Sheep – essential facts for trainers

Are yours suitable sheep for sheepdog training?

Subtitles: French*, Spanish* or English, click CC on viewer (*translation errors).



Photo of a group of sheep grazing by a green hedge

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Legal requirements for keeping sheep.
Why dogs are able to herd sheep and cattle.
Sheep types and characteristics.
We use Welsh Mule sheep.
Hoggs (ewe lambs) can be ideal.
Dogged‘ sheep are ideal for starting a dog.
Types of sheep to avoid in early training.
Ideas for finding some sheep to train with.
The powerful flocking instinct.

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If you have a training question or comment, leave it below.

Not so daft!

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 behave – especially when confronted with a dog. We also discuss ways of finding and obtaining sheep, how to find somewhere to keep them, what sort of sheep it’s best to use for training sheepdogs, and which types are best avoided when the dog’s in the early stages of training.

Starting a young puppy 1 | (top ⇧)


13 responses to “Sheep – essential facts for trainers”

  1. Philip Hopkins avatar
    Philip Hopkins

    Hi Andy,
    I’ve watched the first videos and thoroughly enjoyed them.
    I have Nigerian Dwarf goats. I’m reluctant to use borrowed sheep for starting my almost 9-month-old Border Collie because of concerns about parasite transmission (sheep to goats). I have two wethers and a yearling doe that are relatively gentle. Any tips on starting my dog with them or should I research other options?
    Thank you.

    1. It’s good to know you’ve enjoyed the videos you’ve seen so far, Philip.
      We have quite a number of members who train their dogs on goats, but I understand some goats can be very stubborn, so you may need to watch “Sometimes nice is not enough” at some stage, if your dog finds the goats hard to move.
      The principles are just the same for the dog, whatever it’s working, so you should find our tutorials very helpful – but be sure to watch the first ones first, to get a better understanding of how things work, and what to expect along the way.
      We’d love to hear how you get on, if you feel like letting us know.

      1. Philip Hopkins avatar
        Philip Hopkins

        Thank you. I am watching the videos in order so will look for that one coming up.

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