Sheepdog Training Video Library

MONTHLY OR ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP REQUIRED

Now with 73 excellent sheepdog training tutorial videos

For best results watch videos in order below.

Give the Sheep Some Space

Photo of pond In autumn
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)

How to get your dog interested in working sheep
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

Photo of a dog being trained in an open field
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

Andy walking backwards with a dog bringing the sheep up to him
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 is a great lesson for a trainee sheepdog
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 no 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)

How to train an aggressive sheepdog
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

How to train a dog which isn't keen to work sheep
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)

Photo of Andy against a background of a sheepdog at work
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, and races and taking them to fresh pasture are all essential tasks for the farm dog. In this two-part tutorial, … Watch now

Sending the Dog the Wrong Way!

Sheepdog Training in a large field
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)

Close-up photo of a typical sheepdog whistle
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

188 responses to “Sheepdog Training Video Library”

  1. Tóki Berg Mikkelsen avatar

    HI Andy, and sorry for my bad English.

    I have a 14 months old bitch, and she is getting better. she has a great outrun and basic training. she has no fear of sheep, no problems of biting or getting between the fence and sheep.

    My problem is that there are 4 sheep, in the field where i train, an two of them are lazy or have figured out that she is not interested in them. When she does an out run, the two sheep get left behind. When the dog and all the sheep are close to me, its no problem most of the time. I can see that the dog is not interested in the two sheep, who either run off or just get left behind. and when i tell her it is not okay to let them get away, or leaving them behind, she gets confused.

    By the way i all ways tell her its not okay to leave them behind. when the two sheep run off, i tell the bitch to look back, and get them. She runs to get the sheep, but as soon as she is at the sheep who run off, she looses focus on them, and wants to heard the sheep who are at my feet. so she knows the sheep have run of, but does not want to herd them over to me. Often I have to walk and gather the sheep for her.

    I have tried to walk backwards and keep the dog behind all the sheep. But then the two sheep just stop walking, and the dog ignores that they have stopped and just lets them stand so again i end with two sheep, and not the four.

    So what can i do to get her interested in the sheep, and get her to herd them all the time and not just when they randomly move with the other sheep?

    An answer would be greatly appreciated.

    Best regards, Tóki

    1. Andy avatar

      Your English is very good, Tóki! Unfortunately, I don’t speak any language other than English.
      It’s difficult to know exactly what’s happening without seeing it, but from what you say, I suspect you are allowing the dog to continue working two of the sheep, while the other two stay behind. I know you send the dog back for the others, but if she is keen to work sheep, then she MUST bring them all.
      Make it a firm rule, that whenever one or more sheep get left behind, you insist on the dog bringing it back, or the training will not continue.
      As I’m sure you know, once the sheep learn that they can avoid the dog, they will – and it won’t be easy to stop them running off.
      I keep saying in the tutorials that the closer you are to the dog, the more control you have over it, and you have described that in your question. Get up close to the dog and insist she keeps all of the sheep together, then very gradually increase the distance. If the walking backwards exercise is going wrong, you are probably too far away from the dog. Try driving the sheep. This way you can walk with the dog and help her. If you can get her to “dart” at the sheep or even nip one, give her a command for it, and use that command whenever she needs “more gas” (as they say in the US).
      I suggest you watch “Sometimes Nice is Not Enough“. I had a very similar problem with Carew and this shows how I corrected it. (You need to be logged-in to your account for this link to work).
      It won’t be easy to teach the sheep that they must move, but you can do it if you keep trying. Please let us know how your training progresses.

      1. Tóki Berg Mikkelsen avatar

        Thank you. Very helpful advice.

        Just so you can get a feel for the shep i am training the dog with. I live in Faroe Islands, so the sheep are faroese sheep. the sheep i have are well dogged

        Now I insist that the training will not continue if she leaves sheep behind. and when she gathers them all i praise her. but the problem is still there. and she keeps focusing on the biggest ewe. so i just stop her far behind and let she sheep walk over to me and maybe that gives her the illusion, that she is keeping them together and pushing them to me. that way the two sheep don’t break away. the thing i am most worried about is that she normally only focuses on the biggest ewe.

