The Border Collie is an incredibly smart dog with the ability to do all sorts of things that astound their owner. But does this hardworking pooch also like to play?
What games does the Border Collie enjoy? Do Border Collies like to play fetch? In this post, we’ll answer all these questions and more, so read on to discover more on the Border Collie, the ultimate good doggy:
What kind of dog is the Border Collie?
First bred to spend all day rounding up sheep, the Border Collie has extremely high energy requirements and loves to herd anything and everything! Unlike the Golden Retriever and other retrieving dogs, a Border Collie is unlikely to be a dog that’s obsessed with carrying and retrieving toys using their mouth.
But, the Border Collie is also very obedient and attentive to their owner, meaning that they will do anything you ask them to do. This makes training a Border Collie incredibly easy, as long as what you’re training your pooch to do is enjoyable and tiring.
You probably had your Border Collie sitting, lying down and rolling over in no time at all? Well, you can train your Border Collie to fetch, just as easily as you taught them to do this!
What games does a Border Collie like to play?
With the breed’s unbelievably high energy requirements, you should try to exhaust your Border Collie as much as you possibly can every day. What better way to do this than through play?
One big favorite among Border Collies everywhere is Treibball. In Treibball, Border Collies compete to see who can herd footballs into a pen the fastest. It’s a good game to play if you don’t have your own flock at home!
If your Border Collie gets good at Treibball, why not take them to compete in the sport professionally?
Then there’s Frisbee. With their unshakeable concentration, Border Collies love to sprint after the flying disc, following its arc closely until it begins to dip.
Frisbee is also another sport that a Border Collie can compete professionally in! But of course, Border Collies also love to play fetch! You may find it difficult to train some Border Collies to start holding things in their mouth.
But once they do, the options to modify this versatile game for a dog as intelligent as the Border Collie are endless! You can get your Border Collie to play fetch with a floating bumper at the beach, or even fetch you your slippers or bring you a snack.
So, do Border Collies like to play fetch?
Yes – since it corroborates their good concentration skills and obedience and also provides them with plenty of exercise, many Border Collies love chasing after a ball when playing fetch (though they may less like bringing the object back to you), and could play the intense ball-chasing game for hours.
This means you can make sure your Border Collie gets loads of activity, without having to take them for a hike every day.
If you really want to tire out your Border Collie, it’s worth considering investing in a long-distance ball thrower. There are various different models out there on the market.
Best ball throwers you can buy online
But whichever you choose, be sure not to use it for too long during a fetch session, in case your Border Collie gets injured chasing after the ball at a high speed.
How do I train my Border Collie to play fetch?
It doesn’t matter whether you start off playing fetch with a stick, ball, or even shoe – whichever object your Border Collie prefers is fine.
It’s a good idea to specifically command your Border Collie to fetch an object using its name from the get-go, however, if you want to build on your Border Collie’s fetch skills later on.
So, if you are throwing a ball, tell your Border Collie to “Fetch the ball”, or if you toss a stick, say “Fetch the stick”.
Later on, you can throw two objects at once and specify which one you want your Border Collie to fetch. This will help build your Border Collie’s listening skills, which will make training your pooch a little easier in the future.
How do I build on fetch?
Now that you’ve taught your Border Collie to fetch, you can have them fetch and carry anything you want! A drink from the fridge, grocery bags, a ringing phone, even their own leash – anything’s possible!
But to start with, why not try getting your Border Collie to bring you a hat? As an object, a hat is light and durable with no unusual textures, so your Border Collie should be happy to carry it in their mouth, and they should be unlikely to destroy it.
After throwing or placing the hat, simply tell your pooch to “Fetch the hat” as you have done before. Then your Border Collie should bring the hat to you.
Later on, you will be able to tell your Border Collie “Fetch the hat”, and they will be able to bring it straight to you from wherever it currently is. This ability will come in handy if you misplace the hat!
Troubleshooting playing fetch with Border Collies
Does your Border Collie seem to understand how to play fetch, but they drop the object at a distance from you each time, forcing you to keep walking up to the ball all the time?
This is pretty standard fetch behavior for any dog who isn’t a Retriever, but it’s still behavior that can be dealt with.
One training tactic for dealing with this behavior is to try swapping the fetched object with something else. Depending on your Border Collie’s personality, this could be another ball, a treat, an old shoe or anything else they like best!
When you show your Border Collie this object, they should come over closer and drop their object at your feet, which you can then bend down and pick up with ease!
Another method is to try and train your Border Collie to drop the object you are playing fetch with, in your hand. If you train your Border Collie to play fetch like this from the start, it will be even easier to get them to keep doing this.
Just like the last method, try trading something with your Border Collie as you hold out your hand to collect the object you are both playing with. This should make them want to relinquish the object.
However, never feel forced to stretch your arm out. Always try to keep the game comfortable for both of you.
Another reason why your Border Collie does not bring the ball right to you is that they are distracted. If you are playing in an environment like a bustling dog park or even a less busy area, the sensitive Border Collie can easily be distracted by distant bird calls or traces of unusual scents.
If you suspect this is occurring, try working on your fetch game in a less busy area, until your Border Collie is more proficient.
If your Border Collie frequently spits out the ball or refuses to lift it again halfway through the game, it could also be that the material of the ball is a texture they are not used to.
If this happens, try playing with a different object that they like better.