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How can I keep my border collie busy?

There is no question that Border Collies are extremely smart. In fact, most people in the dog world consider this breed to be the smartest on the planet. This can be a great trait in your pet if you are willing to deal with both the positives and the negatives. The positives can be how quickly they learn tricks and tasks, their ability to solve problems and how alert they are to their surroundings. The negative can be exactly the same. Because of their intelligence, Border Collies can get bored very quickly and I can tell you from experience that you do not want a bored dog of this breed!

There are some simple tips to prevent your Border Collie from getting bored on a daily basis. For most of us, we simply don’t have time to spend 10 hours a day with our dogs so we have to make the time we have as productive as possible. The first and easiest tip is to simply make sure your dog gets enough active exercise. This is one of the most effective points to keep your dog from getting bored out of his mind. By active movement, I mean that you are actively participating in the exercise. Just letting your dog run around the backyard for a few hours is fine, but if you spend time with him, he’ll get more out of it, both physically and mentally.

Scatter feeding and toy stuffing

Scatter feeding and toy stuffing is great for mental stimulation. For scatter feeding, start by putting a dry kibble or treat in a toy dispenser and let them try to get it out. Border Collies are very bright, however, and you may need to make the game a little more challenging by hiding their treats around the house instead. Make it increasingly difficult to keep them engaged and interested.

To do this, the only command you really need to perfect is to «stay» as you go and hide treats for them to look for. With our Collies, they took to the game and understood it pretty much instantly. We are quite competitive by nature so ended up hiding treats in most random places (like the bathtub) and they still haven’t lost a game!

Consequences of a Bored Border Collie

A Border Collie without proper stimulation can end up with serious behavioral problems. This includes excessive digging or chewing. Boredom could also lead to pacing, depression, barking, and decreased house training progress.

A border collie that is left alone for long periods of time can also develop separation anxiety. More serious symptoms include vomiting, overeating or aggression may result.

Basic Control Training

Basic control training is very underrated and is something you should consider reincorporating into your collie’s routine. 30 minutes of basic commands like sit, stay, down, come here, and paw are all great for engaging her mind and satisfying her desire to accomplish a task. (regardless of how simple they are)

Many owners quickly stop focusing on basic commands as soon as their collie learns them for the first time. But this is such a shame because these commands are the foundation of an obedient and well behaved collie.

Adaptil Dog Calming Diffuser Kit

A diffuser kit like this is an inexpensive but effective way to reduce negative emotions in dogs. It contains safe compounds similar to pheromones released by mother dogs.

This diffuser kit attaches to the wall and lasts for 30 days.