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How Much Exercise Does Your Border Collie Need?

Border Collies are high-energy dogs that will need active owners. So if you have one or plan to get one, you must be ready to exercise a lot. Otherwise, your Border Collie won’t be healthy nor happy. But you’re probably wondering how much exactly “a lot” mean. Well, let’s find out.

In general, an adult Border Collie will need at least 90 minutes of exercise per day. But some dogs might need more or less exercise depending on their age, health, energy, fitness, and many other factors. Thus, anything between 1 and 2 hours should be enough for most Border Collies.

Border Collie Exercise, Run, Play

What Can Influence How Much Exercise A Border Collie Needs?

Many things will determine the amount of exercise a dog needs. Border Collies are generally high-energy and active, so they require a lot. However, the breed isn’t the only element to consider.

How old, healthy, fit, and energetic the dog is can also impact his needs. Therefore, you must analyze each of these conditions to know how much exercise your Border Collie should get.


First of all, your dog’s age will highly influence his exercise needs. The general recommendation of 90 minutes per day mainly refers to adult Border Collies. If you have a puppy or a senior dog, he might not require that much exercise.

How Much Exercise Does A Border Collie Puppy Need?

A general rule for puppies is to exercise 5 minutes for each month of age, up to twice a day. Since young Border Collies have a lot of energy, they might need slightly more. Therefore, a 4-months-old puppy would require around 40 minutes of exercise per day, divided into two sessions or more.

Even if Border Collies are active dogs, they don’t have much stamina and resilience at a young age. So be careful not to over-exercise a puppy. Too much or intense physical activity might cause more harm than good.

Border Collie Puppy Exercise Chart

How Much Exercise Does A Senior Border Collie Need?

As a dog gets older, his energy and overall fitness will gradually decrease. So the amount and intensity of exercise he needs might decline too. In general, a senior Border Collie still requires between 30 and 60 minutes of moderate and low-impact physical activity.


Another important factor to consider is the health of your dog. The general recommendation of 90 minutes per day refers to healthy Border Collies. A dog that has problems or special conditions might need less exercise.

That’s why I highly recommend visiting your vet regularly for a health check. It will allow you to know your dog’s conditions and adapt the amount and type of exercise you provide him. You can also ask your veterinarian for personal recommendations.

Energy & Fitness

Some Border Collies are more athletic and energetic than others. If your dog has good physical conditions and is tireless, he will probably need around 2 hours of exercise per day. On the other hand, a lazy and overweight Border Collie might be satisfied with 1 hour.

The more energy a dog has, the more exercise he will need to be tired out. And the more fit, the less effort his body will need to do physical activity. So keep that in mind when it comes to exercising your Border Collie.

Other Things To Consider When Exercising A Border Collie!

Many other factors can influence how much exercise a dog needs. For example, the temperature might affect your Border Collie’s tolerance to physical activity. Exercising in the heat can be very tiring and dangerous if you overdo it.

The intensity of the workout will also influence how long a dog can handle it. Most Border Collies could probably walk all day long, but they would get tired relatively quickly running. All activities will affect the body and mind differently.

So the more demanding the exercise is, the less of it your dog will need to be satisfied. However, you can’t just do 30 minutes of really intense workouts. A Border Collie will need many different types of exercise, which we will shortly get to.

Overall, it’s all about common sense. Consider anything that can have an impact on your dog’s exercise needs, and everything should be alright.

What Type Of Exercise Does A Border Collie Need?

Now that you know how much exercise your dog needs, you have to fill that time. It should generally include walking, vigorous physical activity, and mental stimulation. So here’s more information on these types of exercise and how much of it a Border Collie will need.


As you probably already know, walking is an important source of exercise for dogs. Although it’s moderate physical activity, it can still allow your Border Collie to burn off a little bit of energy, take some fresh air, and do his business. So you have to walk your dog regularly.

How Often Does A Border Collie Need To Be Walked?

A Border Collie will need to be walked every day for between 30 and 60 minutes. So half of your dog’s exercise needs should be made up of walking. Ideally, it should be divided into at least two walks of 15 to 30 minutes. But a Border Collie can practically walk as often and for as long as you want.

How Many Miles Should A Border Collie Walk Per Day?

Around 2 to 3 miles of walking per day should be enough for most Border Collies. But the ideal distance will depend on your pace, how often you stop, and how long you walk. With an average speed of 3 to 4 mph, walking between 30 and 60 minutes would represent anywhere from 1.5 to 4 miles.

Vigorous Physical Activity

Apart from walking, a Border Collie should also do more intense exercise. Vigorous physical activity will allow your dog to burn off more energy faster, improve his cardiovascular system, and strengthen his muscles. So it’s essential for active and athletic breeds.

