Eight tutorial videos comparing the training of two very different sisters.
Watch the Bronwen and Scylla tutorials with ENGLISH SUBTITLES.
Select chapters from thumbnails below.
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Part 1: Comparing the training of very different sisters
We're going to follow the progress of two litter sisters - Bronwen and Scylla - as they learn to become sheepdogs. They might have the same parents, but their temperaments are very different and the same goes for their attitude to working sheep.
In this first part we learn about the two young dogs. We see one of them working nicely in the field, while the other's approach seems to be "the best form of defence is attack"!
Part 2: Scylla's turn now - she's not so nice!
In part one we saw how good Bronwen's sheep control can be, and we caught a glimpse of Scylla's antics too. In this tutorial, we find out just how difficult Scylla can be when she encounters sheep. When Scylla gets into the training ring she's very trying at first, but soon, with a little help from Kay, the youngster begins to show her natural talent. There's still a long way to go, but Scylla's definitely got what it takes!
Part 3: Bronwen gets the sheep in, but Scylla's still horrible
The third tutorial in our Bronwen and Scylla series sees Bronwen struggle to get the sheep into the ring. Once the sheep are in, we watch both Bronwen and Scylla's individual training sessions in the ring on the same day. Bronwen is keen and confident, but she's often over-keen and misguided, while Scylla's tail (and her attitude to the sheep) demonstrate just how nervous she really is.
Part 4: Bronwen's no angel, but Scylla's improving slowly
In tutorial number four, Bronwen proves she's by no means perfect, but she continues to be a long way ahead of Scylla in terms of her reliability and sheep control. Scylla's working much too close to the sheep. Her tail is still flying like a flag and she's far too aggressive with them. Tiresome though she can be at times, there are signs of improvement, and even one brief moment that shows great promise!
Part 5: Scylla's still pretty awful - Bronwen's erratic
Scylla takes an almighty charge, and scatters the sheep in all directions. Four of the sheep leave the ring but, once under control, Scylla was impressive at times - particularly at keeping the sheep off the hurdles. Unfortunately Scylla's lesson was brought to an early end when a sheep collapsed with stress exhaustion. Once left in peace, the sheep was soon up and about again.
Bronwen's performance was erratic - largely because she was distracted by the close proximity of some inquisitive cattle.
Part 6: Is Scylla ready to work outside the ring?
Part six of our series comparing the training of litter sisters, Bronwen and Scylla, sees Scylla continuing to make slow progress in the ring. Andy's hoping to get her out into the field, but she's not ready so he concentrates on getting her to flank smoothly and keep back off the sheep.
Bronwen begins by diving into the sheep and gripping, but she quickly settles down so Andy works on her flank commands. They take the sheep out of the ring, but the dog rushes at the sheep and they run away.
Bronwen isn't flanking properly; she's just chasing the sheep. The sheep have run far across the field before Andy can get close enough to the action to get Bronwen under control again.
Part 7: Bronwen's flanking far too wide
In part seven, of our Bronwen and Scylla comparison, we focus entirely on Bronwen. Although she's far more advanced and reliable than her sister, Scylla, she's developed the all-too common problem of running much too wide when she goes round the stock.
When a dog works too far back from sheep or cattle the stock quickly learn that the dog's not in a position to control them, and they're likely to run away.
The video shows that being firm, but patient, with the errant dog, and using practical work to show the dog that it needs to be in control, will help to stop the dog casting out too wide.
Part 8: Scylla makes good progress!
When a dog's proving slow to train, it's particularly important to be able to recognise the areas where progress is being made, and to communicate approval and encouragement to the dog when it's work is improved, even if it's not fully up to the standard you aspire to.
It's through such guidance that the dog learns more quickly what pleases the handler and what doesn't.
Part eight of the Bronwen and Scylla training comparison focuses on Scylla and points out the areas of her work which deserve praise and encouragement, as well as those which are still a long way below par.