Sheepdog Training Video Library

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Now with 73 excellent sheepdog training tutorial videos

OUR LATEST TUTORIAL!

BRONWEN & SCYLLA (Part 9). Learn about many aspects of training sheepdogs, including teaching the dog to stay back out of the way when required, the “look back” and ways to reduce the dog’s fear when working in confined spaces. – 26.4 min

For best results watch the videos in the order they appear here.

Give the Sheep Some Space

Give the Sheep Some Space
Teach your dog to keep well away from the sheep when flanking If your dog’s going to work sheep or cattle properly, it must learn to give them plenty of room. Of course there are times when the dog needs to be close and assertive with the stock, but as a general rule, the less the dog pressurises sheep or other livestock the better. If the dog keeps well back off the animals, they’ll be much calmer, and subsequently far … Watch now

Starting a non starter (Parts 1 & 2)

Starting a non starter (Parts 1 & 2)
If your dog doesn’t want to work, we can help you to change its mind! It can be 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 … Watch now

Calm but Firm

Calm but Firm
It’s so important to appear calm, even when you’re not! A dog which is aggressive with the sheep, but runs away as soon as the trainer attempts to correct it, is among the most difficult dogs to train. Audrey not only fits this description perfectly, but just for good measure, refuses to go “Away” around the sheep too. The Calm but Firm tutorial will show you how to cope with these difficult dogs. Featuring footage from actual training sessions … Watch now

Backwards is the way forward

Backwards is the way forward
Our single most useful exercise, once you have control of the dog It’s boring – and it might appear pointless to the novice, but walking backwards with the dog bringing the sheep up to you is the single most important exercise you can do once your dog has basic control of the sheep. It improves pace, working distance, the stop, sheep control, and much more. As well as clearly demonstrating how to get a strong dog to bring the sheep … Watch now

Back to Forwards

Back to Forwards
The next step, once you and your dog have mastered “” 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 … Watch now

Sticky Dogs (too much eye)

Sticky Dogs (too much eye)
What’s known as “too much eye” is nothing more than a confidence problem “That dog’s got too much eye!” You’ll sometimes hear this when a sheepdog, invariably a Border collie, appears mesmerised by the sheep, and reluctant to move. But is ‘eye’ something you’re stuck with? The “Sticky Dogs!” tutorial demonstrates that you don’t have to live with this start-stop style. Andy works with Mab in an assertive, but kind, and encouraging way, with the emphasis always on keeping the … Watch now

Training Max – the Gripper (Parts 1-3)

Training Max - the Gripper (Parts 1-3)
A dog which attacks livestock must be quickly brought under control Part 1 – A compulsive gripper can be a big problem to train 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 … Watch now

Starting a reluctant dog

Starting a reluctant dog
How to boost your dog’s confidence and help it to start working sheep Most dogs are over-excited when they first encounter sheep and it’s up to the trainer to do their best to protect the stock. Occasionally though the dog takes no interest in the stock at all. In this tutorial, Maisie shows no interest in sheep at first, but once the hunting instinct kicks-in, despite being a sensitive dog, she’s aggressive with them. Our video demonstrates how to limit … Watch now

Close work (Parts 1 & 2)

Close work (Parts 1 & 2)
Moving sheep in and out of yards and fields can be tricky 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 … Watch now

Sending the Dog the Wrong Way!

Sending the Dog the Wrong Way!
No! Not a mistake! Use this technique to widen your dog’s flanks 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 … Watch now

Flock Work

Flock Work
Is your dog ready to work a flock of sheep? Once your dog can control a small number of sheep reasonably well in the training field, it’s natural to start thinking about working a flock of sheep. After all, that’s what the dog’s for, isn’t it! To us humans, flock work seems like a natural activity for the dog, so we don’t see the change from training ground to farm as being a problem, but in reality it can be … Watch now

Whistle (Parts 1 & 2)

Whistle (Parts 1 & 2)
How to blow a sheepdog whistle – and work your dog on whistle commands Part 1 – If you’re finding your sheepdog whistle difficult to blow, you’re not alone. Many people find it difficult to master at first, but don’t worry. Unless your dog is in the advanced stages of training, there’s really no need to hurry. The as demonstrated in this video is available from the . A sheepdog whistle is very useful if you work your dog on … Watch now

English or Español subtitles available on all our online tutorial videos

183 responses to “Sheepdog Training Video Library”

