The Training Ring (Part 2)

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The training ring is a hugely useful asset when starting a dog off with sheep but it's use doesn't end there.

As the dog's skill increases, the training ring can play a vital role in more advanced training.

Watch this tutorial to find out how to use the training ring to help teach your dog driving, circling the sheep, and yard work as well as well as generally improving your control of the dog.

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Sticky Dogs Driving Inside Flanks (Circle Sheep) 2

The Training Ring

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Thumbnail image for the sheep and cattle dog training tutorial: Stopping the Dog part one

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.

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

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Backwards is the Way Forward Coming Out Inside Flanks (Circle Sheep) 2

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)

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

Eve at the Pen

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Getting sheep into a tight spot, and then getting them out again, needs confidence and control. In this tutorial we see Eve, a keen young dog who's basic training is in place, but Eve still shows some tyro weaknesses - she favours "Away" to "Come Bye", for instance, and her stop isn't 100% reliable (yet).

However, a lesson in and around the pen doesn't only teach penning, it gives us the opportunity to work on Eve's stop and flanks, to introduce the "Look Back" (when she fails to bring all her sheep cleanly to the pen) and to help build her confidence to get between the sheep and the fence.

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Close Work 1 Close Work 2 Shedding

Moving Out – Into the Open Field

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Getting your trainee sheepdog to bring the sheep out of the training ring without crisis can be a tricky affair.

The sheep will usually grasp the slightest opportunity to bolt and this can result in an ugly chase.

In this tutorial you'll learn a simple routine which will greatly increase the chances of a smooth transition with the dog maintaining control of the sheep from inside the training ring to the open field.

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Training Max the GRIPPER Educating Gloria The Training Stick

Close Work 2 – In and Out of the Yard

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In this follow-up to Close Work part one, Carew and Tess are each required to bring a small bunch of sheep into and out of the yard.

The task is more challenging for the pair than you'd expect because our dogs live in the yard, and they certainly make their presence felt when the sheep reach the gateway.

Andy gives a detailed explanation of what's happening as Carew and Tess both find the work quite difficult.

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Shedding The Outrun 1 The Outrun 2

Close work (Part 1)

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Teaching a dog to bring the sheep to you in the open field is all very well, but your dog's capable of doing very much more to help you.

Efficiently moving sheep around at close quarters, as well as putting them into and bringing them out of yards, pens and races and taking them to fresh pasture are all essential tasks for the farm dog.

In this two-part tutorial, watch Carew and Tess try their paws at some realistic farm work before Kay shows us how it should be done!

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Close Work 2 Shedding The Outrun 1