The border collie is a herding dog. They were bred to gather and control sheep in Scotland and England.
It’s no wonder they have a keen eye and an intense stare that they use in keeping their flock on a tight leash.
These boundless furry balls of energy have what seems like an unlimited reservoir of stamina and a desire to work.
But sometimes, things aren’t always so rosy with your border collie.
And you might find yourself faced with a 35lb + dog growling at you, sometimes unprovoked.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the possible reasons that your border collie is growling at you.
5 Reasons Why Your Border Collie Is Growling At You
If your border collie starts to growl, you need to act according to the situation.
That’s why it’s important that you watch your border collie’s body language and, of course, be aware of the reasons behind your border collie’s behavior.
Here are five reasons why your border collie is growling at you:
1. Indication of injury or pain
You could be trying to pet your border collie when all of a sudden, it growls at you.
This sudden behavior, while being very abrupt and maybe terrifying, might be an indication of injury or pain.
When dogs get injured, whilst some of them become passive and more withdrawn, others might get aggressive, and this is where growling can occur.
You should pay attention to your border collies body language and if they let you come close, investigate for signs of injury.
Remember to be careful during the investigative process and get your dog to the vet if you think it’s hurt.
2. Warning alarm
Dogs can’t talk, so growling is the only way to show distress when they feel at risk, or they sense danger.
Like we mentioned earlier, border collies are very keen dogs to have around, and they can sense danger before anyone else.
That’s why growling is one of the probable signs that your dog is distressed about something or they’re trying to warn you of something.
Depending on the situation, i.e., if the growling is directed at you, you should back away from the border collie while making talking to them in a soothing voice. The same thing goes for if they’re growling at someone else.
But in a situation where your border collie is growling at nothing, in particular, it’s probably in your best interest to investigate.
Dogs are very fond of growling during play, especially with games like tug of war.
While this kind of growling is all in good fun, be cautious as things might spiral out of control, and your border collie might get too excited and bite you.
So taking control of games and avoiding things from getting too heated is in your best interest.
4. Aggression or hostility
If your body collie is growling at you and its body language is screaming aggression, the worst thing you can do is get close to them.
Instead, back away, but don’t run away. Go to a place where your dog won’t be able to bite you and call for help immediately.
You need to assert dominance and confidence; that’s why running away is the worst thing you can do.
After the situation has been diffused, you should get professional help from either a behaviorist or a dog trainer.
5. Dominance or Territorial behavior
Your border collie might try to pose itself as the alpha by growling at you.
A situation where this might play out is if you’re trying to get them off the bed or put a leash on them.
This behavior should be curbed as soon as possible.
You should try positive reinforcement or getting the help of a professional dog trainer to help you out.
Whether at you, at someone else, or even at another dog passing by, this growling behavior shouldn’t be tolerated, and your dog should be reprimanded as soon as the situation has been diffused.
You should understand that while growling is a way dogs communicate with humans, there are other much better ways for your dog to communicate.
And on no account is growling at you or someone else acceptable.
Border collies are very intelligent dogs, and with proper training, they’ll learn quickly not to growl at you or someone else.
But if you need assistance, then it’s advisable you get a professional dog training or dog behaviorist to help out.