        I trained her yesterdy, and got a freind to film it. you can take a look at it, if you want to ( https://youtu.be/bwxTaOho6F0 ).
        in the video i push her limits some times, or maybe too often.

        1. Andy avatar

          I’ve watched the first four minutes of the video, Tóki, and I looked at a few other moments too. I thought your dog was doing very well. She seemed to keep the sheep together well, and generally her stop is very good.
          I didn’t see any problem with sheep being ignored, and the dog seemed very keen. I hope you don’t mind me saying that I think you were very hard on the dog. Your shouting was so harsh sometimes that she looked round at you in a way that suggests she thought she’d done something wrong, but didn’t know what it was. I would encourage you to try to soften your voice, and show the dog that you’re pleased with her work (when she has done well). The only time you were nice to her was when you called her back to you.
          It was good to see you insist that she came right back to you – and the way that she reversed to you over the last metre or so showed just how keen she is to work!
          When she did an outrun and ran alongside the road I was worried that she may be able to get onto the road (I hope not).

          Why don’t you use the whistle more? I’m sure your harsh shouting makes the dog think she’s doing something wrong. Using the whistle would mean you don’t have to shout at the top of your voice when the dog’s further away – and it would benefit the people who live in those houses! I’m sure they don’t want to hear you yelling “Lie-down, lie down” so much!
          Lastly, I think those sheep are too “dogged” for your dog. You need fresher sheep which want to get away from you and the dog, rather than ones that are happy to come to you. This would make it more interesting for the dog – and further teach her to control them. Of course, I understand that you might have to manage with the sheep you have.
          I was impressed with the way the dog got the sheep out of a tight corner when she was at some distance from you.

          I didn’t see you walking backwards, but the ground is so rough that it must be difficult not to fall over! Generally, I thought what I saw was very good. The dog coped well on difficult ground – but I’d like to see you showing the dog that you’re pleased with her when she works well – and I’d like to see you let her work on her own more, and being nicer to her.
          Try just walking away (forwards but at the same time looking over your shoulder from time to time) and allowing the dog to work with NO COMMANDS! If the dog loses control of the sheep, quietly get things under control again, and then walk away again. She should learn to bring all the sheep to you wherever you go, and the more she can do it with no commands, the better!

          1. Tóki Berg Mikkelsen avatar

            Hi again Andy. the dog is working more independently now, and my voice is lowering and the whistle is getting there.

            Today i tried shedding and she did great, so great i thought it couldn’t be real. But then i realized that every time she was shedding i pointed her in the direction of the big ewe and let one or two stand. When i tried to exclude the big ewe, she would push the two small lambs/ewes, but when i asked her to lay down, she would turn around and look at the big ewe. She did not look back at the others when i wanted her to exclude the small ewes. So that made it clear to me, that she is comfortable if the big ewe always is in the herd, but the small ones don’t need too.

            Should i get her to shed, and get her to exclude the big ewe every time, so she understands that the big ewe isn’t, the one i want her to focus on at that particular moment?

            1. Andy avatar

              The dog should be keeping all the sheep together, most of the time. It’s OK to occasionally shed off the big ewe and work the others but don’t overdo it. You don’t want the dog to think it’s OK to leave any sheep behind if it feels like it.
              Try to bring variation into your training by all means but not too much of any one thing, otherwise the dog will think that is normal.

  2. Melinda Stevenson avatar

    Subject:
    circling and rate behind the stock

    Message:
    Would love a video on how to get a dog that is persistant in circling
    to finally stop and get behind the stock
    THANK YOU I LOVE YOUR VIDEOS!
    Mindy

    1. Andy avatar

      Thank you for your email – and your question about a dog circling, Melinda.
      I recommend you watch the tutorials listed below

      (These links only work if you’re logged- in)
      Backwards is the way forward!
      The Training Stick
      Walking backwards is quite tedious, but it’s one of the best ways to put some polish on your dog’s work – it shows the dog where you want it to be and teaches it self discipline. Keep the dog back as you walk backwards, and the dog will learn to flank wider too.
      Good luck with the training.

