5 Signs Your Border Collie Might Feel Lonely

Border Collies have emotional needs that should not be overlooked. One of the most common issues faced by pet owners is the possibility of their Border Collie feeling lonely. As a responsible dog owner, it’s crucial to be attuned to your furry friend’s emotions. In this article, we’ll explore the five key signs that may indicate your Border Collie is experiencing loneliness and discuss practical solutions to help them thrive.

Table of Contents

1. Excessive Barking or Howling​

One of the first signs that your Border Collie might be feeling lonely is a sudden increase in barking or howling. Dogs are social animals, and excessive vocalization can be their way of expressing their discomfort and seeking attention. Loneliness can trigger anxiety in Border Collies, leading them to bark or howl more frequently when they are left alone for extended periods.

Solution: To address this issue, gradually acclimate your dog to alone time by leaving them for short periods initially and rewarding them with treats or toys upon your return. Additionally, engaging in interactive play sessions and providing mental stimulation can help alleviate feelings of isolation.

Lonely Border Collie

2. Destructive Behavior​

Another common sign of loneliness in Border Collies is destructive behavior. If your usually well-behaved dog starts chewing on furniture, shoes, or other household items when left alone, it may indicate distress caused by loneliness. Destructive behavior is often an outlet for their pent-up energy and emotions.

Solution: Combat destructive behavior by ensuring your dog receives sufficient physical exercise and mental stimulation throughout the day. Consider enrolling your Border Collie in obedience training classes, which not only provide mental engagement but also strengthen the bond between you and your pet.

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3. Loss of Appetite

A change in your Border Collie’s eating habits might be an indication of emotional distress. Loneliness can lead to a loss of appetite, resulting in weight loss and a decline in overall health. If your dog seems disinterested in their favorite treats or meals, it’s essential to investigate the underlying cause.

Solution: Create a positive feeding environment by establishing a routine and feeding your Border Collie at consistent times. Ensure they have a quiet and comfortable space to eat without disturbances. If their disinterest in food persists, consult with a veterinarian to rule out any potential health issues.

Tip: Check out our Optimal Nutrition Guide for Border Collies here.

4. Lethargy and Withdrawal

Lonely Border Collies may become lethargic and withdrawn. If you notice your dog being uncharacteristically subdued, spending more time sleeping, or avoiding interactions, it could be an indication of emotional isolation.

Solution: Encourage your pet’s enthusiasm and energy by engaging in regular playtime and exercise. Take them for daily walks, play fetch, or set up obstacle courses to stimulate their mind and body. A tired dog is less likely to feel lonely and will enjoy a stronger emotional bond with their owner.

Is your Border Collie lonely?

5. Neediness and Clinginess

While Border Collies are known for their independence, loneliness can cause them to become excessively needy and clingy. Your dog may follow you around the house, whine for attention, or demand constant affection.

Solution: Offer your Border Collie reassurance and attention, but avoid reinforcing clingy behavior. Teach them to be comfortable spending time alone gradually. Create a safe and cozy space for them when you’re not at home, filled with familiar toys or blankets that provide comfort.


Understanding and addressing your Border Collie’s emotional needs are vital for ensuring their overall well-being and happiness. Loneliness is a common issue that can affect any dog, but with attentive care and thoughtful interventions, you can help your furry friend overcome it. Regular exercise, mental stimulation, positive reinforcement, and consistent companionship are key to fostering a strong bond with your Border Collie. Remember, a happy and emotionally fulfilled dog is more likely to lead a healthy and fulfilling life as an integral member of your family.

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