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Growling Border Collie

Growling Border Collie

Whether your Border Collie is growling at you or other people, it’s never a good sign. No owner would want their own dog growling at them. And having a dog that growls at other people is a dangerous warning sign that you should take seriously.

Of course not all growling is necessarily aggressive. Border Collies can growl for several reasons and some are more dangerous than others. Here are some reasons as to why a Border Collie would be growling at someone:

  • Aggression
  • Playfulness
  • Defensive warning
  • Dominance problems

What to do When Your Puppy Starts Growling

Depending on the reason behind the growl, you will need to respond differently to each situation. Remember to be very careful with a growling Border Collie. Growling usually is a warning that means “don’t provoke me or something bad might happen”.

  • Aggression - If you suspect your Border Collie is growling out of aggression, step away. Do not come closer to the dog, but at the same time do not start running away. Try to remain calm and confident while you try to find a way to remove yourself out of danger. Try to get somewhere where the dog won’t be able to reach you and bite you.
  • Playful Growl – Dogs love to growl while playing. It’s not exactly a cause for concern even if growls sound mean, but if things get too heated the Border Collie could bite you a little too hard out of excitement. The best way to prevent playful growling is to stop playing aggressive games. Keep away and thug of war are two games which you should cross off the list.
  • Defensive Growl – If your Border Collie feels threatened or cornered, it will growl to let the person know to back off. You never want to tease or approach a dog that feels threatened. If you come any closer, the dog will most likely bite you. Simply give the dog the space that it needs to feel better. Don’t force any interaction if the dog doesn’t want it.
  • Dominant Issues – A dominant dog might seem like it’s growling out of aggression, but in reality it’s doing so to remain dominant. It’s trying to hold its position in the hierarchy. If your dog is growling when you try to push him off the furniture or take something away then it’s most likely a dominance issue. Don’t test an angry Border Collie, instead solve the dominance issues through positive reinforcement and training.

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3 Responses to “Growling Border Collie”

  1. GAIL says:

    we adopted a 3 year old border collie from a rescue, she is beautiful and we have had her for 1 year. Since we got her, she seems to prefer to be under our bed, and if I come near she growls at me, never coming forward toward me but staying under bed, she seems to be afraid of our small grandchildren, again going under bed if they are around. any advice on how to stop this behavior?

    • Ann says:

      Hi Gail

      We had a female rescue Border Collie who also had issues around young children. I believe this is common with the breed and any unpredictable noises/movements can make a Collie nervous. Collies can also be prone to herding young children which is natural behaviour for this working breed. We felt it was best to not place her in the same room as young children as it wasn’t fair on the dog or the child.

      Like your Collie, ours used to like disappearing under tables and watching what we were up to. However, she didn’t growl at us if we approached us. This maybe defensive, protective behaviour. Or if she growls at you in other situations she may have dominance issues. It is something worth getting advice about.

      Anyway I hope you find some solutions. All the best,


  2. ammie43 says:

    I bought a 2 year border collie the other day she was just taken away from her puppies when I come into the shed to feed her she starts to growl at me and she even trys to bite me
    can anyone tips how to stop this behaviour???

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