A smiling collie relaxes in the sun.

Collie Temperament: What to Expect

What do you know about the Collie temperament? This information will help you better understand the breed and to make an informed decision if you are thinking about owning a Collie.

The Collie is a family-oriented breed and as such, it should live with you in the home, not out in the backyard.

Collies are smart, very connected to people and they learn quickly. To be content, Collies need consistent daily exercise and active play that will challenge them intellectually. When Collies don’t get the daily exercise they need, or when they are left alone for long periods of time, they will become bored and resort to barking.

The Collie temperament makes this breed a good choice for a therapy dog. The Collie has a calm and welcoming personality and loves to be petted. They enjoy caring for people.

There are positives and negatives when dealing with the Collie temperament. While they learn quickly and are eager to please, they may become bored with repetitive obedience exercises, so find a way to change up the routine to keep things fresh. Collies also have an independent streak that can make them a bit stubborn. As herding dogs, Collies are used to making some decisions on their own. You should learn to embrace that independence and work with it.

Because they are herding dogs by nature, Collies have a tendency to nip at your heels in play. This is a behavior that should not be permitted. It can be frightening to children and annoying to both people and other animals.

Overview of Collie’s Temperament and How They Behave

The Collie is easy to train. Besides being loyal and intelligent, the Collie is a quick learner.

Collies are also devoted to and protective of their families. They are also friendly with people outside the family circle. With a playful gentle nature, the Collie makes a good companion for children. And because of the Collie’s loyal and loving nature, it excels as an assistance or therapy dog.

Collies enjoy relaxing around the house with the family. They also enjoy running and playing outdoors. Collies love children – even those that are not part of their family. They enjoy playing with children and protectively watching over them. They are also gentle with and protective of other family pets.

When thinking about Collie temperament, you should remember that the Collie is a herding dog. The herding instinct is strong in this breed, so don’t be surprised when your Collie tries to herd your children or household pets.

While the good-natured Collie is a friendly dog, the Collie can also be suspicious of strangers, especially when they approach the children. The Collie is a good watchdog. The breed will bark but is not aggressive.

The Collie temperament is affected by heredity, training, and socialization. Like all dogs, Collies need early socialization with exposure to many different people and experiences. This will help ensure that your puppy grows up to be a well-adjusted dog.

Best Practices for Dealing with a Collie

Collies adapt well to most home environments as long as they are given plenty of daily exercise. As a rule, you should give your Collie two 30 to 45 minute walks each day. If your Collie does not get enough exercise or play, or if he is left alone for long periods of time he will become bored and resort to nuisance barking. To avoid excessive barking, let your Collie join in all your family activities and keep your Collie mentally challenged with ongoing obedience training or dog sports.

Train your Collie from a young age. Begin training the day you bring your puppy home. If you wait too long to begin training your puppy, he may become head-strong.

Training Tips Based on Their Temperament

Collies respond best to consistent rewards-based training. This dog enjoys the attention that comes from performing. So the Collie loves to do tricks and to compete in agility or herding events.

Any dog can develop unwanted behaviors such as barking and digging if the dog is bored, untrained or unsupervised. Start training your new Collie the day you bring him home. They are capable of learning from a very young age. Don’t wait until your Collie is 6 months old to begin training or you will be dealing with a dog that is more headstrong.

To learn more about owning a collie, read our article Owning a Collie: Things to Know.