BonniDune Kennel is located in
Southern Indiana, USA. Although I started
with German Shepherd Dogs, today BonniDune is
dedicated to showing, trialing and producing
sound, versatile Border Collies.
BonniDune is proud to be recognized as an AKC Breeder of Merit.

Puppies Born December 25, 2013

Do Border Collies Have Bad Noses?


Border Collies are renowned for their intelligence, agility, and work ethic. They have been bred for centuries to excel in herding and working livestock, particularly sheep. One of the key traits that contribute to their success in these tasks is their exceptional sense of smell. However, there is a common misconception that Border Collies have bad noses. Let’s explore this notion further.

The Myth of Bad Noses

Contrary to popular belief, Border Collies do not have bad noses. In fact, they possess a highly developed sense of smell that is on par with other breeds known for their olfactory abilities, such as Bloodhounds and Beagles. Border Collies’ sense of smell is crucial for their work as herding dogs, enabling them to locate and gather livestock effectively.

Their Herding Instincts

Border Collies have been selectively bred for generations to have an exceptional herding instinct. Their sense of smell plays a vital role in this, as it helps them identify and track individual animals within a group. By relying on their noses, Border Collies can detect subtle scents left by sheep, allowing them to gather and control the flock efficiently.

Tracking Abilities

Border Collies’ excellent noses are not limited to herding tasks. They can also excel in various dog sports and activities that involve scent work, such as tracking. Their ability to follow scent trails has been honed through years of selective breeding, making them well-suited for tasks like search and rescue operations or detection work.

Training and Utilizing Their Sense of Smell

While Border Collies possess a natural aptitude for scent-related activities, proper training is essential to maximize their olfactory potential. Engaging in activities like scent discrimination exercises, tracking games, and nose work can further enhance their scent detection skills. Providing mental stimulation through these activities can also help prevent behavioral issues that may arise from boredom.


In conclusion, Border Collies do not have bad noses. On the contrary, their sense of smell is highly developed and crucial to their abilities as working dogs. Whether it is herding, tracking, or engaging in scent-related activities, Border Collies excel in utilizing their noses. If you are fortunate enough to have a Border Collie, consider harnessing their olfactory talents through proper training and engaging activities that stimulate their senses.

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