Bronwen and Scylla (Part 6)

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Part six of our series comparing the training of litter sisters, Bronwen and Scylla, sees Scylla continuing to make slow progress in the ring. Andy's hoping to get her out into the field, but she's not ready so he concentrates on getting her to flank smoothly and keep back off the sheep.

Bronwen begins by diving into the sheep and gripping, but she quickly settles down so Andy works on her flank commands. They take the sheep out of the ring, but the dog rushes at the sheep and they run away.

Bronwen isn't flanking properly; she's just chasing the sheep. The sheep have run far across the field before Andy can get close enough to the action to get Bronwen under control again.

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Bronwen & Scylla 7 Bronwen & Scylla 8 Sometimes Nice is Not Enough

Training Max – the Gripper (Part 1)

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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.

Max had no training of any kind at any time in between the lessons shown above.

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Bronwen and Scylla (Part 5)

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In part five we see how Bronwen and Scylla meet the challenge of new, and "undogged" sheep. Some of the results are predictable, and true to character.

Scylla takes an almighty charge, and scatters the sheep in all directions. Four of the sheep leave the ring but, once under control, Scylla was impressive at times - particularly at keeping the sheep off the hurdles.

Unfortunately Scylla's lesson was brought to an early end when a sheep collapsed with stress exhaustion. Once left in peace, the sheep was soon up and about again.

Bronwen's performance was erratic - largely because she was distracted by the close proximity of some inquisitive cattle.

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Bronwen & Scylla 6 Bronwen & Scylla 7 Bronwen & Scylla 8

Balance – What’s the Point?

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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!

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Get off the Fence! Give the Sheep Space! Calm But Firm

Outrun (Part 3) Slingshot

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Part three in our series of Outrun tutorials demonstrates how we use a simple technique we call "The Slingshot", to make the dog go out much wider on its outrun or when flanking the sheep.

"The Slingshot" is one of the most important and highly effective techniques we know of for quickly improving the dog's outrun.

If you're can get your dog's cooperation, it will absolutely love doing "Slingshot" outruns, and go out much wider.

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Driving (Parts 1 - 2 - 3)

Sometimes Nice is Not Enough

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sheepdog training video about improving the dogs confidence with stubborn stock

It's all very well training your dog to keep back from the sheep and not upset them, but what can you do if the sheep refuse to go where the dog's trying to put them?

For the welfare of the sheep, they simply must be handled, treated for any ailments and managed, so we need to teach the dog to get tough when the time arises.

Find out how Carew's confidence grew immensely once she learned to be more assertive. As well as difficult sheep, Carew can now handle stubborn cattle with relative ease.

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Training Max - the GRIPPER 1 Training Max - the GRIPPER 2 Training Max - the GRIPPER 3

Tess in the Open Field

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As well as learning specific sheepdog training topics, we like to show you complete training sessions.

This helps keep the topics in context and gives the viewer a better understanding of the dog's skill level when it undertakes various tasks.

In this session, Tess is learning to widen her flanks and not cross over on her outrun or split the sheep up, to work more calmly around the sheep and come away from them more reliably, and she gets an introduction to driving.

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Sending the Dog the Wrong Way!

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One of the best ways to get a dog to give the sheep space when it's flanking is to use a technique we call "sending the dog the wrong way".

Once you can achieve this, you and your dog are well on the way to producing quality work - but it's not easy.

As with so many other aspects of sheepdog training, once you understand why the dog is reluctant to go "the wrong way" it becomes much easier to train it to do just that, and the dog's flanks will widen out.

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Stopping the Dog The Perfect Stop Coming Out (with a little dignity intact)