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Sheepdog Training Tutorials (Full List)

For best results watch the videos in the order they appear here.
English subtitles are available on all our tutorials.

Top tips for easier training

Top tips for easier training
Valuable advice for sheep and cattle dog trainers. Nobody would claim that training a dog to work sheep or other livestock is an easy matter. But ... Watch now

The Golden Rule of Sheepdog Training

The Golden Rule of Sheepdog Training
The most important rule when you train a dog on sheep or cattle. There are a number important rules that you would do well to keep ... Watch now

Sheepdog Selection and Preparation

Sheepdog Selection and Preparation
Chapters 1 & 2 from the DVD set 'First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training'. This is a very important tutorial! It's packed with essential information ... Watch now

Sheep – Essential Facts For Trainers

Sheep - Essential Facts For Trainers
Chapter three from the DVD set 'First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training'. People think sheep are stupid, but in some ways they can be very ... Watch now

The Training Area

The Training Area
Chapter four from the DVD set 'First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training'. The size, shape and nature of the training area can make a massive ... Watch now

Getting the sheep into the ring!

Getting the sheep into the ring!
How to get sheep into a training ring - if you don't have a trained sheepdog! OK! You've built yourself a training ring - but now ... Watch now

What Shall I Do Next?

What Shall I Do Next?
Follow our suggested order for training your sheepdog. When you start to train a sheepdog there are so many issues that need attention, it can be ... Watch now

Puppy Training Essentials

Puppy Training Essentials
Important points to remember when bringing up a puppy. Tempting though it may be to try your puppy with stock at a very early age, you ... Watch now

The Training Stick

The Training Stick
Correct use of training stick can drastically reduce the time it takes to train your dog. By far the most important tool we use for training ... Watch now

The Dog’s Confidence

The Dog's Confidence
The dog's confidence is vitally important. Understanding the factors which affect the dog's work is extremely important for a successful sheep or cattle dog trainer. Of ... Watch now

Learn Your Commands

Learn Your Commands
Confusing your commands is very bad practice. Attempting to train a sheep or cattle dog when you're not fully conversant with the commands can cause serious ... Watch now

The Sheepdog Handler

The Sheepdog Handler
Don't just train your dog! Make yourself, a better trainer! It's all very well learning about the dog, the sheep, and the training area, but it's ... Watch now

Stopping the Dog (Parts 1-3)

Stopping the Dog (Parts 1-3)
Teach your dog to stop well on command, without damaging its confidence. The three completely revised tutorials delve into the thorny issue of getting your dog ... Watch now

Starting a Young Puppy (Parts 1 & 2)

Starting a Young Puppy (Parts 1 & 2)
We take two eleven week old puppies to sheep for the first time. Part 1. The usual age for starting a pup on sheep is between ... Watch now

Starting a Strong Dog

Starting a Strong Dog
Is your dog difficult to control around sheep? In part one of the 'Starting a Young Puppy' tutorials, we saw that with care, it's possible to ... Watch now

How Can I Slow The Dog Down?

How Can I Slow The Dog Down?
Things you can do to make your dog calm down and work more steadily. Probably the most common question we get asked about sheepdog training is ... Watch now

How Often (to Train) and How Long For?

How Often (to Train) and How Long For?
Regular training is excellent, but don't overdo it! One of the questions we are most frequently asked is about the frequency and duration of sheepdog training ... Watch now

Bronwen and Scylla (Parts 1-8)

Bronwen and Scylla (Parts 1-8)
Follow the progress of two litter sisters - Bronwen and Scylla - as they learn to become sheepdogs. They might have the same parents, but their ... Watch now

Balance – What’s the Point?

Balance - What's the Point?
Sheepdog trainers often refer to The Point of Balance but what exactly is it, and where can we find one? In this short tutorial, we discover ... Watch now

The Training Ring (Parts 1 & 2)

The Training Ring (Parts 1 & 2)
A simple training ring of the correct size, will make training your dog a lot easier. A two-part tutorial. One of the most useful assets that ... Watch now

Get (the sheep) off the fence!

Get (the sheep) off the fence!
How to get sheep or cattle away from a fence or hedge. Getting stubborn sheep away from a fence or hedge during the early stages of ... Watch now

Moving Out – Into the Open Field

Moving Out - Into the Open Field
Bring sheep out of a pen without drama! Getting your trainee sheepdog to bring the sheep out of the training ring without crisis can be a ... Watch now

The Outrun (Parts 1-3)

The Outrun (Parts 1-3)
A good outrun is essential if a sheepdog is to work efficiently. Fortunately, it's not difficult to train a dog to do an outrun, and the ... Watch now

An Insight into Pack Behaviour

An Insight into Pack Behaviour
A tutorial to help you get a better understand your dog. This tutorial's a little different from usual as we're looking at dog behaviour, rather than ... Watch now

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 ... 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 ... 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 ... Watch now

Backwards is the way forward

Backwards is the way forward
Our 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 ... 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 ... Watch now

Sticky Dogs (too much eye)

Sticky Dogs (too much eye)
"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 ... 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 ... 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 ... 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 ... Watch now

Sending the Dog the Wrong Way!

