Does your dog need more confidence when working difficult sheep or other livestock?
How you can improve your dog’s confidence, when working difficult stock.
Over-strict training, can damage your dog’s confidence.
You can see the dog in question, in the “Eve At The Pen” tutorial.
Don’t take away your dog’s right to defend itself.
Watch a dog showing courage when close to stubborn sheep.
Watch a ewe (with a lamb) chasing a dog away.
Ewes protecting their lambs can be particularly troublesome for dogs.
A dog struggling to bring a flock of sheep across a field.
Without help, it took the dog nine minutes to move the sheep about 150m.
Working quickly, can help to move stubborn sheep.
Watch the “Sheepdog Whistle” tutorials.
If the dog’s too far back, it can lose its authority over the sheep.
If you want to work two dogs at once, train them on different commands.
Alternatively, give the dog’s name before the command. (It’s not as good though).
Sheep don’t like fast-moving dogs, so if the dog moves quickly, the sheep will, too!
Once a stubborn flock is moving, keep it going by flanking the dog. (Wearing).
Be aware which is your most confident dog.
Watch a confident dog moving stubborn ewes, and cattle.
Now watch a less-confident dog, ignore a ewe which she knows is aggressive.
The same ewe, respects the more confident dog.
Building the confidence of your dog, is an important part of its training.
Correct dogs which are too aggressive, and encourage the less confident ones.
Encouraging the dog to protect itself, if it’s under threat of attack.
Once your dog knows it’s allowed to defend itself, it’s confidence will grow.
Set situations up so that the dog always wins (not the stock).
Both the dog and the sheep need protection, and it’s up to us to provide it.
Needing a bit more grrrr!
It’s all very well training your dog to keep back from the sheep and not upset them, but what can you do if the sheep refuse to go where the dog’s trying to put them? For the welfare of the sheep, they simply must be handled, treated for any ailments and managed, so we need to teach the dog to get tough when the time arises.
Find out how Carew’s confidence when working difficult stock, grew immensely once she learned to be more assertive. As well as difficult sheep, Carew can now handle stubborn cattle with relative ease.