How to slow a sheepdog down. Ways to calm your trainee herding dog, and make it work more steadily.
Subtitles: French*, Spanish* or English, click CC on viewer (*translation errors).
The consistent use of patience, confidence, and quiet authority will then result in a calmer dog.
Get the dog going around the sheep first, and worry about other training details later!
Pack behaviour and hunting instinct.
There’s no ‘quick-fix’ to slow a dog down.
Novelty or excitement excite the dog, so try to be calm at all times.
Repetitive sounds excite the dog, so it makes sense to avoid them if you want to slow it down.
Rapid movement of sheep excites the dog, so avoid these too.
Restrict the size of the training area because that way you’ll have more control, and hopefully be calmer.
Fear, or lack of confidence excites the dog, so it’s wise to avoid situations where the dog works close to the sheep, such as in tight-corners or pens.
Situations posing actual danger of injury.
Which is the best tutorial for slowing the dog down?
Slow that sheepdog down!
How to slow a sheepdog down and get it to work more steadily is a frequent sheep dog training question. There’s no “quick fix” for getting a keen dog to work at a steadier pace. The number of things which speed it up is surprising!
Young dogs are excited when first introduced to sheep, cattle or other livestock, because it’s part of their natural instinct. Excitement shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing, because dogs which are not motivated by the close presence of livestock and don’t have this ‘working instinct‘, cannot be trained to work them successfully. Treated correctly our excited dog will be more relaxed, and this will result in the standard of the dog’s work improving dramatically.
Many of the factors which speed the trainee dog up are caused by the trainer, and unfortunately the trainer is usually completely unaware that the problem lies with them.
This video tutorial takes an in-depth look at the reasons why herding dogs often work very fast, and suggests ways of slowing a sheepdog down. You’re well on the way to getting your dog trained to herd livestock, once you can get it to calm down, so it’s well worth the effort. The stock will be more relaxed and work better for a dog which appears calm and under control, than one which is excited and erratic.