Many Border Collies in these days now compete in agility trials. Agility can be for any dog breed, mix breed or not. Even disabled dogs can do agility. There are different types of agility courses. In the sport, it includes jumps, tunnels, a chute, a seesaw, a tire jump, weave poles, an A-frame, and a bridge. In some courses, there is a part when a dog sits or stands on a small table, and stays still for a certain amount of time. The owner guides the dog through the course, while the dogs does the jumping a running. On the jumps, the dog jumps it. If it is a different smaller or larger breed, they set the poles on certain heights depending on the dog. In the tire, the dog jumps through the tire. In the tunnel, the dogs run through it. On the bridge, the dog must run on it. On the seesaw, the dog must go on and tilt it with the dog’s weight and jump of at the right time, or they could be disqualified. In the chute, the dog goes inside, and must run through it. On the weave poles, the dog has to zigzag through the poles. Many times a dog doesn’t want to do the poles, and just goes around it and gets disqualified. The owner must train the dog to do each of these obstacles. The owner guides the dog to the obstacles, and they have to go in a certain order. Later at the end, the dogs get rated and then there is a winner. Border Collies are very good at this sport, so Border Collies can only compete against Border Collies. Many people do agility to entertain their dog.
Fly ball is another big sport for any breed dog. There are groups of 4 dogs that go against other teams. There are hurdles that dogs must jump over. The hurdles are in a straight line that leads to a box with tennis balls. The dog steps on a pad, a tennis ball fly’s out, and the dog gets the ball, races back, and gives the ball to the owner, then another dog goes. In some versions, the hurdles are placed ten feet from each other. At the beginning line, the first hurdle is six feet away. The last hurdle is fifteen feet away from the box. There are four hurdles in all, which makes 51 feet in all. The hurdle height is based by the shoulder height of the smallest dog in the team. People also do this sport to entertain their dogs.
Dock diving is also for any breed dog. There are two different types or doing it. There is one way, when the people hang a dog toy on a pole, and the dog jumps up to get it. The dock is two feet above the water, and the toy is eight feet above the dock. The dogs are scored by their ability to jump higher. Another one is when a person throws a floatable dog toy into the water, and the dog is scored by how fast they can retrieve the toy. Owners cannot nudge, push, or make their dogs jump. The dogs have to jump by themselves, with no one telling them to jump. People compete against each other to win.
Herding is a very big sport. In herding, the owner has the dog round up sheep, cattle, ducks, whatever animal it is. The person uses different kind of whistles to direct the dog. The dog moves around the sheep to where the owner wants them to go. The dog is supposed to keep the sheep together as moving them. The Border collie uses a very special method called the ‘eye’ to control the sheep. Only the Border collie breed has it. The Border collie gets into a low position kind of like a crouch. Then they give a stare that is the eye. When the dog stares at the sheep, or whatever it is herding, the stare frightens the sheep, and then the dog can control the sheep without making mush noise, and without biting. On farms, Border Collies herd sheep, cattle, ducks, goats, and pigs. But sometimes, trained or not trained, Border Collies would try to herd other things. Like vacuum cleaners, people, lawn mowers, cars, bikes, and other animals like cats or other dogs. Herding was the first sport for Border Collies.
The sport got its start in the early 1970s. In the toss and fetch version, contestants have 60 seconds to make as many throws as possible. In the free style version, a routine might be from 30 seconds to 3 minutes. In this version, it includes lots of really cool flips.