  3. J Fenwick avatar

    Hi Andy and Gill

    I have not long discovered your website but already I have learnt so much about how my 8 month bitch, Bess, needs to be trained.

    She is just about to start the very early stages of training, but she has been around the sheep for a couple of months already, she is very strong willed, both on sheep and at home, but she has a 90{a56cfaadebb0a7665ef0b8bb5f8f73bbf0eca0e81cdb3d1fbeae9197b774aba9} recall response and knows come bye, away, stop, lie down and wait, amongst the standard commands and I’m confident she will be a great asset to me. She has always looked back for me, notices when a sheep breaks free and will go after it to get it back, she also uses her voice when she comes across a sheep who wont move!

    High spirits comes with erratic chasing, selective hearing and the occasional gripping but although I correct her I am still aware she is a pup still and these moments will occur frequently whilst she is young!

    I am very pleased to have found your site as I was reluctant to let her run with other collies as I don’t want her to pick up any bad habits they may have. Plus the collies round here are not trained to the standard I wish for Bess to be. I was told I would have my work cut out to train her myself without a dog for her to follow and this concerned me that I would waste a good dog, but your videos have filled me with confidence and I cannot wait to make a proper start with her!

    Thank you again

    Jodi

    1. Andy avatar

      Thank you for your kind words, Jodi. I’m glad you find the website useful for training Bess. It’s not a good idea to train a dog by letting it run with others because the trainee dog will learn the bad habits of the older dogs as well as the good points. Believe in your dog, be firm but patient, and I’m sure you’ll succeed.
      Please let us know how you get on.

  4. Daniele Lancini avatar

    Hi andy,
    After practicing for weeks on flanking and droving me and my young bitch are approaching driving. She starts to get the idea walking straight in front of me and I’m gradually increasing distance between me and the dog. As a matter of fact, approaching driving, I found out how critical it is to have a very good stop and recall. Which my dog did not have. Or not enough though. The matters covered in your videos are great. I wish I could also find some material on teaching basic obedience commands, which are foundamental stuff in the area of sheepworking. There is a lot of stuff on the net but nothing matching your approach.
    Daniele

    1. Andy avatar

      It’s very important for the dog to get off to a good start, Daniele – but it’s never too late to get things right later on (it just takes a little longer as the dog gets older).
      There’s quite a lot of information on this subject in our “First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training” DVDs. I recommend you watch those to see where you’re going wrong.
      One thing springs to mind though – we are learning all the time here, and since we made “First Steps” (several years ago now) we’ve learned the value of lead training. Away from the sheep, it’s excellent practice to teach the dog to walk PROPERLY on a lead. If you can achieve this, the dog will be far easier to train, because by walking with the lead slack (as I said – away from sheep) the dog is fully accepting that you are the leader. If it’s pulling, it has not, and a dog that has not accepted you as its leader is not going to respect your wishes if they don’t coincide with its own.
      On “First Steps” you’ll see me teaching the dogs to “Stay Close” when we’re out walking. This is even more advanced than lead training, and I wouldn’t expect most trainers to have the patience to do it – but if you can, again, it does wonders for the dog’s respect of you.

  5. Keith Hawkins avatar

    Hi Andy, I attended one of your courses in the summer and have made good (I think) progress with Clover over the last few weeks. She now can hold a few sheep in a small area and knows her flank commands and this is what I have been focusing on. She is though far too close to the sheep but I was hoping to leave this issue until I think she is fully capable with the flank commands. My concern however is that I am storing up or adding to a problem later by allowing her to work so close to the sheep.

    Your view would really be appreciated, Keith

    1. Andy avatar

      By allowing the dog to continue to work too close to the sheep, you are indeed storing up problems which will be harder to correct later. I urge you to widen Clover out at your earliest opportunity. The longer she’s allowed to get away with it, the more entrenched “this is how we do it” will be, in her mind.
      Driving is advanced work. It’s hard enough to get some dogs to flank wide enough when they’re driving, even when they’ve learned to flank well at other times, so it’s clearly better to teach ALL the basics before you move on to more advanced work.
      Teach the dog to WALK before you try to teach it to RUN!

Leave a Reply to Melinda Stevenson Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

Hide picture