Ways to Keep Your Border Collie Busy

Written by anna roberts
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Ways to Keep Your Border Collie Busy
Border collies need lots of exercise. (Kane Skennar/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Border collies have a reputation for being hyperactive and high-strung. In fact, they are very active dogs bred for sheep herding. It is in a border collie's nature to need a job to perform. When a daily walk isn't enough, it needs other forms of stimulation to stay occupied and out of trouble. To keep your border collie from going nuts and driving you nuts in the process, give the dog plenty of ways to stay busy.

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Training

Enrol your border collie in obedience school, agility training, a search and rescue program or some other training activity. Take your dog to the courses and work on training at home every day between classes. Your dog will learn useful new skills to become a better pet and give it a "job" to do every day when it is time to practice those new skills.

Tricks

Teach your border collie new tricks. Learning new things keeps your dog interested and is fun for you, too. This is a good way to keep the dog busy at home when the weather is bad and you don't want to take it outside, or as an activity to do in your yard or at the park. Basics such as shaking hands, rolling over and playing dead are all reasonable tricks for a border collie and are easy to practice at home every day. More physically demanding tricks, such as jumping through a hoop and catching a flying disc, are good activities to exercise and mentally stimulate your border collie at the same time.

Hide-and-Seek

Play hide-and-seek with your border collie to keep it stimulated. Show the dog a treat and then take the dog to another room. Hide a few treats around the room, under the couch cushions, covered with a newspaper or some other tricky place. Bring the dog back in the room and let it have fun looking and sniffing all around the room to find the hidden treats. You can do the same thing outside in your yard. This is a good activity if the dog is bouncing off the walls inside or chewing things out of boredom.

Toys

If you want to keep the dog occupied for a bit while you get something done or take a break, distract it with a toy. The most effective toy is one that stimulates a border collie's problem-solving instincts. There are dog toys on the market that have a difficult-to-access compartment that can be filled with food. The dog must work persistently to figure out how to get to the treat.

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