Activities For Border Points

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Introduction

The Border Point is an outgoing and energetic dog who loves to be where the action is. They are funny and full of spirit, and they need an owner who is too. Activities for Border Points need to take into account their high drive, athletic prowess, and their need to have a job. Most people know that Border Collies, one half of the Border Point mix, are highly focused dogs who were bred for herding and gathering flocks of sheep, but many don't think about German Shorthaired Pointers, the other half of this breed, as needing a job too. These dogs do best when they have their nose to the ground, searching out birds and other scents.

Bird Hunting

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Normal
3 hrs
Items needed
Scent
Bird Decoys
Hunting safety gear
Activity description
If your pup has inherited the German Shorthaired Pointer's excellent nose and natural pointing tendency, along with the Border Collie's focus, you have an incredible bird dog on your hands. Teaching your pup to bird hunt is one of the best activities for Border Points because you can give them a job they are naturally inclined to do. Bird hunting requires them to control their impulses, use all their scents, and is a very physical activity. Bird hunting is everything your dog needs to be challenged and happy. Though they have a natural ability to track and point, they will still need some help honing their skills.
Step
1
Basic training
First, you need to start with the basics. Your dog needs to be obedience trained and they need to learn to listen to you when you give them commands. Your Border Point may be a little easier to train than another Pointer because of the focus and determination they get from their Border Collie parent. Basic training is just as much to strengthen your bond as it is to teach the dog how to come when called and stay.
Step
2
Fetching
One of the most important parts of training a bird dog is to have them fetch and bring the object directly into your hand. You can start them off by fetching decoys. First, throw the decoy and let them chase after it and bring it back immediately so they understand fetch. Next, you'll need them to stay by your side when you throw the decoy and wait until your command to fetch. This kind of work will teach them good focus and listening skills. The last part is to teach them to mark or to watch where an object falls and then to get it when you tell them to.
Step
3
The first hunt
When you take them on their first hunt, it's a good idea to go with an experienced bird dog. This way they can learn from the other dog and pick up on your subtle cues. They can work together to find and point the birds and mark them after you have successfully harvested them. Don't expect your pup to be perfect the first time out. With patience and practice they will become an excellent bird hunting companion.
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Cross-country Skiing

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Cold Day
Moderate
Normal
2 hrs
Items needed
Cross-country ski equipment
Dog snow booties
Dog jacket if they have a lighter coat
Activity description
Just because it's cold and snowy out doesn't mean you or your dog want to lay around inside and wait for spring. Cross-country skiing is one of the best activities for Border Points because they love to run and the soft snow is the perfect surface for cruising speed. It won't take too long for you to master sliding on snow with cross-country skis either. There is nothing like cruising along a snow trail and watching your happy pup darting in and out of the woods following rabbit and squirrel tracks. It's great exercise and might even have you wishing for winter so you can get out with your dog and ski again.
Step
1
Take a lesson
If you've never been on cross-country skis before, it is highly advised that you take a lesson. Even though it looks easy, there are important lessons to learn to make sure skiing is enjoyable. The movement and body position isn't always intuitive and going downhill can be intimidating. Take a lesson with a local ski shop to set yourself up for success and open up a world of trails to explore with your dog.
Step
2
Find a trail
Once you know how to ski, it's important to find the right trail for your dog. Not all ski trails allow pups to run and play, and some hiking trails aren't great for skiing in the winter. One of the best ways to find your perfect trail is to ask the locals. After your ski lesson, ask your instructor what trails they recommend for you and your dog. The cross-country center may have dog-specific trails or hours. You can also search online for dog-friendly ski trails in national forest nearby.
Step
3
Enjoy your ski
Once you know where to go and you have the skills to conquer the hills, it's time to suit up and go. If your dog has a thin coat, you can supplement it with a dog jacket to make sure they stay warm. It's also a good idea to buy dog boots to keep your pup's paws free and clear of snow. When you are suited up, it's time to click into your bindings and start to kick and glide. Enjoy the beautiful and quiet scenery as you cruise along the trail and don't forget to laugh a little at your pup who is probably rallying around the track like a maniac with a big grin on their face. Cross-country skiing may become your favorite activity to do together.
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Hiking

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Sunny Day
Free
Normal
3 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Treats or snacks
water
Activity description
Your dog is always ready to go and explore anywhere in nature. This is why hiking is one of the best activities for Border Points. Each new trail holds a host of new smells to follow and miles and miles to run and play. As soon as you grab your hiking boots, your dog will be under your feet, ready to go all day long. Hiking is the perfect activity to meet your Border Point's exercise needs and to challenge their brain with new scents and scenery. It's also a great activity for you to rejuvenate from a long week at the office.
Step
1
Find a trail
The first step is to find a trail that matches both of your fitness levels and allows dogs. Not all hiking trails are dog-friendly and some require dogs to be on a leash. Make sure you look into this before heading out on the trail. If you can find a trail that goes along a stream or ends at a lake for your pup to swim in, they will be very happy hikers.
Step
2
Pack your bags
Don't head out on the trail without the necessary gear for you and your dog. Make sure you pack a few layers in case the weather changes and plenty of snacks for you and your dog. to keep you both fueled on the trail. Bring plenty of water for yourself and water for your dog if there won't be water along the way like a creek or stream, that they can drink from. Lastly, pack a small first aid kit with supplies for humans and dogs just in case you need to stop a blister or wrap a paw.
Step
3
Hit the trail
When you know where to go and have all the supplies necessary for heading out on a hike, it's time to go to the trailhead. Make sure you pace yourself along the way so you don't get too burned out on hard uphills. Take breaks to drink water and refuel, and make sure your Border Point is drinking as well. These dogs can get so focused on following scents and having fun that they forget to take care of themselves. Make sure you take lots of photos along the way to remember your first hike together.
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More Fun Ideas...

Herding

If your dog has the focus and drive of a Border Collie and the need for a job, why not challenge them by teaching them to herd? You can work with trained sheep and expert herders to learn this time-honored skill

Running

There is no better running partner than a Border Point. This dog loves to run by your side for miles and they will never press snooze on the alarm clock or bail because of weather.

Conclusion

Activities for Border Points must take into account their tremendous need for activity and their preference for having a job. While these dogs take a lot of energy from you too, they are perfect for active families or people who are always on the go outside. These dogs are the perfect companion for hunting, hiking, running, and more and they will always make you smile with their goofy antics. While they may require a little more training due to their German Shorthaired Pointer tendency to get distracted by scents, their Border Collie genes will help them stay focused and on task during any adventure.