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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. I forgot one question, sorry.

    When I send him out around the sheep, if I send him clockwise, he does it beautifully at any distance. However, if I send him counter-clockwise, he’ll often cross over and go around the sheep clockwise.

    To correct this I’ve kept his runs short, sent him counter-clockwise and tell him “out” if he isn’t going wide enough, but this doesn’t work every time.

    Should I keep him going on short runs? I didn’t realise he had become so one-sided!

    Jenna

  2. Hi Andy,

    Thanks for getting back to me.

    Should I be doing this when we are out in the paddock? or am I better working on it with him around the obstacles?

    As far as his flank commands goes, he knows them really well, just sometimes he thinks he can go whichever way he wants. Usually I will growl at him, give the command to the direction he is going, and then change him back to the way I want. Although this is happening less and less now, sometimes he will still argue the point, if you know what I mean.

    I’m not planning on trialling him, however I need him to be able to do most of the things that trial dogs do.

    Also, he is coming up to 16 months old, at what level or training would you expect him to be up to? (if he were your dog). I’m just curious to know if I’m slowing him down, or maybe pushing him too quickly. I’ve really had to push him to an extent because I needed his help with the sheep when my husband got sick.

    Thanks again :)

    Jenna

    1. I would practice the flanking off balance away from obstacles.
      If he goes the wrong way, stop him then send him the way you intended. Giving the command for the way he went is confirming he was right (even though you growled at him – you’re contradicting yourself).
      There’s no real benchmark for performance. Some dogs are winning trials at 12 months – but I’d question the wisdom of that. Jock sounds OK to me.

  3. Hello Jenna,
    Good to hear that Jock’s still working well.
    To get him to work off balance is a gradual process (will be coming up shortly in the ‘Close Work 02’ Tutorial).
    It’s really a question of teaching him to flank what I call ‘the wrong way’.
    First he must really know his flank commands.
    Next, you move just a foot or so to one side and send him towards you, rather than towards the point of balance.
    Use hand signals and the stick (in the correct hand) to block him from going the wrong way – and don’t be impatient – he just needs you to be firm and insist he goes the way you say rather than the way his instinct tells him.
    As he progresses, gradually increase the distance you go off balance before sending him off.
    Best wishes, Andy.

  4. Hi Andy,

    Lately, to stop both Jock and I getting bored, we’ve been doing a few different things. One is to bring the adult ewes up in to the small paddock and have him drive them along behind me as we do a ‘u-turn’ around the old pear tree and back again. He’s gotten quite good at this, and his confidence is growing, so I took him out (with the ewes) into the main paddock which has a steep, but short, hill in it. He’s always struggled getting the sheep down the hill, so I wanted to work on that with him. Yesterday he successfully pushed the sheep up the hill, and then turned them around and gradually pushed them down the hill. He didn’t rush them but he had to keep pushing to keep them moving.

    Later that day I took him over to the lambs (11 x 3 month old) to give them some work. I’m breaking them in at the moment, but they still tend to scatter. After a disastrous outrun, I got Jock back in line and he bunched them all up and then pushed them approximately 100 metres to me.
    To change it up a bit, I put two panels up, end to end with a gap of about 3 feet between them and had Jock push the lambs through the gap. Out of 3 efforts, he only missed one ewe. He slowed right down when we got to the obstacle and appeared to think his way through it. Instead of dropping like he’s always wanting to do, he’d crouch down and stalk.
    He did really well with this, however I am now facing the problem that I need to get him working off-balance.

    How do I teach him this? It’s all well and good him keeping the sheep to me, but if I want them in the yard, to close the gate behind them, I need to be outside of the pen, not in it, which is the only way I can get Jock to bring the sheep to me.

    Any tips?

    Jenna

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