Walking vs Training: how much walking is too much walking for your Border Collie?

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Border Collies, known for their intelligence and boundless energy, are an exceptional breed that thrives on mental stimulation and purposeful training. While regular exercise is essential for their well-being, it’s important to understand that walking alone may not fully satisfy their needs. In this blog, we will delve into the concept of prioritising training over excessive walking for Border Collie owners. By emphasising mental engagement and strategic exercises, you can truly unlock your Border Collie’s potential.

1. Quality over Quantity: Fewer Walks, More Training:

Contrary to popular belief, Border Collies do not necessarily require three walks per day. Instead of focusing solely on the number of walks, prioritise the quality and purpose behind each activity. Dedicate more time to training sessions that challenge your dog’s brain and encourage cooperation and relationship building. By engaging their minds, you tap into their natural need to do things for you and nurture their intelligence.

2. Drive for Training, Not Just Walking:

Expanding your training plan involves more than just walking around the same neighbourhood every day. Border Collies possess an exceptional drive to learn and work, so consider driving to new and exciting environments for training sessions. Parks, open fields, or hire a dog training facilities can offer fresh stimuli and different training opportunities, stimulating your Border Collie’s curiosity and reinforcing their training progress in different environments. 

3. Training on the Walk: Beyond Recall and Lead Walking:

While recall and lead walking are crucial skills, don’t limit your training sessions to these basics. Border Collies thrive on variety and challenge, so use the walk as an opportunity to introduce new commands, agility exercises, or advanced tricks. Incorporate mental challenges like obedience training, scent work, or retrieving exercises. By diversifying their training repertoire, you keep their minds engaged and provide a well-rounded training experience.

4. Tiring the Brain, Not Just the Body:

It’s important to understand that Border Collies possess seemingly endless reserves of energy. Physical exhaustion alone is often insufficient to satisfy their needs. Instead, focus on tiring their minds by providing complex tasks, problem-solving activities, and interactive playtime. Mental stimulation not only exhausts their brain but also enhances their overall well-being and prevents behavioural issues that may arise from boredom.

5.Don’t forget to just go for a walk sometimes: 

While prioritising training over excessive walking, it’s important to acknowledge that walking and being a dog is still an essential aspect of a Border Collie’s life. However, the quality of the walking experience is more important than the quantity. When taking your Border Collie for a walk, ensure that the environment is suitable for your dog’s needs. Choose locations where they can safely explore, enjoy off-lead freedom, and engage their bodies. This allows them to experience the joys of being a dog while ensuring their safety and well-being. 

As knowledgeable Border Collie owners, we hold the key to unlocking their exceptional potential. By prioritising training over excessive walking, we can tap into their intelligence, energy, and unwavering drive. Striking a balance between mental stimulation, diversified training sessions, and well-planned walks creates a comprehensive approach to their care. Together, we can empower our Border Collies to live their lives to the fullest.

Martina Miradoli Border Coolie Expert Dog trainer

Hello, my name is Martina Miradoli and I specialise in training Border Collies.

I’ve owned Border Collies for many years and have trained them, along with other herding breeds in every sport and activity available.

This has allowed me to gain invaluable experience and an understanding of these unique dogs and the behavioural challenges that we may have to face as owners. 

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