How much exercise does a Border Collie need (puppy & adult)?

how much exercise does a Border Collie need

The Border Collie belongs to the dog breeds that need relatively much exercise. This has to do with its original use. The Border Collie is a working dog whose job was to herd sheep. In this activity, he is more or less on his own, because he drives the sheep from A to B independently. So he must be intelligent and at the same time have good endurance, because he is constantly on the move.

The Border Collie needs about 2 hours of exercise in the form of walks or runs per day. But mental exercise is also necessary to keep your Border Collie busy. The amount of physical and mental exercise can vary, of course. For a puppy, the rule of thumb is 5 minutes of walking per month of life..

What should a Border Collie puppy learn first?

Before we get into how much exercise and mental activity a Border Collie puppy needs we must first talk about rest.

Most people think that they have to work with their Border Collie all the time. Both mentally and physically. However, one of the most important things your Border Collie should learn from the beginning is is to calm down. He must learn to lie quietly in his dog bed and accept that there is nothing to do.

A big mistake would be, if you want to train your Border Collie constantly from the beginning and thus raise a workaholic. Calm down are important!

How much exercise does a Border Collie puppy need?

how much exercise does a border collie puppy need
© Radim

Until your puppy has received all of his vaccinations, you should still be a little more careful with walks. Puppies cannot be vaccinated against rabies until they are 12 weeks old, and then it takes another 3 weeks or so for the rabies vaccine protection to take full effect.

Before that it is advisable to walk only where you are sure that no one else is walking or ideally you stay in your garden.

However, you do not have to worry about not being able to give your Border Collie adequate exercise during this time. Too much exercise in the form of extended walks is not recommended anyway, as the bones and joints are in an important phase of development. Less is more here

As a rule, you can walk your Border Collie puppy for 5 minutes per month of life. So at 9 weeks when you get him, you can walk him for about 10 minutes, and at 12 weeks you can walk him for about 15 minutes. This is per walk, of course.

However, since your puppy is just discovering the world, you won’t really get very far.

Everything is interesting, new and smells so good. Now it is important to give your puppy the time and let him explore the environment. Sniffing stimulates your puppy mentally and helps with development. Don’t expect him to walk at attention next to you for 10 minutes.

It is better to take 2 to 3 shorter walks around the block or even just in the garden. During this time it is important that your puppy gets used to the leash and walks smaller distances next to you.

Keep your puppy busy with toys and challenge him mentally. But again, it is important not to overstimulate him. Overstimulation can lead to fatigue and behavioral problems.

You can, for example, get a play tunnel or start teaching him first commands like sit or down. All this will keep your puppy busy and mentally stimulated.

Exercise Border Collie puppy (6-12 months)

At the age of about 6 to 12 months your Border Collie can and wants to walk a lot more. But during this time the bones, joints and muscles are still not fully formed and must not be overworked. This can have serious consequences in old age.

Running or biking is not yet recommended during this time and should always be discussed with your veterinarian in advance.

Until your dog is 12 months old, you can still stick to the 5-minute rule. So when your Border Collie is 8 months old, you can take him for 40-minute walks and some mental exercise

Of course, these numbers are not set in stone, but serve as a rough guide. For example, if you plan a long 1.5 hour walk in the woods on Saturday, you can take a rest day on Sunday to give your dog the break he needs.

If you go to the gym on Saturday and work out hard, you usually take a break on Sunday as well.

Exercise and activity for an adult Border Collie

When your Border Collie is an adult, the active time begins. As a rule, it is the time that Border Collie owners look forward to the most. Because, who gets such a breed wants to be active together with the dog – without restrictions.

An adult Border Collie needs on average about 2 hours of exercise a day. In addition, of course, you have to challenge him mentally and keep him busy. If appropriately exercised, the Border Collie is a great family dog.

exercise a Border Collie

For example, if you have less time during the week, you can take a walk of 30 to 45 minutes in the morning and 45 minutes in the evening, and a long walk of 3 hours on the weekend.

Alternatively you can go running or cycling with your Border Collie. This trains him even more and provides for more utilization. The big advantage of this is that you can exercise while you are out with your dog and kill 2 birds with one stone. You do not waste time.

For example, we always have a running session on Sundays. While I am writing this article in the evening, Malou our Cane Corso is lying next to me, snoring after 6km running in the morning.

Of course you have to run longer with a Border Collie than with a Cane Corso, but it’s about the ratio to the other units.

The 2 hours of exercise per day is a rough guideline, which you should offer your Border over a longer period of time. As already mentioned, your dog should learn from the beginning that there are also rest days.

Because it can always be that you do not manage one day to offer your Border Collie a reasonable walk. But this should not be a problem.

Make your walks attractive

Boring walks on the leash next to you will only partially exercise your Border Collie. Make your walk attractive, for example by throwing treats in the leaves and letting your dog search for them.

Especially with a Border Collie, Frisbee or other retrieving games are a good way to keep your dog mentally active during the walk.

Conclusion: How much exercise does a Border Collie need?

The Border Collie needs at least 2 hours of exercise and activity in the form of nature walks or more intense sessions. You can take your Border running, biking, to agility or even play Frisbee.

In addition to physical exercise, it is important that you keep your Border Collie mentally busy as well.

@ Milan – stock.adobe (Contributed image)


I am Marco and I have the pleasure of living with 3 large Mastiff-type dog breeds. I would like to share my dog-related experiences on this blog

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