Use a reward to get training on board

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Working dogs have a huge capacity for learning, but in order to learn things that we want them to do, there must be some reward in it for them.

Fortunately, one of the greatest rewards you can give a sheep or cattle dog is to allow it to work the stock.

This is obviously a great help when we train a dog to work livestock, but in this tutorial Andy uses the reward of working sheep to get Odo, who is terrified of going in a vehicle, to jump in and go for a ride!

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Bronwen and Scylla (Part 5)

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In part five we see how Bronwen and Scylla meet the challenge of new, and "undogged" sheep. Some of the results are predictable, and true to character.

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.

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Eliminate the Toilet Break

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It's important to discourage your dog from taking a toilet break while it's working.

Not only is it not professional, but dog which has stopped to relieve itself can easily lose control of its sheep because it's focused on them. If this happens in a sheepdog trial, you will lose a lot of points.

Learn how easy it is to teach your dog to toilet on command, so that you can make sure it's fully comfortable before it begins work.

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How Often How Long

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One of the questions we are most frequently asked is about the frequency and duration of sheepdog training sessions.

There are no hard and fast rules, but it's important to observe your dog's behaviour and make sure you stop each session before the dog becomes too physically or mentally, tired.

In this tutorial, Andy gives some valuable guidelines to help you recognise when your dog's had enough!.

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Calm but Firm

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A dog which is aggressive with the sheep, but runs away as soon as the trainer attempts to correct it, is among the most difficult dogs to train.

Audrey not only fits this description perfectly, but just for good measure, refuses to go "Away" around the sheep too.

The Calm but Firm tutorial will show you how to cope with these difficult dogs. Featuring footage from actual training sessions.

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Driving (Parts 1 – 3)

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THREE TUTORIALS to help you teach your dog to drive

PART 1.
Some sheepdog trainers dread teaching their dog to drive and it's understandable, because when we ask a dog to take the sheep or cattle away, it's contrary to the dog's instinct. If you understand what's going on though, it becomes much simpler, and more enjoyable for dog and trainer. In this tutorial you'll discover how to ease the dog into driving and reduce the stress involved when we ask the dog to take the stock away.

PART 2.
Following on from the first sheepdog driving tutorial, in this video, you will learn how to use your body position to maintain some control over the dog while it learns to drive. Just as when controlling the direction that the dog flanks around the sheep in the early stages of training, body position and point of balance are also crucial for controlling direction when teaching the drive. In this tutorial, Andy shows that putting himself in the right place at the right time, can make a huge difference to the behaviour of the dog.

PART 3.
Unashamed deception! Calling the dog back onto line when it's determined to hook the sheep back to you can be difficult and frustrating. As it drives the sheep away from the handler, the trainee dog is often so keen to get ahead of them and bring them back that it will ignore conventional flanking commands. In this tutorial, Andy uses what might be deemed an inappropriate command to call the dog back onto line and keep the sheep moving in the right direction.