If you’re searching for the best Border Collie dog toys, you’ve come to the right place!
In this Digdoggy.com guide, you’ll learn:
- The top 5 toys for Border Collies
- Ways to keep a Collie entertained
- Free toys that you can find and use from around the house
And much more!
How Did I Research To Write This Post?
Originally I wrote this post based on research and personal experience of the best-suited toys for Collies.
But that wasn’t good enough, so I decided to reach out to a bunch of other dog owners in two Facebook groups (Border Collies Rock & BorderCollie Owners UK) where I had a combined 77 votes from the Border Collie owners top recommended toys.
This post was crafted on the back of the data we collected to give you real answers from real Collie owners.
Check out the screenshots of the votes that came in below! (click to open each image up large)
In a hurry? Whiz through our top picks below, or keep scrolling to read our in-depth reviews for each of the products on the list.
ChuckIt! Ultra Ball (8-Pack)
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PETIZER Squeaky Dog Ball
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AWOOF Snuffle Mat
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ChuckIt! Flying Squirrel
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TRIXIE Interactive Treat Puzzle Game Level 2
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ELOPAW Dog Chew Tug-Of-War Toy
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Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
Updated On July 7, 2022
Likely, you’re already familiar with the brand Chuckit and the quality products they produce, as at some point you’ll have likely crossed paths with their ball launchers or throwing balls for dogs.
The Chuckit ultra ball comes with no disappointments, as the ball can be thrown up to 300ft (when combined with the Chuckit ball launcher), can be easily identified from long distances, and has an incredible bounce that will keep your Collie engaged on the chase.
It also floats, doesn’t damage the dog’s teeth, and is hard-wearing, as the average ball will last anywhere from 8 to 10 weeks when using the ball 3 times per week. (but of course, this will differ from dog to dog)
That’s why I’ve linked out to the 8-bucket pack, as it’s far cheaper to buy in bulk and quickly replace a ball if it breaks.
Top 6 Best Toys For Border Collies
In a hurry? Check out our top 5 toys for your Collie. Keep reading to discover more about our top picks.
What Types Of Toys Work Best For Border Collies?
Toys for Border Collies must challenge their athleticism and intellect. For this breed, a stuffed animal, just, won’t cut it.
So, what makes a good Border Collie dog toy?
The best types of toys for Border Collies are:
Puzzle toys are designed to make eating for dogs fun. They hide treats in small compartments that challenge your dog to perform a task in order to retrieve the food.
But they should never drive a dog to frustration, as puzzle toys are purely designed to stimulate and encourage a dog to utilize their problem-solving capabilities.
Some puzzles will have flaps that need to be opened, sliders that must be slid, and sections that must be spun or closed to reveal treats making them a fun and entertaining option for long periods of time.
Using a tug toy is one of the best ways to build a bond when playing with your Collie. But be prepared for a workout, as a 40lbs dog pulling on the other end will take far more effort than a warm up.
Tug toys consist of the regular tug ‘o’ war, bite tugs, and rope toys that involve one end being fixed (to your hand or fixed to something ‘usually a tree’) while the other end is free. A dog can then tug away in an attempt to retrieve the toy.
Toys for fetch
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, then you’ll know I talk about fetch, a lot, and that’s because it’s one of the best ways to satisfy a Collie both physically and mentally.
Fetch toys include the regular ball, a burst ball, a frisbee, a stick, or a flying toy.
Many people assume that dogs just naturally learn how to fetch, but this is not true, as fetch is where your dog chases a toy, immediately picks it up, returns to you in a straight line with the toy in their mouth, properly let’s go and then eagerly awaits the next throw.
Now this one is new to me, as I only discovered snuffle mats around six months back.
A snuffle mat is an interactive dog toy consisting of fleece strips where you can hide treats under the fold and flaps so your dog has to use their sense of smell to find and retrieve their food.
The great part is that these toys last longer than many other type of toys and can be DIY’d if you prefer to make your own. Keep reading to find out the best snuffle toys we reccomend.
What Features Should You Look For In A Dog Toy For Border Collies?
Choosing a dog toy for Collies is not like choosing toys for other breeds. You need to cater to their natural working tendencies and ensure the toy will compensate for their shortfall in duties.
To do this, we must incorporate the following into our decision-making.
How compatible is the toy with your dog’s temperament? Is this a toy that will be safe, durable, and challenging?
For Collies we need strong, durable materials such as Nylon, hard plastic, rubber, and Oxford cloth in dog toys.
