Why Does My Border Collie Tend to Run Away? 12 Reasons to Know

Border Collie owners are well aware of how difficult it can be to keep their pups from running away. Border Collies are highly intelligent and have a high energy level. 

Now you may ask, why does my Border Collie keep running away? The most obvious is lack of exercise. This Scottish Sheep Dog was bred to work. Other few reasons may inspire Border Collies to become an A-list escape artist breed.

Read on to get a little insight into what you can do to keep your pup from running away.

Why Does My Border Collie Tend To Run Away? 12 Reasons To Know

Do Border Collies Like to Run?

Your Border Collie is one of the fastest breeds in the world and can run up to 30 mph. Yes. Border Collies love to run. It’s inherent in their breed. As part of the Herding Group of dogs, they have a high energy level.

Thus, your Border Collie will be much happier if you give him away to release his energy daily. Going for a long hike or bike ride would be a perfect activity.

Related Reading: Do Chihuahuas Like To Run?

12 Possible Reasons: Why Does Your Border Collie Run Away?

There are reasons why you may have trouble with your Border Collie running away. It has a lot to do with his breed.

Naturally skittish and very sensitive to their surroundings they don’t react well to loud noises such as fireworks. Lack of physical and mental stimulation is also a reason to make sure he’s socialized. Add their intelligence to their speed and they can disappear in seconds.

Reason 1: Lack of understanding the mentality of Border Collies

Understanding the Border Collies mentality is key to training your Border Collie to not run away. Your Border Collie is highly intelligent and highly trainable.

A superstar at canine activities such as herding, obedience, and agility. He loves to be active. Border Collies tend to herd animals and people. They love their families but may be somewhat reserved with strangers.

They can be sensitive to their surroundings. Due to their high intelligence, they are known to be escape artists. Especially when bored. They have even been known to open fence latches.

Reason 2: Lack of daily exercise

Border Collies need daily strenuous exercise and mental stimulation. This is key to a well-behaved companion. He’s bred to work on farms or ranches where he can run all day.

Herding to his heart’s content. Thus, he needs at least an hour of intense play per day. Border Collies can adapt to city living with an active owner, but if left unexercised and bored he will become destructive.

Eventually leading to behavior problems. It’s important to keep this in mind when bringing a Border Collie home.

Reason 3: Because Of Border Collies Trait?

Border Collies have one very prominent trait that dominates their personality. High energy. Part of the Herding Group of dogs, your pup loves to work and be busy.

The high energy and intelligence are traits that make him such a wonderful companion. However, that means exercise is essential. Not enough and it will lead to developing bad habits. It’s important to keep him stimulated.

Basic obedience training is a perfect place to start. If your Border Collie keeps running away, it’s a sure sign of restlessness. As we all know exercise is key to a healthy and well-adjusted pup.

Reason 4: Is Your Border Collie Bored?

Think about how bored you get sitting around the house. Is it a wonder your Border Collie runs away? It’s very important to keep your pup’s mind and body stimulated, or he will continue to find ways to do it himself.

A nice, long walk or bike ride in the morning can get him off to a good start. Make sure he has interactive games and toys to keep his mind busy. Doggie Day Care may also be a great solution. If your pup is getting enough mental and physical stimulation, he’ll be much happier, and so will you.

Reason 5: Your Border Collie Is in Nature Calls [ i.e., needs mating with a partner]

Is your Border Collie running away more than usual? He may be looking for a mate. The reproductive drive is a powerful thing. Intact male dogs are driven to search for a mate. Even the most well-trained dog can be overwhelmed by these natural urges.

The best and easiest solution is to have your dog spayed or neutered. It has been shown that neutering will decrease sexual roaming in about 90 percent of the cases. Most vets agree that dogs can be spayed or neutered as early as eight weeks. Some recommend waiting until a dog is six months or older to allow for full development.

Reason 6: Your Border Collie Is on the Chase [Chasing Prey]

Most dogs love the hunt. And then there are Border Collies. A good reason why your Border Collie runs away. The hunt.  After all, it’s part of his herding instinct and hard for him to ignore. 

As responsible dog owners, it’s important to keep a close eye on our pups. Regularly inspect your fencing for holes where he can escape. Or make sure it’s high enough that he can’t jump over. Not only to protect him but also to protect the other critters that make your neighborhood their home.

Reason 7: You Have Easy “Dog Escape Routes”

If your Border Collie is bored, he will find something to keep him occupied. Fences will keep him in for a short time. Inevitably, he’ll find a way to escape from your backyard either dig, jump or even open latches on fences.

The best way to remedy easy escapes and keep your Border Collie from running away is by making it a habit to regularly walk your fence line. Pay close attention to spots where your pup is digging.

Even spots that he may be able to jump over. When in the house, always make sure the doors are properly shut. I’ve heard of Border Collies figuring out how to turn doorknobs and open the fridge.

Reason 8: Your Border Collie Gets Scary Sights and Sounds

Loud noises can scare the calmest of pups. Border Collies can be even more sensitive. Fireworks, thunderstorms, or maybe even a house party can frighten even the happiest dog.

Thus, 30% to 60% more pets are reported lost or missing during the July 4th festivities. Fear can cause your well-behaved Border Collie to run away. Create a safe place for your pup during holidays and get-togethers. Start socializing your Border Collie at a young age.

Introducing him to new experiences will help him grow into a much more mentally stable dog. In turn, it will lead to a long and happy life together.

