The border collie is an intelligent and hard working breed of dog, which requires plenty of daily exercise as well as mental stimulation, according to the American Kennel Club. Training your border collie to do tricks can be beneficial to the dog as it will provide mental stimulation and it can also be an enjoyable exercise for both of you to practice on a regular basis. Due to this breed's high intelligence, this dog is generally able to learn tricks that other breeds would find difficult. There are a number of entertaining tricks that you can teach your border collie by using positive reinforcement.
Train your Border Collie to lift a forepaw to shake hands by first putting him in a sitting position. Lift one of the dog's paws up off the ground. If he allows you to do this, say the word "shake" and give the dog lots of praise and a special treat. Repeat this exercise several times and then try saying the command "shake" without lifting the dog's paw. If the dog lifts his paw up off the ground reward him with a treat and lots of praise.
Train your Border Collie to spin in a circle by first taking her to a surface that is easy for her to walk on, such as a carpeted or grassy area. You will need a longish stick to teach your dog to do the spin trick. Put the dog in a standing position and produce the training stick. Move the end of the stick past your Collie's nose. If she follows the end of the stick reward her with a treat. Practice this regularly until the dog knows to follow the stick. With the dog in a standing position move the stick back toward her tail and encourage her to follow it. Treat the Collie for turning 90 degrees and then repeat the exercise. Treat the dog if she successfully turns 180 degrees. Keep repeating the exercise until the dog manages to turn in a full circle and then say the word "spin" and give a treat. Repeat the exercise regularly using the "spin" command, and gradually fade out the use of the training stick.
Teach your dog the "play dead" trick by first getting him to lie down. Place a treat in front of your Border Collie's nose and move your hand back past the dog's shoulder and across his back, while encouraging him to follow it with his nose. Praise the dog if he successfully follows the treat until he is lying down on his side. Say the word "bang" and reward him with the treat. Repeat the exercise until the Collie manages to associate the word "bang" with flopping down on one side. Now form a gun shape with your fingers, point them at your dog and say "bang!" This is an entertaining trick to show to your friends and relatives.
Purchase a large hoop, such as a hula-hoop, and use this to train your Border Collie to jump through. Begin by introducing the hoop as an everyday object in the dog's environment. Place the hoop on the ground and allow the dog to smell it and encourage her to walk over it. Once the Collie has become used to the object, stand it upright and encourage your dog to walk through it with the use of treats. Say the word "hoop" if the Collie successfully walks through the hoop. Repeat this exercise regularly and then progress with the trick by lifting it up off the ground and giving the "hoop" command. If the dog succeeds in jumping through the hoop reward her with a treat and lots of praise.
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