17 Cute Ways Border Collies Show Affection

Border Collies come with big personalities and incredible love for their families.

They tend to show their affection in many interesting and endearing ways.

These dogs do the typical nuzzling with their noses, to show their love.

But they also do rather strange things, such as chuffing when they want attention.

Since their signs of affection can prove puzzling at times, it can be beneficial to know how they express their love.

Here are 17 ways Border Collies show affection:

  1. Laying Claim with Their Paws
  2. Nudging You with Their Noses
  3. Offering Neck Nuzzles Galore
  4. Leaning into the Love at Your Feet
  5. Rolling Belly Up for Pets
  6. Sneaking by with a Quick Kiss
  7. Giving the Stare with a Tail Wag
  8. Gazing Deeply into Your Eyes
  9. Chuffing When They Want Your Attention
  10. Sitting By Your Side When You are Upset
  11. Bringing You All Their Favorite Toys
  12. Worrying About Your Schedule
  13. Accompanying You on All Your Errands
  14. Having a Fit When You Go Outside Solo
  15. Running Large Circles Around Their Pack
  16. Jumping for Joy When You Get Home
  17. Diligently Guarding the House and Yard

Border Collies will forever keep you on your toes.

“Just how do Border Collies show affection?”

Upon noticing any of the above tells, you will know that your dogs want you to know they love you very much.

In this article, we’ll explore each of those 17 ways to become a more informed Border Collie owner.

Why Trust What I Say?

I am the proud owner of Border Collies, Nyxie, and Bandit. I’ve always owned Border Collies. The adoration of my sweet dogs never goes without notice.

They are always just a few steps behind, waiting for the chance to let me know how much they care.

Although there are never enough hours in the day to return all the love they give, these pups inspire me to try.

As you notice how much your dogs send their love, you will be inspired to give back to your affectionate pups.

Here’s a peek at what to look for from your own pups.

Laying Claim with Their Paws

Just about every evening, no sooner do I sit down than a paw lands in my lap.

How do I define the word “attached”?

Attached is a Border Collie gazing up with puppy dog eyes and hopes of a few gentle pats!

With the other soon to follow, the first gets an ear tousle and a quick, “Hello there,” before the battle for attention begins.

Since he is twice as big as Nyxie, Bandit almost always wins the initial bid for pats.

Nyx sneaks between Bandit’s legs, settling for a single-handed scratch of the ears.

How do Border Collies show affection
Bandit in the snow

Nudging You with Their Noses

Border Collies will compete for attention by nudging with their noses.

Once noticed, they lay their heads in my lap to receive their pats.

If I am too preoccupied, the nudging continues unabated until they get what they are after. Don’t think for a moment that they will give up, either.

Border Collies know what they want and have the drive to keep after it, outlasting the most stubborn of us all.

Offering Neck Nuzzles Galore

When the paw slaps and nose nudges get too much, I scoop a Border Collie into my arms for a quick cuddle.

At that moment, my beloved pup absolutely melts, giving neck nuzzles galore.

The other continues their tap dance at my feet, eagerly awaiting their turn.

This song and dance continues as long as I let it, as these dogs rarely decline a cuddle.

The only exception is when the ball comes out to play, leaving them scurrying away as fast as they arrived.

Leaning into the Love at Your Feet

When I am too busy to cuddle my pups, they stick around at my feet.

They spend much of the time lying down, waiting for the chance to pop up for a pat or two.

If I even hint that I will pet them, they hop right up into a sit and lean against my leg.

With that move, they put their ears into scratching range and soak up the love.

The cycle continues as long as I chill at my computer, only ending as I head outside for a game of fetch.

Rolling Belly Up for Pets

Even better than ear scratches are the belly pats that come from time to time while lying at my feet.

They anticipate the attention, rolling belly up when I make even the slightest move toward standing.

Nyx and Bandit just seem to know that I cannot resist rubbing their bellies and giving back the love they send my way.

While this move works great at the couch, it is much less appreciated in the middle of the floor as I walk along.

Sneaking by with a Quick Kiss

On the busiest days, not many ear scratches and belly rubs come their way.

So, how do Border Collies show affection when they are being ignored?

By sneaking past with a quick kiss, of course.

Pulling me out of my trance at the computer is a lick at my calf, reminding me that it is definitely well past time to play.

If the kisses do not work, they are sure to bring in the big guns, so I try to respond as much as possible to avoid the stare.

Giving the Stare with a Tail Wag

If lounging at my feet and quick kisses does not get me moving toward the door, then the famed Border Collie stare will shortly come my way.

As you may already well know, the stare cannot be ignored for long.

The second my eyes connect with theirs, the tail starts to wag uncontrollably.

Within seconds, the tail wags the whole dog from end to end, often inspiring you to get up for “just one throw.”

Gazing Deeply into Your Eyes

The Border Collie stare always comes with the risk of you becoming mesmerized by their eyes.

