Feeding and Exercising: Keeping Your Border Collie in Shape

Border Collies are very active dogs. They are also extremely intelligent dogs. For both of these reasons, they require physical and mental stimulation each day. Woe be unto you if you do not provide your Border Collie with enough exercise! You will probably come home from work to find your house has been redecorated, Border Collie-style. Border Collies are just too smart and too inventive to keep all of that energy inside. They will find an outlet, one way or another.

Ideally you will be able to do some training or participate in some dogs sports with your Border Collie on a regular basis. These activities will help satisfy both of his needs – physical and mental exercise. Obedience training, agility, rally, a chance to herd and have his abilities tested will all make him happy. This breed wants to spend time with you so, if nothing else, make time to play a game of fetch with your dog every day.

On a daily basis your Border Collie will need several long walks if you live in the city. However, this breed usually does best living in the country. They do have a tendency to bark which neighbors in the city or suburbs don’t usually appreciate. Neighbors in the country are usually farther away and won’t notice the barking so much. If you have a fenced yard, he can spend quite a bit of time outdoors. Many Border Collies will keep themselves in shape by herding other pets or your kids but as long as they don’t get too bossy, you should be able to manage this behavior.

As for feeding your Border Collie, choose a good quality dog food with high quality ingredients. Look for foods that have one or two meat proteins in the first five ingredients. Grain free dog foods are popular right now. You don’t have to feed a grain free food but you should look for a food that has moderate carbohydrates. Keep in mind that some grain-substitutes, such as potatoes and sweet potatoes, can provide as many or more carbs as grains.

Unless your Border Collie shows that he has a food allergy or food intolerance, you should assume that he can eat most normal dog foods. You can find many good dog foods at your local pet store and online. They usually sell better quality dog foods than you find in the grocery store.

If you have specific questions about what to feed your Border Collie, ask your dog’s breeder what s/he recommends or read a respected dog food site such as DogAware.com or DogFood.guru.

In general, feed puppies three meals per day and adult dogs twice per day. Do not free feed. Instead, measure the amount you feed at each meal, give your dog 15-20 minutes to eat the food, and then remove the bowl. Dogs who are allowed to nibble from the bowl all day tend to become overweight or obese which leads to health problems.

Keep plenty of fresh water available for your dog at all times.

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