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6 month old BC daily routine


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I would very much appreciate if you could share your BC's daily routine. I am fully aware that this will vary depending on many factors, primarily your dog's age, activity level, your location. Our BC boy is 6 months old (will be 7 months old on 1st of June). He is very active (but then I gather most BCs are). We tend to take him on 2-3 daily walks with some running included on 2 of them. He also spends some time in our garden playing ball but this is about 5 minutes usually once or twice per day. The walks last approximately about 20-30 minutes. He is different on different days and on some days he feels a bit lazy and doesn't want to walk a lot and we never push him to do more than what he wants. On other days though it feels like the walks are not enough for him and he could probably walk and run more. However I am always very aware of the joint issues they might develop if exercise is overdone at this age. I follow the rule the breeder gave me which is 5 minutes of activity per month of their age so in his case it is about 30 minutes at only one time. I would very much appreciate your thoughts and experiences on this issue and if you could also describe your daily routine from the moment your dog or puppy gets up until they go to sleep. Thank you so much in advance. 

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I have a one year old BC who is also very active. We wake up around 7:30 AM and immediately go to the park (he refuses to eat breakfast until we go, workaholic) where we play fetch for 30-45 min. He LOVES fetch and pretty much runs the entire time we're there, only stopping for water breaks. This will keep him tuckered out for the rest of the day which allows me to work, but then we go back to the park and do the same thing at around 5 PM. These two 45 minute fetch sessions are usually enough to keep him happy and not too hyperactive while I'm working. 

I was also concerned about joint issues when he was younger, but I think 30 minute of fetch is both stimulating for their mind and their bodies and definitely helps them get out some of that energy! 

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Thank you so much amjsalazar for your advice. I really would love to exercise him a bit more as I feel once he is properly tired than he is 'nice and quiet' for most part of the day. Otherwise he can get a bit restless. BCs energy levels are pretty high. I will try fetch within these 30 minutes and see if this helps. Thanks again. 

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The best way to tire a border collie is with training. Learning to think is exhausting work. Both my dogs earned their meals through work when they were puppies, some of the essentials and some silly dog tricks. They were both destined to be agility dogs so we did lots of silly games that are the foundation of learning agility. 

The 5 minute rule doesn’t seem popular among rehab professionals, the basic rule is let the puppy move naturally, ie no running with a person but playing naturally is fine. 
 

I have never really had a strict routine, some days you get more than others, some days are exciting some not. When they were puppies I was a bit more structured but still didn’t maintain a rigid schedule. 
 

When I got my first border collie the best bit of advice I got was you get the border collie you create. Walk 10 miles a day because you think that’s what a collie needs then that is what it will need, they are remarkably adaptable. 
 

I play fetch with one of my dogs, the other isn’t fussed about the game but in a limited way, fetch is an adrenaline high as well as been hard on the body. A dog that gets a nice leisurely off leash walk with lots sniffs and exploring will go home more relaxed and rested than one that has played fetch. There has been research done into this recently with people playing fetch before work versus a walk, the walked dogs went home and relaxed when the people left, the fetch dogs were restless.

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@alligandeThank you so much for your response. I could not agree more with everything that you said. Our pup seems pretty tired after a good walk and even though I have not had a dog before I can see that you most definitely 'create' your dog. They will be what you train and teach them to be.
I am not a huge fan of 'fetch' and I think with our particular pup he might be one of those that will get pretty obsessive about games of this sort if played too frequently. 
I agree that mental stimulation is key. Our boy is incredibly keen on being trained. He loves all the attention he gets. He is very smart and learns new commands nearly instantly but I guess this is probably the case with most if not all BCs. However apart from regular 'follow the command' type of training I am not entirely sure about what games are best to stimulate the mind. Hence I would really appreciate if you could share what works for your dogs.

Thank you so much again. 

