As an intelligent, high strung dog, the Border Collie breed needs activity and mental stimulation. Border Collies were bred to herd livestock and possess a strong desire to assist their owners in a task. They enjoy games that involve following orders and gathering and directing objects or other animals and games requiring an abundance of energy. Variety among the games they play will keep them from becoming fixated on one object or task.
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Get several large balls and place them around a room or area outside. Teach the dog to push the balls into one group together. Push the balls toward each other with your feet and encourage your dog as she helps you by pushing them with her nose or body. She should catch on quickly. This game utilises one of the basic instincts involved with herding animals: to keep all the animals in one group.
Hide and Seek Fetch
Almost all Border Collies love to play fetch. Add a variation to this classic game by mixing it with hide and seek. After throwing the frisbee, ball or stick, run the other direction and hide. The dog will enjoy the challenge of finding you. After he has found you, throw the ball again and hide in a different place or just run away and let him run to catch up with you.
Set up an obstacle course, complete with jumps, ramps, stairs and a balance beam. Walk the dog through the course and cheer her on as she accomplishes each obstacle. After going through the course several times, try letting her go through it by herself. Vary the course by identifying a command with each individual obstacle and calling out commands to tell her where to go next.
Hide and Seek Toys
Give a name to each of your dog's toys. Repeat the name of the toy as you show it to the dog so he learns to associate the name with the toy. Then, try asking him to bring certain toys. After he gets good at bringing the right toy, try hiding the toys around the house. Then, command him to get a certain hidden toy, and he will have to seek the toy and find it before bringing it to you. Border Collies thrive on the mental challenge in this game.
This game may be played with a Border Collie inside or outside. Teach the dog to push a tennis ball around with her nose. Then, complicate the game by commanding her to push the ball to you, or around in a circle or into a box turned on its side. Border Collies enjoy learning new things to do with the ball and find purpose by obeying your commands.
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