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

Stopping the Dog (2) The Perfect Stop

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Every handler wants a dog that stops on command, on the spot; and a dog that will stay there is a real bonus. But be careful what you wish for!

In our anxiety to achieve a good stop there's a danger we'll overlook what else we're telling the dog. Is it possible to achieve that elusive "good stop" without undermining the dog's confidence?

Our latest tutorial revisits the Stop (or Stand, or Lie Down). What do we want the dog to do, and when? How can we make it happen? And why doesn't it happen more often?

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Coming Out (with a little dignity intact) Tess in the Open Field Educating Gloria

Training Max – the Gripper (Part 3)

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Training a dog which is aggressive with sheep

The third and final part of our "Training Max the Gripper" tutorials sees Max working well in the training ring but then Andy decides to move the action out into the open field.

Find out how Max copes with taking the sheep out of the training ring, and whether or not he manages to get them back into it before the session ends.

Max had no training of any kind at any time in between the lessons shown in these tutorials.

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Training Max – The Gripper (Part 2)

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After a quick recap of Max's colourful start to his training, this tutorial shows him making good progress in the training ring and even starting to bring the sheep up to the handler but he's difficult to stop.

Andy's careful to start the training session correctly to give Max the best chance of going around the sheep rather than gripping or splitting them - but can Max keep up the good work?

Max had no training of any kind at any time in between the lessons shown in these tutorials.

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Training Max - the GRIPPER 3 Eliminate the Toilet Break Use a Reward to Get Training on Board

Bronwen and Scylla (Part 6)

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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.

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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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Bronwen & Scylla 6 Bronwen & Scylla 7 Bronwen & Scylla 8

Bronwen and Scylla (Part 4)

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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!

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Bronwen & Scylla 5 Bronwen & Scylla 6 Bronwen & Scylla 7