Last Updated on October 12, 2022 by The Puppy Mag
Do border collies make good guard dogs? This is a common question asked by both existing and future owners. I’ll cover how border collies compare to traditional guard dogs and the traits necessary to be an effective protector.
Border collies do not make very good guard dogs. Although they have a protective nature, loud bark, and intimidating snarl, they would back down quickly in most serious confrontations.
Do Border Collies Make Good Guard Dogs?
As explained above, border collies are not reliable guard dogs. But this doesn’t mean they can’t successfully deter people or other animals.
Border collies have a protective nature in them, so when they feel like their family or property is being threatened, they will show their impressive teeth and give it their all with a ferocious bark.
And believe me, an angry border collie should be enough to deter most people. At least those with a few brain cells!
What Separates Border Collies From Guard Dogs
Traditional guard dogs like German Shepherds, Dobermans, and Rottweilers are different than border collies in that they have enough aggression (and courage) to get physical and attack.
At the sight of an unsavory character on your property, a border collie would certainly look scary and aggressive, but they would back down should the intruder persist.
However, traditional guard dogs would not hesitate to take it one crucial step further by actually attacking the intruder.
Of course, there will be exceptions, and some border collies will have it in them to attack. But as a breed, they are generally not known to act on their aggression when confronted.
And one thing that you need from a guard dog is for them to be reliable in all situations.
Border Collies Make Excellent Watch Dogs
Although border collies are not natural guard dogs, they do happen to be exceptional watchdogs.
Not only are collies hyper-aware, alert, and sensitive to their surroundings, but they’re also the world’s most intelligent breed. Nothing will slide by a border collie without them noticing and thinking about it.
A border collie will quickly alert their owner at the presence, sight, or even smell of something unusual.
Border Collies Can Be Very Protective
Border collies are known for being excellent herders, and that makes sense as it was their primary role for centuries.
However, most people do not know that many farmers also gave their collies the responsibility of guarding the livestock throughout the night.
Collies would be responsible for deterring and challenging pesky predators like foxes.
This is why collies have such a strong protective nature about them. This instinct to protect carries over into everyday life and makes collies very protective over their human family and property.
So why didn’t they make it as guard dogs? Well, this is probably down to the fact that collies never really had to challenge humans. While a collie would likely challenge a fox, a human is way beyond their scope of expertise.
What we find with traditional guard dogs, is that they have a long history of being used for protection against both people and animals.
Related: Do Border Collies Get on Well With Pitbulls?
Can You Train a Border Collie To Be a Guard Dog
Considering that border collies are close to being guard dogs, could you train them to be one?
Simply put, it’s never a good idea to try training a non-guard dog breed to be a guard dog. This typically means instilling more aggression in them than they naturally have.
To do this, the training techniques involved would likely be punitive, which, apart from being very unfair on the dog, is based mainly on fear. A fearful collie is neither reliable nor calm: two things you need for an effective guard dog.
The best advice here is simple. If someone requires a dog to perform real guard dog duties, then they need a traditional guard dog breed (German shepherd, Doberman, Rottweiler, etc)
Would a Border Collie Protect Their Owner?
Due to the border collie’s physical size, loud bark, and intimidating snarl, they would most likely deter an attacker away from their owner. But whether or not they would physically protect their owner, is debatable.
Of course, some collies, in the event of an attack may try to jump up at an attacker or intervene in some physical way.
Many collies, though, would likely continue barking aggressively, but not actually follow through physically.
My personal opinion is that no one in their right mind would try attacking someone if they had a border collie by their side. First of all, border collies are not small dogs. Mix this with their gleaming snarl and ferocious bark… no thanks! But that’s just my two cents!
Unfortunately, you’ll never know the answer to this question, unless you find yourself in a pretty darn bad situation. Certainly not a recommended test!
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