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. 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 ( ).
        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

    circling and rate behind the stock

    Would love a video on how to get a dog that is persistant in circling
    to finally stop and get behind the stock

    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


    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.

    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!

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