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FULL LIST OF OUR SHEEPDOG TRAINING TUTORIALS

For a better understanding of sheepdogs and their training, watch the videos in the order they appear on this page.
English subtitles are available on all our tutorial videos.

Top tips for easier training

Top tips for easier training
Valuable advice for sheep and cattle dog trainers For English Subtitles click CC on player. Nobody would claim that training a dog to work sheep or ... Watch now

The Golden Rule of Sheepdog Training

The Golden Rule of Sheepdog Training
For English Subtitles click CC on player. The most important rule when you train a dog on sheep or cattle There are a number important rules ... Watch now

Sheepdog Selection and Preparation

Sheepdog Selection and Preparation
For English Subtitles click CC on player. Chapters 1 & 2 from the DVD set First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training A tutorial packed with ... Watch now

Sheep – Essential Facts For Trainers

Sheep - Essential Facts For Trainers
For English Subtitles click CC on player. Chapter three from the DVD set First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training: "Sheep". People think sheep are stupid, ... Watch now

The Training Area

The Training Area
For English Subtitles click CC on player. Chapter four from the DVD set First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training The Training Area tutorial shows you ... Watch now

What Shall I Do Next?

What Shall I Do Next?
For English Subtitles click CC on player. Our suggested order for training your sheepdog When you start to train a sheepdog there are so many issues ... Watch now

Puppy Training Essentials

Puppy Training Essentials
For English Subtitles click CC on player. Important points to remember when bringing up a puppy Tempting though it may be to try your puppy with ... Watch now

The Training Stick

The Training Stick
For English Subtitles click CC on player. A training stick can drastically reduce the time it takes to train your dog By far the most important ... Watch now

The Dog’s Confidence

The Dog's Confidence
For English Subtitles click CC on player. The dog's confidence is vitally important Understanding the factors which affect the dog's work is extremely important for a ... Watch now

Learn Your Commands

Learn Your Commands
For English Subtitles click CC on player. Confusing your commands is very bad practice Attempting to train a sheep or cattle dog when you're not fully ... Watch now

The Sheepdog Handler

The Sheepdog Handler
For English Subtitles click CC on player. Chapter five from the First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training DVD set It's all very well learning about ... Watch now

Stopping the Dog (Parts 1-3)

Stopping the Dog (Parts 1-3)
For English Subtitles click CC on player. Teach your dog to stop well on command (three part tutorial). The three completely revised tutorials delve into the ... Watch now

Starting a Young Puppy (Parts 1 & 2)

Starting a Young Puppy (Parts 1 & 2)
For English Subtitles click CC on player. We take two eleven week old puppies to sheep Part 1. The usual age for starting a pup on ... Watch now

Starting a Strong Dog

Starting a Strong Dog
For English Subtitles click CC on player. Is your dog hard to control around sheep? In part one of the 'Starting a Young Puppy' tutorials, we ... Watch now

How Can I Slow The Dog Down?

How Can I Slow The Dog Down?
For English Subtitles click CC on player. Things you can do to make your dog work more steadily Probably the most common question we get asked ... Watch now

How Often (to Train) and How Long For?

How Often (to Train) and How Long For?
For English Subtitles click CC on player. Regular training is excellent, but don't overdo it One of the questions we are most frequently asked is about ... Watch now

Bronwen and Scylla (Parts 1-8)

Bronwen and Scylla (Parts 1-8)
Follow the progress of two litter sisters - Bronwen and Scylla - as they learn to become sheepdogs. They might have the same parents, but their ... Watch now

Balance – What’s the Point?

Balance - What's the Point?
Sheepdog trainers often refer to The Point of Balance but what exactly is it, and where can we find one? In this short tutorial, we discover ... Watch now

The Training Ring (Parts 1 & 2)

The Training Ring (Parts 1 & 2)
For English Subtitles click CC on player. A training ring makes training your dog a lot easier A two-part tutorial. One of the most useful assets ... Watch now

Get (the sheep) off the fence!

