, Shutterstock

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