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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. 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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