  1. Tom-Erik Aardal avatar

    Hi,

    I have a question regarding confidence in the dog. I believe that I’ve been training my two dogs wrong so that they do not put enough pressure on Heavy sheep. Reason for me thinking this problem has been made by me is that neither of them had a problem with heavy sheep earlier. Earlier both of them has been coming up too close, and too fast when driving the sheep. Therefore I’ve worked a lot on having them walk slower and farther away from the sheep. And I have also worked on getting square flanks and still working in a pace that I find ok. I Wonder if the sheep (I have only 8 ewes, and this is the second season I am using them for training) see this as being weak and therefore have started to stand up to the dogs. Also, I have all the time I’ve been training the dogs never allowed them to grip in any situation. I Wonder if this has also contributed to the problem, as they will not defend themselves when the sheep charges at them. The only way I’ve been able to think of in order to get this sorted is to allow the dogs to walk a bit faster, and praise them when thy defend themselves (thus thelling them that it is ok to answer the sheep when attacked). Neither of the dogs hangs on to the sheep if they do answer the sheep. Another problem caused by this is that both dogs have started to flank back and forth if the sheep dont move, which only seeme to make the sheep more confident. Any suggestions on how to set up the training to get back the confidense will be much appreciated.

    1. Andy avatar

      Thank you for an interesting comment, Tom-Erik,
      Without actually seeing your dogs at work, it’s difficult to judge whether the dogs are perhaps working a little too far back. It could be that these particular sheep move better when the dog is closer, but it’s not always the case. Sometimes, sheep will stand up to close dogs, but move better when for a dog that’s further back.
      Certainly, training on the same eight sheep for two years will not help matters. If you can’t change your own sheep, maybe you could occasionally work your dogs on some other sheep somewhere new to them – but ideally, I would change the sheep at home.
      I never eliminate the grip altogether – in fact, as the dog’s skill and reliability increases, I put a command on the grip. This has a huge effect on the dog’s confidence. Your dogs need to know that ultimately, they can use their teeth to move stubborn sheep. Of course, this must be monitored carefully and kept to a minimum for the welfare of the sheep.
      I’m sure you know that dogs can be harmed by sheep, in fact Carew was knocked down twice this morning by ewes that were “defending” their lambs. Fortunately, she was not hurt, and asserted enough authority to get the sheep loaded into the trailer.
      To help the dog’s confidence, make sure the dog always wins – in other words, don’t allow the sheep to defy the dog. Make sure you’re always close to the dog at times when the sheep are likely to be stubborn. Being close enables you to assist the dog as it tries to move the sheep. It’s also the ideal time to give the dog lots of encouragement to do whatever it needs to move the sheep. Hissing and/or clapping and shouting can all help (depending on the dog’s sensitivity).

      1. Tom-Erik Aardal avatar

        Thank YouTube for your answer. I’ve ben trying to fond the best distance between the dog and the sheep. For sure they trend to turn against the dog if it is fight at their heel. It is my dogs who have been working theese sheep the most of our dogs. What I find ineresting is that the sheep move far better when my girlfriend works her less experianced dogs on them. This I think means that the sheep know my dogs to well. For the most par I have been working like you are suggesting, but I have not seen to that I always are there to support the dogs when the sheep turns. I also tale out the three difficult sheep at times, and online work the dog on the fire other sheep. That help a lot, but I would really like to have them learn to work heavy sheep. Unfortunatly I do not have the possibility to work my dogs on other sheep very often. But we have been thinking to replace at least the three difficult sheep with new ones. Again, thanks alot for your advice. Best regards, Tom-Erik

  2. Errol Brettschneider avatar

    Hi Andy, I`m having trouble getting two seven month old bitches to show any interest in stock, chooks or anything else. I keep them apart and take them with me every day, their brother is showing a lot of promise, and is doing small exercises on sheep. I`m at wits end as to what to do as they are from good working parents that started early.
    Can you help ?? PLEASE.
    Errol.

    1. Gill avatar

      Hello Errol,

      Thanks for your question. This is the most frustrating situation. It’s certainly happened to us that a puppy or puppies we’ve bought in from good working stock won’t take any interest in sheep, and it’s even more frustrating when you’re told by the breeder that the rest of the litter is working already!

      It’s worrying that the bitches aren’t interested at their age, but it’s by no means too late. We’ve had puppies who didn’t work until they were older. In the “Sticky Dogs” tutorial, the “sticky” dog, Mab, was almost a year old before she’d take any interest at all. Often, if they don’t start until later, they seem to learn very quickly. In the First Steps DVD we train Zoe who, at a year old, was taking no interest at all.