Brain training tools such as puzzle toys and snuffle mats are the perfect choice for challenging your dog to perform a task to retrieve their food.
How many boxes does this toy tick? Meaning that some toys will come with dental care features, waterproof capabilities, are capable of being filled, can be frozen, can be used for tug of war, and can be thrown in the air.
And with the infinitely expanding pet toy industry it’s far more common to find dog toys that cover a range of tasks in one.
Toys that squeak or bounce in an unpredictable away work super well with Collies. But ensure they are durable, tough, and soft enough to chew without damaging your dog’s teeth and gums.
Vibrant Colors & Sense Of Smell
Not only are vibrantly-colored dog toys easier to find on the field when playing fetch, but they are also more likely to pique the interest of a dog when they have blues, yellows, and shades of grey.
Meat-scented toys that require Collies to use their sense of smell will provide high levels of stimulation leaving them feeling satisfied for longer periods.
Ease of Cleaning
Puzzle toys are fun. They have all the grooves and spaces to place small pieces of treats that can be removed and eaten by your dog.
But how easy is this thing to clean? Or what about the snuffle mat, can you wash it, and dry it? Must it be air-dried, or cleaned some other way?
Consider the ease of cleaning to narrow your options when considering dog toy maintenance.
Our Reviews Of The 6 Best Toys For Border Collies
Pick #1: ChuckIt! Ultra Ball (8-Pack)
The Chuckit Ultra Ball is one of the most popular balls on the market, and I’ve gone through a few of these over the years.
The ball itself is about the size of a standard baseball and just a little heavier than a tennis ball in weight.
It comes in small, medium, large, and extra-large but I’ve found medium to be the best size to use with Collies.
And while the weight of the ball gives you some leverage for long-distance throwing, it’s likely that your dog will cover it in slobber (making the ball slippery and hard to throw).
This is where the Chuckit ball launcher comes in, as the medium-sized ball will fit right in and remove the need for bending down to pick up balls while allowing you to launch the ball up to 3x further.
I’ve personally thrown close to 300ft with the XL launcher and in no way am I an Olympic thrower.
Pick #2: PETIZER Squeaky Dog Ball (Scooby-Doo Balls Alternative)
So if you read the results from the poll I carried out, you would have seen that the majority of Collie owners voted for Scooby-Doo balls in second place.
The problem is that Scooby-Doo balls are currently only sold in the UK, so I found the best alternative which is the Squeaky Dog Ball by PETIZER.
These balls are made of non-toxic food-grade materials, BPA-free, meat flavored, floatable, waterproof and squeak just like the Scooby balls.
In fact, I preferred this product, as they’re longer lasting and have a 1cm thickness with a 4″ diameter that can be filled and frozen with mashed potato, peanut butter, pumpkin puree, or a filling of choice.
We found them to last for an average of 21 days when using the ball to play 3 times per week for 30 to 60 minutes.
Although, many customers have had mixed results with some reporting them to last just 24 hours, while others have claimed up to 6 weeks.
The spikes on the ball are an additional feature that give it an erratic bounce and provides dental care for your dog without damaging the teeth or gums.
Pick #3: AWOOF Snuffle Mat
The quality of this product far exceeds expectations considering the low cost it comes at.
It has a squeaker in the centre surrounded by crinkly fabric and a variety of four additional games that can be filled with treats for hours of fun.
All material is made from non-toxic Oxford cloth and the toy opens up to a full size of 30″L x 30″W.
The mat is also machine washable and comes with 2 buckled straps that can be used to fix the mat to the ground and prevent it from flipping over.
Once you’re done, you can pack it up and fold it down to just 15″H X 15″L for easier storage.
Pick #4: ChuckIt! Flying Squirrel (Medium)
I have been using the Chuckit flying squirrel for several years now, and it’s still by far my dog’s favorite fetch toy.
And while this design may be simple, the fun it delivers far exceeds simplicity, as the toy floats, flies, and tugs in one.
Available in small, medium, and large which my dogs seemed to prefer.
Other Chuckit products are disc-shaped while this one has the shape of a squirrel that’s airborne, and from side profile is slightly arched, which makes it easier for dogs to catch in the air.
It’s also easy to clean as dirt and debris washes off the waterproof Nylon embroidery with ease, and I’ve found the smaller you go, the easier it is to throw which is especially important if this is your first throwing toy.
This product is low-priced, long-lasting, and encourages fun outdoor activities that will provide both you and your Border Collie with high levels of mental and physical stimulation.
