Playing with your Border Collie puppy is fun and teaches your it all sorts of valuable skills such as fetch, obedience, and problem-solving. There is no end of fascinating games you can make up to play with your Border Collie puppy to help it learn the things you want it to know.
It all depends on your Border Collie puppy’s nature and character, but you can devise and adapt all games to suit any type of Border Collie puppy or dog....
Playing fetch with your Border Collie puppy is a great, fun way to teach your Border Collie to come or reinforce the come command. It creates a bond between you and your pup that will stand you in good stead for the rest of your lives together.
The simple way to do teach you Border Collie to fetch is to start out with two identical toys. Have your Border Collie on the lead and hide one toy on you and show the other one to your Border Collie. Make sure your Border Collie is interested in the toy but do not give it to it.
When your Border Collie is interested, throw the toy a short distance and release your Border Collie saying the command ‘Fetch’ in a bright happy voice. Most Border Collies will naturally chase and most will pick the toy up. When your Border Collie starts coming back to you with the toy produce the second toy. When your Border Collie sees the second toy it will probably drop the one it has and return to you for the new toy.
When it does return, put your Border Collie back on the lead and throw the new toy. As you release your Border Collie use your command word ‘Fetch’. Repeat this several times until your Border Collie has the idea and starts bringing the toy right back to you.
Once your Border Collie masters fetch you can teach your Border Collie to fetch all manner of things such as the remote control or the newspaper.
Border Collie’s just love to play tug and it comes naturally to them. Tug teaches your Border Collie to fight with you so be careful. Make sure you always remain in control, and that you are the one that starts and finishes any game of tug.
Remember, tug games can get out of hand very easily, especially if your Border Collie tends to be dominant. If you inadvertently lose the game, you teach your Border Collie how to dominate you.
Playing games where your Border Collie has to find a toy are great and it teaches it to use its natural instinct. Start out by teaching your Border Collie to associate a word with an object such as a ball or a toy.
This is easy. From the time your Border Collie is a puppy name its toys, for example, blue ball. When your Border Collie is playing with the blue ball say things such as “where’s your blue ball?’ or “yes, you’ve got your ball?” or anything like this to reinforce the association between the object and the word.
Have your Border Collie’s favourite toy, some treats, and a towel. Using a favourite toy means your Border Collie will easily recognise it by sight and smell. Have cue words, such as blue ball. Say your cue words, and when your Border Collie looks at the toy reward it by giving it the blue ball.
Choose a seek command. It can be anything like find or seek, but keep it to one word and only use it when you want your Border Collie to find something.
Hide the toy a little bit at a time. Start by showing your Border Collie the toy. Without hiding it, tell your Border Collie to ‘find your blue ball’. When your Border Collie responds by looking at it, reward with the toy. Next, cover a little of the toy with the towel and repeat your command. If your Border Collie picks up the toy, or even looks at it, reward your Border Collie with a happy voice.
If your Border Collie does not respond, keep trying but do not reprimand your Border Collie. Your Border Collie does not understand what you want from it so punishing your Border Collie will make no difference. It will just make everything more frustrating for you both.
Keep covering more and more of the toy with towel and repeating the command. Every time your Border Collie responds reward and praise the behaviour.
Start hiding the toy further and further away from your Border Collie once it understands how to find its toy under a towel. Rub the toy on the carpet, furniture, anywhere to give your Border Collie a trail to follow and let your Border Collie watch what you are doing.
Once your Border Collie has mastered finding the toy at a distance, start hiding the toy without your Border Collie watching, such as in another room or under the bed.
Reward your Border Collie for finding the toy. Use whatever motivates your Border Collie best. Treats, a game, or just a scratch under the ear all work well. Always praise your Border Collie when it does what you want and do not punish your Border Collie when it does not.
It is all about growing the bond between you and your Border Collie, and giving it physically and mentally demanding challenges.