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 Sulk?

Understanding Border Collies

Border Collies are highly intelligent and active dogs known for their herding abilities. They are often regarded as one of the smartest dog breeds and thrive in environments where they can constantly learn and be mentally stimulated. However, this intelligence can also lead to certain behavioral traits, including the possibility of sulking.

What Is Sulking?

Sulking is a term used to describe a dog’s behavior when they are feeling upset, ignored, or unhappy. When a Border Collie sulks, they may display signs of being withdrawn, unresponsive, or exhibit passive-aggressive behavior. This can include avoiding eye contact, refusing to eat, isolating themselves, or even ignoring commands they usually obey.

Causes of Border Collie Sulking

Border Collies are sensitive dogs that form strong bonds with their owners. They thrive on attention and engagement, so any perceived neglect or lack of mental stimulation can lead to sulking. Some common causes of Border Collie sulking include:

  • Lack of exercise: Border Collies have high energy levels and need ample physical exercise to remain content. Insufficient exercise can result in boredom and frustration.
  • Emotional distress: Border Collies are highly attuned to their owners’ emotions. If they sense tension, sadness, or stress in the household, it can affect their mood as well.
  • Changes in routine: Border Collies thrive on structure and predictability. Sudden changes in their daily routine or environment can cause them to feel unsettled and sulk as a result.
  • Feeling ignored: Border Collies require mental stimulation and interaction to stay happy. If they feel neglected or ignored for extended periods, they may resort to sulking as a means of expressing their discontent.

Dealing with Border Collie Sulking

If you notice your Border Collie sulking, it’s essential to address the underlying cause and take appropriate action. Here are some tips to help you deal with Border Collie sulking:

  1. Provide mental stimulation: Engage your Border Collie in activities that challenge their intelligence, such as puzzle toys, obedience training, or teaching new tricks.
  2. Ensure regular exercise: Dedicate enough time each day for physical exercise to keep your Border Collie tired and content.
  3. Stick to a routine: Establish and maintain a consistent daily routine to provide your Border Collie with a sense of security and stability.
  4. Offer attention and affection: Spend quality time with your Border Collie, giving them attention, affection, and positive reinforcement for good behavior.
  5. Seek professional help if needed: If your Border Collie’s sulking persists or worsens, consider consulting a professional dog trainer or behaviorist who specializes in working with this breed.


While Border Collies are generally loving and loyal companions, they can occasionally exhibit sulking behavior when they feel neglected or unhappy. Understanding the causes of sulking and taking appropriate measures to address them are vital to ensure a happy and well-adjusted Border Collie. By providing adequate mental stimulation, regular exercise, maintaining a consistent routine, and offering attention and affection, you can help prevent or resolve sulking behavior in your Border Collie.

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