Getting the sheep into the ring!

How to get sheep into a training ring - if you don't have a trained sheepdog!

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Thumbnail image for our Getting the Sheep Into the Training Ring tutorial.

OK! You've built yourself a training ring - but now you need to get the sheep into it. If you don't have access to a trained sheepdog, that can be a very difficult task - but don't despair!

In this twenty minute tutorial, you'll find out how to get some sheep into the training ring without the use of a trained sheepdog, and you'll learn some other training information you may not have thought about before.

How Can I Slow The Dog Down?

Things you can do to make your dog calm down and work more steadily.

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Thumbnail image for the sheep and cattle dog training tutorial: How can I slow the dog down

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 you'll be surprised how many things tend to speed it up!

This video tutorial takes an in-depth look at the reasons why herding dogs often 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.

The Sheepdog Handler

Don't just train your dog! Make yourself, a better trainer!

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Picture of a sheepdog handler, with the title of our sheepdog training video The Sheepdog Handler

It's all very well learning about the dog, the sheep, and the training area, but it's just as important to think about some of the qualities required in a sheepdog handler (or trainer) and how to make improvements.

This tutorial is based on chapter five from the 'First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training' DVD set.

Topics covered in this video tutorial include the importance of moving around to encourage the dog to go in the direction you want it to, and a brief look at some of the traditional commands in common use, and a more in-depth look, at some of the tools we can use to make training much easier.

The Training Area

Chapter four from the DVD set 'First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training'.

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Title banner for our Sheepdog Training Tutorial, The Training Area, with trainee sheepdog Kay watching Andy the trainer close a farm gate

The size, shape and nature of the training area can make a massive difference to your training experience. The Training Area tutorial shows you how to get the most out of the field, paddock or yard you train your dog in.

With a few small changes to the original "First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training" DVD footage to make matters even clearer, this tutorial will give you great insight into the type of ground you should train in and some great ideas for improving it quite dramatically.

Sheep – Essential Facts For Trainers

Chapter three from the DVD set 'First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training'.

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Title picture of our sheepdog training tutorial video, Sheep.

People think sheep are stupid, but in some ways they can be very clever, as well as determined. When you start training your first sheepdog, it's easy to overlook the importance of learning about sheep and their behaviour. The more you know about sheep and their funny ways, the easier it will be to train your sheepdog.

In this video tutorial, we look at the way sheep behave - especially when confronted with a dog. We also discuss ways of finding and obtaining sheep, how to find somewhere to keep them, what sort of sheep it's best to use for training sheepdogs, and which types are best avoided when the dog's in the early stages of training.

Starting a non starter (Parts 1 & 2)

If your dog doesn't want to work, we can help you to change its mind!

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Photo of a border collie clambering through a fence to get away from the sheep in the background

It can be very disappointing to find that your dog doesn't seem to want to work sheep or cattle, but it doesn't necessarily mean you won't be able to change its mind. As with most aspects of training dogs to work stock, if you understand what's happening and why, there's a much better chance of putting things right.

In these two tutorials, we look closely at why some dogs want to work and others don't. Then we look at several proven ways of triggering the dog's work instinct.

Use a reward to get training on board

Odo was returned to us because he wouldn't get in the car!

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Poor Odo went to a sheep farm, but his new owner brought him back to us a few days later, because he couldn't get the dog into his car to go to work! That was a pity because Odo was working really well, and getting a dog into a vehicle is a very simple matter - if you know what to do!

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!

Top tips for easier training

Valuable advice for sheep and cattle dog trainers.

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Thumbnail image for the sheep and cattle dog training tutorial: Top tips for easier training

Nobody would claim that training a dog to work sheep or other livestock is an easy matter. But by understanding what is going on and why, and by paying attention to just a few basic details, we can make the process so much easier for both dog and handler.

In this video Andy shows how to correct the points which will be most beneficial when you train a herding dog, but are so often missed by novice trainers.