There’s a number of dog breeds out there that are known for being incredibly intelligent, and border collies are one of those breeds! Some even believe they’re the top tier dog when it comes to combining intelligence and athleticism.
For any border collie to reach their full potential, however, their brain needs to be exercised just as much as their body! Try using these toys for border collies to help set your dog up for super smart success!
Top Picks For The Best Toys For Border Collies
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The Basics Of Border Collies
As a dog owner, you might know a lot about your dog without knowing a lot about their breed, and that’s okay!
But sometimes, it can be helpful to learn more about the breed as a whole to get a deeper understanding of what your dog needs.
The Overall Breed
Let’s start by touching on the history of the border collie. Originally raised as a herding dog to help sheepherders, the breed gets its name because they were bred on the border between England and Scotland.
Like many other herding breeds, the intellect and stellar instincts that modern-day border collies have are because of this long history.
What does that mean for your dog today?
It probably means something like this:
- Your dog is super smart.
- Your dog loves to run and play.
- Your dog has nearly endless amounts of energy.
- Your dog loves to learn and follow commands.
- Your dog is very athletic.
On top of all of these characteristics, your dog can learn many commands, tricks, and routines because of their high intelligence! They’ll still love to hang out and cuddle, but they need mental stimulation, too.
Playing With Border Collies
The need for mental stimulation mentioned in the breed overview is something that you should remember when thinking about playtime with your pup.
Playtime with border collies needs to be extensive, and it’s okay if it incorporates some training aspects! This dog has a lot of intelligence and a lot of energy. If left uncontrolled, they have the potential to be a dangerous handful.
How should you handle that? By playing with them frequently, and turning playtime into a lesson when possible to keep their herding characteristics under control!
Here are some ideas on how to play with your dog in a way that will entertain their mind, keep them in line, and be lots of fun for everyone!
- Don’t encourage them to play chase or herding type games with you or with any children. They may take it too seriously and begin to nip at people.
- Take them to the dog park frequently so they have a release for all that energy that will otherwise go unchecked.
- If possible, get a fence or a long chain for the yard where they can play by themselves outside even if you are too busy at the moment to entertain them.
- Frisbee and other retrieve style games are great options for border collies
Whatever you do, just remember that this dog will quickly become a nightmare dog if confined to very small spaces for too long or if they become bored. With such a smart mind, they need stimulation.
If you’re worried about this stimulation, it’s time to consider what kind of toys can help to avoid this problem!
Toys For Border Collies
A smart dog needs smart toys, and a smart owner will be sure to get the right toys for their dog to avoid any destructive habits to develop out of boredom.
The best toys for border collies will accomplish the following:
- Entertain them
- Release their energy
- Boost their athleticism
- Keep their mind active
- Make them think
If you find a toy that ticks all these boxes, you and your dog are both bound to be happier!
Let’s go through a few types of toys that are likely to please your border collie.
As mentioned, retrieval style games are a great option for these smart and athletic dogs. They love being given a task, and the task to chase down a frisbee or ball is enough! Playing games like this together can be a great bonding activity while also releasing all that excess puppy energy!
You can even let your dog play this game by themselves by investing in an automated throwing machine. These machines are pooch-activated (seriously), and your border collie is definitely smart enough to learn how to play with this kind of game.
Puzzle Style Toys
Because one of the main goals of giving toys to border collies is to keep their mind stimulated, you will want to consider getting your dog a toy that is like a puzzle for them!
Puzzle toys usually require dogs figure out how to get some food out of the inside. These toys provide both physical and mental stimulation – just what every growing border collie needs to develop!
In addition to simple retrieval toys, you may want to consider moving deeper into the idea of agility-based toys.
Some people go so far as to build an agility course for their dogs in their backyard or visiting a local course that is open to owners and their dogs.
When trained to do so, border collies will love accomplishing all the tasks in an agility course: running, swerving between poles, climbing things, jumping hurdles, and more! You’ll be surprised at how great your dog is at these courses. You may even want to consider competing together!
Though most toys can be adapted for easy use for your border collie, there are a few types of toys that we recommend you skip altogether. Let us explain why!
First up, make sure that you get very durable toys when investing in chew toys for border collies. Chew toys are a great way to help improve your dog’s dental health, but they are also powerful chewers.
This means that weak chew toys will be completely destroyed by your intelligent best friend. Not only will this be messy, but it could be a health risk to your dog. Choose very durable toys to avoid this problem.
Second, try not to choose toys that have squeakers or other noise making items inside of them.
While it’s usually assumed that these are the best kind of toys for dogs, those little noisy items become a goal for your border collie, and they won’t stop tearing at the toy until they break it free. All that you’ll be left with is a mess and a question as to why you bought that toy to begin with!
Reviews Of Our Favorite Toys For Border Collies
Before we finish up this guide on toys for border collies, we want to recommend two of our favorite toys to try with your dog.
The first fun activity game that your border collie will be endlessly interested in is the Dog Activity Flip Board from TRIXIE. This game is fun because it’s actually like multiple toys in one, so your dog won’t be able to figure the whole thing out in one go!
And that’s really important.
Dog’s tend to get bored once they have figured out the secret to any puzzle toy, but the adjustable aspect of this toy for border collies prevents that from happening. He will likely want to figure out all the puzzles, and doing so might take some time.
There is one thing you’ll have to make sure you keep your eye on with this toy. Make sure that the treat compartment isn’t emptied out when you’re not paying attention!
The goal for your dog is the treat, and if they don’t get a reward at the end, chances are they will stop playing with it. Use this toy to reward your dog for exercising their brain, and keep them from getting bored.
If and when you are playing fetch with a border collie, there’s pretty much one thing that is guaranteed: you’re going to get tired of playing fetch long before they do!
While fetch is great to play with your dog, you won’t always want to, and this toy avoids that problem.
The DoggyFun Automatic Ball Launcher is the perfect way for dogs to be able to play fetch by themselves. Seriously. Border collies are very smart, and with some help from you at the beginning, they will quickly learn how to play with this contraption on their own!
Whenever he feels like fetch, he will be able to play. How cool is that?
The launcher itself holds five balls, but intelligent dogs quickly figure out how to drop the balls back inside the launcher, which means endless fun for your border collie! (Plus, all that bonus mental stimulation!)
Play Smart With Your Border Collie
For the happiest border collie, you need to keep them energized, exercised, and mentally stimulated! A bored herding dog is a destructive herding dog, so use these toys for border collies to avoid the risks of that happening.
Remember that you can pick whatever toy you want for your border collie so long as it’s safe for them to play with and strengthens the bond you have with your dog. Not every toy has to be a puzzle toy; not every toy has to be super complex. The important thing is that they are getting toys to play with as much as possible!