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Does My Border Collie Love Me? 10 Real Signs of Affection

Does your collie love you as much as you love them?

Practically all owners have this thought at some point. Although it’s not as simple for your collie to say those powerful words, she’s likely showing it to you in many ways.

This article highlights 10 key signs of affection and explains how your collie demonstrates their love on a daily basis. I’ll also cover some points on puppies and what it means if your collie isn’t very affectionate with you.


10 Signs That Show Your Border Collie Loves You

Let’s cover the 10 ways your collie is likely already showing you plenty of love!

  1. Easy eye contact
  2. She brings her toys to you
  3. She sits next to you or leans on you
  4. Sleeping or laying in vulnerable positions around you
  5. Ear and eyebrow movement
  6. Always excited to see you
  7. Always listening to you
  8. Face licking
  9. Following you/checking in on you
  10. Morning attention

1. Easy eye contact

Eye contact is one of the most powerful forms of nonverbal communication. With a single look, animals can either feel safe and secure or threatened and ready to fight.

One way to gauge the strength of your bond with your collie is to observe how easily they maintain eye contact with you.

The ability to maintain a gaze while being looked at is a sign of trust and comfort, and is a simple yet powerful indicator of the strength of your bond.

If your collie rarely looks at you or can’t hold a gaze with you, then this likely indicates something is a little off. It could potentially mean she’s feeling fearfulness, anxiety, or general uncertainty.

2. She brings her toys to you

When dogs bring their toys to their owners, of course, it means “hey, I want to play!” but in truth, there’s a little more to it than that.

This simple gesture of choosing you to bring her toy to means that she trusts you and knows you that will engage with her. And for that to be the case, your relationship must be strong.

Not only this but it’s clear that your collie thinks of you when she thinks of playtime, and for a dog, playtime resembles fun, happiness, and only good feelings.

Dog’s who don’t feel connected with certain people will usually stay away, and bringing their toy to them will be the last thing they will do.

3. She sits next to you or leans on you

Whether she comes to sit next to you on the couch or lays down on the floor and rests her head on your feet, casual physical contact is like casual eye contact, only more powerful and meaningful.

Nothing tops physical contact when conveying feelings to someone or something else that we can’t directly speak to you.

Not only does this indicate your collie feels safe, secure, and comfortable around you, but it also counts as a direct sign of her actively giving you affection. Just because it doesn’t look like a human hug, her leaning up against your side is just as good as one.

If you’ve got this one locked down, you’ve got nothing to worry about!

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4. Sleeping or laying in vulnerable positions around you

Does your collie sprawl out upside down on her back with all four legs in weird and wonderful directions? Well, despite how funny it looks, it actually says a lot about your relationship.

Although laying on her back sleeping around you doesn’t exactly scream “I love you” it at least signifies that she feels safe around you. As you can tell by now, that’s a recurring theme.

Sleeping, laying on her back, or assuming any vulnerable position when in your company means you have a great relationship. It doesn’t seem like much for us, but it is for your collie.

This is highlighted when a dog doesn’t feel good around their owner, they will shy away, make themselves small, always position themselves so they can exit quickly, or at least see what’s going on in front of them.

These behaviors are considered by experts to be basic survival instincts as they feel that they are in a hostile environment.

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5. Ear and eyebrow movement

Researchers in Japan found that dogs nearly always shift their ears back and slightly raise their left eyebrow when they look at someone they love or hold in high regard.

Yep! seems crazy right.

It’s true, though, but admittedly, it can be tough to look at your collie and see this actually happen. It’s not an exaggerated movement, and it might happen before you have the chance to focus on her eyebrows or ears.

Despite being hard to see, it’s worth paying close attention the next time you lock eyes with your collie!

6. Always excited to see you

How your collie responds to your presence is an important indicator of how she feels about you.

Whether you come back home after a long day at work, or even when you re-enter the room after making a cup of coffee, if your collie is gazing at you, tail wagging and waiting for your recognition, it’s a good sign.

Being excited to see you indicates she loves you and that you’re an important part of her life.

Getting excited when you come back home is usually accompanied by a lot of tail wagging, physical contact, and she may even bring her toy to you as well. All of which are already powerful signs of affection.

7. Always listening to you

An interesting indicator of a strong bond is how your collie listens to you.

The ultimate test is when your collie is napping or lightly sleeping, if you start speaking to someone else in the room, her ears will twitch or perk up to the sound of your voice. At the same time, when someone who doesn’t have such a connection with your collie speaks, her ears won’t have the same reaction.

The reason this happens is that she considers you as her leader and the sound of your voice is extremely important to her.

This doesn’t happen with every collie out there, but for those that have exceptional bonds, you’ll be surprised to see her be ready to listen to you, even while she’s asleep.

8. Face licking

Some find it gross, some love it. Whatever your stance is on face licking, if your collies tries to do it, it means she loves you to the moon and back.

