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Walks of my 3YO smooth coat usually consist of me throwing a ball with a chuckit while he scrambles ahead off leash to get the ball. We do this in a couple of different places where we can make our way around a 1-2 mile course two to three times.

 

The really interesting thing is that, more often than not, he scrambles ahead to where he thinks the ball will end up and "hides". Hiding usually consists of peeking out from behind a bush or tree though it somethies also manifests as flatening himself to the ground like a black and white pancake. It is really quite charming and has gained him a pretty big fan club in the places where we play.

 

My question is ... is this behavior border collie normal? Does it serve some purpose in the herding work they were bred for?

 

BTW, that much chuckit gives me tennis elbow if I don't alternate chucking arms frequently.

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That's interesting. We are big fans of http://www.letsfindmomo.com/. Author/Photographer Andrew Knapp says his border collie likes to hide. Made me think it was a breed trait. Perhaps Momo's is conditioned behavior. Maybe Blue has been conditioned to hide as well without consious intent on my part.

 

In any event, the rules of the game are always changing or at least it seems that way to me because Blue has never written them down. Sometimes he will pick up the ball, wait for you to get reasonably close and roll it to you. Other times, he will just pick it up and trot well ahead of you until he suspects you are not paying attention. Then he will hide the ball and make you find it. He will generally make you look for several minutes before he picks it up agan and prances off.

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My Kit girl always loved to hide behind a bush or cactus, tree or bunch of grass or anything at all, and look out with just one ear and one eye showing, like those photos you see of wolves. I am so glad I got some photos of that.

 

Her way of playing ball was to let Jester run for the ball, then she'd make a big circle around at top speed, then hide and do the one-eye thing, and come in behind Jester when he went past her to come back to me with the ball.

 

It was very choreographed and so much fun to watch.

 

She literally wore a path in the yard because she always ran in exactly the same place.

 

Your dog sounds like a real entertainer. :-)

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