Teach your sheepdog to keep away from the sheep when it’s working.
Why your dog must give the sheep space
Most points lost in sheepdog trials, are caused by dog’s being too close to the sheep.
Comparing the working distances of dogs.
Teaching a trainee sheepdog to give the sheep more space.
Walking backwards with the dog bringing the sheep along nicely.
Correcting the dog when it goes the wrong way.
‘Whooshing’ the stick, to make the dog go out wider.
Work on the side that the dog is tightest on, to balance it up.
More walking backwards to relieve the stress. Rita enjoys this.
In the next lesson, two days later the dog’s flanks have improved.
Gently use the stick and follow the dog round to keep it back off the sheep.
Standing between the dog and the sheep, increases the chance of guiding the dog round them.
Use a quiet voice to encourage the dog, and a wave of the stick to keep him out.
Blocking the dog with the stick, to stop him, then ‘whooshing’ it to widen him out.
Following the dog round and gently waving the stick to ‘push’ him out.
The same dog in the open field a few days later.
Walking back with the sheep, and keeping the dog in place.
Walking through the sheep to send the dog on a short outrun.
If the dog’s hard to stop, repeatedly flank it a little way and then stop it.
The dog must not crowd the stock
If your dog’s going to work sheep or cattle properly, it must learn to give them plenty of room and not crowd them. Of course there are times when the dog needs to be close and assertive with the stock, but as a general rule, the less the dog pressurises sheep or other livestock the better. Teach your sheepdog to keep away from the sheep.
If the dog keeps well back off the stock, they’ll be much calmer, and subsequently far easier to manage than excited or frightened sheep or cattle will be.
In this tutorial, you’ll learn ways of encouraging your dog to go out wider, and stay out there! Your dog must not crowd the stock.