Sheepdog Training Video Library

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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. Denise Hawe avatar

    Hi Andy
    Love the tutorials and the way you show mistakes as it makes me feel better to see what happens here also happens with you. I have 2 UK dogs both very different, but one feature they share is their distance is often very wide and they don’t look at the sheep at times. Here in Australia we 3 sheep trial and the UK dogs have long been critisized for this. My youngest floats really wide and I have brought her in a fair bit but the older males will take his eyes off the sheep when flanking. I love working this dog and he is fantastic in the paddock. I am due to trial him and am a bit nervous. He never takes his eyes off when it matters at the bridge, gate or pen. Is this a bad trait? Love your Golden Rule!!

  2. Cathy Hughes avatar

    Well…the only thing I would add to your tutorial on the whistles is to make sure you have a paper towel ready to mop up all the spit that comes forth. LOL I am still having a problem with consistent sounds…ie no two downs whistles sound the same. But I guess that will improve over time. Thanks again! Looking forward to part three of driving. Cheers.

    1. Andy avatar

      Thanks Cathy – we’re working on the Driving 3 tutorial now, so it should be up in a few days’ time.
      Meanwhile, keep practising with the whistle – it’s well worth the effort (and the paper towels).
      If you find you’re getting spit in the whistle itself, give it a good puff from one side to clear it out from between the plates, because it will impede your sounds (and so will dust and fluff if they accumulate in there).

  3. Jennifer Geitenbeek avatar

    Hi Andy,

    Yesterday afternoon I had Jock out working the lambs again. I’ve started with off-balance work (the paddock is flat and there isn’t many obstacles in it) and he started working the way I asked. He looked confused a couple of times, but after growling at him for going ‘his’ way and sending him back ‘my’ way a couple of times, he seemed to get the idea. I didn’t realise I’d been contradicting myself with him.

    Ever since I’ve been coming down harder on him (just growling, stopping and then sending him off again when he’s doing the wrong thing) he’s slowed down a lot and doesn’t seem to be ‘arguing’ as much. I worry that I growl too much, but there’s much more praise than anything with him.

    Oh, before I forget, do you have any tips for changing over to whistle commands? I can’t use dog whistles (can’t get a sound out of them) but I can whistle very well myself.

    Take care, Jenna

    1. Andy avatar

      Hello Jenna,
      It’s very easy to get a dog to work on whistle commands once it’s fluent with voice commands. Simply give the voice command and as the dog obeys, follow it with the whistle. If the dog’s confused at first, repeat the voice, and then the whistle. They pick it up very quickly.

      1. Jennifer Geitenbeek avatar

        Hi, Thanks for the tip. I’ll start doing that.

        Unfortunately we live right on a highway, and if there is a lot of traffic, or it’s windy, he can’t hear me so well, so I thought whistle would be a better option.

        Thanks again,

        Jenna

  4. Andy avatar

    If the dog crosses over on its outrun, you sent it too far (on the side you originally sent it).
    Keep working Jock on the anti-clockwise side but set him up closer to the sheep so it works every time, then gradually increase the distance. You must balance his sides up. Keep the clockwise side for the longer or more tricky tasks for the time being.

    If the dog looks back at you, it’s not confident – you’re probably working it too far away from you. From what you say, Jenna, it sounds as though you’re pushing Jock a little too hard – make things easier for him for a while. You won’t win any prizes for rushing him – on the contrary, be patient and you’ll have a much better dog in the long run.

    If he’s looking at you, his confidence is not building, because he’s worried. In this case, reduce the pressure a little.

  5. Jennifer Geitenbeek avatar

    (Comment moved from another page).

    Hi Andy,
    I’ve just finished watching the video and one point you made that a dog will look back at you if it is lacking in confidence with driving. Does this apply to all work when training?

    If I have to send Jock out into the big paddock to round up the sheep it isn’t always possible to see all of the sheep. He runs the fence line, but will occasionally stop and wait for another command before he moves off. He’s usually moving forward a lot more slowly after this. Would this be a confidence thing as well?
    Jenna

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