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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 by understanding what is going on and why, and by paying attention to just ... 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 in mind when you train a dog to work cattle or sheep. After all, ... 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 to help you to understand, and look after your dog. It includes choice of ... 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 clever, as well as determined. When you start training your first sheepdog, it's easy ... 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 difference to your training experience. The Training Area tutorial shows you how to get ... 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! For English Subtitles click CC on player. OK! You've built yourself a training ring - but now you need to get the sheep into ... 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 quite daunting. You can't possibly address them all at once, and while there's no ... 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 should beware. Unless you can be absolutely certain you're in a position to protect ... 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 sheepdogs is the lightweight plastic pipe. We call it the Training Stick - and ... 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 those factors, the dog's confidence is probably the most underestimated. Confidence is of vital ... 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 problems. It's completely unfair on the dog because you'll be blaming it for going ... 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 just as important to think about some of the qualities required in a sheepdog ... 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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