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A few of you may have seen my other posts and know I have two Border Collies.

I'm wondering if anyone knows of anyway to embrace their unique ways beyond what I already know?

I am not a competitive person plus I don't have the energy or finances to travel to competitions, so those are out.

The following is a list of what I already do:

Randy has flirt poles he loves, tribble(sp?) balls, and Frisbees.

Stanley goes for being trained backyard agility plus he really likes playing fetch. He also likes the snuffle mat.

They both enjoy hiking although I can't do that as much as would be ideal.

I recently ordered a book on brain games for dogs that will be started when the book arrives.

Any other ideas?

Thank you.

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What my dog loves the most is doing things for me/with me. It still amazes me sometimes. 
On walks I sometimes do a little "routine" with her where I ask her to stay at a distance, come and sit on the left or right, heel on the left or on the right and switch, walk in between my legs and all of those in different variations. 
I started this by accident. I just wanted to teach her to sit on my left side as well as my right side, but Molly found this quite difficult. So I started to ask her a couple of times during a walk. She liked it so much that I incorporated more commands and the "sessions" go on a lot longer now. She is always a bit disappointed when we stop. 

In the house I taught her to fetch my slippers and plan on teaching her the names of more items. It is such a joy to watch her proud and concentrated face when she brings them to me :P my friends sometimes think it's silly, but Molly really enjoys it. 

I think this is what sets her apart from other dogs - I mean other breeds- in that she just really wants to be a part of everything and work for me. It doesn't even really matter what it is, as long as I am showing her how happy I am with what she is doing. 

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That is so sweet.

Randy has a stubborn streak, he hates being told what to do. LOL

But Stanley is a pleaser. 

:)

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Nose work: finding something with their nose. You can make it more challenging by letting the scent age. All of my dogs love it. We just currently use treat but we also have scents also. I hide in high spots, underneath things, behind objects, eye level, on different surfaces, etc.

Tracking: following a scent trail

Frisbee is a ton of fun.

Trick/stunt dogs is fun. You can make it as challenging as you want. You have DMWYD if you want a title and they accept video currently.

Doggy Parkour always looks interesting.

Teach them to pull an object (sled, cart, bike, etc)

Those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

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If you want to embrace "collieness" you take them to sheep and train for sheep work.

The rest is dog stuff. They're great at it, of course, but there's nothing collie specific about it.

Just be careful that you don't create a dog that ends up never having an off switch and needs to be entertained all the time. I guarantee you'll regret it. One thing that could be defined as "collieness" is their tendency to OCD.

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Cressa! Thank you so much for telling me about DMWYD  thank you thank you!

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There is also Dances with Dogs, which is also not a collie thing specifically but which BCs are excellent at.  It has competitions but you can also just do it at home, and be as creative or not as you want.  It is really a routine of tricks set to music. 

The trick with a dog that does not like to be told what to do is to capture their natural behaviour with a reward ( eg bow while stretching - click, "good bow!" and reward). That way they are doing what they want and getting a reward - win/win!

 

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18 hours ago, Lawgirl said:

There is also Dances with Dogs, which is also not a collie thing specifically but which BCs are excellent at.  It has competitions but you can also just do it at home, and be as creative or not as you want.  It is really a routine of tricks set to music. 

The trick with a dog that does not like to be told what to do is to capture their natural behaviour with a reward ( eg bow while stretching - click, "good bow!" and reward). That way they are doing what they want and getting a reward - win/win!

 

If you want to look this up it's properly called Musical Canine Freestyle. (Dances With Dogs is a specific trainer's business name and the name of her training courses).

No dance ability needed. Just teach your dog to do some moves like circle you or go around one of your legs, weave between your legs while you are walking, and so on. then you put it to music. There are international competitions in this sport, but of course having fun in your own living room with no one watching is even better, I think!

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On 6/12/2020 at 2:05 PM, Broken Glass said:

D'Elle, thank you.

You're welcome. I have done Freestyle as a hobby for about 15 years now, and I really love it. I am in a group here and we have held classes, seminars, and competitions, and do performances all over town. Well, we used to, anyway, before the Plague came. It's a great way to interact with your dog and deepen your bond, and you don't ever need to show it to anyone unless you want to. I have never competed, although people say I should, and everyone else in my group has. I am not competitive by nature and it would stop being fun if I competed and was concerned about winning. But it really is a blast and anyone can do it with any dog just for fun. 

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