Inside flanks (or circling on command) are a milestone, taking your dog’s skill, and control of sheep and other livestock, to a higher level.
A first step to advanced sheepdog training
Circling on command, can mark the difference between a dog being average, or excellent!
A dog spontaneously circling the sheep, is not good.
Teaching the dog to circle sheep in front of you, will increase its confidence.
A dog which can circle on command, will have far better control of its stock.
Watch a dog learning to circle sheep on command (but a bit too close to them).
Once the dog will circle on command, flanking it at a distance becomes easier.
Now watch a dog which hasn’t learned to circle the sheep on command.
Training a dog to circle sheep on command.
Time to ditch the stick…
Avoid carrying a training stick, when teaching a dog to circle sheep or cattle on command.
The dog circles the sheep first time!
The sheep are running off, so the dog brings them closer.
Going clockwise, the dog comes to about 90º, and then wants to go back to the point of balance.
She comes further in the ‘Away’ direction, but still goes back, then flanks behind the handler.
The dog circles the sheep, but next time, the sheep are too close, so she circles behind.
The reason we work this dog on both ‘Stand,’ and ‘Lie down’ commands.
Watch the ‘Stopping The Dog’ tutorial, for more on this.
Moving through the sheep, to encourage the dog to flank ‘Come bye’.
Using ‘That’ll do,’ to encourage the dog to flank around the sheep.
The dog goes the wrong way, and splits the sheep.
The dog brings the sheep back, and (with encouragement) circles them clockwise!
Wyn circles again – in the ‘Away’ direction.
Lots of excitement!
Rapidly repeating commands, encourages the dog to keep going.
A recall command (and lots of praise) can bring the dog closer when you need it.
The dog seems to be enjoying the lesson now!
The dog circles well in the clockwise direction, even with the sheep very close.
Watch the ‘Driving’ tutorials.
Attempting to get the dog to circle using only commands, and it works!
The dog won’t circle in the clockwise direction.
Insisting the dog flanks in the direction she’s commanded to.
Encouraging the dog to circle in the clockwise direction, even when it seems hopeless!
Success! But the dog doesn’t want to do it again!
Success again! But the dog nips a sheep on her way through!
This is part one of a two-part tutorial
Dramatically improve your sheepdog or cattle dog’s work with this important two-part tutorial. Even if the dog’s already competent at driving, teaching inside flanks or circling on command will not necessarily be easy. Once the dog will circle the stock in front of you however, its confidence and control over sheep or cattle will improve considerably.
In part one of this tutorial, Andy demonstrates how he uses tricks, commands, encouragement and lots of excitement, to teach the dog its inside flanks and to circle the sheep in front of him in the open field.