Inside Flanks (Circle on Command) (Parts 1 & 2)

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Dramatically improve your sheepdog or cattle dog's work with this important two-part tutorial.

Even if the dog's already competent at driving, teaching inside flanks or circling on command will not necessarily be easy.

Once the dog can do it, the dog's confidence and control over the stock will grow considerably.

In part one of this tutorial, Andy demonstrates how he uses tricks, commands, encouragement and lots of excitement, to teach the dog its inside flanks and to circle the sheep in front of him in the open field, and in part two, he shows how the training ring can make training inside flanks far easier.

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The Training Ring (Parts 1 & 2) Woolly Jumpers Bronwen & Scylla 1

Learn Your Commands

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Attempting to train a sheep or cattle dog when you're not fully conversant with the commands can cause serious problems.

It's completely unfair on the dog because you'll be blaming it for going the wrong way when in fact it was doing exactly what you asked.

Training a dog to work stock can be confusing enough, without you adding to the chaos by talking rubbish. This tutorial will give you some tips to make learning your commands easier.

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Starting a Young Puppy Starting a Young Puppy 2 Starting a Non-Starter

The Dog’s Confidence (Part 1)

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Understanding the factors which affect the dog's work is extremely important for a successful sheep or cattle dog trainer.

Of those factors, the dog's confidence is probably the most underestimated.

Confidence is of vital importance if a sheepdog is to work efficiently, especially at long distances from the handler, between the stock and a fence, or when faced by stubborn animals.

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My Dog’s No Good

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If someone tells you your dog's no good, don't believe them.

As long as your dog has the herding instinct, the will to work for its handler, and is physically fit, it's capable of learning how to work stock.

All too often, farmers, shepherds and handlers assume that a dog's useless because it happens to be working badly, when in fact it's their fault for not showing the dog how they want it to work.

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Starting a Young Puppy (Part 2)

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In part one of Starting a Young Puppy, we saw that with care, it's possible to begin a puppy's training at a very early age.

In part two, we take young Ezra to the sheep again, but this time, give him a little more guidance and lots of encouragement.

We also see signs of Ezra's confidence growing and learn that nine sheep is too many for this early stage of a dog's training.

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Starting a Young Puppy (Part 1)

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The usual age for starting a pup on sheep is between six and twelve months, but if you have the right sort of sheep and know what you're doing, you can start a pup at a much younger age. Starting a dog early makes it much easier to get the youngster under control in the presence of sheep.

In "Starting a Young Puppy" Andy shows what to do and what to avoid when he takes litter-mates Ezra and Carew to the sheep at just eleven week old.

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Starting a Young Puppy 2 Starting a Non-Starter Starting a Reluctant Dog

Sticky Dogs

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"That dog's got too much eye!"  You'll sometimes hear this when a sheepdog, invariably a Border collie, appears mesmerised by the sheep, and reluctant to move. But is 'eye' something you're stuck with?

The "Sticky Dogs!" tutorial demonstrates that you don't have to live with this start-stop style.

In this tutorial Andy works with Mab in an assertive, but kind, and encouraging way, with the emphasis always on keeping the dog moving as much as possible.

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Close work (Parts 1 and 2)

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Teaching a dog to bring the sheep to you in the open field is all very well, but your dog's capable of doing very much more to help you.

Efficiently moving sheep around at close quarters, as well as putting them into and bringing them out of yards, pens and races and taking them to fresh pasture are all essential tasks for the farm dog.

In this two-part tutorial, watch Carew and Tess try their paws at some realistic farm work before Kay shows us how it should be done!

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