The Sheepdog Handler

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

In chapter five from the First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training DVD, "The Sheepdog Handler" we look at some of the qualities required in a sheepdog handler (or trainer).

Topics covered 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.

There's also an in-depth look at some of the tools we can use to make training much easier.

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The Sheepdog (1st Steps Ch1-2) Sheep (1st Steps Ch3) The Training Area (1st Steps Ch4)

The Training Area

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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

In this fourth chapter from the 2xDVD set First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training, "The Training Area" shows you how to get the most out of the field, paddock or yard you train your dog in.

The size, shape and nature of the training area can make a huge difference to your training experience.

With a few small changes to the original "First Steps" 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.

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The Sheepdog (1st Steps Ch1-2) Sheep (1st Steps Ch3) The Handler (1st Steps Ch5)

Sheep – Essential Facts For Trainers

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Title picture of our sheepdog training tutorial video, Sheep.

The third chapter from the 2xDVD set First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training: "Sheep".

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

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

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The Sheepdog (1st Steps Ch1-2) The Training Area (1st Steps Ch4) The Handler (1st Steps Ch5)

Starting a non starter (Parts 1 and 2)

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

It's 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 this tutorial, 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.

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Sometimes Nice is Nt Enough Starting a Reluctant Dog Starting a Strong Dog

Use a reward to get training on board

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Thumbnail image for the sheep and cattle dog training tutorial: Use a reward to get training on board

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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The Sheepdog Whistle Teach Your Dog Whistle Commands Sheepdog Trials 1

Top tips for easier training

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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.

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Puppy Training Essentials The Training Stick Learn Your Commands

Sheepdog Selection and Preparation

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Thumbnail image for the sheep and cattle dog training tutorial: Sheepdog Selection and Preparation

The first two chapters from the 2xDVD set First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training: "Sheepdog Selection and Preparation".

For a long time now we've wanted to update our "First Steps" DVD set because our training techniques and understanding of sheepdogs have improved immensely since the DVD's release.

This video presents chapters one (the introduction) and two from the DVD set. It's fairly heavily modified and now nearly 33 minutes long! We're sure those of you who've seen the old version won't be disappointed.

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Sheep (1st Steps Ch3) The Training Area (1st Steps Ch4) The Handler (1st Steps Ch5)

Eliminate the Toilet Break

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Thumbnail image for the sheep and cattle dog training tutorial: Eliminate the Toilet Break

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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Use a Reward to Get Training on Board The Sheepdog Whistle Teach Your Dog Whistle Commands