What Are the Ideal Toys for Mental Stimulation of a Border Collie?

March 31, 2024

When it comes to your Border Collies, you undoubtedly want them to have the best in life. Mental stimulation is crucial for their well-being. This breed, characterized by its remarkable intelligence and high energy levels, is always eager to engage in mentally stimulating activities. In this regard, toys play an essential role. Some toys, in particular, can help challenge their intellect and keep them physically active. Let’s explore some of the ideal toys for your Border Collie, focusing on those that can provide a good workout for their brains.

Interactive Puzzle Toys

Interactive puzzle toys can be a great way to keep your Border Collie mentally stimulated. These toys often involve hiding treats inside them, and the dog’s task is to figure out how to get the treats out. This type of play encourages problem-solving and can keep your dog entertained for hours.

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One of the best puzzle toys on the market is the Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel Puzzle Toy. It comes with three small stuffed squirrels that you can hide inside a plush tree trunk. Your Border Collie will then have to figure out how to remove the squirrels, providing both physical and mental stimulation.

Another excellent choice is the KONG Classic Dog Toy. This toy can be stuffed with your dog’s favorite treat, making it a fun and rewarding puzzle for them to solve. It’s also a durable choice for Border Collies who are a bit rough with their toys.

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Ball Toys

Ball toys are a top favorite among Border Collies—and with good reason. These herding dogs love to chase and fetch, and a ball toy provides the perfect opportunity for them to do so. Many ball toys also come with added features that provide mental stimulation.

The Chuckit! Ultra Ball is a fantastic choice, with its bright colors and high bounce keeping your dog engaged during playtime. It’s also made from durable material, ensuring it can withstand your Border Collie’s energetic play.

The iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher is another top-rated toy. It allows your Border Collie to play fetch independently while also challenging them to learn how the machine works. Training your dog to use this toy can be an excellent mental workout for them.

Treat Delivery Toys

Treat delivery toys are an effective way to engage your Border Collie mentally and physically. These toys dispense treats as your dog plays with them, providing instant gratification and motivation to keep playing. They can keep your Border Collie busy for hours and also serve as a training tool, rewarding good behavior with treats.

The Busy Buddy Twist ‘n Treat is a popular choice among dog owners. You can adjust the difficulty level by twisting the two halves of the toy closer together or further apart, making it a fun and challenging toy for your Border Collie.

The StarMark Bob-A-Lot Interactive Dog Toy is another excellent option. It has compartments for treats and is weighted at the bottom, so your dog has to push, paw, or nose it to get the treats out, providing both physical and mental stimulation.

Training Toys

Training toys can be incredibly beneficial for Border Collies. These intelligent dogs thrive on learning new things, and training toys can help facilitate their learning. They’re an excellent way for you to bond with your dog while also challenging their intellect.

The StarMark Clicker Dog Training System is a simple yet effective tool for training your dog. The clicker delivers a clear, consistent sound that your dog will quickly come to associate with correct behavior and treats, making training sessions more effective.

The Tug-N-Toss Jolly Ball is a versatile toy that can be used for a variety of training exercises. It’s durable, bouncy, and has a handle your dog can grip, making it an excellent choice for tug-of-war games and other interactive activities.

Herding Balls

Given that Border Collies are herding dogs, it isn’t surprising that herding balls are a hit with them. These large, sturdy balls appeal to their innate herding instincts, providing them with a satisfying and mentally stimulating form of play.

The Jolly Pets Push-N-Play is an excellent example of a herding ball. It’s large, durable, and can withstand being pushed, nudged, and kicked by your eager Border Collie.

Another great choice is the Horsemen’s Pride Mega Ball. It’s designed for horses, but its size and durability make it an ideal toy for Border Collies as well. Just remember to supervise playtime to ensure your dog’s safety.

Selecting the right toys for your Border Collie is crucial, as it can significantly influence their happiness, health, and overall well-being. Consider a mix of the above categories to keep things exciting and ensure your dog gets the mental and physical stimulation they need. Remember, the best toy for your Border Collie is the one they will play with and enjoy the most.

Chew Toys

Chew toys are an indispensable part of a dog’s life, and Border Collies are no exception. These toys not only provide a safe and appropriate outlet for your dog’s natural chewing instinct but also serve as an excellent source of mental stimulation.

One of the top-rated chew toys for Border Collies is the KONG Extreme Dog Toy. This toy is designed specifically for hard chewers. The toy’s unique shape and tough rubber material make it a challenge for dogs to destroy, thus keeping them engaged for longer periods.

The Nylabone DuraChew is also a fantastic choice for your Border Collie. This chew toy has raised bristles that help clean teeth and control plaque and tartar while your dog chews. It’s a great way to not only keep your dog entertained but also maintain their oral health.

Chew toys are excellent for border collies with a strong desire to chew. But remember, while these toys are durable, no toy is indestructible. Always supervise your dog during chew time and replace the toy once it shows signs of wear.

Plush Toys

Plush toys can be a great source of comfort and fun for Border Collies. They provide a soft and cuddly companion for your dog to carry around, play with, or simply snuggle with during downtime.

The Outward Hound Squeaky Toy is a popular plush toy among dog owners. These cute and colorful creatures have multiple squeakers inside, providing added entertainment for your pup.

On the other hand, the ZippyPaws Skinny Peltz No Stuffing Squeaky Plush Toy is a great option if you’re concerned about your Border Collie ripping stuffing out of toys. These toys have no stuffing but still contain squeakers for your dog’s enjoyment.

Plush toys can help satisfy your Border Collie’s instinct to hunt and retrieve, but remember to choose toys that are safe and durable to withstand your dog’s playfulness.


In conclusion, the selection of a suitable toy for your Border Collie comes down to understanding your dog’s needs and preferences. Some Border Collies may enjoy the challenge of puzzle toys, while others might prefer the physicality of herding balls or the comfort of plush toys.

What’s important is that the toys you choose for your Border Collie should be safe, durable, and provide the appropriate level of mental stimulation. Remember, a mentally stimulated Border Collie is a happy and healthy dog.

From interactive puzzle toys and treat delivery toys to training toys and herding balls, there’s an array of options to keep your Border Collie entertained. Whether your dog likes to chew, fetch, herd, or solve puzzles, there’s a toy out there that fits the bill.

And while this article has touched on some of the highly-rated toys for Border Collies, it’s by no means an exhaustive list. There are plenty of other great products out there, and you might even find that your dog has a favorite toy that’s not on this list.

Ultimately, the best toy for your Border Collie is the one that makes them feel happy, engaged, and loved. So, explore different toys and find out what works best for your furry friend. After all, playtime is a special time for bonding with your dog, and the right toys can make it even more enjoyable.