Collies need lots of exercise to keep them healthy. Collies love all outdoor activities, but especially games like fetch or tug of war, and skill based activities like agility where they can use their brain as well as their bodies.
In this article, we’ll look at six different exercises that collies love, and also cover some tips for taking your collie running, cycling, and hiking.
Exercise Ideas for Collies:
Collies need a lot of physical exercise every day. Without ample opportunities for your dog to burn off their energy this may lead to behavior problems.
There are a few ways in which you can exercise with your collie which will be a fun, bonding experience for both of you.
1: Wild Swimming
If your pooch falls into the water loving category wild swimming with your collie may be the perfect option. You should begin by taking your collie to a quiet location with limited distractions. This will allow you two to focus on each other.
Don’t go in too deep until your dog is confident in the water and don’t swim too far ahead of your pooch as this might panic them.
Your dog can become tired quicker when swimming as it takes more effort than a walk in the park so providing your dog with a doggy life jacket will ensure his safety even in deeper water.
Fetch is a great way to exercise with your dog and it will strengthen your bond even further with some one on one play time.
Playing fetch can stimulate your dogs reward region of their brain which produces endorphins. This means playing fetch is a game that your dog will never get bored of and why their twinkle of joy when they see a ball will never disappear.
Collies are a breed that absolutely love playing fetch as it taps into their ancestral herding instincts. It also taps into their oldest relative: the wolf. Wolves instinctively carried their successful hunts back to their families which is what your Collie is doing with the ball. Your collie sees you as family and wants to bring you back their most prized possession which shows their love for you.
Frisbee is a great way for you and your pooch to get some exercise together. Head down to the dog park with your pooch and throw a frisbee and it will be your dogs idea of heaven.
All the running, jumping and catching is a great way for your collie to release all their built up energy. Its a fun way for you and your dog to stay fit together whilst walking.
As frisbee is a two player game, it will bring you and your pet closer and deepen the love you two have. It not only helps develop your communication with your pooch but as an added bonus 30 minutes of frisbee can burn up to 92 calories!
You will want to make sure you get your dog a suitable frisbee. Often collies will prefer a soft frisbee as this will not hurt their teeth or gums when catching it at collie super speeds.
4: Tug of War
Collies love tug of war. This time alone playing with your dog will strengthen the bond you and your collie have together.
Tug of war helps your collie to develop their confidence which can be useful as collies are renowned for being quite nervous creatures.
It also teaches your dog to have more self control and provides good mental stimulation for your collie.
Not all tug of war toys are made equal. You will want to invest in a super strong tug toy or else you may end up needing to replace the toy regularly as it becomes damaged or broken. In this case, buying quality really does pay off.
Collies were built for agility and most can’t get enough! Its a physical and mental challenge that your pooch will relish.
Agility really is the ultimate bonding experience for you and your collie as communication is key when your dog encounters obstacles such as weaving, see-saws and a stay station. Your collie will look to you for instructions and rely on your commands to complete the course properly.
Whilst your collie waits for instructions, owners are running round the course to ensure they are one step ahead of the dog. This is physically demanding and be prepared to sweat your way through the course!
Wearing suitable exercise clothing will make you more comfortable as your speedy collie puts you through your paces.
If you’re wondering if your collie would be good enough to take part in local agility classes you could always opt for a home agility kit. This will give you and your collie a chance to try agility in the comfort or your own yard. If you don’t have your own private yard you could always set up your agility course in a quiet local park or grassy area.
Most collies absolutely love agility and thrive on the challenge. Be warned though, it can become very addictive and you may just become known as that crazy collie lady!
6: Resistance Walking
A trip to the beach would provide plentiful resistance walking for you and your pooch. When you walk on sand it strengthens your ankles and leg muscles.
Ever wondered why its so difficult to run on soft sand? Your foot needs to go through its full range of motion and every time you feel your foot sinking into the sand your leg muscles need to work extra hard to push back up and move you forward.
The same thing happens to your dog and they get the same health benefits us humans do.
Walking on sand uses double the energy required for walking on hard surfaces but the sand also acts as a natural cushion so it causes less strain on joints. This is the perfect option for senior dogs and indeed senior citizens.
Not only does beach walking provide you and your pup with great physical health benefits, its also great for your mental wellbeing.
Being barefoot or bare-pawed on the sand actually helps to reconnect you to nature and helps reduce stress and get more perspective.
Ever wondered why your dog just seems to be endlessly happy? Try walking barefoot on the sand and like your furry friend you can reap the benefits of feeling connected to nature.
Should You Take Your Collie Cycling?
Cycling with your collie is a great way for you both to get some exercise. It’s a fun activity and you can explore new places together. Cycling to a new doggy park will allow your pup to run off excess energy then cool off by socializing with new doggy pals.
Plus, all the new sniffs and smells will do wonders for their mental stimulation. Its a win win situation.
However you must keep in mind that your collie will be running continually for longer periods so it’s good to start with small distances and work your way up as your collie increases their fitness.
Just like us humans, your pooch may suffer muscle soreness or even injury after a longer or more intense period of exercise than they are used to so bear this in mind when taking your pup out initially and take things slow.
If you think cycling with your pooch would suit you then there is some equipment you may wish to consider. You will want to invest in a high quality bike attachment which you can connect your dogs leash to.
This allows you to anchor your dog whilst at a safe distance from your bike to prevent any tragic tangles.
If you’re already a keen cyclist and cover large distances which would not be pet friendly you may want to consider a dog bike trailer.
These trailers come in a range of sizes to fit even the biggest dogs and can attach to the majority of bikes. It means you can take your furry friend on all your cycling adventures so they’re not missing out on the fun. They simply get to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!
Can You Take Your Collie Running With You?
Running with your collie is one of the best ways that you and your pooch can get some quality exercise together. It’s a great way to increase your own fitness and your dog can even act as a motivator to get you out the door.
We all know how hard it is to motivate ourselves, especially in bad weather but when you have your furry friend by your side who is loving every second somehow it just doesn’t seem as bad.
In fact, running with your collie will help you two to bond together and you will both feel the benefits of those endorphins and everyone knows a happy dog equals a happy life.
Like us humans, collies need to build up their fitness so start small. Even if you’re already an avid runner, your collie might not be. Your collie will not thank you for a 10 mile run if their usual routine consists mainly of walking.
However, a word of warning, if you start to run with your collie be prepared not to stop. As your collie runs more, the fitter they get and the more exercise they will need but running truly is a great way to exercise with your collie.
How to Run With Your Collie
Running with your collie is easy with the right equipment. Investing in a high quality hands free dog running harness and lead will make running a more enjoyable experience for you and your pup.
You may even want to consider a portable water bowl for longer runs to allow your collie to hydrate and have regular water breaks to ensure your dog does not overheat or become dehydrated.
Should You Take Your Collie Hiking?
Yes, collies originated in borders of Scotland and so were bred to be able to run with ease over uneven ground. Sharing a full day in the mountains with your collie are what your dog dreams of.
Hiking with your canine companion is a really rewarding experience for you and your pooch and you will both create some unforgettable memories together. Collies are athletic dogs and hiking up hills and mountains and roaming across ridges are what your dog loves most.
When hiking, you are responsible for your dogs actions and wellbeing. Collies love to herd so in fields with livestock you should keep your collie on a short leash so you can control them fully ensuring they do not distress other animals.
Just like humans, dogs need to time to recover after long days of exercising. Gradually building up the time you take your dog hiking will help prevent any soft tissue and muscle damage caused from doing too much too soon.