Stopping the Dog (Parts 1-3)

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Teach your dog to stop well on command (three part tutorial).

Thumbnail image for our Stopping the Dog tutorials video. The sheep are in the training ring, and Andy is walking towards sheepdog Dulcie.

The three completely revised tutorials delve into the thorny issue of getting your dog to stop, in much more detail than the earlier versions. They explain why your dog doesn't want to stop, and what you can do to make it more likely that the dog will heed your stop command when you give it. Part three takes a close look at how you can get a good stop on your dog without damaging its confidence.

The videos encourage you to look closely at your relationship with your dog, especially the amount of respect the dog has for you as its leader, and whether your actions might be making the dog more excited.

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 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.

Back to Forwards

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The natural progression from "Backwards is the Way Forward"

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.

Why Your Dog Should Flank Both Ways

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The importance of teaching your dog to go both ways round the stock

Just as most humans are left or right-handed, the majority of herding dogs favour working in one direction over another. It's simply a habit that can fairly easily be trained out of the dog but all too often, sheep and cattle dog handlers are not bothered if their dog will only go in one direction to gather the stock - as long as it brings them successfully. This video demonstrates the importance of training your dog to work fluently whichever way you choose to send it.

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.

Training Max – the Gripper (Parts 1-3)

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Part 1 - A compulsive gripper can be a big problem to train
Thumbnail image for the sheep and cattle dog training tutorial: Training Max the Gripper - part one

Not for the faint-hearted, this tutorial deals with one of the most difficult aspects of sheepdog training, how to cope with a very strong-willed dog which persists in violently attacking the sheep. In the first part of the video, you'll see Max at his worst despite his trainer being vigilant. Later on, Max's training becomes easier and far more rewarding. Watch the video to find out how it's done.

Part 2 - Max is making progress

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?

Part 3 - Max is almost trustworthy now!

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 above.

Balance – What’s the Point?

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The point of balance isn't always where you'd expect it

Thumbnail image for the sheep and cattle dog training tutorial: Balance - What's the Point

Sheep and cattle dog trainers often refer to the importance of "the point of balance" but what exactly is it, and where can we find one? In this short tutorial, we discover what exactly the "point of balance" means to the working sheep or cattle dog handler, and just how much it affects the sheepdog's work. We also learn why the point of balance is not always to be found quite where we might expect it to be!