Driving (Parts 1 – 3)

Full membership required, to view sheepdog training videos - Signup - LOGIN
Thumbnail image for the sheep and cattle dog training tutorial: Driving part one

THREE TUTORIALS to help you teach your dog to drive

Some sheepdog trainers dread teaching their dog to drive and it's understandable, because when we ask a dog to take the sheep or cattle away, it's contrary to the dog's instinct. If you understand what's going on though, it becomes much simpler, and more enjoyable for dog and trainer. In this tutorial you'll discover how to ease the dog into driving and reduce the stress involved when we ask the dog to take the stock away.

Following on from the first sheepdog driving tutorial, in this video, you will learn how to use your body position to maintain some control over the dog while it learns to drive. Just as when controlling the direction that the dog flanks around the sheep in the early stages of training, body position and point of balance are also crucial for controlling direction when teaching the drive. In this tutorial, Andy shows that putting himself in the right place at the right time, can make a huge difference to the behaviour of the dog.

Unashamed deception! Calling the dog back onto line when it's determined to hook the sheep back to you can be difficult and frustrating. As it drives the sheep away from the handler, the trainee dog is often so keen to get ahead of them and bring them back that it will ignore conventional flanking commands. In this tutorial, Andy uses what might be deemed an inappropriate command to call the dog back onto line and keep the sheep moving in the right direction.

6 Replies to “Driving (Parts 1 – 3)”

  1. Thank you for clearly explaining how to help the dog by using your position. I’m one of those learners who needs a clear diagrammatic explanation before I can apply it in practice, and that is what you’ve given.

    1. Thank you Catherine, it’s good to know the tutorials help you.
      Only yesterday, I was wondering whether we should include more animations in the tutorials, so your feedback is perfectly timed – much appreciated!

  2. Hello, is there a right time to teach a dog to drive? I have heard people say that if you teach it too early it will mess up the outrun, but I am not sure how good the outrun should be. My dog seems ok on outruns of about 200m but I couldn’t say she won’t do something silly eg cross over, if there was something she wasn’t sure about. I have had her doing a bit of circling the sheep and yesterday she did it when fetching the sheep, which was not ideal.
    Best wishes,

    1. I normally begin training the dog to drive as soon as I can control it between myself and the sheep. As you’ll see in the tutorials, I use any command or technique I can, to keep that control. It’s not easy at first though!
      I don’t see how teaching the dog to drive can spoil the outrun, in fact, it can help if you get the dog to push the sheep away, and then flank it round them, and bring them back. Some trainers teach the dog to drive before they teach it to bring the sheep to them. I can see the sense in this, because it could help the trainer to get the dog working calmly while it’s still very close. The closer you are to the dog, the more control you have over it.
      If the dog was circling the sheep when it fetched them, it’s because you’ve sent it too far, or the dog’s lacking confidence for some other reason.

  3. I have purchased a 4 year old border collie that knows how to drive. She is having a hard time driving my sheep. They will stop and turn and stare at the dog. Sometimes a ewe will confront the dog individually. The dog seems to lack the confidence or the quiet power to turn their heads and get them going again. Any suggestions for how to get my sheep to move?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *