Close work in yards pens and sorting races with a young dog can be difficult, particularly if the area is crowded or small. Learn about sheepdog work in tight spaces.
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Working in yards pens and sorting races
Sheepdog work in tight spaces can be stressful for a trainee dog
Moving a flock of sheep into a confined yard.
Penning sheep is a common task for a sheepdog, but it requires a high level of skill.
How to get sheep into a pen, when using a partly-trained sheepdog.
Reasons why not many people get their sheep into pens, by going into the pen first.
Ideally, man and dog will work as a team to be sure of getting sheep into a yard or pen.
Penning sheep is good training for a dog, but don’t start with a small pen in a big field.
Pens at sheepdog trials are deliberately designed to be difficult.
Sheep can dodge around a pen in a field, but not so easily if it’s tight against a fence – ANIMATION.
For trainee dogs, make difficult tasks easy, then gradually more difficult.
Ways to make penning sheep easier for the trainee dog.
Moving sheep through a gateway, into another field – ANIMATION.
A handler goes through a gateway while the dog brings the sheep along behind – ANIMATION.
A trainee dog bringing sheep through a gateway behind the handler.
We got the sheep into the next field, but how are we going to get them back again?
Showing how sheep might avoid going through a gate – ANIMATION.
Planning how to help the dog to get the sheep through a difficult gateway.
Trainee sheepdog Pip, bringing the sheep towards the gate.
Trainee sheepdog Carew, brings the sheep to the gate.
Two of the sheep are hanging back, but Carew ignores them.
Encouraging Carew to keep her sheep together, and bring them all.
The two difficult sheep are staying back, and Carew would leave them there.
Teaching Carew to ‘Look Back‘, for the missing sheep.
Much more just than gathering sheep
Part 1: Teaching a dog to bring the sheep to you in the open field, is a good first step in sheepdog training. Your dog’s capable of doing very much more to help you run a flock efficiently though.
Moving sheep around at close quarters, putting them into and bringing them out of tightly packed or restricted yards, pens and sorting races are just a few of the regular jobs a sheep dog or ranch dog needs to do. Taking cattle or sheep to fresh pasture would seem simple enough for the working farm dog, but even that has its difficulties.
We begin to train our dogs for close work in yards and pens by teaching them to move sheep through a gateway into another field and then being them out again. After that, we move on to more difficult tasks. Learn about sheepdog work in tight spaces.