      I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong, it’s just a question of igniting their interest. Try putting the puppies with 3 or 4 sheep in a smallish ring (if you don’t have a trained dog to get them back for you if they run away). Move and “shush” the sheep around the pen with much noise and excitement, clapping, whooping, anything that will make the sheep move suddenly (spook) and/or excite the puppies. The puppies are more likely to respond if the sheep are dashing and jumping, rather than moving smoothly or, worse, standing still. Keep the sheep moving. You can also take hold of a sheep and drag it away from the others while calling the puppies to you. We’ve actually found this to be the best way to get a dog or puppy interested as the sight of “the boss” apparently needing help with “the kill” can provoke a reaction, but be careful (wear gloves) as sometimes the puppy will dive in to grab at the sheep but get your hand instead. If the puppy does jump at a sheep and grab at the wool, don’t correct it (at this stage).

      If you always take them together to the sheep, try taking them separately or vice versa. If letting them run around while a trained dog works the sheep doesn’t interest them, is there a more reckless (but of no danger to the stock) dog available who’ll chase the sheep for you? The sheep will react differently to a dog who’s not under good control, and their sudden movements might prove more exciting to the puppies.

      Of course, you need to take care of the sheep and be very aware of any threat from the sheep to the puppy/ies. It’s important that the sheep don’t turn on the puppies and frighten them.

      Very occasionally a change of environment or handler can help, so if you know of anyone (in whom you’re confident to leave your dogs) with a few sheep who could take your puppies for a few days it’s something else you can try. 

      It IS frustrating, I know, but 7 months is early to panic. Just as an aside, we sometimes see puppies and young dogs on the training courses who are reluctant to work because a well-meaning handler has been taking them on a lead to see the sheep and has insisted on the dog walking to heel and behaving itself. This has given the dog the impression that chasing the sheep is a Bad Thing, so always encourage a young dog to be excited.

      I don’t know if I’ve suggested anything that you haven’t already tried, but please let us know how you get on.

      Good luck!

      Gill

      1. Errol Brettschneider avatar

        Thanks Gill, I`ll give them a while longer, maybe try them on young goats (feral) as they tend to excite anything. also must complement on the web site, it has certainly grown since I first saw it at it`s beginning, and I still don`t tire of looking at it.
        Cheers.
        Errol.

  3. Rachelle Bennett avatar

    Hey there, I noticed you mention and use a cord at times. That you slip through the collar then release.
    Can you give more information on this cord that you use? How long is it? are there loops on both ends? I was trying to see, but can’t really tell. Thanks!

    1. Gill avatar

      Ah, the Magic Cord! It’s simply a lambing rope (there, I’ve given away the secret) but it’s absolutely ideal for dog training. It’s about 18 inches long, made of smooth soft nylon, and has loops sewn in at each end but with very flat stitching (much to the relief of many ewes, I’m sure).
      The flat stitching means it slips smoothly from under the dog’s collar, so the dog may not notice it’s free until you send it off to the sheep, and it avoids that undignified struggle to unclip a fiddly dog lead from a very wriggly dog.
      Any farm supply-type shop should stock lambing ropes, but if it’s late in the season you may need to look online. Of course, if you’re the crafty type you might be able to make one yourself.

      1. Rachelle Bennett avatar

        Thank you ! for sharing your secret. :)
        I am going to set out on getting or making one.
        I was very interested in this because of what you just described with the hassle of clips and snaps. I also like the element of surprise – them not really knowing.
        Thanks again! R

  4. rachel armour avatar

    My year and a half old dog is too keen and would over exhaust the sheep if he could, any way to make him slow down a bit and make him more biddable towards the sheep?

    1. Gill avatar

      Hi Rachel, nice to hear from you. There are several tutorials to help you with your over-enthusiastic dog. Take a look at “Give the sheep space”, “Backwards is the way forward” and “Starting a strong young dog”, but get back in touch if you still have questions. And don’t despair, the best dogs aren’t always the ones that were easiest to train!

  5. sarah orme avatar

    i am trying to start a strong dog (about 16 months old) she is very keen! i am using a pen approx 50m circumference. i am struggling to be able to get her to get behind them rather than just chase them or go straight at them .what size should the pen be? how many sheep would you recommend to use? another questionA bit of an ignorant one on my part but here goes i have a trained sheep dog as well can a dog learn by watching another?

    1. Andy avatar

      Hello Sarah,
      I strongly recommend you signup and watch our Sheepdog Training Tutorials. All the questions you asked are answered in the videos, and if you’re quick, you can still become a member for just £3.50 per month, or £38.00 per year! That’s about the price of a pint of beer per month!
      If you run your trainee dog with a trained dog, the youngster will pick some things up – but it will pick up the bad points as well as the good ones. Far better to train the youngster from scratch, but by all means use the trained dog to keep the sheep off the hurdles until the youngster has the confidence to get them away for itself.

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