Flock Work

Is your dog ready to work a flock of sheep?

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Thumbnail image for our Flock Work tutorial.

Once your dog can control a small number of sheep reasonably well in the training field, it's natural to start thinking about working a flock of sheep. After all, that's what the dog's for, isn't it!

To us humans, flock work seems like a natural activity for the dog, so we don't see the change from training ground to farm as being a problem, but in reality it can be a huge step for a trainee dog. Almost as big a step as when the dog first went to sheep.

This tutorial will give you a lot of advice on making sure your dog is ready to work a flock of sheep, on ground it's not familiar with.

Getting the sheep into the ring!

How to get sheep into a training ring - if you don't have a trained sheepdog!

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Thumbnail image for our Getting the Sheep Into the Training Ring tutorial.

OK! You've built yourself a training ring - but now you need to get the sheep into it. If you don't have access to a trained sheepdog, that can be a very difficult task - but don't despair!

In this twenty minute tutorial, you'll find out how to get some sheep into the training ring without the use of a trained sheepdog, and you'll learn some other training information you may not have thought about before.

Stopping the Dog (Parts 1-3)

Teach your dog to stop well on command, without damaging its confidence.

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Thumbnail image for our Stopping the Dog tutorials video. The sheep are in the training ring, and Andy is walking towards sheepdog Dulcie.

The three completely revised tutorials delve into the thorny issue of getting your dog to stop, in much more detail than the earlier versions. They explain why your dog doesn't want to stop, and what you can do to make it more likely that the dog will heed your stop command.

Thumbnail image for our Stopping the Dog tutorials video part two.

The videos encourage you to look closely at your relationship with your dog, especially the amount of respect the dog has for you as its leader, and whether your actions might be making the dog more excited.

Thumbnail image for our Stopping the Dog tutorials part three

Part three takes a close look at how you can get a good stop on your dog without damaging its confidence.

The Training Ring (Parts 1 & 2)

A simple training ring of the correct size, will make training your dog a lot easier.

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Thumbnail image for the sheep and cattle dog training tutorial: The Training Ring parts one and two

A two-part tutorial. One of the most useful assets that help us to train a sheepdog is the sheepdog training ring. It's very much more versatile than you might think. A properly constructed training ring will make the early stages of training your dog so much easier.

Trainee sheepdogs tend to chase the sheep, who (very wisely) run away. Both dog and sheep can run much faster than sheepdog trainers, so this means the 'action' is happening too far away for us to keep the situation under control.

Thumbnail image for the sheep and cattle dog training tutorial part two

A correctly sized training ring is simple to make, and will transform the early stages of sheepdog training. It can also be an extremely useful aid when it comes to teaching the dog more difficult tasks later on. In these videos, we find out what the optimum size is for the ring, and how to adapt it for more advanced training.

How Can I Slow The Dog Down?

Things you can do to make your dog calm down and work more steadily.

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Thumbnail image for the sheep and cattle dog training tutorial: How can I slow the dog down

Probably the most common question we get asked about sheepdog training is how to slow the dog down. Of course, there's no "quick fix" for getting a keen dog to work at a steadier pace, but you'll be surprised how many things tend to speed it up!

This video tutorial takes an in-depth look at the reasons why herding dogs often work very fast, and suggests ways to avoid or minimise them. Once you can get your dog to work more steadily, you're well on the way to getting it trained as a useful sheep or cattle dog.

The Sheepdog Handler

Don't just train your dog! Make yourself, a better trainer!

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Picture of a sheepdog handler, with the title of our sheepdog training video The Sheepdog Handler

It's all very well learning about the dog, the sheep, and the training area, but it's just as important to think about some of the qualities required in a sheepdog handler (or trainer) and how to make improvements.

This tutorial is based on chapter five from the 'First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training' DVD set.

Topics covered in this video tutorial include the importance of moving around to encourage the dog to go in the direction you want it to, and a brief look at some of the traditional commands in common use, and a more in-depth look, at some of the tools we can use to make training much easier.

The Training Area

Chapter four from the DVD set 'First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training'.

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Title banner for our Sheepdog Training Tutorial, The Training Area, with trainee sheepdog Kay watching Andy the trainer close a farm gate

The size, shape and nature of the training area can make a massive difference to your training experience. The Training Area tutorial shows you how to get the most out of the field, paddock or yard you train your dog in.

With a few small changes to the original "First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training" DVD footage to make matters even clearer, this tutorial will give you great insight into the type of ground you should train in and some great ideas for improving it quite dramatically.

Sheep – Essential Facts For Trainers

Chapter three from the DVD set 'First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training'.

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Title picture of our sheepdog training tutorial video, Sheep.

People think sheep are stupid, but in some ways they can be very clever, as well as determined. When you start training your first sheepdog, it's easy to overlook the importance of learning about sheep and their behaviour. The more you know about sheep and their funny ways, the easier it will be to train your sheepdog.

In this video tutorial, we look at the way sheep behave - especially when confronted with a dog. We also discuss ways of finding and obtaining sheep, how to find somewhere to keep them, what sort of sheep it's best to use for training sheepdogs, and which types are best avoided when the dog's in the early stages of training.