Why Do Collies Bark So Much? (And How To Stop Them)

Dogs bark, we know this is one of the ways they communicate but collies can be prone to barking a lot. They’re very high-energy, high alert dogs that like to use their voice.

Collies bark a lot because they communicate through barking, like all dogs. Alongside body language, it’s one of the ways they can tell us how they’re feeling. If your collie is barking a lot, they may be bored, lonely, or scared. Collies need a lot of attention and are prone to developing compulsive behaviors like barking or chasing their tails if their needs are not being met.

In this article, we are going to explore some of the reasons why collies bark and how to minimize excessive barking where needed.

Do Collies Bark A Lot?

Collies can be very vocal dogs, they are usually bursting with energy and that energy sometimes comes out in barks.

We have bred them over many years to herd livestock. Part of their job is to be able to intimidate livestock into moving away from them which can require barking at them.

They’re sensitive with high emotional intelligence and scare easily which has resulted in vocal breeds of dogs.

Why Do Collies Bark?

Collies will bark for various reasons, some a lot more understanding and easier to manage than others. They’re alert barkers, worried barkers, and even boredom barkers.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons collies bark…

1: Collies Bark For Attention

Collies love attention and if they’re not getting it they’re not afraid to shout for it. Given a choice they would have their owner’s attention all day every day.

Collies bark when they are happy to see you

2: Protective Barking

Dogs can become very protective over what is theirs, it’s natural for them to want to protect their resources. Resources can include food, toys, people, and even areas they think are valuable to them.

3: Collies Bark Out Of Boredom

Collies are very intelligent and need a lot of mental stimulation. If they’re bored and left with nothing to do they can draw attention to that by barking about it. If it gets them a reaction, even a negative one, at least they’re not bored anymore.

4: Collies Bark When They Are Scared

It’s very common for collies to be worried about new people, noises, or animals. They often use their voice to try and create distance between themselves and the scary thing and to alert their owner.

If your collie is barking at the window, they may feel threatened

5: Obsessive/Compulsive Barking

When their intellectual needs aren’t met, collies are prone to developing obsessive or compulsive behaviors. This includes things like tail chasing and fly snapping but can also result in inappropriate barking.

Collies Barking At Other Dogs

Collies usually bark at other dogs either due to them being scared or anxious or due to excitement. You’ll be able to tell the difference by observing how your collie acts. If they bark and move away or hold their ground, they may be anxious. If they bark and try to play/get close, they are probably just excited.

Socializing dogs in general, not just collies if a fine balancing act. Collies are a little more challenging because they seem to not get over negative interactions as easily.

An under-socialized dog will become anxious and defensive around other dogs and so will bark to try and scare them away.

Similarly, when a dog just wants to play with another dog can’t access them because they are on a leash, they become frustrated and start to bark at them.

Collies sometimes bark at other dogs if they get excited during play time

How To Stop Your Collie Barking At Other Dogs

To stop your collie from barking at other dogs, you have to train them and socialize them. If your collie is barking due to excitement, train them to be calm by not letting them near any dogs they bark at and praising them for being calm. If they are barking out of fear, gradual exposure to other dogs will help them overcome their fears.

A properly socialized dog will be able to play with a dog off the lead but they’re also able to greet a dog and walk away calmly or ignore them altogether. Not every dog wants to be their friend and they need to be taught how to cope with that through training.

Teaching a dog on-lead manners and that they can’t interact with every dog will help an excited dog manage their frustration barking. Likewise, teaching a fearful reactive dog that you won’t let other dogs run up to them to interact will help with their reactions.

If your dog barks because they’re worried they need to be taught through gradual exposure that other dogs aren’t a threat and they can ignore them if they don’t want to interact.

Collies Barking At Night

Why Do Collies Bark At Night?

Collies bark at night because of separation anxiety, fear of the dark, or noise sensitivity. Collies are hyper-sensitive dogs and need lots of attention and reassurance. Leaving a night light on for them or allowing them to sleep where they can see or hear you will help them feel more secure at night.

The house can be a lot scarier at night when everyone is in bed and your dog is separate from you while it listens to nighttime noises.

With no other noises to distract them, they can be hyper-vigilant and scared. Some dogs don’t like to be away from their owners or need regular toilet breaks and so will bark at the door in the night to alert them.

Some collies don’t like the dark and might be more prone to barking at night

How To Stop Your Collie Barking At Night

Dogs need to feel safe when they sleep and some dogs need a crate to feel comfortable.

You can cover it over with a blanket to make it nice and cozy. If they’re struggling to be away from you initially, you can have their crate in your bedroom and then gradually move it further away when they settle better. Collies who are noise sensitive may benefit from having quietly played music through the night. Studies have shown that smooth jazz or classical is the most soothing music for dogs.

Collie Puppies Barking

Collie puppies will hit an age where they like to test out their voice and it’s perfectly normal for them to go through a very vocal period, usually this only lasts up until around 16 weeks old.

As owners, you will need to teach them the appropriate times to bark which can be different for every household depending on preference.

Rewarding dogs at the right time when they are quiet is key to teaching them when not to bark and ignoring unwanted behavior so they don’t achieve anything when they do bark.

Collie puppies are more likely to bark, since that’s how puppies express themselves

Why Do Collies Bark At Strangers?

Collies are naturally distrusting of people outside of their family circle and will often bark at strangers out of fear. The best way to overcome this is by introducing your collie to strangers so that they learn by gradual exposure that they don’t need to be frightened.

If every new person you meet gave you a candy bar, you would gradually start to look forward to meeting new people. Similar methods can help our dogs.

If they receive a high-value reward for showing interest in someone new, they will gradually have a different emotional response to new people.

Do All Collies Bark?

Despite being different shapes and sizes, all collies come from a similar heritage and are bred for similar jobs. All collies have a similar personality and are prone to barking.

Do Border Collies Bark A Lot?

Border collies are very vocal and bark uncontrollably when they are excited.

If you’ve ever watched an agility event, you will see it’s dominated by border collies. They’re relatively small but lean to be able to take quick twists and turns while herding livestock.

If you’ve watched the sport you would have also noticed how noisy it is. Border collies are prone to barking out of excitement and various other reasons.

Border collies bark often, but no more often than other collie breeds

Do Bearded Collies Bark A Lot?

Bearded collies are known for barking a lot when they’re bored.

They form very strong attachments to their owners and often don’t like being left alone.

Do Rough Collies Bark A Lot?

Rough collies are very high-energy dogs and are prone to barking.

Lassie was cast for a reason, she was a great example of a rough collie and alerted everyone on screen to any signs of danger. Rough collies are bred to work in all conditions with their thick coats and as a high-energy working dog but can be very vocal.

Conclusion

All dogs are capable of barking, some more than others. Collies are high drive dogs who are always on alert that are bred to be on the go all day.

A side effect to this is a dog that is often highly strung and easily bored resulting in a good amount of barking.

Collies bark for the following reasons:

  • For attention
  • Protective Barking
  • Boredom
  • Fear
  • Compulsive Barking
  • Barking at other dogs
  • Barking at night

If your collie is barking too much, make sure their needs are being met. Collies often bark because they need more attention, exercise, or mental stimulation. Take them a big walk, have a training session, or get them a friend to play with!

About the author:

About the author:

Hollie and Border Collie

 

Howling and Growling Editor

 

Howling and Growling Editor

I'm an experienced collie owner from Scotland and the original founder of Howling and Growling. Wherever I go, my beloved collie Luna is never far behind!

Learn More about me and Luna's story on the about page!