Skip to Content

Can Border Collies Be Left Alone? | What You Need to Know

After adopting a sweet border collie, you’re probably looking into your options for bringing him or her home with you and getting settled in. Knowing whether or not you can leave your new pup alone will be a big part of that decision.

It is not recommended that you leave a border collie alone for more than 4 hours. They can develop separation anxiety or even be destructive. Crate training them, playing music while you are gone, and getting another dog are three great ways to help alleviate their stress while you are not at home.

The rest of the article will go into greater detail on the topic and provide answers to commonly asked questions.


Should You Leave a Border Collie Alone?

This question has multiple answers, and there are lots of variables to consider. Your dog’s age, your living situation, and what his or her purpose is in life will affect whether you can leave him or her alone. Other factors play into it as well. These types of dogs are typically very intelligent and learn quickly.

They will also get bored easily with nothing to occupy their thoughts when left alone for too long. This can lead to them becoming destructive in the home. It is best if you don’t leave them home alone for more than three or four hours at a time.

Each dog’s temperament is going to be unique to its breed and how they have been raised. Some border collies will be great for apartment living, and others won’t because they’ll try using every inch of that space. There are many different types of border collies that were bred to perform specific tasks. Some are bred to herd sheep, while others herd cattle or other animals.

The problem with leaving a border collie home alone is that they are bred to herd. The instinct could kick in, and they might start nipping at you or other animals if you’re not paying attention.

But perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is that you want to consider your dog’s age. Young dogs are more likely to panic and become anxious, so they should be supervised.

A Woman Holding a Young Blue-Eyed Border Collie
Border Collies require a lot of attention.

Learn the Needs of Your Own Dog

Our border collie has no problems with us being away for 8 to 10 hours at a time. Not that she prefers it, but she has never shown signs of separation anxiety or exhibited any destructive behavior. Of course, we have a cat that she gets along with, so that might help.

How Long Can a Border Collie Stay Home Alone?

A border collie can stay at home alone for a total of four hours. If you have a bigger dog, they may need a little more supervision, depending on how sociable the two dogs are together and if they get along well.

They should stay in the crate when you leave for work or wherever you go so that they don’t get into any trouble with your other belongings while you’re gone. If they are in the crate, it should always be their own room, separating them from your other pets.

What to Do With Border Collie While at Work?

The best thing to do during the day is to keep your dog in the crate while you’re at work. This way, they can’t get out and cause damage to your home or any of your houseplants or other things in the yard that are breakable. It’s also a good idea not to let them out of the crate until you’re home again. This will help with their separation anxiety, at least for a little while.

Their crate can be in any room of the house that is off-limits to the other pets while you’re gone. This is so they will not get into any trouble with them.

5 Tips to Leaving a Border Collie at Home

  1. Consider Crate Training Them- The most important thing to remember is to keep your dog in their own room while you’re gone. This will keep them safe from any other pets and from getting into trouble with breakable objects. Put your dog’s crate in a location where they cannot get at any of your other pet’s belongings. Be sure to provide a blanket, sheets, and toys in the crate while you’re gone. Please make sure they are familiar with the crate so that it is not a brand new experience when you send them into it for the first time or in case they panic.
  2. Consider getting another dog- This can help keep each other occupied when you leave.
  3. Consider getting a dog walker/pet sitter- However, if this is something you really don’t want to do or can’t afford,
  4. Get a ring or security camera- Make sure it has the ability for your to speak through it. That way, you can communicate with them at different times throughout the day.
  5. Play a radio while you are gone- This way they are not left in silence.
  6. Use a Thundershirt- There is also a device that can help with separation anxiety called the Thundershirt, which is similar to swaddling an infant. It uses gentle pressure to calm them down and relieve stress while leaving room for movement and peak performance. Here is the one that I recommend, found on Amazon. I really like how they are known to even help dogs who are deathly afraid of fireworks, like our border collie is.

If your dog starts to get anxious or upset when you leave, consider spending some time with them before you go so they develop trust and get used to being without their owner. Make sure you give them a lot of exercise. This will go a long way in mitigating any anxiety they might have while you are out.

Are Border Collies Prone to Separation Anxiety?


A border collie is a very intelligent dog that can be adjusted to a variety of homes and situations. However, they are prone to separation anxiety because they were bred for herding.