Sending the Dog the Wrong Way!
A very useful 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 ... 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, ... Watch now

Sometimes Nice is Not Enough

Sometimes Nice is Not Enough
Does your dog have difficulty moving stubborn sheep or other livestock? It's all very well training your dog to keep back from the sheep and not ... Watch now

Tess in the Open Field

Tess in the Open Field
A complete training session, packed with lessons. As well as learning specific sheepdog training topics, we like to show you complete training sessions. This helps keep ... Watch now

Why Your Dog Should Flank Both Ways

Why Your Dog Should Flank Both Ways
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 ... Watch now

My Dog’s No Good

My Dog's No Good
The dog's not 'no good', it just needs training. If someone tells you your dog's no good, don't believe them.As long as your dog has the ... Watch now

Driving (Parts 1-3)

Driving (Parts 1-3)
THREE TUTORIALS to help you teach your dog to drive. PART 1.Some sheepdog trainers dread teaching their dog to drive and it's understandable, because when we ... Watch now

Inside Flanks (Circle on Command 1 & 2)

Inside Flanks (Circle on Command 1 & 2)
A valuable exercise for increasing control of your dog. Dramatically improve your sheepdog or cattle dog's work with this important two-part tutorial. Even if the dog's ... Watch now

Woolly Jumpers

Woolly Jumpers
Once sheep learn to jump out, they can be a problem! Sheep which jump out of the training area, don't just disrupt the training session. They ... Watch now

Use a reward to get training on board

Use a reward to get training on board
Odo was returned to us because he wouldn't get in the car! Poor Odo went to a sheep farm, but his new owner brought him back ... Watch now

Eliminate the Toilet Break

Eliminate the Toilet Break
Discourage your dog from taking a toilet break while it's working. Not only is it not professional, but dog which has stopped to relieve itself can ... Watch now

No Excuses Please!

No Excuses Please!
Take a realistic look at your dog's performance... It's very easy to fall into the trap of thinking your dog's work is better than it really ... Watch now

Eve at the Pen

Eve at the Pen
A complete training session, teaching the dog good pen manners. Getting sheep into a tight spot, and then getting them out again, needs confidence and control ... Watch now

Shedding (or Separating) The Sheep

Shedding (or Separating) The Sheep
Extremely useful on the farm, and essential for sheepdog trials. You'll need to 'shed' the sheep! Shedding is one of those operations that contradicts the basic ... Watch now

Educating Gloria!

Educating Gloria!
Watch a complete training session, full of valuable lessons! This tutorial shows nine-month old Gloria, a bright, enthusiastic young dog, and her fourth training session with ... Watch now

Sheepdog Trials – Getting Started (Parts 1 & 2)

Sheepdog Trials - Getting Started (Parts 1 & 2)
Information for would-be sheepdog trials competitors. Two-part tutorial for those people who hope to take part in sheepdog trials.Preparing your dog and yourself for your first ... Watch now

Sheepdogs Time Out!

Sheepdogs Time Out!
A great opportunity to get to know our sheepdogs - at work and play! Following on from the very popular video - and while we put ... Watch now

English subtitles are available on all our tutorials

183 comments

  1. Hi Andy,

    Thanks for all of the video’s…they’ve been a great help in training my first Sheepdog, who is now just over 2 years and we are doing well. Just a couple of questions….

    1) How would you suggest getting a dog to come up on to his sheep?

    Glyn was always quite a strong dog to train, therefore i have kept him out from the sheep in order to control them without busting in (i think this may be where the problem came from!).

    We are now learning the drive and if the sheep stop he will stop and he does not like to get too close ( he has a small bit of eye but is not sticky). I have noticed when trialling, if he has to push the sheep he will stop and i have to flank him to move him (which i don’t like doing) and sometimes the pressure will get to him and he will bust in .

    I have started with him holding sheep against the wire and trying to get him coming in, flanking close to them…but he will only come in to a certain distance ( maybe 6 feet away and i have to again flank him to get him any way close). When on the drive i have been running next to him giving him encouragement to push the sheep at a good pace. Is this the right practice or do you have any other suggestions?

    2) Another issue is, if a sheep busts away from the flock he has gotten into the habit of holding her away from the flock. I am unsure where this has came from as i have not started shedding with him? I have been trying to let a sheep bust from holding them against the wire…keeping him lay down then send him off to fetch her, this has been successful a few times but could you recommend anything else?

    I feel this is all to do with confidence , and a bit of advice would be great! :-)

    Kind Regards,
    Claire.

