Activities For Golden Border Retrievers

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Introduction

What do you get when you combine one of the world's smartest, lovable dogs with another of the world's smartest and most loved dogs? An absolutely amazing breed! The Golden Retriever and the Border Collie are two dog breeds that have captured the hearts of people all over. From their high intelligence level to sweet, loyal personalities, these dogs are real show stoppers. Not to mention the fact that they are hardworking and extremely easy to train. When you bring those two together, you end up with the Golden Border Retriever. A highly intelligent, high energy dog that will love you until forever; or longer if possible. There may be some times where the shyness of the Border Collie comes through, resulting in a wariness towards strangers, but with training, time, and patience, this can be fixed. The most important thing to remember is that any Golden Border Retriever is going to have both the energy of the Border Collie and the high intelligence of both breeds. This means that a lot of physical and mental activity will be required to curb any bad habits! That's why we've taken the time to wrangle up a few great suggestions to help you get started.

Frisbee Play

Popular
0 Votes
Sunny Day
Free
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Frisbee
Treats
Activity description
There can't be a better combo of dog than a Golden Border Retriever when it comes to playing frisbee. This breed was practically made to play frisbee! With the high energy of both the Border Collie and the Golden Retriever, the love of retrieving, and the athletic ability, this is a great game to burn off all of that working fire locked inside your furry friend. You can either just have your dog run after the frisbee, or you can perform tricks such as backflips, freeze, and jump over. Regardless of how you choose to play with the frisbee, there is no doubt that your Golden Border Retriever is going to love every single second of it.
Step
1
The basics
If you are teaching a puppy to play frisbee or if you have gotten an older dog that may not know how to play correctly, you will need to teach your Golden Border how to bring the frisbee back to you. Now for some, this may not be an issue and they will scamper right back to drop the frisbee at your feet, ready for more. However, if you have a dog that tends to drop the frisbee a few feet away or not come back at all, you will need to touch base on the basics. Have some treats and start by tossing the frisbee just slightly out of your reach. When the dog brings it back to you, say "yes" (or click) and reward with a treat. Keep doing this and slowly increase the distance until your Golden Border is retrieving the frisbee like a champ.
Step
2
Incorporate some tricks
Just tossing the frisbee around might get a bit old, so once you feel that your Golden Border is ready, feel free to introduce some new tricks. YouTube has a lot of awesome videos you can reference on how to teach your dog to do a backflip for the frisbee, or even jump over something to catch it! Just keep in mind that this is all for fun and will take some time and commitment to perfect. So enjoy yourself and just have fun bonding with your dog.
Step
3
Enter competition
If you feel that your dog is at competition level when it comes to playing the game of frisbee, it may be a great idea to search around your surrounding area for some frisbee competitions. This is an awesome way to show case the Golden Border's athletic ability, while also showing off that fantastic bond you've worked so hard to create. Whether you decide to compete or not, going to watch some competitions is a great way to pick up on some new tricks you could work with your dog on at home!
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Take a Bow

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Any Day
Free
Normal
30 min
Items needed
Treats
Clicker
Activity description
For those gentleman out there, a good bow is the way to steal someone's heart quicker than you can blink! This trick also can be called a "curtsy" if you have a lovely, lady Golden Border Retriever. While it may take a bit of practice to capture this trick, the good news is that a lot of dogs tend to come by it naturally, like when they stretch in the morning. If you follow the steps below and practice often, you can teach your intelligent dog breed to bow in no time.
Step
1
Reward natural behavior
When you want to teach the trick "bow" the best thing to do is pay attention to when your Golden Border Retriever does it naturally. If they stretch during the day, say "Yes" and reward them. If you do not have a clicker on hand that is alright. The "yes" will act as the marker. After time, your Golden Border Retriever will catch on that this stretch is going to get them a reward, so they will start to do it more often.
Step
2
Add the cue word
Once your Golden Border Retriever picks up that you like this motion, you can begin to add the cue word "bow" as they do the trick. Eventually, they will recognize that the word "bow" means to stretch and lower just the lower half of their body.
Step
3
Troubleshooting
When first starting out, your dog may keep lying down instead of actually keeping their rear in the air for the "bow" motion. If this happens, do not treat them when they lay down; only when they bow. If need be, you can try to put your hand underneath them when they go to lay down instead to help encourage them to stand back up. Some dogs may not like this, however, as the stomach is a vulnerable spot for them. If that is the case, have your Golden Border Retriever reset by standing again, and then try the "bow" position once more. Simply pull the treat downwards towards the ground in front of their nose. The dog should follow it and once their elbows touch the floor, click or say "yes" then reward. Due to the Golden Border Retriever's intelligence, they should catch on to this trick quickly.
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Nose Work