Get (the sheep) off the fence!
For English Subtitles click CC on player. How to get sheep or cattle away from a fence or hedge. Getting stubborn sheep away from a fence ... Watch now

Moving Out – Into the Open Field

Moving Out - Into the Open Field
For English Subtitles click CC on player. Bring sheep out of a pen without drama! Getting your trainee sheepdog to bring the sheep out of the ... Watch now

The Outrun (Parts 1-3)

The Outrun (Parts 1-3)
For English Subtitles click CC on player. A good outrun is essential if a sheepdog is to work efficiently. Fortunately, it's not difficult to train a ... Watch now

An Insight into Pack Behaviour

An Insight into Pack Behaviour
For English Subtitles click CC on player. A tutorial to help you get a better understand your dog This tutorial's a little different from usual as ... Watch now

Give the Sheep Some Space

Give the Sheep Some Space
For English Subtitles click CC on player. Teach your dog to keep well away from the sheep when flanking If your dog's going to work sheep ... Watch now

Starting a non starter (Parts 1 & 2)

Starting a non starter (Parts 1 & 2)
For English Subtitles click CC on player. If your dog doesn't want to work, we can help you to change its mind! It's very disappointing to ... Watch now

Calm but Firm

Calm but Firm
For English Subtitles click CC on player. It's so important to appear calm, even when you're not A dog which is aggressive with the sheep, but ... Watch now

Backwards is the way forward

Backwards is the way forward
For English Subtitles click CC on player. Our most useful exercise once you have control of the dog It's boring - and it might appear pointless ... Watch now

Back to Forwards

Back to Forwards
For English Subtitles click CC on player. The natural progression from "" Walking backwards with the dog steadily bringing the sheep up to you at the ... Watch now

Sticky Dogs (too much eye)

Sticky Dogs (too much eye)
For English Subtitles click CC on player. "Too much eye" is nothing more than a confidence problem "That dog's got too much eye!" You'll sometimes hear ... Watch now

Training Max – the Gripper (Parts 1-3)

Training Max - the Gripper (Parts 1-3)
For English Subtitles click CC on player. Part 1 - A compulsive gripper can be a big problem to train Not for the faint-hearted, this tutorial ... Watch now

Starting a reluctant dog

Starting a reluctant dog
For English Subtitles click CC on player. Help boost your dog's confidence to start working sheep Most dogs are over-excited when they first encounter sheep and ... Watch now

Close work (Parts 1 & 2)

Close work (Parts 1 & 2)
For English Subtitles click CC on player. Moving sheep in and out of yards and fields can be tricky Teaching a dog to bring the sheep ... Watch now

Sending the Dog the Wrong Way!

Sending the Dog the Wrong Way!
For English Subtitles click CC on player. A very useful technique to widen your dog's flanks One of the best ways to get a dog to ... Watch now

Whistle (Parts 1 & 2)

Whistle (Parts 1 & 2)
For English Subtitles click CC on player. Part 1 - Are you finding your whistle difficult to blow?If you work sheep at a distance, in bad ... Watch now

Sometimes Nice is Not Enough

Sometimes Nice is Not Enough
For English Subtitles click CC on player. Does your dog have difficulty moving stubborn sheep or other livestock? It's all very well training your dog to ... Watch now

Tess in the Open Field

Tess in the Open Field
For English Subtitles click CC on player. A complete training session, packed with lessons As well as learning specific sheepdog training topics, we like to show ... Watch now

Why Your Dog Should Flank Both Ways

Why Your Dog Should Flank Both Ways
For English Subtitles click CC on player. The importance of teaching your dog to go both ways round the stock Just as most humans are left ... Watch now

My Dog’s No Good

My Dog's No Good
For English Subtitles click CC on player. The dog's not 'no good', it just needs training If someone tells you your dog's no good, don't believe ... Watch now

Driving (Parts 1-3)

Driving (Parts 1-3)
For English Subtitles click CC on player. THREE TUTORIALS to help you teach your dog to drive PART 1. Some sheepdog trainers dread teaching their dog ... Watch now

Inside Flanks (Circle on Command 1 & 2)

Inside Flanks (Circle on Command 1 & 2)
For English Subtitles click CC on player. A valuable exercise for increasing control of your dog Dramatically improve your sheepdog or cattle dog's work with this ... Watch now

Woolly Jumpers

Woolly Jumpers
For English Subtitles click CC on player. Once sheep learn to jump out, they can be a problem Sheep which jump out don't just disrupt the ... Watch now

Use a reward to get training on board

Use a reward to get training on board
For English Subtitles click CC on player. Odo was returned to us because he wouldn't get in the car! Poor Odo went to a sheep farm, ... Watch now

Eliminate the Toilet Break

Eliminate the Toilet Break
For English Subtitles click CC on player. Discourage your dog from taking a toilet break while it's working. Not only is it not professional, but dog ... Watch now

No Excuses Please!

