The Border Collie ranks as the most intelligent dog breed in the world year after year. For a dog as clever and energetic as this one, one thing’s for sure: he needs toys to entertain him. And lots of them.
So whether you are about to welcome a gorgeous bundle of Border puppy fluff into your life, or your resident Border is in desperate need of a toy wardrobe update. You’ve come to the right place.
We take you through everything you need to know about the Border Collie and his toy needs. From how to pick the best toys for your pooch to showcasing six of the best dog toys for Border Collies, you’ll be the toy master after reading this quick and concise guide. There’s a lot more to finding the right dog toys than most dog owners first think.
At a Glance: Our Favorite Border Collie Dog Toys
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Let’s dive into all the toy facts you need to make the best toy choice for your herding dog. Because let’s face it, we’ve all wasted a few bucks on a useless dog toy, and a sad Border Collie face is the worst. You’ll never make a poor toy decision again when using all these facts, so let’s take a look.
Type of Play
Border Collies are working dogs with tons of energy. And when you combine that with his remarkable intelligence, you can be sure that the toy you pick needs to be just right. If it doesn’t entertain and stimulate him, he’s not going to waste a second on it. And all dogs are different, and they all have different play-type preferences.
If you have spent time with your pup, you are bound to know what he likes by now. This makes your decision easy because all you need is to pick a toy that targets that play type. But what if you are about to welcome a Border puppy into your home? Chances are you don’t know what they like yet. In this case, invest in a selection of toys and have fun discovering what they enjoy.
If they like to chase things, which is highly likely given their innate herding genes, it’ll be wise to invest in a toy that you can throw. If your pooch likes to challenge his brain, buy a toy that is mentally stimulating. Or, if your Border is obsessed with yummy treats, pick a game that releases treats. And finally, if your pooch is a troublesome chewer, a chew toy could be yours and your furniture’s savior.
Border Collies are very energetic and need constant stimulation. This means that the toys you choose need to be up to the job of withstanding continuous play. Cheap and flimsy dog toys just aren’t going to cut it unless, of course, yours just likes to cuddle. And in this case, less durable toys are fine. If your herder is a rough player or extreme chewer, you need to stick to toys designed for rough play and extreme chewing.
Always stick to high-quality dog toys made by trusted brands because they are more likely to be durable. Not only are they made with better craftsmanship, but the materials are usually stronger too. You don’t need to spend a week’s paycheck on a toy. But you do need to spend more than a few dollars on it if you want it to last. Remember that durable toys aren’t cheap, and cheap toys aren’t durable.
Durability is also determined by the material that the toy is made from. And the materials chosen can also determine how safe a toy is. When reading a toy description, it’s important to ascertain what the toy is made from. Unfortunately, cheaper, low-quality brands have been known to use dangerous materials to make dog toys just to make more profit. So, you need to know what you are buying. Let’s take a look at the most commonly used and safe materials.
Rubber is a great choice for the Border Collie. Not only is it durable, but it is also satisfying to chew and fun to play with. The bounce means your pup has to work harder, which is great for burning more energy. Rubber is a top choice for anxious adults and teething pups because it massages gums and offers pain relief. Always pick rubber that states it is 100% natural or non-toxic.
Rope is also a commonly used material because it is long-lasting and great for interactive play. Whether that’s for tossing or playing tug of war, it suits many different play types. The rope fibers also act as a flossing agent for your Border’s teeth, assisting dental hygiene. Always use rope intended for use as a dog toy, rather than any ol’ piece of rope from a hardware store. Otherwise, it might have been exposed to or treated with harmful chemicals.
Nylon is fab material for dog toys as it has many uses. Soft nylon is used in softer dog toys as an alternative to less-durable polyester. Hard nylon is often used for chew toys as it is durable and much safer than sticks and natural bones. Hard nylon can be shaped into many designs, meaning there is lots of variety to keep Fido entertained. Plus, it can be flavored, meaning extra excitement and reason to play.
Polyester and Plush
Polyester and plush toys are less durable than the other materials on this list. And they are not suitable materials for tough players or extreme chewers. But if your Border is gentle, or he’s looking for a cuddly toy to keep him company, these types of toys are fine. You need to be extra cautious, though, because they can become a choking hazard when they break down.
Safety is the most important consideration to make when thinking about which dog toy to buy. There’s nothing worse than feeling that you’ve put your pooch in danger. And for some dog owners, purchasing the wrong dog toy has had disastrous consequences. It’s super important that you read the toy description and look through the pictures to ensure it is safe for Fido.
This is another reason you should stick to high-quality dog toys made by well-known brands, as they are more likely to put their toys through safety testing. Plus, if it’s rated highly by other dog owners, it’s already been tried and tested. Dog toys do not last forever. Once they begin to break down, you need to dispose of and replace them. Otherwise, a safe toy can also become a danger.