The first thing you need to know is that it can be dangerous for your dogs if they are left alone too much. Border collies and other breeds of collies are prone to developing separation anxiety. This is something where the dog will really panic if left unattended.

It’s not unheard of for them to chew through electrical cords or break things they shouldn’t be breaking in an attempt to keep themselves occupied or escape boredom. This can be very dangerous, especially if someone isn’t watching closely enough and they cause damage or injury.

How to Tell If Your Border Collie Has Anxiety

You can tell they have anxiety:

  • If they pace around the house, become more excited whenever the doorbell rings, or even just bark at it. Excited barking and hyperactivity is a sign of anxiety.
  • Exhibit Destructive behavior is a tell-tale sign that your dog is anxious. For example, if they destroy blankets or furniture, they shouldn’t start chewing on things they’re not supposed to or gnaw at your legs when you walk by.
  • Urinate or defecate in the house.
  • Frequently pawing at their own face if they seem very stressed out or nervous,

How Can I Help My Border Collie With Anxiety?

To help your dog with his or her anxiety issues, you may want to consider a crate. This is where you’ll keep your dog when you leave the house. They will go into the crate for their own safety while you are gone.

It’s important not to let them out after they’ve been in there for too long because they might be prone to developing a bladder infection or other complications. Give your dog lots of toys and treats while they are inside the crate so they won’t become bored. If this doesn’t help with your border collie’s anxiety completely, then he or she should see a vet right away.

Related Do Animals Like Music? (And How They Are Affected by It).

Why Are Border Collies so Needy?

Border collies are known for being very affectionate, loyal, and loving dogs. However, they are not the type of dog that tends to stay calm during times of extreme stress, such as separation anxiety. Border collies tend to be very intelligent, curious, independent, and stubborn, which can lead them to become anxious about their owners leaving them behind.

They tend to become highly attached to relationships with people and other animals. They will go out of their way to make sure that everything is alright, and if there is something wrong, then you can be sure that they will let you know that it is.

There are three main reasons why border collies become anxious during times of separation from their owners:

  1. Border collies may see themselves as the ‘man’s best friend’ and will always want to be by their owner’s side. This is especially important when you take them out on walks or to the dog park. If their owner becomes distracted, they may begin to get anxious and start destroying things around them in an attempt to gain their owner’s attention back.
  2. Border collies are pack animals by nature, meaning they like to feel as though they belong to something or someone at the very least. When left alone, this sense of belongingness can lead them down the path towards separation anxiety because it may make them feel like they no longer belong in their home without their owner there.
  3. Border collies are very stubborn and independent by nature. When they feel like they do not belong in their home without their owner there, they may begin to act out in an attempt to get their owner’s attention.

Treatment for Border Collie Separation Anxiety

There are several ways you can treat a border collie who suffers from separation anxiety.

It’s best to choose one or a combination of the following methods, which will help your dog feel less stressed and more comfortable during periods of separation from their owners.

  1. Medication: In some cases, veterinarians will recommend that dogs be medicated with antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications.
  2. Training and discipline: Consistently training and keeping your dog in check while they’re at home can help them learn to stay in one spot and not get out of control when you’re not around. It’s essential that if you have children, to keep a close watch on them when they are playing with your dog as they may tease or run around, which could scare your dog into jumping over fences or breaking through doors in order to get away from whatever is chasing them.

When to Call a Dog Trainer

If you have tried everything and your dog is still jumping the fence or breaking through the door, then it’s a good idea to call a long-term dog trainer for advice. Frequently these two problems are related and may have stemmed from one another. Sometimes you will not need a dog trainer, but just a few tips and tricks on overcoming these problems.

Do Border Collies Run Away?

Border collies do not typically run away, but if they find themselves in the middle of nowhere and are scared, they may do so. However, they will generally come back when their owner is close enough to notice them.

We have never had a problem with Cookie (our BC) running away. In fact, if you could ask her, she would probably be very disappointed in you for even thinking that is a possibility.

Final Thoughts

Owning a border collie can be a lot of fun, but it takes a lot of work as well. It requires a lot of attention because they are very intelligent and will act out if they are not occupied.

I hope this article has helped you create a better environment for your furry friend and live in a more harmonious environment. Remember what they say, a happy dog is a happy life. Actually, they don’t say that.. I just made it up. But it’s so true!

Thanks for reading!

For more, check out Why Do Border Collies Whine? (And How to Fix It).