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I have been following this thread a bit. I am no expert, but my pup is about one month older than yours and I can give you a general idea of her routine. She kind of edges towards on the higher energy side and has had some issues with really needing to learn an off switch rather than being a natural thing for her.

she probably has 2 walks a day generally, but that varies. Seomtimes one of the walks is on the long lead where she can run a bit more as she wants for half hour, or sometimes just a regular leash sniffing walk for a bit longer of a time. She has pretty good recall, but I don’t trust it well enough yet around distractions to be off lead in public she can be reactive to some things like skateboards, that we are working on with look at that game. Two mornings a week she goes to dog daycare to socialize with other dogs and play, those days she doesn’t get other walks usually as she is very active there. I also have 2 young boys and we are all out in the yard for hours most afternoons, dog as well. So sometimes in that stretch of outside time she is doing her own thing out there, or lying in the shade or someone is playing with her a bit, mostly she follows me about and annoys me trying to “help” me in the vegetable garden haha. She actually is more settled out there usually and will go lie down somewhere and relax. Indoors she can get to pacing around and getting in mischief a bit still, so she has two crate naps maybe about 2 hours each and then crated at night and sleeps all night very well.

 

she has couple short training sessions a day where we work on commands or trick stuff and does couple “mat” sessions where she is supposed to be learning to chill on her mat. “Relaxation protocol” it is called. She really is a lovely pup, she loves just being involved in everything, learning stuff, interacting. She gets her food sometimes just in the bowl, sometimes on her snuffle mat, puzzle toy, frozen Kong, we change it up to be interesting and a bit of a mental exercise. 

As far as games, she is not a fetcher, no interest there really, she likes goaltending a soccer ball sometimes. I hide treats for her to find sometimes. She does like tugging a lot. Kind of make a thinking game of it by tugging for a bit, then saying drop it, then there is something she has to do, then get it again. So could be a down and stay, I walk off a bit away, then ok get it, and so on. She loves that game. She will stay focused on that even when the little boys are riding their tricycles around the yard by her like hooligans.

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On 5/23/2021 at 11:26 PM, alligande said:

When I got my first border collie the best bit of advice I got was you get the border collie you create

Excellent advice, and well put.

Of course, this is true of all dogs, getting the dog you create, but goes ten fold for border collies.

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I'll echo walhat everyone else has said, and what you've also endorsed: Mental stimulation is more important than physical exercise (both are obviously important).

A game that works for me and my 10 month old is a modified game of frisbee. To start, I have him on a heel and ask him to do something (sustained eye contact, high five, lie down, etc...). The requested behavior(s) buys a frisbee toss from me. Instead of just letting him run off to catch it, I'll make him get it in an interesting way (run wide clockwise or counterclockwise, lie down half way and then walk up to it, stop half way and return to the heel position, etc...). I mix in free throws and also some quick leash training sessions (like for 1 minute, because walking on a good on-leash heel is still a struggle with us). 

Anyway, my guy loves playing this game. It also underpins off leash control in any situation, which is super important. Loads of other great ideas above.

Good luck and have fun!

 Daniel and Finnegan

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@Rosalee @albuquerquedan Thank you so much both for some amazing ideas on mental stimulation games. Will definitely add some hiding food, hide and seek as well as modified frisbee to our routine. As stated above our boy Sunee loves being physically active but mental stimulation fires him much more than anything else so frankly any game or activity that keeps these dog brain cells going will work wonders for him! 

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1 hour ago, MB25 said:

@Rosalee @albuquerquedan Thank you so much both for some amazing ideas on mental stimulation games. Will definitely add some hiding food, hide and seek as well as modified frisbee to our routine. As stated above our boy Sunee loves being physically active but mental stimulation fires him much more than anything else so frankly any game or activity that keeps these dog brain cells going will work wonders for him! 

PS: Everyone likes photos of dogs.  What does yours look like?  

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@D'Elle Thank you. I am obviously very biased but yes, he really is gorgeous and very naughty too. We have been working on improving the last bit though and will get there eventually. 

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I wanted to add one more thing to this excellent thread. Rest. Make sure your young pup is getting enough rest throughout the day.

Just like a toddler, if my dog (10 months old) doesn't get his naps, he's much more likely to be unable to regulate himself. It's quite a noticable difference. His ideal nap schedule would be from 9:00-10:30am, then at 1:00-2:00pm, then 5:00-6:00pm. The ideal hardly ever works out, but we shoot for it on most days.

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