Activities For Bearded Collies

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Introduction

One of Great Britain’s most ancient dog breeds, the Bearded Collie has earned a reputation as a prized possession among shepherds in the Scottish Highlands for herding and droving purposes. The origin story of the breed may vary, but one thing remains certain – they have been around for a while, with their status changing from working class type of dog to a fashionable ornament for members of the high society. At present, the Bearded Collie is a beloved dog known for its trademark “Beardie Bounce”. Beardies, as they are referred to by lovers of the breed, are happy-go-lucky, friendly, intelligent and extremely loyal to their owners. This mix of personalities makes the Beardie a prime choice for a pet and overall adventure buddy. 

Track Training

Popular
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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Treats
Toy
Activity description

Tracking is a practical skill for dogs to possess because it helps utilize a canine’s impressive sense of smell. In case you did not know, dogs primarily use their scent above all other senses, which is why they are heavily used in operations such as search and rescue and security inspections. Bearded Collies, like most dogs, have a remarkable sense of smell. On top of this of this, Beardies are intelligent and vastly trainable, which makes them a good choice for track training. While some pay dollars to put their dogs through professional training, you can easily teach your dog the basics of tracking. In fact, you can do it both indoor and outdoor, according to your preferences. 

Step
1
Pick an area and item for training
When training for tracking, you need to consider where you are going to do it. In general, it can be done either indoors or outdoors. However, keep in mind that certain weather elements, such as temperature or wind, may have an effect on the scent molecules. Hence, it is advisable to initially do the training indoors. You also need to pick the item to use when you start training your dog to track. Oftentimes, the best way to hone your dog’s ability to track is to use the scent of an item that they love, such as a favorite toy.
Step
2
Play fetch as a warm-up
In essence, tracking is highly similar to a game of fetch, wherein your dog tracks and retrieves an item. The only difference is that in a game of fetch, dogs use their eyes to track instead of their scent. This is why fetch is a good warm-up activity for track training. In doing so, you can familiarize your dog with the toy’s scent even more. Plus, your dog also becomes more excited to train.
Step
3
Let the search begin
When you are ready to start, you would have to first command your dog to stay or sit in one place. In case your dog is not familiar with these commands yet, you may instead leash your dog in place or have another person hold your dog. When your dog is still, make a show of hiding the toy in front of your dog. After hiding the toy, call your dog’s attention and have them look for the toy, which they should easily retrieve. Do this repeatedly until your dog understands what you are trying to do. Then, take things to another level by choosing harder hiding spots. Don’t forget to give a treat every time your dog successfully finds the toy.
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Therapy Dog

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
3 - 4 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Activity description

Generally, dogs are cherished not only by their owners but also by others, even strangers who just catch a glimpse of them on the street. Seeing a dog can instantly lighten one’s mood and bring a smile to a person’s face. Bearded Collies, in particular, have a great sense of humor and the innate ability to brighten a person’s day. Can you imagine what they can do for those who truly need some sort of emotional boost? If you want your Beardie to become the light in a person’s life, then you should consider turning your furbaby into a therapy dog. By going through the necessary training, you can make your dog do something rewarding and life-changing. 

Step
1
Assess your dog
Before you sign up for any training for your dog, you first have to make an assessment. Remember, while some breeds are seemingly perfect as a therapy dog, including Bearded Collies, each dog still has an individual personality and temperament. Normally, candidates for therapy dog training should be able to follow commands, are generally friendly towards others, able to adapt to new environments, can stay calm during visits and should have no history of bad behavior.
Step
2
Sign your dog up for training
If you believe that your Beardie is a good match for a therapy dog, you should find an organization that is able to give formal therapy dog training and certification. The standards differ from one organization to another but normally, training involves sessions of at least 4 hours per week. Through this training process, dogs are put through obedience trials and participate in monitored visits to see how they perform in a real-life scenario. You can even have your dog go through different levels of certification to add to their skill set and experience.
Step
3
Change some lives
Once your dog “graduates” from therapy dog training, you can now put their newly-acquired skills to good use. To do this, you need to pick a place where you and your dog can volunteer. Again, there are numerous opportunities for your dog to help and it is up to you to choose which organization or cause you would like to get involved with. Some of the common choices include nursing homes, hospitals and community centers.
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Agility

Popular
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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Hurdles
Tunnels
Weave Poles
Boards
Activity description

Bearded Collies have all the necessary pieces and skills to excel at agility. The breed is overly enthusiastic and lively, which plays a huge role in agility training. But, despite their hyper attitude, they can easily be trained, which makes them perfect for agility. As a bonus, Beardies make for a great agility photo, don’t you think? Some dog owners might be unaware of this, but there are actually a number of benefits that come with agility training. Firstly, it helps improve your dog’s body awareness. It is also a fun way for your dog to stay fit and healthy. Most importantly, it creates a special bond and trust between you and your furry friend. You may choose to sign your dog up for agility events and clubs or simply create your own agility course for your dog to train in.  

Step
1
Create your own agility course
Building your own agility course is a good alternative to getting a professional agility trainer. While it may be an additional effort on your part, it helps you choose which types of obstacles you want to add or remove and saves you a lot of money as well. There are lots of instructional videos and articles available online to guide you in creating an obstacle course. Typically, it involves weave poles, tunnels, hurdles and boards.
Step
2
Do a trial run
After you have created your agility course, you should then get your dog to try out the obstacles that you have laid out. In case you do not know the purpose of each obstacle, what you can do is watch agility training videos and read up on different ways on how to train your dog in agility.
Step
3
Join an affiliate club
Bearded Collies have a lot of potential in agility and are a usual pick for agility on a competitive scale. In case you find yourself wanting to take your Beardie’s agility training to the next level, you can join an affiliate club. These clubs usually hold agility trials where you can test your dog’s tricks and skills.
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More Fun Ideas...

Doggy Playdate

By nature, Bearded Collies are friendly and do well when socializing with other canines. If you want your Beardie to be exposed to fellow dogs, setting up a playdate can be a fun activity for all dogs involved. For first timers, it is recommended to meet up at a neutral spot such as a dog park so that the dogs can get a feel for each other. 

Go For A Run

Bearded Collies are lively and always like to be on the move. Sometimes, daily strolls no longer do the trick. Beardies can make for great running buddies because of their high levels of energy. Just make sure to check your dog for any hints of fatigue and to stop for a rest every now and then. 

Conclusion

Bearded Collies are a loving and devoted breed but there is no denying that it takes a lot of patience, energy and drive to entertain and care for them. However, the love and loyalty they will give in return are well worth the trouble. These activities are some of the best ways to make Beardies happy and to keep them stimulated, both physically and mentally.