Reason 9: Your Border Collie Is Moving to A New Home

We all know how stressful moving can be. It’s even worse for our Border Collies. To them, a new home can be even more stressful. Simply being out of their environment can be pretty scary.

Being more sensitive than most breeds can make it difficult to adjust to a new home. Thus, it’s not uncommon to have your Border Collie run away, more so when arriving at a new home. He may be exploring and getting to know his new neighborhood or trying to get back to his old home.

It’s a good idea to keep him on a leash for the first few days. Setting up a spot where he feels safe and secure will help him adjust to his new home a bit easier. In time, he will be just as happy in his new home.

Reason 10: Your Border Collie Has Separation Anxiety

Separation Anxiety may be the cause for your Border Collie running away. It’s estimated that approximately 14 percent of dogs are affected by this disorder.

If your pup can’t find comfort when he is left alone or separated from family members, he may be experiencing Separation Anxiety. It can become extreme if not addressed. Resulting in self-injury and household destruction. Especially around exit points like windows and doors.

Proper training and reconditioning will help to calm his nervousness. Obedience training and socialization will work wonders for his confidence.

Reason 11: Weather and Catastrophic Events

We never want to think of anything catastrophic happening to our pets. The reality is we need to be prepared. Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Earthquakes, Floods, and Wildfires are inevitable in many parts of the country.

Make plans ahead of time for such emergencies. Pack all essentials, Have them ready for a quick evacuation. It’s a good idea to have Collars, leashes, and a First Aid Kit on hand. Keep your pup close. As we know, this breed can be sensitive to chaotic situations. If spooked, a Border Collie will run.

You don’t want your buddy to be one of the many pets lost during these events.

Reason 12: Improper Use of Shock Collars

Are you having problems with your Border Collie running away? Thinking a Shock Collars may be the answer? Shock collar users often argue that the shock doesn’t hurt. Just try it. Shock collars can lead to very serious problems if used improperly.

If you find this could be the only solution, work with a skilled trainer. Unfortunately, this kind of training may also produce unwanted side effects. Shock collars create stress, which can lead to the opposite results. Dogs that have been trained with shock will frequently work slowly and deliberately.

They are overthinking and being very careful to avoid being shocked. This is the opposite of what we want as dog lovers. Before using a shock collar on your pup consider other alternatives. Obedience, behavior management, and positive reinforcement are powerful training options.

If you take the time to practice patience, discipline, and love, you’ll be shocked at what your loving companion can achieve.

Read To Know: Why Do Dachshunds Run In Circles Frequently?

Can Border Collies be trusted Off-Leash?

Are Border Collies good dogs off-leash? The answer is Yes! Your pup is easily one of the smartest breeds in the dog world. Border Collies are quick to learn new commands.

These qualities make them natural for off-leash work. They’re always eager to please and excited to learn new skills. It’s a joy training these pups. Owners who practice obedience training build a very tight bond with their dogs. So, put the time and effort into your pup’s training.

It’ll give you the confidence to take him off-leash everywhere you go. You will without, a doubt, be the envy of all dog owners.


How to stop my Border Collies from Running Away?

# The easiest and fastest way is to make sure your fencing is secure.

# Go for long runs, swim, or any activity that will burn off energy.

# Obedience training is key.

# A secure yard is an excellent way to keep him at home.

# A sturdy built fence will keep your pup from running away.

# If you can’t provide a fenced yard consider finding a new home for him.

# Putting your dog down is NOT an option. Turn him into a shelter or find him a new home. He deserves a second chance.

# A GPS device will help track your dog when he runs away

 How to train a Border Collie not to run away?

Training your Border Collie to stop running away will take practice and discipline. The quickest and easiest thing you can do is to build a fence. It should be at least 6′ high. Keep your pup supervised and pay close attention to weak spots in your fence. Reinforce any areas your pup may have found to escape.

Make time to take your pup for some strenuous exercise for at least an hour every day. Mornings are best but anytime will due. If you can take him on outing more than once a day is even better. Mental exercises are just as important.

Find a local class for your pup. Enroll him in a basic obedience class specifically designed to teach reliable recalls. Other kinds of training such as Agility, Nose work, Flyball, or Herding can re-direct his energy as well.

Not to mention is a fun activity for you as well. Aim for an hour of daily practice and it will help diminish your pup’s urge to run away.

Can Border Collies Run Long Distances?

The Border Collie can run long distances and is the perfect choice for an active person looking for a companion on a long run. This breed is active with a lot of stamina, capable of running at a fair speed.

These dogs are extremely energetic and need lots of exercises. They will keep up with even the longest distance runner.

Related Read: Can Australian Shepherds Run Long Distances? 

Can Border Collies be left home alone?

Your Border Collie puppy will be fine and feel comfortable leaving him at home alone in a crate.

Always make sure to leave toys to keep his mind busy. As he grows, and with proper training, there shouldn’t be any reason why he can be left alone at home or in the yard.

Over To You

Let me know which topic was most helpful to you? Did this article help you understand your Border Collies’ traits a little better? It certainly has helped me.

I hope it helps you as well. Let me know what worked for you. Any feedback or questions? Just add them into the comment section.

And as always, if you liked the article, please share.

Related Readings:

Why Do Border Collies Follow You Everywhere?
10 Facts Why Do Chihuahuas Attach To One Person?

Why Do Border Collies Bury Their Foods And Treats?

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