Over time, you may notice the toy start to flatten, which is totally fine as it tends to perform better in the wind when like this. Check out this video review to see how it shapes up (no pun intended).
Pick #5: TRIXIE Interactive Treat Puzzle Game Level 2
TRIXIE is notable for its interactive puzzle games that start with level one and go all the way up to level three.
This is a review of the TRIXIE Interactive Treat Puzzle ‘level two’, as the ‘level one’ puzzle will likely not pose a challenge for Border Collies.
But will a Border Collie get bored from mastering this? Maybe, which is why there’s a level 3.
This game is also perfect for visually impaired dogs and seniors.
Pick #6: ELOPAW Dog Chew Tug-Of-War Toy
This multidimensional toy by ELOPAW is a surefire way to beat canine boredom. It is a ball, a Kong-like chew toy, and a tug-of-war rope rolled into one!
There is a whistle inside the ball that squeaks to keep the dog engaged.
The ELOPAW Dog Chew Tug-Of-War Toy comes equipped with double suction cups that you can attach to any smooth surface. Each suction cup can withstand 200 pounds of pulling force.
You can also fill the textured rubber ball with tasty treats!
Made with food-grade thermoplastic rubber, it is flexible enough for dogs to gnaw, while sturdy enough to not fall apart.
The only improvement I would suggest is to give the rope more length and elasticity so the ball would bounce back, thus creating a more exhaustive and exciting play.
Nevertheless, you can still expect its current design to suck your Collie’s excessive energy, clean their teeth, and tickle their brain.
How Do You Keep A Border Collie Entertained?
There are very few dog breeds that are considered “hard-working” equating to the level of a Border Collie, as these dogs were purposefully bred to be working dogs and herd.
To keep a Collie entertained is simple but not easy. And, when not working this breed requires consistent mental and physical stimulation that can only be achieved through fun games, brain games, and challenging tasks.
A life without constant activity is no life for a Border Collie, as you’ll find they quickly become nervous, frustrated, and troublesome without stimulation.
Now if you do not live on a farm with possibilities of herding, then you can entertain a Collie with canine sports (agility, rally, obedience) or otherwise be prepared to participate in frequent high levels of exercise to compensate for the lack of working responsibilities.
Read Also: >> What are the best dog toys for dogs?
What Should You Avoid When Buying A Toy for Border Collies?
Tennis balls have synthetic fibers that can hold sand and gravel. This surface is like an emery board that files your dog’s teeth. Substitute a tennis ball with Chuckit! Ultra Ball; as it doesn’t have an abrasive surface or hold dirt.
Plastic Chew Toys With Questionable Durability
Low-quality plastic chews are dangerous; they are a cinch for any dog to tear apart. Your pooch might swallow bits of plastic that could lead to digestive upset or worse, intestinal obstruction. Not to mention, the terrible chemical smells.
Ensure you choose brands that have built impressive reputations and amassed positive customer feedback.
Chew Bones That Could Splinter
You’ll also need to be extra cautious with Chew bones.
Aggressive chewers tend to gnaw so hard; they will continue to chew until their gums bleed. To stay on the safe side, you’ll want to stick to bully sticks and other edible chews.
But the unfortunate truth is that the more natural the treat, the higher its price.
Squeaky Stuffed Animals
Dogs love stuffed animals but plush toys with a squeaker are an invitation for canines to play doggie surgeon. This is why I refused to include plush toys on this list as they simply don’t hold up with smart, curious, or tough chewing breeds.
Read Also: >> How much exercise should you give your Border Collie?
Free Household Items You Can Use As A Toy for Border Collies
You might have noticed that our questionnaire to the Collie owners also resulted in free suggestions too.
So, if you find that your Colie keeps tearing up toys and you want to save a pretty penny, then you could make toys from old household items:
- Burst Footballs
- Burst basketballs
- Home-made lick mats
- Homemade snuffle mats
- Old leather shoes
A highly active intelligent working dog like a Border Collie must be consistently challenged on a day-to-day basis. But without working responsibilities, owners are left scratching their heaaboutrom how to possibly keep up with working this breed.
That’s where dog toys come in. Brain stimulation games, puzzle toys, toys that can be filled with treats, fetch toys, and toys for throwing.
We ran polls in several online pet communities to ask Collie owners about their top recommended dog toys. We then tallied the results, tested the products, and compiled a list of the top toys that consistently keep Collies content.