They will gaze up at you in adoration, and in the hope, it will inspire you to head outside for some fun.

If they catch your gaze, looking away feels like an impossibility, unless you want to be hit with a ton of guilt.

Try and look away, and they will just reposition themselves in an attempt to catch your eye once again.

Chuffing When They Want Your Attention

The chuffing begins in earnest if you can manage looking away from your Border Collie’s adoring eyes.

One part sigh, another part snort, the chuffing is an impatient expression of their love for you.

All Border Collies want out of the day is to spend it having a blast with their owners.

Deny them that, and they will let you know how much they love you with loud chuffing galore.

Sitting By Your Side When You are Upset

The second Nyx and Bandit detect any sadness from me, they are stuck to my side for the better part of the day.

It does not matter if I am saddened by a book or distressing life event, they are there.

In fact, it does not matter if I want to be alone for a second, they are there.

These dogs never give up trying to cheer you up when sadness hits.

You know you can count on them to cuddle up and clown around, bringing back your smile before you know it.

Bringing You All Their Favorite Toys

Nyxie and Bandit have a few favorite toys they never want to share with each other or any other dogs, for that matter.

But that does not stop them from dropping them in my lap whenever they want to say, “I love you.”

By the end of a busy day, I end up overloaded with toys brought over by hopeful pups.

Their efforts are rewarded, as I pick up the toys and toss a few for a game of fetch.

Worrying About Your Schedule

Border Collies have an uncanny ability to know the schedule of every last person in the family.

When someone has a sick day or is out on vacation, Nyxie and Bandit go wild trying to remedy the change.

They nuzzle, nudge, and pace, hoping to drive their family back to the daily activities and restore everything that is right in their world.

If they cannot accomplish that goal, they whine and cry, hoping to alert you to the problem and inspire a fix.

do Border Collies show affection
Nyx looking cute

Accompanying You on All Your Errands

I always have Border Collies flanking either side no matter what I am doing.

The day’s tasks always put pep in their step, fulfilling their need to work, work, work.

Although they might get in the way from time to time, this is just one answer to, “How do Border Collies show affection?”

And since they are so work-driven, it is a meaningful way they show love.

By sharing the load, they let you know that we are all in this together.

Having a Fit When You Go Outside Solo

If I dare go outside solo, Bandit and Nyxie let me know that I have made a grave error by making a ruckus.

Their whines and cries signal my mistake, letting me know they feel forgotten.

They always want to guide and protect, as that is Border Collies’ primary way of showing affection.

These dogs never want to leave their family members’ sides, especially when anyone goes outside.

So, to give back to my beloved dogs, I take them out with me as much as possible, making them feel loved and included.

Running Large Circles Around Their Pack

Border Collies show their affection by running large circles around their pack.

It signals their intense need to keep their family going in the right direction.

This behavior is to protect their pack by keeping everyone close and safe from threats.

Although there is not much in the backyard out to get us, this behavior is a testament to the Border Collies’ love for their family.

Jumping for Joy When You Get Home

Upon arriving home, I am always greeted by Border Collies bouncing up and down on their back legs.

Although they know that I do not want them jumping up on me, they cannot keep their excitement contained.

They bounce and bounce, tongues lolling and mouths open in broad grins.

Their happiness is absolutely contagious, getting everyone hopping about as a warm greeting.

Only after several minutes of the bouncing do they calm down and accept a few pats on the head.

But then, take one step forward, and the party starts all over again.

Diligently Guarding the House and Yard

As herding dogs, Border Collies are not shy about diligently guarding their territory.

They keep a close watch on the surrounding area, looking for threats that come near the house and yard.

On noticing anything strange, they commence barking.

Even though Nyxie is 22 pounds soaking wet, she protects her home with the ferociousness of a dog five times her size.

Her love for her family is so great that she would never let anything dangerous come our way.


When you understand how Border Collies show affection, it becomes clear how much they love their families.

Their constant bid for attention and love seems to go on all day.

All they want is a pat here and there plus hours of fetch, which is not so much to ask when they give so much.

Now, if only there were more hours in the day to spend outside having fun with these little rascals.

More About Border Collies

When you think of outdoor dogs, Border Collies are one of the most popular breeds. That’s why we’ve written a couple of other articles about Border Collies on our blog. If you’d like to have a read, here they are:

Author - Marie

With 2 Border Collies (Nyx and Bandit) and a Red Heeler (Ruby). With no livestock, Marie spends most of her time outdoors with her dogs, letting them release all their energy as farm dogs. They are fiends for fetch - even in the snow. Marie has started formal flyball training with Nyx, with the other dog likely follow. Marie is also interested in joining dock diving, sheep herding, and agility activities so that her dogs can burn more energy. All three are adept trick dogs with the ability to wave, shake hands, roll over, sit pretty, walk like people and much more. She has much to share with this community of outdoor dog lovers.

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