The size of a dog toy also goes a long way in determining how safe it is. Or how likely your pooch plays with it. If it’s too big, there’s a chance he’ll turn his nose up at it because he’ll be overwhelmed by the size. And if it’s too small, he could be swallowed whole. In the excitement of play, many dogs have done this and ended down vet A&E. Size is important for finding the right toy.
The Border Collie is a medium-sized dog, meaning that medium-sized dog toys are usually the best size. But not all brands size their toys in the same way. You need to look at the description and measure your pooch or the toy according to the specific instructions. If your Border is in between sizes, it’s always a better idea to size up rather than size down for safety.
Best Dog Toys for Border Collies
Let’s take a look at six of our favorite dog toys for Border Collies. You can be sure that each pick is good-quality, durable, and safe. Read each review so you can make the best choice for your herder.
Chuckit! Sport Launcher
- Great for fetch.
- Launches ball 2-3 times further.
- Works with most tennis balls.
- Hands free-pickup.
- Comes equipped with one ball.
- Ball is durable & bouncy.
- Made in the United States.
We know how energetic this breed is, but how do you expel all that energy without a flock to herd? Easy, the Chuckit! Sport Launcher toy, that’s how. It makes it simple to exercise your Border without wearing yourself out, even if you have the throwing capacity of a small child. It’s effectively an extension of your arm to give a wider throwing arc, allowing you to throw the ball up to three times further than you would normally.
Plus, when your pup retrieves the ball and covers it in slobber, there is no need to get your hands all covered in drool. You just press the launcher against the ball, and it picks it up, ready to go again. The handle is made from durable, lightweight, and flexible plastic that’s safe and comfortable for you to use.
We love that the sport launcher is ready to go right out of the packet, ball included. This toy is sure to wear your dog out like no other.
Nylabone DuraChew X Bone Beef Flavored Dog Chew
- Made for power chewers.
- Nubs and ridges keep dogs entertained.
- Ergonomic design.
- Beef flavored to hold attention.
- Helps clean teeth.
- Made of durable nylon.
- Suitable for dogs up to 25 pounds.
Dogs love bones and sticks to chew. With Nylabones, you can give your pup lots of bone-related fun with none of the splinter or injury risks. All dogs need to learn acceptable chewing habits. Shoes are a no, and the Nylabone is a big yes. It’s a great option for adults and puppies alike. Chewing is a natural canine behavior, so this toy is fantastic for both stimulation and relaxation.
Made from highly durable nylon, it is designed with the persistent chewer in mind. The X-shape design also means it has differently ridged textures for variation. These textures double up as a doggy toothbrush, so his teeth get a good scrub, and it freshens his breath too. The added bonus is that the toy can also double up as a tug toy. Thanks to the extra ends that allow you to tease and play with your pup.
We love that this toy has added a beef flavor that lasts as long as the toy, so your pup keeps coming back to it for sure.
Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Worker Composite Puzzle
- Exercises your pup’s brain and motor skills.
- Designed with a unique composite material that looks like real wood.
- All the pieces are carefully built into the base to help keep your pup safe.
- Place your dog’s favorite treats in the compartments.
- Encourages plenty of interactive play.
What has flaps, slides, and hides treats to keep your dog entertained for hours? This toy by Nina and Outward Hound. This toy was designed with the canine Einstein in mind, making it perfect for the Border. It can take up to three sequential movements for your pup to find his prize. It challenges his mind and stimulates the brain as he earns his rewards for not giving up.
In addition to exercise, a lack of mental challenge can lead to boredom and destruction. This toy makes for a great way to do just that. Just hide his favorite treats in each compartment and watch as your dog works out how to slide and turn built-in pieces to find them. He has to spin the top to open the tracks, move the blocks to unlock the flippers and then turn them to expose the treats. There are hours of fun to be had with this one toy.
We love that this toy works well for the super-brainy working dogs out there. The non-sliding base and rigid material make it durable, too, even if they throw a tantrum and chuck it in the air.
Jolly Pets Romp-n-Roll
- Made from puncture-resistant material.
- Extremely durable construction.
- Great for tug-of-war and fetch.
- Retains shape even if punctured.
- Made of non-toxic materials.
- Floats, for water play.
- Great for fetch and tug-of-war.
If your pup is a big fan of footballs or balls in general, this toy adds extra dimensions to his play. The large, central, puncture-resistant ball is attached to a tug rope toy. Meaning your doggo has a choice of play types as it is very versatile and entertaining. It can be rolled, thrown, floated, and tugged, making it a great choice for both inside and outdoor play. The rope can be used as extra throwing power for fetch games, making it travel farther than a normal ball.
