How Can I Slow The Dog Down?

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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 this tutorial takes an in-depth look at the reasons why dogs 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

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Backwards is the Way Forward Top Tips for Easier Training Calm but Firm

Back to Forwards

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Back to Forwards - online sheepdog training video

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 you can practice with a trainee dog.

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 and turn our back on the dog.

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.

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Why Your Dog Should Flank Both Ways Sending the Dog the Wrong Way! Stopping the Dog

Starting a reluctant dog

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Close up photo of Maisie, the dog used in this herding sheepdog training tutorial

Most dogs are over-excited when they first encounter sheep and it's up to the trainer to do their best to protect the stock. Occasionally though the dog takes no interest in the stock at all.

In this tutorial, Maisie shows no interest in sheep at first, but once the hunting instinct kicks-in, despite being a sensitive dog, she's aggressive with them.

Our video demonstrates how to limit the pressure applied by your control measures, while at the same time encouraging the dog to work.

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Starting a Strong Dog Balance - Whats the Point? Get off the Fence!

Why Your Dog Should Flank Both Ways

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Just as most humans are left or right-handed, the majority of herding dogs favour working in one direction over another.

Often, sheep and cattle dog handlers are not bothered if their dog will only go in one direction to gather the stock, as long as it brings them successfully.

This video demonstrates the importance of training your dog to work fluently whichever way the handler sends it.

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Sending the Dog the Wrong Way! Stopping the Dog The Perfect Stop

Bronwen and Scylla (Part 7) – Going too Wide

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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.

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Bronwen & Scylla 8 Sometimes Nice is Not Enough Training Max - the GRIPPER 1

Balance – What’s the Point?

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Sheep and cattle dog trainers often refer to the importance of "the point of balance" but what exactly is it, and where can we find one?

In this short tutorial, we discover what exactly the "point of balance" means to the working sheep or cattle dog handler, and just how much it affects the sheepdog's work.

We also learn why the point of balance is not always to be found quite where we might expect it to be!

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Get off the Fence! Give the Sheep Space! Calm But Firm

Outrun (Part 3) Slingshot

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Part three in our series of Outrun tutorials demonstrates how we use a simple technique we call "The Slingshot", to make the dog go out much wider on its outrun or when flanking the sheep.

"The Slingshot" is one of the most important and highly effective techniques we know of for quickly improving the dog's outrun.

If you're can get your dog's cooperation, it will absolutely love doing "Slingshot" outruns, and go out much wider.

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Driving (Parts 1 - 2 - 3)

Sending the Dog the Wrong Way!

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One of the best ways to get a dog to give the sheep space when it's flanking is to use a technique we call "sending the dog the wrong way".

Once you can achieve this, you and your dog are well on the way to producing quality work - but it's not easy.

As with so many other aspects of sheepdog training, once you understand why the dog is reluctant to go "the wrong way" it becomes much easier to train it to do just that, and the dog's flanks will widen out.

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Stopping the Dog The Perfect Stop Coming Out (with a little dignity intact)