Get (the sheep) off the fence!

How to get sheep or cattle away from a fence or hedge.


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Thumbnail image for the sheep and cattle dog training tutorial: Get off the Fence

Getting stubborn sheep away from a fence or hedge during the early stages of training can be very frustrating unless you know the "tricks of the trade". This tutorial shows you not only how to prise the sheep away from the fence, but also how to turn the dog's determination to circle the sheep into a useful tool for moving the sheep in the open field.

Once your dog masters this, it'll very soon be able to keep the sheep out in the open.


  1. Great You Tube videos. The one on righting the cast sheep helped give me confidence to help one of my pregnant ewes who ended up on her back in the hot sun. It took about 10 minutes before she could stand on her own and about two hours laying and resting before walking more than a few steps.

  2. Is it possible to train a dog on wilder sheep. collie 12 months old keen but having trouble getting them off the fence, tried putting her up the side but she always wants to be on other side of sheep. Don’t want to frustrate her and make her grip them.

    1. It’s POSSIBLE to train on almost any kind of sheep, Adele, but whether it’s fair on either you, the dog, or most of all, the welfare of the sheep is another matter. Do you have any particular objection to investing in three or four sheep which are used to a dog – just to give the poor dog a chance??

      If getting the sheep away from the fence is the biggest problem, have you tried leading the dog behind the sheep as we show in the tutorial Get Off The Fence – the dog may not like it for the first time or two but once it learns that it can get the sheep away from the fence that way, you should be on your way to overcoming the problem.

        1. Have you tried? Ask around, advertise in the local paper or Farmers’ Guardian. Try asking at your local cattle market. Possibly the best bet is to ask at local sheepdog trials.

  3. Thank you for this! It is just what I needed. Day 4 of training properly on sheep, I was a bit lost about what to do about this problem, and rather out of breath!!!

  4. Thank you for this video. My 4 yr old BC has always been nervous about going between the sheep & fence. She is excellent out in the field so I have ignored this weakness. Last week, preparing for a trial, I sent her on a 300 ft outrun & she crossed over because there was a fence on the “away” side. Now I realize I better work on this weakness. I loved your video & will try a round pen, I guess, to see if I can gain her confidence.

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