The Training Ring (Parts 1 & 2)

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A training ring makes training your dog a lot easier

Thumbnail image for the sheep and cattle dog training tutorial: The Training Ring parts one and two

A two-part tutorial. One of the most useful assets that help us to train a sheepdog is the sheepdog training ring. It's very much more versatile than you might think. A properly constructed training ring will make the early stages of training your dog so much easier.

Trainee sheepdogs tend to chase the sheep, who (very wisely) run away. Both dog and sheep can run much faster than sheepdog trainers, so this means the 'action' is happening too far away for us to keep the situation under control.

A correctly sized training ring is simple to make, and will transform the early stages of sheepdog training. It can also be an extremely useful aid when it comes to teaching the dog more difficult tasks later on.

In this video, we find out what the optimum size is for the ring, and how to adapt it for more advanced training.

How Can I Slow The Dog Down?

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Things you can do to make your dog work more steadily

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

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Chapter five from the First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training DVD set

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.

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

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

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

The Training Area tutorial 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 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

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Chapter three from the DVD set First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training: "Sheep".

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 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.

Starting a non starter (Parts 1 & 2)

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

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 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.

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.

Sheepdog Selection and Preparation

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Chapters 1 & 2 from the DVD set First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training

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

A tutorial packed with essential information to help you to understand, and look after your dog. 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 30 minutes long! We're sure those of you who've seen the old version won't be disappointed.