No Excuses Please!
For English Subtitles click CC on player. Take a realistic look at your dog's performance It's very easy to fall into the trap of thinking your ... Watch now

Eve at the Pen

Eve at the Pen
For English Subtitles click CC on player. A complete training session, teaching the dog good pen manners. Getting sheep into a tight spot, and then getting ... Watch now

Shedding (or Separating) The Sheep

Shedding (or Separating) The Sheep
For English Subtitles click CC on player. Extremely useful on the farm, and essential for sheepdog trials. You'll need to 'shed' the sheep! Shedding is one ... Watch now

Educating Gloria!

Educating Gloria!
For English Subtitles click CC on player. Watch a complete training session, full of valuable lessons! This tutorial shows nine-month old Gloria, a bright, enthusiastic young ... Watch now

Sheepdog Trials – Getting Started (Parts 1 & 2)

Sheepdog Trials - Getting Started (Parts 1 & 2)
For English Subtitles click CC on player. Information for would-be sheepdog trials competitors Two-part tutorial for those people who hope to take part in sheepdog trials.Preparing ... Watch now

Sheepdogs Time Out!

Sheepdogs Time Out!
For English Subtitles click CC on player. Get to know our sheepdogs Following on from the very popular video - and while we put the finishing ... Watch now

English subtitles are available on all our tutorial videos.

183 comments

  1. Hi, I have a 13month old female showing a lot of natural potential. So far, she been a fast learner at everything I’ve asked her to do. The one place where I’m having trouble, and it’s holding up advancing to other things, is that I can’t get her to lie down away from me. No matter where she is on the field when I tell her to lie down she runs back and lies at my feet. I’ve tried taking her out with the adult dogs so she can see how it should be done and I’ve tried tying her up and tell her to lie down as I move away (which works until I untie her) and I’ve had someone else hold her, but I can’t seem to break her of this habit. Only once has she done it and it was because she was torn between leaving the sheep and coming back to me.
    I have your DVDs but I haven’t made it through them all. Is there one you would recommend to help me with this? Any tips?

    1. I think you’re trying to progress too quickly, Lynette. It sounds as though the dog has a good bond with you, so you shouldn’t have much of a problem training her on sheep.
      As with all dog training, you need to make it very simple for the dog to understand what you want, and only gradually make things more difficult, until you eventually get the result you want.
      Get the dog to lie down just in front of you, and try to make her stay in place while you move back – say a metre (3ft). Once she’s got the idea, you can increase the distance SLOWLY. At some point, she’s bound to stand up and come towards you, so you rush towards her (in a slightly threatening manner) – send her back, and tell her to lie down.
      If you work this correctly, you’ll soon be able to get her to lie down anywhere – at almost any distance.

      Now, I want to know why you feel the need to do this? If you want to learn how to train a dog to work sheep, why not watch the DVDs FIRST? Then you’ll know that what you’re trying to achieve isn’t necessary. We used to have thirty dogs years ago – and we trained a great many more, but when they were not working, only the odd one or two would lie down on command or sit! The ones that would, were dogs that had been pets before we “re-homed” them and trained them to work sheep.
      Having said that, I’ve learned over the years that if the dog knows what the command “lie down” means, it can make it easier to train the dog on livestock, so although you’ll see videos where I tell the dogs to lie down, I don’t expect them to lie on the floor. I just want them to stay where they are (but my command for this happens to be “Lie down”.
      Watch those DVDs, and then train your dog on sheep!

