Eliminate the Toilet Break


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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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Bronwen and Scylla (Part 1)


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Comparing the training of very different sisters

We're going to follow the progress of two litter sisters - Bronwen and Scylla - as they learn to become sheepdogs.

They might have the same parents, but their temperaments are very different and the same goes for their attitude to working sheep.

In this first part we learn about the two young dogs. We see one of them working nicely in the field, while the other's approach seems to be "the best form of defence is attack"!

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What Shall I Do Next?


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Our suggested order for training your sheepdog

When you start to train a sheepdog there are so many issues that need attention, it can be quite daunting.

You can't possibly address them all at once, and while there's no simple rule for the order of training, we suggest a logical pattern that we follow, and explain why.

Once the dog's making good progress and controlling its sheep well, the sequence of events, locations and if possible, sheep, should be varied to keep the dogs interest and attention.

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Puppy Training Essentials


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Some points to remember when bringing up a puppy

Tempting though it may be to try your puppy with stock at a very early age, you should beware.

Unless you can be absolutely certain you're in a position to protect the youngster from attack or even the threat of it, there's a very real danger that sheep or cattle will will frighten the young dog and damage its confidence.

Possibly permanently.

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Sheepdog Trials – Getting Started (Part 2)


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Further information for would-be sheepdog trials competitors

Competing in your first sheepdog trial can be a daunting experience. It's not just a question of training your dog well.

There are many things the competitor is expected to know beforehand. The learning curve can be steep and unforgiving.

This tutorial will give you a great understanding of how a sheepdog trial is run, how to prepare for your first trial, as well as what to do, and what to avoid where possible.

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Sheepdog Trials – Getting Started (Part 1)


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Information for would-be sheepdog trials competitors

Preparing your dog and yourself for your first sheepdog trial is not a simple task. There are so many things to remember.

Where do you go when you arrive at the field? What happens during the competition? What should I avoid? Who can I ask for help?

This tutorial will give you a great understanding of how a sheepdog trial is run, how to prepare for your first trial, what to do and what to avoid.

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An Insight into Pack Behaviour


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This tutorial's a little different from usual as we're looking at dog behaviour, rather than training. "An Insight into Pack Behaviour" was originally a chapter on our Still Off Duty DVD, and is 33 minutes of our thoughts about what we see when we're out and about with our dogs.

We're not suggesting that it's the definitive guide to dog behaviour, but it illustrates much that we've seen and found useful when training a sheepdog. We're hoping you'll find it entertaining, as well as interesting, and we're also hoping it will stimulate some debate about what we see. All of us are learning, and none of us knows all the answers (except, perhaps our dogs).

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Starting a Young Puppy (Parts 1 & 2)


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How to start training a young puppy to work sheep and other livestock

We take two eleven week old puppies to sheep

Part 1. The usual age for starting a pup on sheep is between six and twelve months, but if you have the right sort of sheep and know what you're doing, you can start a pup at a much younger age. Starting a dog early makes it much easier to get the youngster under control in the presence of sheep.

In "Starting a Young Puppy" Andy shows what to do and what to avoid when he takes litter-mates Ezra and Carew to the sheep at just eleven week old.

In Part 2, we take young Ezra to the sheep again, but this time, give him a little more guidance and lots of encouragement.

We also see signs of Ezra's confidence growing and learn that nine sheep is too many for this early stage of a dog's training.

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