5 Tips for Using Up Your Border Collie’s Energy
1. Working Cows Border collies were bred to herd stock. Cows are by far Doc’s most favorite thing on this planet. When a border is working stock, physical, mental and emotional systems are firing simultaneously. Working all day long in the mountains or down in the canyons is the only thing I’ve seen that causes Doc to head straight for bed in the evenings.
2. Frisbee/Agility As incredible athletes, border collies make a perfect choice for frisbee/agility dogs. It combines mental activity with physical activity. I just brought a frisbee home for Doc. He caught it on the third try, but it’ll only be a for-fun thing around here.
3. Obedience Training Engaging a border’s mind is really important. They are always thinking. Channel that thinking power into something useful. I work with Doc all the time, focusing mostly on herding commands. Even if we’re just jogging down the road, I stop him, put him down and heel him at varying intervals.
4. Play Dates Most dogs, especially young ones, love to play with their canine friends. It also burns off a load of energy without any effort on your part. My neighbors have a young chocolate lab. He and Doc have a real go of it when they’re together.
5. Run/Hike Walking isn’t good enough. I could walk Doc all day long, and he’d still be bouncing around at nightfall. A solid run or a hike in a new area can burn some energy units. Biking is good too. New things are important. Just like humans, dogs need to grow and learn.
Even with the edge taken off, Doc still digs. Only in his pen or when he’s hunting mice, but he’s still a digger. He still goes bonkers over his chew bones and sometimes blankets. He likes fetch but for no more than 10 throws.
He’s finally pushing out of his puppy stage as he’s well beyond two years. (Finally.) Even though he’s better at containing his energy, his boundless enthusiasm for all things active never ceases to amaze me.
If you’re wanting a dog to lie around at your feet all the time, a border collie isn’t a good choice for you. They rank right up there as some of the best companions a person could ever have, but you have to be willing to give them the exercise they require.
How do you handle the energy of your border collie or other breed of herding dog?