Sheepdog Training Video Library


Now with 73 excellent sheepdog training tutorial videos

For best results watch videos in order below.

Top tips for easier training

Photo of a young sheepdog bravely keeping a sheep in place
Ways to make sure training your dog goes as smoothly as possible 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 a few basic details, we can make the process so much easier for both dog and handler. In this video Andy addresses points which are so often missed by novice trainers, including safety, the difference between … Watch now

The Golden Rule of Sheepdog Training

Cover thumbnail image for 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, whether we’re beginners, novices or experts, nobody wants to make a complete mess of it, do they? In this tutorial, Andy takes a look at some of the more essential guidelines for establishing and maintaining order, protecting the stock, and … Watch now

Sheepdog Selection and Preparation

Cover photo of our sheepdog training tutorial
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 breed, choice of dog or puppy, housing – and what dogs to avoid. There’s a wealth of information on how to prepare your pup or young dog for herding sheep, cattle and other livestock. For a long time now we’ve … Watch now

Sheep – Essential Facts For Trainers

Learn about sheep
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 to overlook the importance of learning about sheep and their behaviour. The more you know about sheep and their funny ways, the easier it will be to train your sheepdog. In this video tutorial, we look at the way sheep … Watch now

An Insight into Pack Behaviour

Close-up photo of a group of Border Collie sheepdogs close together
A tutorial to help you get a better understanding of your dog This tutorial’s a little different from usual as we’re looking at dog behaviour, rather than training. “An Insight into Pack Behaviour” was originally a chapter on our “Still Off Duty” DVD, and is 33 minutes of our thoughts about what we see when we’re out and about with our dogs. We’re not suggesting that it’s the definitive guide to dog behaviour, but it illustrates much that we’ve seen … Watch now

The Training Area

Learn how to make your training area suitable for training sheepdogs
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 the most out of the field, paddock or yard you train your dog in. With a few small changes to the original “” DVD footage to make matters even clearer, this tutorial will give you great insight into the type … 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 you need to get the sheep into it. If you don’t have access to a trained sheepdog, that can be a very difficult task – but don’t despair! In this twenty minute tutorial, you’ll find out how to get some sheep into the training ring without the use of a trained sheepdog, and you’ll … Watch now

What Shall I Do Next?

Training a sheepdog inside a training ring
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 simple rule for the order of training, we suggest a logical pattern that we follow, and explain the reasons why. Once the dog’s making good progress and controlling its sheep well, the sequence of events, locations and if possible, sheep, … Watch now

Puppy Training Essentials

Photo of sheepdog Trainer Andy with Border Collie puppy Mo
Important points to remember when bringing up a puppy to work stock 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 the youngster from attack or even the threat of it, there’s a very real danger that sheep or cattle will will frighten the young dog and damage its confidence – possibly permanently. On the other hand, if … Watch now

The Training Stick

Photo of the simple 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 we wouldn’t like to have to train dogs without one! This tutorial describes how invaluable the training stick can be in the early stages of training, for controlling the dog’s direction, it’s pace, and the distance it works from the … Watch now

The Dog’s Confidence

Close-up photo of Border Collie Sheepdog Kay controlling a group of sheep
Confidence is vitally important for a good sheep or cattle dog 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 importance if a sheepdog is to work efficiently, especially at long distances from the handler, between the stock and a fence, or when faced by stubborn animals … Watch now

Learn Your Commands

Photo of a man training a sheepdog in a training ring
Using muddled commands is bad practice, and not fair on the dog 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 the wrong way when in fact it was doing exactly what you asked. Training a dog to work stock can be confusing enough, without you adding to the chaos by talking rubbish. This tutorial will … Watch now

English or Español subtitles available on all our online tutorial videos

188 responses to “Sheepdog Training Video Library”

  1. Claire Molloy avatar

    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,

    1. Andy avatar

      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. Pierre Gsell avatar

    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.

    Pierre Gsell

    1. Andy avatar

      Hello Pierre, I suggest you watch the Confidence tutorial if you have not already. Try working the dog along with a keener one, and try not to discourage or correct the dog at all – until it’s confidence is stronger.

  3. pete cleary avatar

    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.

    1. Andy avatar

      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. Matthew Beggs avatar

    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,


    1. Andy avatar

      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. Andy Snow avatar

    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

    1. Andy avatar

      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.

Leave a Reply to Brianna Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

Hide picture