      1. Hi Andy, I hear you about watching the videos first, but since I started training dogs about 10 years ago and didn’t have the DVDs at that time I sort of missed the boat on that one! I am currently working with 9 dogs ages 8 months to 10 years old and I have a full time job so I admit, I’ve been going at the DVDs by topic/need rather than sitting down to watch them all at once.
        I start lie down training when they’re about 8 months and I tried rushing at her in the early days but she sees it as playing so I stopped. Mentally she’s definitely ready to be on sheep but I need to get the lie down sorted out so I have control. Any other suggestions?

        1. Sorry Lynette, my advice remains the same. Take a little time to watch the DVDs (over a few evenings) and you’ll have a much better understanding of what’s likely to happen – and how to cope with it. That’s what they’re for.
          I see you have “First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training“. Watch that one first – it’ll help you a lot.
          It would be far better if you subscribed to the Online Tutorials – then you’d be able to select the basic ones first in the “Where to Start” category.

    2. In one of the videos a dog wouldn’t do the “lie down” command correctly, but it could do “sit”. Maybe that could help you

  2. Andy, do you do something special with your puppies to avoid the bad habit of herding (chasing and heading) other dogs? We seem to have bought a few pups with this trait and i think it’s going to affect their ability to turn onto sheep. I’ve seen an older dog that does it and she has no interest in sheep whatever but only wants to herd other dogs so we’d like to avoid this if possible. Thank you for your time!

    1. We’ve had thirty or more dogs at any one time over the years, Brianna and although there’s plenty of herding and general “rough and tumble” it’s never put any of our dogs off working. On the contrary, it seems to improve the chances of them working.
      I suspect the dog you’ve seen had no interest in sheep anyway, but happens to play with other dogs. We’ve seen that.

  3. Andy, do some dogs just have better presence with sheep? My dog works very close to sheep without upsetting them, but others I’ve seen have to work much farther away. What is the difference? Do other dogs just have more power than mine?

    1. A very interesting question, Brianna! The basic answer is yes, some dogs definitely have a stronger “presence” than others, but so much also depends on the sheep. How calm or flighty they are, how stubborn or aggressive they are, and how familiar they are with the dog, all these factors make a huge difference.

      Sheep can “read” a dog instantly and if the dog has a strong presence the sheep will immediately show it great respect, whereas a dog which doesn’t have such a strong presence might have to work harder. You don’t actually say how successful your dog is with stubborn sheep but I suspect it may fall into the latter category.

      Surprisingly, a dog which is madly running around the sheep, barking and even gripping them doesn’t necessarily earn the respect of the sheep whereas (for instance) our old Mel could walk very calmly up towards any sheep and they would move while she was still at a respectable distance from them. She never failed.

      If you train the same dog on the same sheep over a long period, the sheep can also build up a resistance to that dog because they learn to exploit any weaknesses there may be in the dog’s work pattern.

      Many people think sheep are completely stupid but in some ways, they can be very clever indeed.

      1. Thank you for your quick and helpful reply Andy! Yes my dog has to work harder on stubborn sheep, but it’s only because he absolutely refuses to bite. He will walk up on a ewe with lambs and keep walking into her even if she goes after him, so I don’t think it’s a lack of courage, and I’ve tried your tips in the tutorial “sometimes nice is not enough”. It takes me a long time to convince him to bite, even when I’m standing very close to him. He just doesn’t seem to want to, but he loves to walk up onto them. As you might guess, getting him to take a bite command at any distance away (since he doesn’t want to do it up close) is out of the question.

        I have one other dog I’m training for someone else who is out of cattle lines and all he has to do is make a face at the sheep from 20 feet away and they’re convinced. The same dog has no problem taking a bite is needed so here is the question that has been rattling around in my head:

        Is presence or power directly related to the sheep’s perception of whether the dog is WILLING to use it’s teeth? I don’t mean dogs that actually do bite, I just mean the ones that the sheep think WILL use their teeth if necessary vs those that they perceive will not.

        Thank you again.

      2. Hi Andy, thanks for the reply! Is there power of a dog directly correlated to whether the sheep perceive the dog will use it’s teeth or not?

        1. No, not necessarily. Sheep are very good at assessing a dog’s confidence. If the dog is brimming with confidence, the sheep will recognise that immediately, and they’ll respect the dog whether it’s a dog which is likely to use its teeth or not.

