Improve control of your working sheepdog once you and the dog have mastered “Backwards is the Way Forward“.
Subtitles: French*, Spanish* or English, click CC on viewer (*translation errors).
Improve control of your working sheepdog
The natural next step in sheepdog training once it perfects ‘Walking Backwards‘.
‘Walking Backwards’ teaches self-discipline, flanking, working distance, sheep control, pace and more.
When your dog can bring the sheep steadily, turn around and go ‘back to forwards’!
An example of a trainee herding dog working too close and erratically.
The dog lunges at the sheep when your back is turned.
Two days later the dog’s flanks are noticeably wider.
Testing the dog’s trustworthiness when you turn your back on it.
Dogs love silly voices because they reassure the dog that all is well.
Allowing the dog to work on trust, will often be respected by the dog.
Controlling sheep without a dog
Moving placid sheep without a dog.
Watch a trainee dog bringing the same bunch of sheep up the field.
ANIMATION: Showing why the sheepdog being too close, causes the sheep to separate.
Make it ‘uncomfortable’ for the dog to come in close when it’s flanking sheep.
Keep your eyes fixed on the dog as it flanks round sheep, to avoid going ‘dizzy‘.
Keep the dog moving to reduce its ‘stickyness‘, and keep ‘pushing’ it out wider.
Over-aggressive use of the training stick upsets the sensitive dog.
An ideal opportunity to start ‘walking backwards‘.
Testing whether the trainee dog’s ready for walking forwards.
Keeping the dog in place while you take the sheep away for an outrun.
Walking towards the dog will usually make it stay in place.
Setting-up the outrun.
‘Back to forwards’ again!
Raising both arms to make the dog stay in place.
Setting-up another outrun.
Trainee sheepdog Kay demonstrates a good outrun.
Kay demonstrates a great example of the ‘walking forwards’ exercise.
An excellent example of a short ‘look back‘!
Walking backwards, then forwards like this, creates a solid foundation for farm work.
A matter of trust
Walking backwards, with the dog steadily bringing the sheep up to you at the pace you choose to move back at, is one of the best exercises we know. It’s a particularly useful lesson for trainee dogs. That’s because it will improve the dog’s stop, its control of sheep, its working pace and the distance that the dog works from the sheep. In this tutorial, we go a stage further by turning our back on the dog and walking forwards.
Once you can trust the dog to bring the sheep steadily up behind you as you walk forwards, your training will have moved onto a new level. Watch ‘Backwards is the way forward‘ it’s such a good training session, it’s worth watching several times.