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Any Day
Free
Hard
45 min
Items needed
Favorite Toys
Items that smell like you
Smelly Treats
Activity description
The power of a dog's nose is absolutely incredible. It is their first tool when they are born and it is the one that they use for identifying things most accurately, even over their eyes and ears. To shed light on just how acute a dog's sense of smell is, we can compare it to our own. According to research, a human nose contains about 5 million cells that are primarily for smelling. Now compare that to the dog's 220 million scent cells and it's easy to see why their snout is far superior! As both the Border Collie and Golden Retriever were originally created to be working companions, a game such as nose work is excellent for not only giving them a form of "job" but also a wonderful way to get their mind ticking. This game can be done competitively with lots of training, or just in your own home as a way to interact with your pet.
Step
1
Choose your items
Because your dog is going to be using their nose for this game, it is important to get items that have a relatively strong scent. Over time, as your dog gets more practice in using their nose for the game, you could choose a few items that have a slightly less pungent scent (such as kibble instead of wet treats). But, to begin with, start out with some super smelly treats, favorites toys that your dog uses often, and things that you wear and have your scent recently on them.
Step
2
Hide the items
In order to give your dog the upper hand in this game, it is best to play inside where that are little to no distractions. You want your dog's full attention to be on you and the items that they are supposed to find. When first starting out with the game, it is important to make it a big deal where you hide the toys and let your dog see it. You will need to have someone to hold the dog or have a very good "stay" command. You can hide the items in places like cardboard boxes, toy chests, and behind furniture.
Step
3
Following along and reward
Once you release your Golden Border Retriever to find the items, you should do as little as possible to assist. Since your dog was able to see where you placed the items, that is where they will most likely go first. As the food is eaten or the toys are picked up, give encouragement and praise, then treat. If you have a clicker, click once the dog finds the item. Over time, you will be able to show the Golden Border Retriever less and less where the items are and they will do the work faster each time. Nose work is a great game to play in any weather and really causes a dog to think, giving them that much needed mental exercise.
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More Fun Ideas...

Flirt Pole

No this isn't some kind of dating site for dogs (although that would be quite an interesting activity), but it is an awesome way to get your Golden Border Retriever thinking and spend some time together! A flirt pole is, to put it simply, a cat toy for dogs. It is a pole that has a stretchy cord on one end. Tied to the bottom you can usually find a tassel toy or, if you prefer, you can buy one that allows you to attach your dog's favorite toy to the end! This is an excellent tool for teaching your dog commands such as "Wait" and "get it" as you are in control of when the dog is able to try and catch the toy. There are lots of great YouTube videos that show multiple ways you can use a Flirt Pole to work your dog both mentally and physically, so we suggest checking those out!

Dance

Dancing is a great way to burn energy and have a total blast all at the same time! Both the Border Collie and the Golden Retriever have the intelligence required to actually learn how to dance if you want to put in the time to train them to do so (in doggy form of course). However, even if you can't dance or don't have the time for you and your dog to learn how, this is still a great activity for any kind of day. Just put on some music and run around with your dog; they will love it!

Conclusion

Despite the high energy level that this breed has, the moral of the story is that if you find yourself owning a Golden Border Retriever, you are a lucky person. All of the training and hard work will pay off and you'll end up with an excellent breed that is truly a best friend. With activities like frisbee and nose work, you can really hone your dog's athletic abilities and work their mind to keep them happy and satisfied. Thanks to games like dance and flirt pole, you can also play along with your pet and build that unbreakable bond that will touch your heart for years to come. So even though these are just a few suggestions of what you can do with your Golden Border Retriever, hopefully they will spur new fun ideas that you and your dog can do together!