Inside Flanks (Circle on Command) (Part 2)

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Sheepdog training video about inside flanks. Teach the dog to circle on command

Using a training ring, can make teaching your dog its inside flanks and circling the sheep much easier.

It stops the sheep from moving away, and once the dog will come between you and the sheep, you can move on quickly

Still using a variety of commands and lots of encouragement, the training ring will keep the sheep together and allow you to concentrate on controlling and encouraging the dog.


Woolly Jumpers Bronwen & Scylla 1 Bronwen & Scylla 2

10 Replies to “Inside Flanks (Circle on Command) (Part 2)”

  1. Andy, I love your tutorials but am having difficulty watching them because of the ridiculously poor quality of our internet connection (no hard wired broadband here on the Pennines, it took 50 mins to watch the 7 minute video above!! ), apologies therefore if you have covered this query elsewhere. I have a lovely young dog who has many positive qualities but is very headstrong. I can get him flanking the sheep in a pen and changing direction reasonably well, but the moment we move into the open field he loses his hearing and just wants to circle them without stopping. He is so fast that getting in front of him to force a change of direction s really difficult. Eventually he will respond to “That’ll do” and “come to me”, but not until he’s had his fun racing them around. Any suggetions on how to break this habit? By all means refer me to other videos but I may not be able to watch them easilly so any words in print will be gratefully appreciated.

    1. Thanks for the feedback on the tutorials Sam. I’m sorry to hear you have difficulty playing them. Have you tried selecting the “SD” option at the bottom right-hand corner of the video player? This plays a much smaller version of the video, and should help you. (Please let us know).

      Regarding training your dog in the open field, there are many ways to get round the problem. Watch “Moving Out” to see ways of getting the dog and sheep out of the training ring in a controlled way.

      If you have (or can create) a small paddock that can be a big help, too, but if you can’t get the sheep onto a fence or hedge and then send the dog to get them off it cleanly, it suggests the dog needs more practice in the training ring.

      1. Andy, thanks for your prompt reply. SD has certainnly helped, I shall now persevere a bit more before reporting back to you on progress, Tonight we’ve had an exaserating session, I am just going to watch “Get Off the Fence” again!

  2. We are having trouble teaching our dog to circle, partly because he is very strong willed and wants to run straight at the sheep and chase them, and partly because the sheep are so reactive to him that if he gets within 20ft they sprint off in a frenzy. The closest we have come to him circling is both the dog and the sheep running in a circle, the dog following the sheep. Do you have any suggestions?

    We purchased our sheep from a woman who competes in herding trials and all of them are use to working with dogs. We are training another dog at the same time and the sheep do not react in this was towards him.

    1. Circling the sheep is advanced work. You need to get the dog working calmly, flanking wide and preferably driving quite well, before you try to get it to circle them.
      The sheep are “reactive” to the dog because they’re frightened of him. They sense his determined attitude – and when they run off, it will excite him more.

  3. Hi Andy, use of inappropriate commands is definitely an essential part of the training process! !!! Thanks for sharing this advice with us. Regards from France.

  4. how do I get my young dog to stop heading the sheep off, she stops them and stops on point of balance but wont go round them in the ring, outside she goes in both directions, but goes to the front of the sheep inside the ring she does stop when I ask her but we have got to the stage of putting the sheep against the fence and each time I walk up to the fence to get them off with her, the sheep just circle the pen and I am not quick enough to get her even up to them on the lead so she can go between them and the fence; she keeps going to the front end to stop them, we get them in a tight little group and can not seem to advance;??

    1. I’m at something of a loss, Melanie your lack of punctuation makes it very difficult for me to understand what you mean – but basically, I think you are asking the same question that you asked (and I answered at length) this morning.

      From what you say here and in the previous question, I think you should slow down and start at the beginning with the tutorials.

      In my reply to your question this morning I suggested you start by watching “What shall I do next” and “Starting a strong dog” and I added that if your dog is very aggressive with stock, you could watch “Training Max – the Gripper“.

      You don’t mention whether you have watched any of them. Once again, you’ve chosen a much more advanced tutorial. Teaching your dog to circle sheep on command is nothing like learning to get sheep off a fence.

      I strongly recommend you start at the beginning with the tutorials and make a careful note of the points covered. For instance, in “Get off the fence” it shows you how important it is to lead the dog to the head of the sheep. It also shows you how to force the sheep off the fence (if they follow it) by putting an obstacle on the fence.

      The purpose of these comment areas is for people to ask about topics which are not clear or not covered at all, in the tutorials.

      Another point that occurs to me is that of your sheep. If the sheep are simply running from one side of the training ring to the other, it suggests they are not “dogged”. If this is the case, it will be very hard indeed to train a dog with these sheep until they become much calmer in the presence of a dog.

      Is your training ring the right size? In “What shall I do next?” you’ll see that the ring should have a diameter of about sixteen metres.

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