BonniDune Kennel is located in
Southern Indiana, USA. Although I started
with German Shepherd Dogs, today BonniDune is
dedicated to showing, trialing and producing
sound, versatile Border Collies.
BonniDune is proud to be recognized as an AKC Breeder of Merit.

Puppies Born December 25, 2013

Do Not Play Ball With Your Border Collie?

The Border Collie’s Nature

Border Collies are highly intelligent and energetic dogs known for their herding abilities. They are an active breed that requires mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy. However, when it comes to playing ball, it is important to consider certain factors that make it an unsuitable activity for this particular breed.

High Energy Levels

Border Collies have an abundance of energy, and playing ball can quickly become an obsession for them. They have an innate herding instinct, which makes chasing and retrieving a ball extremely stimulating for them. Unfortunately, this can lead to obsessive behaviors and even anxiety if the activity is not properly managed.

Obsessive Behaviors

Border Collies are prone to developing obsessive behaviors, such as fixating on objects or activities. Playing ball can exacerbate this tendency, as the repetitive nature of the game can reinforce their obsessive tendencies. This can lead to an unhealthy preoccupation with the ball, causing the dog to neglect other necessary activities like eating, resting, or socializing.

Risk of Injuries

While playing ball can be a fun and engaging activity for many dogs, it poses a higher risk of injury for Border Collies. Their intense drive to chase and retrieve can lead to overexertion or accidents, such as collisions with obstacles or sudden stops that strain their joints. These injuries can be severe and may require lengthy recovery periods, affecting the dog’s overall well-being.

Alternative Activities

As an owner of a Border Collie, it is important to focus on activities that fulfill their mental and physical needs while keeping them safe. Consider engaging in activities that provide mental stimulation and allow them to use their herding instincts, such as agility training, obedience competitions, or interactive puzzle toys designed for intelligent breeds.

Training and Socialization

Border Collies are highly trainable and thrive on mental challenges. Instead of playing ball, invest time in training sessions that offer mental stimulation and bonding opportunities. Socialization is equally crucial for this breed, so prioritize activities that encourage positive interactions with other dogs and people.


While playing ball may seem like a harmless and enjoyable activity for many dogs, it is important to consider the specific needs and tendencies of Border Collies. Their high energy levels and predisposition to obsessive behaviors make ball play potentially detrimental to their well-being. By engaging in alternative activities and focusing on training and socialization, you can ensure a happy and healthy life for your beloved Border Collie.

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