How Much Intense Physical Exercise Does A Border Collie Need?

Most Border Collies will need between 20 and 40 minutes of strenuous exercise per day. Anything that requires more effort on the body than a moderate walk should do the job. Running, swimming, hiking, agility, and other dog sports are great examples of vigorous activities.

Mental Stimulation

As working dogs, Border Collies used to be challenged mentally every day. It’s also one of the most intelligent breeds, so you must find something to keep their mind active and stimulated. Otherwise, your dog might get bored and develop destructive behaviors.

How Much Mental Stimulation Does A Border Collie Need?

In general, between 10 and 20 minutes of purposeful mental stimulation should be enough for a Border Collie. It can include training sessions, brain games, or anything else that engages with your dog’s mind. Border Collies have to be kept busy, entertained, and challenged mentally.

Many everyday activities will also make your dog’s brain work. For example, sniffing around on walks can be mentally stimulating for him. But planning some time to challenge his mind is always a good idea.

Mental exercise is as important as physical activity!

Best Exercises For Border Collies!

Now that you know the different types of exercise your dog needs, let’s get into concrete activities. There are many ways to keep a Border Collie active, but some are more appropriate for this breed than others. So here are the best exercise ideas for Border Collies!


As I already said, walking is essential for dogs. It’s a good source of mental stimulation and moderate physical activity for a Border Collie. So daily walks are one of the best ways to keep your dog fit, healthy, and happy.


For a more intense and physically demanding workout, running might be more appropriate than walking. Border Collies can run relatively fast over very long distances. But you will have to wait for your dog to be at least 12 months to start running together and gradually build up endurance.

Agility Training

As extremely intelligent and active dogs, Border Collies are great candidates for agility. Training your dog to run through an obstacle course is a fun way to exercise, and it’s good for mental stimulation too. Learn more about agility training!

Dog Agility Equipment


Another activity that Border Collies usually excel at is frisbee. You can start by playing fetch to introduce the concept of retrieving an object. Once your dog is getting better, you might be able to replace the ball with a disc (ADD LINK) and play frisbee together.


If you want to walk and enjoy the great outdoors with your dog, hiking might be the perfect activity for you. More challenging than walking around the block, hitting the trails is an excellent and fun way to exercise together. Border Collies are generally good hiking partners too.


Playing in the water and swimming is not just pleasant. It’s also a great workout. It’s demanding on both muscles and the cardiovascular system. Border Collies are usually good swimmers too, so let them take a dip at the pool, in the lake, or any other safe body of water.


If you can’t keep up with your dog, biking alongside him is an excellent alternative. Most Border Collies will outrun their owners, but a bike can give you an unfair advantage. It will allow you to exercise together without getting too tired.

Dog Sports

There are many other canine sports in which Border Collies can participate. Flyball, dock jumping, dog disc, rally, and treibball are some of them. With their energy, athleticism, and intelligence, they can excel at practically any sport.

Obedience Training

Training your dog is an excellent source of mental exercise. Border Collies love to learn new things and work with their owners. Thus, teaching them fun tricks or useful commands is a great way to stimulate them mentally and make them more obedient companions.


Free playtime can be a fun and effective workout with your dog. So why not combine the pleasant with the useful? Playing various games together can be mentally and physically stimulating. Here are some ideas of toys you can consider having fun with!

How To Tire Out A Border Collie?

To tire out a Border Collie, you will have to do a lot of exercise that is physically and mentally demanding. The goal is to burn off your dog’s energy quickly, so vigorous activity is the way to go. Playing fetch, tug-of-war, flirt pole, agility training, and running are great ways to tire out a Border Collie.

Can You Over-Exercise A Border Collie?

Even if Border Collies are athletic and energetic, you can still over-exercise them. Every dog has its own limits, so you must know and respect them. Too much physical activity might cause more harm than good, especially for puppies. So make sure not to overdo it when you exercise your Border Collie. 

Last Thoughts About The Border Collie Exercise Needs!

Finally, Border Collies need active owners to stay fit, healthy, and happy. In general, anything between 1 and 2 hours of exercise per day should be enough for this breed. The exact amount will depend on the dog’s age, health, fitness, energy, and many other factors.

It should include around 45 minutes of walking, 30 minutes of vigorous physical activity, and 15 minutes of mental stimulation. Some of the best ways to exercise a Border Collie are through running, fetch, training, agility, and other canine sports.

Border Collie Exercise

With that information, you should be able to keep your dog in good shape. You can try different activities and see what you both enjoy the most. Now it’s time to go work out with your Border Collie.

Let’s Exercise That Dog!