Border Collies get bored pretty easily

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

There are a few simple tips to keeping your Border Collie from getting bored on a day to day basis. For most of us we simply do not have the time to spend 10 hours a day with our dogs so we have got make the time we do have as productive as possible. The first and easiest tip is simply making sure your dog has enough active exercise. This is the single most effective point to keeping your dog from being bored out of his mind. By active exercise I mean that you are actively participating in the exercise. Just letting your dog run around the back yard for a few hours is fine however if you spend time with him he will get more out of it, both physically and mentally.

When you are working with your dog on new tricks keep in mind just how bright they are. Our Border Collie learns new tricks stunningly fast so we have learned to mix it up with him. We start out with a basic trick, for example teaching him to backup, and then throw variations at him. Just like young kids if you simply repeat the same commands or tricks your Border Collie will become bored with the whole process and lose focus. So in the example of teaching him to back up we would have a basic command. Once he picked up the trick we change it a little by varying the distances we want him to go…backup close, backup far and way back for example. It is basically the same thing but the variations let him think about it and figure out what you want from him. These dogs need to be thinking and problem solving pretty consistently due to their working and herding instincts.

Even in the home in the evening, for example, you can keep your Border Collie busy with easy and minor tasks. As the day winds down and late evening rolls around the last thing you may want to do is run around and play with you dog. Do not let this keep you from keeping your Border Collie, especially a young one, active. We have a regiment of tasks our dog does most evenings before we go to bed that both keep him moving a bit and letting him know that the night is almost over. These tasks include going to get various toys, a few tricks for a treat or two. One thing that really seems to help is giving him the job of following me around the house at night as I lock doors and turn off lights. Every night he does this with me and I believe that it gives him one final thing to do for the day and lets him know it is time for bed.

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  1. says

    My border collie was rescued a year ago. We take her for 3 walks a day & she used to LOVE to ride, barking at everything. Now she doesn’t even want to get in the car. She is in obedience class every Monday but still bored. Now what? She has toys & does play with them but she is bored in between. What else can I do to get her stimulated again? She loves going to the dog warehouse but I can’t spend all my time there.
    Any suggestions? Thanks.

  2. says


    Hmm. Not sure on your schedule but have you considered looking to Rally or Agility Training? We’re actually looking into this now…it looks like a freaking riot. Here is a video on YouTube showing a bunch of bunch of Border Collies in Agility Training. Check around and see if there are any local clubs…your dog might get a kick out of it.

  3. says

    hi i have a 2yr old male border collie who is incredibly intelligent and manages to escape everyday and this is now becoming a problem, we have high fences we have tried a number of things to keep him occupied during the day but nothing seems to work, does anyone had any ideas please?

  4. Rebecca says

    My housemate had the same thing when we left for work. Not sure where she got it from, but she invested in a dog shock perimeter coller. It cost her about $350. We use it every time we are both out of the house for long periods if time, and she has never jumped the fence since.

    Good luck

  5. says

    Rebecca: Like and Invisible Fence style set up? Glad to hear it’s working…the Border collie must love being outside and stuff int eh house is safe. Win win!

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