If you have a multi-pup household, the rope makes for great multiplayer sessions where your doggos can tug amongst themselves. Or kick the ball around while they all chase after it. This toy is a good option for water babies too. It floats and is easily visible due to its size, and the rope makes it easy for your pup to get a hold of it and retrieve it.
We love that this toy is good for tough chewers who like rubber. Plus, it acts as a dental hygiene aid as the rope flosses his teeth as he plays.
Multipet Lamb Chop Squeaky Plush
- Super plush dog toy.
- Classic character.
- Comes in three sizes.
- Includes internal squeaker.
- Perfect for puppies and dogs who enjoy interactive play time.
- After the fun is done, it is great for cuddling.
There’s one thing you can be sure about when it comes to Border Collies and toys: if it looks like a sheep, he’s game. This toy is polyester and plush lamb toy. So, it’s only for gentle players rather than tough nuts. But, if he is gentle, he is bound to get lots of fun out of this toy, and he’ll feel right at home, herding it into bed with him. The material is soft on his nose and paws, which makes it appealing to play with.
This toy is great for throwing indoors and hiding around the home for nose work sessions. And you don’t have to worry about smashing anything expensive or mom’s favorite plates. The inner squeaker adds an extra level of excitement, and the squeal makes game time even more rewarding. This toy comes in three sizes, meaning if he loves big cuddly toys, you can go up a few sizes to meet his needs.
We love that this toy is the best option for gentle dogs who are just looking for a cuddle buddy toy. Or those that go mad for squeaky toys.
Starmark Treat Dispensing Bob-a-Lot
- Easy-to-fill, easy-to-clean.
- Dual chambers allow you to fill with treats or kibble.
- Customize difficulty Level – adjust the opening to control the release of treats.
- Bobs and tilts on weighted, anti-slip base.
Provides hours of mentally stimulating, challenging play.
- Helps foster natural hunting and foraging behaviors and prevent destructive boredom behaviors.
This toy dispenses treats with a twist. Your working dog has to get his thinking cap on for this one and use that clever canine brain of his. It’s not a chewing toy. Instead, he has to jiggle it about in the right way for the treats to fall out. It keeps him mentally engaged, and it prevents unhealthy chewing behaviors by distracting them.
It has two chambers, meaning that you can mix up the treats or just fill one side for an extra challenge. Plus, you can set the difficulty by adjusting the opening to suit your pooch. Many owners use it to feed their pooch dinner by filling it with kibble. It is weighted and has an anti-slip base, meaning it won’t work or fall into an awkward position under the sofa. It is easy to clean too.
We love that this toy is a great option for keeping your dog stimulated for hours, especially if he is nuts about yummy treats.
Frequently Asked Questions
Because as you can see, choosing the right toy for your dog is not as easy as it first looks. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions.
What types of toys are best for my Border Collie?
Despite Border Collies having a reputation for being energetic and intelligent, they are all different in what type of toy they favor. Ultimately, you need to experiment with various toys until you find what he enjoys. If you’re unsure where to start, invest in a few different toy types to determine which grabs and holds his attention. There’s no value in buying a fun-looking toy if it doesn’t appeal to your pup.
Are there any completely 100% indestructible dog toys available?
Unless your pup is happy to chew a bar of gold bullion, the simple answer to this is no. No dog toy is ever going to be indestructible. There is always a hulk of dog or powerful chewer that can get through any toy. Your pup might not be a power chewer, but he is likely to play with his toys a lot. But if he is an intense chewer, always look for a tough toy that can withstand it. As long as you pick a high-quality, durable toy, it lasts a lot longer than cheap, flimsy toys.
Is one toy enough for my Border Collie?
No. As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life. Your pup’s toys are necessary for mental stimulation and general wellbeing, so giving a choice of entertainment options is always a good idea. Frustrated and bored dogs become destructive and poorly behaved dogs. Investing in a few good-quality toys can be a lifesaver for your home and possessions. But be sure to rotate them to keep play fun and fresh. Even if your dog is only into one play type, you can change his toys’ size, shapes, and flavors for variety.
Are some materials dangerous for my Border Collie?
Yes, and unfortunately, some unscrupulous pet brands use these materials because they are cheap to use. You need to be vigilant when choosing toys that keep your pup safe. Stick to materials such as 100% natural rubber, rope, cotton, polyester, and nylon. If you are not sure about a material, research it using trusted and independent websites before purchasing.
You should be looking for a variety of toys to challenge and stimulate his brain. Otherwise, he might become bored, frustrated and entertain himself in ways that he probably shouldn’t. The price of a few dog toys is nothing compared to him ruining all of your rugs and carpets.
With all of the options above, you can be sure that he loves his new toy offerings. Be that with an interactive toy, a puzzle treat-dispensing toy, or a cuddle buddy for his squealing pleasure. There’s no better feeling than watching our beloved pups having fun, especially when it’s one as clever as your Border Collie.