Bronwen and Scylla (Part 2)

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In part one we saw how good Bronwen's sheep control can be, and we caught a glimpse of Scylla's antics too. In this tutorial, we find out just how difficult Scylla can be when she encounters sheep.

When Scylla gets into the training ring she's very trying at first, but soon, with a little help from Kay, the youngster begins to show her natural talent.

There's still a long way to go, but Scylla's definitely got what it takes!


Bronwen & Scylla 3 Bronwen & Scylla 4 Bronwen & Scylla 5

14 Replies to “Bronwen and Scylla (Part 2)”

  1. Hi Andy your totally right! In Bronwen and Scylla 2 were you have Scylla in the ring trying to get her, is Lexi exactly . Ill back up and get the respect back .

  2. As I’ve noticed you do not use the lie down for an actual down, but more for a change of direction, would this not be a good time to put Scylla on a line so that you can catch her?

    1. Good question, but I don’t like using ropes or lines when I’m training, Linda. They’re clumsy and get wrapped around things, but they can be useful if the dog’s very aggressive with animals. For the few moments it takes to catch the dog (inside the training ring) I think it’s important to put in the effort and show the dog that it really must stop. Most dogs learn very quickly that it’s OK to stop and return to the handler – especially if they know you’ll probably let them go again.
      If I’m having real trouble catching a dog, I drag the hurdles to make a point, or corner (without letting the sheep escape, of course) and then get the dog to bring the sheep tight into it. Then as the dog comes in close, I grab it.

      1. I agree that the line can be a detriment, but also at times a necessary evil! I was taught by the first trainer that I worked with that their reward, be it for taking a down, a correction, or whatever, was going back to work. We also take them away & then take them back to the stock. It can be a fine line when to stop working & when to be happy with what your dog has done! I love your videos & I also feel your pain sometimes!

  3. I have two sisters that I’m trying to train. They are now two years old. One of them, Swift, is very good. Good enough for competition next year. Her sister, Holly can be directed around a field as if she is under remote control. Come by, away, go back, heel, lie down. but if there are sheep in the field she is not interested. She hasn’t had any frightening experience as a puppy with sheep but I used to be quite firm when they were puppies not to go near any stock. Have I put her off sheep for life?
    Is it possible to restore her natural instinct like her sister?

    1. Exactly that, Tony. It sounds as though you’ve successfully “de-sheeped” Holly – but it doesn’t necessarily have to be permanent.
      If you have the patience and the time, your best approach would probably be to arrange for the sisters to be “out playing” when they encounter some sheep. If Swift would then take an interest in them, Holly might follow suit – especially if you weren’t around. (Of course, the welfare of the sheep is important, so you’d need to have some way of monitoring the situation in case the dogs get over-enthusiastic).
      Another possibility would be for Holly to go to a new pack. Often a new pack means a completely new set of rules, so it might do the trick if a friend were to have Holly for a few days or even weeks as long as it was on different ground, with different sheep etc. This would take time, because Holly would need to settle into the new home for a couple of weeks for best effect. She could gently be encouraged to take an interest in sheep during the settling-in period though.
      There’s no simple or guaranteed way to get a dog’s attention back onto sheep once it’s convinced that to chase them is wrong – but it can be done.
      Putting a few sheep into a small enclosure, getting in there with the dog and hustling the sheep around can do the trick too, but don’t be surprised if Holly jumps out! Have you tried working the sheep around Holly with another dog?

  4. Hi, I have a 5 month old pup that I have briefly introduced to sheep, he is keen, but the sheep are being awkward and hugging the fence, and the pup is sticking and I want to avoid a habit forming. I have a trained dog, Skye, that you have met, I was wondering whether you can do a tutorial on how to train the trained dog to do what Kay does for you and keep the sheep off the hurdles. My round pen is half in another field so I cannot have a dog running on the other side of the fence, they will need to be in the round pen. I haven’t tried using Skye yet, but I can imagine it will be a lot harder than Kay makes it look. Any hints would be gratefully received. Thanks, Jill

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