    1. Hello Claire. From your description, Glyn is lacking confidence and I think you are trying to “run before you can walk” with him – particularly when driving. I suggest you go back to basics with him and don’t expect him to work the sheep too far away from you until he can do it freely and confidently. If you watch the Sometimes Nice is Not Enough Tutorial, there’s a lot in there to help you command the dog to push the sheep harder.

  2. Bonjour from France,
    I have 4 Bearded Collies and only three sheep to work with.
    The youngest dog lacks in confidence and I couldnt find any solution. Would you have solutions, I could eventually post a little video on youtube, is it possible.

    Regards,
    Pierre Gsell

  3. Hi Andy/Gill
    I have a 2 ½ year old dog that is training very well and won his first novice ribbon this season. However, I have a couple of problems which I can’t get over at trials.
    1. On the fetch and close at hand I can get him to stay off the sheep very nicely. On the drive is a different matter. He trends to want to get up their behinds at the first opportunity and wont square flank. I.e. he closes in on the sheep.

    2. When driving and I want him to turn the sheep at the gates he tends to banana flank and at speed!

    I always go back to basics at home and walk him and the sheep close by. Then he will square flank and at a reasonable pace. But at a trial this doesn’t happen.

    Am I expecting too much from a young dog? Any help appreciated.
    Regards
    Pete

    1. It sounds as though you’re trying to get your dog to run before he can walk, Pete. If he works well at home but not at trials, it’s probably caused by one of two things. Either the dog gets excited when it works away from home – in which case you need to work him in different situations on fresh ground and with new sheep as often as you can – or (more likely from what you say in your message) he’s not ready to drive as far from you as he needs to at trials. You need to build the distance gradually at home until he can drive sheep (and flank properly) at a greater distance than he needs to for trials. If you don’t have a large enough training ground, ask a friend if you can take him to their premises for training until he can do it.
      I strongly suggest you watch BOTH tutorials on Circling on Command. If you can get the dog to circle the sheep properly when they are a long way down the field, you’ll be well on the way to having a good driving dog for sheepdog trials.

  4. Hi Andy,

    Im training my first dog and she has learned the basics well, she brings the sheep up to me, she has a good stop and knows ‘come bye’ and ‘away’. I have a problem though;

    1. She is way too tight to the sheep, i have tried the methods you’ve said in ‘Give the sheep some space’, ‘Backwards is the way forwards’, ‘and ‘sending the dog the wrong way’. I can make her lie down behind the sheep and walkaway with the sheep whilst she keeps her distance and i can make her go the wrong way but she still insists on being tight to the sheep.

    I have been trying these for two weeks with very little progress being made. i feel like she and the sheep have been accustomed to these exercises and so act like robots and a was wandering i there was any other excercises you know of to widen the dogs flanking.

    Many Thanks,

    Matthew

    1. Hello Matthew, thank you for your comment.
      If the dog is ignoring you and coming in tight onto the sheep, you’re just not being assertive enough.
      When she flanks round the sheep, I suggest walk around the them too, keeping yourself BETWEEN her and the sheep. You should be able to keep up with her because the circle you walk round (very close to the sheep) is much smaller than the one she has to run around, even if she’s quite tight.
      “Push” her out by waving the stick, whacking it hard on the ground (between dog and sheep) and telling her to “get out“. Make it uncomfortable for her to be close to them but remember to be calm (but firm) at all times.
      As I said, if she ignores you, you’re not being assertive enough. Some dogs have very strong temperaments and to train them, you need to be stronger.
      I recommend you watch the tutorial “Starting a Strong Dog” which you’ll find in the Tutorials Library. Be sure to watch all the way through and notice how I get myself between the sheep and the dog – and push her out.
      I hope this helps. Please let us know how you get on.

  5. Hi Andy,

    I too have a similar problem with my young dog as Tom-Erik does with his dogs. If my shearlings feel like it they will skip at my dog and chase him off. He also flanks if there is a stubborn one and I don’t want it to become a habit. I regularly change my sheep as I have plenty to choose from and can always remove a particular offender but it would be nice to know how to teach the dog to stand his ground. If he works the sheep with pace then it doesn’t tend to happen. It tends to occur when I try and slow it down and have the sheep quieter and under more control. I have managed to help when he is close and ensured that he has won but I am helpless when he is at the point of balance. You mention that Carew had to build her confidence and she seems very capable of working strong sheep. Is there any advice/tutorial that can help me build his confidence and avoid it becoming a problem.
    Many thanks
    Andrew

    1. Hello Andy, thank you for your comment.
      We’ve spoken on the ‘phone since you posted it, but I thought I should mention here that Gill and I understand that moving stubborn sheep is a problem which concerns a lot of sheepdog handlers, so we are currently working on a new tutorial to cover it. The new tutorial should be available in the sheepdog training tutorials library within a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, I suggest you work as close to the dog as you can, give it lots of encouragement, and try to make sure the sheep never defeat the dog.

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