Are Border Collies Clingy? Debunking the Myth

Border Collies are renowned for their intelligence, agility, and boundless energy. As one of the most popular dog breeds, they have captured the hearts of many dog enthusiasts and pet owners. 

However, a common perception among people is that Border Collies tend to be clingy. In this article, we’ll delve into the truth behind this notion, exploring the factors that contribute to their behavior and shedding light on the real nature of Border Collies’ attachment.

Understanding Clinginess in Dogs

Before delving into whether Border Collies are clingy or not, let’s first grasp the concept of clinginess in dogs. Clinginess can manifest as behaviors such as following you around constantly, becoming anxious when left alone, and displaying excessive excitement upon your return. 

It’s important to note that a certain level of attachment is healthy in dogs, as it indicates a strong bond between the dog and its owner. However, when this attachment becomes overly intense, it may lead to separation anxiety and other behavioral issues.

The Bond Between Humans and Dogs

Dogs have been our companions for thousands of years, and the bond between humans and canines is truly remarkable. This bond is based on mutual trust, companionship, and a sense of security. 

Dogs, including Border Collies, have evolved to be social animals that thrive in the presence of their human pack members. This inclination to form strong attachments has both biological and behavioral underpinnings.

See also  Should Greyhounds Drink Milk? You should Know

Border Collies: The Working Breed

Border Collies were originally bred for herding livestock, particularly sheep. Their incredible intelligence and agility made them exceptional at their job. However, these very traits also play a role in their perceived clinginess. 

Border Collies have an uncanny ability to read human emotions and respond to cues, which can sometimes result in them being highly attuned to their owner’s movements and moods.

Factors Contributing to Perceived Clinginess

High Intelligence: Border Collies are considered one of the smartest dog breeds. Their intelligence enables them to quickly learn routines and anticipate their owner’s actions. This can sometimes lead to them being overly vigilant, as they’re always ready to respond to any potential cues.

Strong Work Ethic: Due to their herding background, Border Collies have a strong work ethic. They are accustomed to being engaged in activities throughout the day. When this need for mental and physical stimulation isn’t met, they might resort to seeking attention from their owners.

Sensitivity: Border Collies are highly sensitive to changes in their environment and the emotions of their owners. If their owners are stressed, anxious, or sad, Border Collies might exhibit clingy behavior as a way to offer comfort and seek reassurance.

Social Nature: Being social animals, Border Collies naturally want to be close to their human companions. They enjoy being part of the family and participating in various activities.

Addressing Clinginess

While Border Collies might display clingy behavior, it’s essential to manage it in a healthy way to prevent it from becoming problematic:

Balanced Routine: Establish a balanced routine that includes ample physical exercise, mental stimulation, and interaction. This can help satisfy their need for activity and minimize clinginess.

See also  Can I hose my dog with cold water? Crucial Facts

Training and Enrichment: Engage in regular training sessions and provide interactive toys to keep their minds engaged. This will also strengthen your bond with them.

Independence Training: Teach your Border Collie to spend time alone gradually. Start with short intervals and gradually increase the duration. This can help reduce separation anxiety.

Positive Reinforcement: Reward calm and independent behavior, reinforcing the idea that being alone is not a negative experience.


Are Border Collies clingy? The answer lies in understanding their history, temperament, and the factors that contribute to their behavior. While their high intelligence, sensitivity, and social nature might lead to what seems like clinginess, it’s important to remember that they are simply expressing their attachment and desire for companionship. 

With proper training, a balanced routine, and a strong bond, you can ensure that your Border Collie remains a loving and well-adjusted companion, rather than overly clingy.