A complete training session about training a sheepdog to work in pens. Introducing Eve to herding in tight spaces.
Subtitles: French*, Spanish* or English, click CC on viewer (*translation errors).
Training a sheepdog to work in pens
A complete training session about steadily introducing a dog to pen work as well as herding in tight or restricted spaces.
As you teach your dog how to pen sheep, it’ll learn much more along the way.
Eve is an inexperience young dog. She flanks and stops well, and is keen to learn!
We use the command ‘Stand’ with Eve, rather than the more usual ‘Lie down’.
The first part of this training session will run at half-speed, so you won’t miss anything! After that, it will run at full speed, to give you a more accurate impression of training a sheepdog to work in pens.
After doing a nice outrun, Eve circles the sheep, instead of bringing them…
Some sheep have got left behind, which is obviously a good opportunity to teach the dog to ‘Look Back’.
The dog’s confused, but notices the sheep, and goes back for them.
The sheep are going into the pen, but Eve’s not confident about pushing the last few in.
Using ‘That’ll do’ to get the dog to ‘Walk up’?
Trying different ideas (including ‘That’ll do’) to get the dog to walk-up on the sheep.
The dog wants to get at the sheep, but prefers the safety of being behind hurdles.
Encouraging the dog to come closer, and push the sheep into the pen.
Introducing the dog to the ‘dark spooky gap’, at the back of the pen.
Calling the dog close, to push the sheep back down the race.
Attempting to get the sheep out of the pen.
Watch ‘The Training Ring 2’, for more on getting sheep out of tight places.
Putting the sheep back in the pen.
Finding out whether the dog can get the sheep out of the restricted pen, in the clockwise direction.
Relieving pressure by sending the dog the easier way, to get the sheep out of the pen.
Keeping the dog in the back of the pen, so that the sheep have more time to come out.
Time for another ‘Look Back’ to keep all the sheep together.
The dog goes back for an odd sheep, and the sheep jumps into the race.
2nd attempt at getting the sheep out of the pen, in the clockwise direction.
Lead the dog in behind the sheep
Leading the dog in behind the sheep, to get them out of the pen.
Keeping the dog in place at the back of the pen, until all the sheep are out.
The dog gathers the sheep nicely, and the sheep in the race, jumps into the pen!
3rd attempt at getting the sheep out of the pen, in the clockwise direction.
Leading the dog in behind the sheep again, so that she’ll get them out of the pen.
Sending the dog (in the ‘Away’ direction) to bring the sheep back to the pen.
4th attempt at sending the dog in the clockwise direction, to get the sheep out of the pen.
Watch the ‘Calm But Firm’ tutorial, to see how keeping calm can help you train your dog.
5th attempt – sending the dog in the clockwise direction, to get the sheep out of the pen.
Relieving stress, by sending the dog the way she prefers, to get sheep out of the pen.
Catching the dog isn’t always easy!
Watch Kay getting the sheep out of the pen, in the clockwise direction!
Watch Eve’s complete training session at normal speed, with no commentary.
Take your time – give the dog a chance!
Training a sheepdog to work in pens involves getting sheep into a tight spot, and then getting them out againIt also requires confidence and control from the dog. In this tutorial we see Eve, a keen young dog who’s basic training is in place, but Eve still shows some tyro weaknesses – she favours ‘Away‘ to ‘Come Bye‘, for instance, and her stop isn’t 100% reliable (yet).
However, a lesson about herding in tight spaces doesn’t only teach penning, it gives us the opportunity to work on Eve’s stop as well as her flanks, to introduce the “Look Back” (when she fails to bring all her sheep cleanly to the pen) and to help build her confidence to get between the sheep and the fence.