          I mentioned Mel in my previous reply. She very rarely used her teeth – in fact, I can’t remember her doing it, but she would just keep coming at the sheep. She didn’t do many sheepdog trials because she had a very serious leg injury, but before that happened we were at a sheepdog trial where the sheep turned at the mouth of the pen, and faced her. Mel just carried on walking towards them as though nothing had happened. Closer and closer she went, until her nose touched the lead sheep’s nose! Still she kept going and to everyone’s astonishment, the five sheep all reversed into the pen! The crowd applauded!

          I’ve never known another dog with as much confidence as Mel. Her daughter Carew features heavily in many of our tutorials, including Sometimes nice is not enough. Mel had natural confidence, Carew needed help to build hers, but once she had it, when she was close, she’d move anything.

          I would say that knowing it can use its teeth if it really needs to can be a huge boost to the dog’s confidence.
          If your dog doesn’t want to bite, and the sheep are stubborn or aggressive, try to get the dog to at least, lunge at the sheep or flank suddenly. That will usually move them.

          Whether a dog’s from cattle lines or sheep lines doesn’t seem to make much difference – it’s the dog’s perception of what is, and what’s not acceptable, in terms of gripping, that seems to be the key.

  4. Hello my name is Oli. I have a very strong fully trained sheepdog. He just turned 3 in January. He is a very quick dog and a good listener, my only problem with him is his flanking. Specially when he is far away i have a problem to get him out, he always takes the shortest route (cutting the edges)
    Wath is you’re advise fore me,? how and wath is the best way get him too flank better ??

    best regards

    Óli

    1. Óli, there is no such thing as a fully trained sheepdog. A dog which is perfect for one person, is only partly trained for another. For example, many farmers would describe a dog as “fully trained” if it will simply go out into the field and bring the sheep to a yard. Others want the dog to do so much more: shedding, penning, driving, help with lambing and so on.

      I’m sure your dog is very useful for you, but from your description, he cannot be “fully trained” because he’s not doing all the things you need him to do – but he should be doing those things. You say he’s very quick. Do you want him to be very quick? The sheep certainly don’t like a very quick dog – it unsettles them. If the dog’s working very fast, it’s lacking confidence, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a good dog.

      If the dog is flanking very close to the sheep when he’s at a distance, it’s because he’s afraid he’s going to lose them (confidence again). Remember, he’s a pack animal and his instinct tells him he should hold the sheep to the rest of the pack (which is you). The further away from you they get, the more worried the dog gets, so you need to prove to him that there’s nothing to worry about. Do this by very gradually increasing the distance he works from you.

      First though, you need to go back to basics with your dog. Get him to flank at the correct distance from the sheep and at a steady pace when he’s close to you, and while you teach him this, give him a command such as “Get out” as you whoosh the stick or move towards him to send him out wider. Soon he will learn to go out wider on command – and this will help when he’s farther from you. Watch Give the sheep some space for help with widening the dog’s flanks.

      If he’s too tight on his outrun, there are several things you can do to put this right. You’ll find them in the Outrun tutorials.

      Get him going steadily around the sheep. one of the best ways to do this is walking backwards with the dog bringing the sheep up to you. Watch Backwards is the way forward to learn how to do this properly. It may seem boring to you, but it teaches the dog a great deal: self control, steady pace. The dog must learn to bring the sheep at the pace that you walk backwards – not darting forwards and then stopping. It must also learn to keep back. This will teach the dog the distance you want it to work from the sheep. The better the dog learns this when it works close to you, the more chance of it going wider when it’s further away.

      Another very useful exercise is to teach the dog to circle the sheep in front of you. It may not sound like a useful thing to teach the dog, but it is. The dog will naturally widen out if you can get it to circle the sheep on command (both ways). It’s unnatural for the dog to leave the point of balance and come towards the handler but once you can teach the dog to do it, you’ll have a different dog! Watch Circle on command.

      I hope you find this useful – please let me know how you get on with training your dog.

      1. Haha yeah you are right about that. Let´s put it this way, he is a very good listner he has a good outrun and good distance, he also has a very good stop, and we have good connection (work well together) i guess the biggest problem is my lack of education. I will take a look at the videos you have recommended, and start the training..

        oli

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