Some regard face-licking as the dog equivalent of a kiss, although behavior experts haven’t actually confirmed this.

Despite that, experts do regard it as a strong sign of affection and your collie would only partake in such an audacious action if she felt like your relationship was good enough.

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9. Following you/checking in on you

Another sign of love comes from actively making sure you are okay.

This can be seen on walks, when your collie will periodically trot in front of you, only to stop, turn around and check on you. Although this is partly to do with good behavior and obedience, it’s also to ensure your safety, and she’s checking to see that her leader is okay.

This also blends over to following you around the house. While extreme cases of this could indicate separation anxiety (which is not a good thing!), following you around from time to time is another form of her acting on your great bond… where you go, she goes.

10. Morning attention

There’s nothing like some morning hugs, tail wagging, and attention, right? Well, this is certainly another indicator that your collie loves you.

Whether she bounds into your room to wake you up, or you give her your attention once you go downstairs.

If your collie is clearly excited to see you every single morning, you can rest assured your bond is great.

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Do Border Collie Puppies Show Affection?

When it comes to puppies, we are often the initiators of all the love and affection, which leaves some owners pondering whether their puppy actually feels the same way.

The truth is that puppies are far too crazy, excitable, and simply aren’t mature enough to understand affection in the way that we expect.

Your puppy will view any attempt to hug or cuddle as an initiation to play. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

If you’re worried about why your border collie pup isn’t into cuddling or hugging you as much as you are, don’t worry. Once they mature, calm down a little, and your bond develops, that will come.

While your collie is still young, focus on being a good leader for them and your relationship will develop into something you’ll be proud of.

Why Isn’t My Border Collie Affectionate?

So, if after reading the 10 signs above, you’re realizing, “Hey, my collie doesn’t do any of those!” Don’t worry. Not right away, at least…

It’s important to remember that all collies are different, and some will have drastically varying temperaments and personalities compared to others.

Some collies can be very stubborn, independent, and happy to keep themselves to themselves. This, by no means, suggests your collie doesn’t love you.

Their affection levels can also change depending on gender, and particularly their age.

Some owners report that the affection doesn’t come until the senior years when your collie starts to slow down a little and appreciate more quiet time with their owner. Some, on the other hand, might witness it right away.

Improving Your Bond!

Improving the Bond with Your Border Collie: Deepening Mutual Love and Trust

A bond between an owner and their Border Collie goes beyond mere companionship; it’s a connection that stems from understanding, trust, and mutual respect.

The question then arises: how can you improve and strengthen this bond? Here are some actionable steps derived from the insightful article to help you connect deeply with your Collie:

Encourage Eye Contact:
As highlighted, easy eye contact is a powerful non-verbal form of communication that signifies trust and comfort. Spend quiet moments with your Collie where you calmly look into their eyes. Over time, this will reinforce mutual trust and deepen your bond.

Engage in Play:
When your Collie brings you a toy, it’s not just an invitation to play; it’s a gesture of trust. Engage with them regularly in interactive games like fetch or tug-of-war. This not only keeps them physically active but also strengthens your bond.

Initiate Physical Contact:
Physical contact, such as petting or cuddling, can be comforting for dogs. However, remember that the idea is to create a two-way street. If your Collie comes and leans on you or sits next to you, reciprocate that affection.

Observe Body Language:
Understand the importance of non-verbal cues like ear and eyebrow movements. Paying attention to these subtle signs will help you tune into their feelings and needs more effectively.

Establish Routine:
Border Collies thrive on routine. Whether it’s feeding, walking, or playtime, having a consistent schedule can help them feel secure and deepen the trust between you two.

Active Listening:
Just as you’d appreciate your Collie listening to you, ensure you listen to their needs too. This can be literal, like attending to their barks or whines, or more intuitive, such as noticing when they’re feeling restless or anxious.

Training Sessions:
Incorporate positive reinforcement training sessions. This not only teaches them new skills but also strengthens mutual respect. Programs like “Brain Training For Dogs” can offer structured, positive training methodologies.

Morning Rituals:
Use the start of the day as a bonding moment. Whether it’s a quick play session, a calm petting ritual, or a morning walk, ensure that you spend quality time with your Collie every morning.

Be Patient with Puppies:
Understand that Border Collie puppies may not show affection in ways you expect. They are young, excitable, and still learning. Focus on being a guiding figure for them, and with time, their affection will grow.

Reevaluate Expectations:
If you feel your Collie isn’t as affectionate as you’d like, take a step back. Every dog has a unique personality. What’s crucial is ensuring that there’s no fear or anxiety in their behavior. Keep providing a loving environment, and remember that the bond is a continuous journey.

The important takeaway from this is that as long as your collie isn’t actively displaying signs of fearfulness, anxiety, or nervousness around you, then there’s likely nothing wrong with your relationship whatsoever. Sometimes we have to take a step back and reevaluate our own expectations.

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Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.