The training ring (1 of 2)

Part 1: Contain the action! A training ring makes sheepdog training easier.

Subtitles: French*, Spanish* or English, click CC on viewer (*translation errors).



Using a training ring to keep sheep together makes sheepdog training far easier

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Video Highlights

The training ring can make training your dog smoother and quicker.
Starting a dog on sheep in an open field is not ideal.
Watch the same dog inside the training ring.
Not ideal for prolonged training.
The correct size of a ring is important.
Modifying and improving the training ring.
The training ring’s not just for basic training.
The secret of sheepdog training.

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Contain the action

One of the most useful assets that help us to train a sheepdog is the sheepdog training ring. It’s very much more versatile than you might think. A simple but properly constructed training ring, will make the early stages of training your dog so much easier.

Trainee sheepdogs tend to chase the sheep, who (very wisely) run away. Both dog and sheep can run much faster than sheepdog trainers, so this means the ‘action’ is happening too far away for us to keep the situation under control. The farther away you are from your trainee sheepdog, the less control you have over it, so we contain the action in a training ring during the early stages of starting a dog on sheep.

A correctly sized training ring is simple to make, and will transform the early stages of sheepdog training.

The Training Ring 2


9 responses to “The training ring (1 of 2)”

  1. isabel beasley avatar
    isabel beasley


    I had the same problem as Robert above. The tutorial stopped and froze at 12:41, and I couldn’t watch past that.

    1. I’m sorry you are experiencing an issue with playback Isabel.

      The videos are distributed worldwide via Amazon s3 and CloudFront – currently the leading content delivery system.
      As a precaution, I have cleared the cache on the Amazon system. If you would check the video playback again (before trying anything else) and let me know the result, I would be grateful.

      We have no other reports of issues at the moment, and the videos are certainly playing properly here, so if clearing the Amazon cache made no difference, it suggests either your browser cache needs to be cleared (read about that here) or I wonder whether you may have changed the HD setting on the player?

      For the browser cache, follow the instructions on the link above, and for the HD setting, look for the HD icon at the bottom-right of the player when you are playing a video. It should normally be set on Auto, but some people change it so that it’s permanently on a high setting. I suggest you put it on Auto, or change it to a low setting.

      It can sometimes help, if you use a different device, preferably from a new location, to watch the videos.

      Could you please do an internet speed test, and let me know the result (preferably with a screen-shot)?

      I hope this has been of some help, and that you can continue watching the tutorials as they should be!
      Please let us know immediately if your require further help.

      1. isabel beasley avatar
        isabel beasley

        Hi Andy,

        Thanks for your quick response and help to trouble-shoot this tutorial. I re-played the ‘training ring tutorial’ this morning (without changing the HD settings) and I was able to watch it to the end. So all seems fine now.

        Thanks again to you and Gill for your fantastic tutorials – they are extremely helpful!

  2. Matt Kyhnn avatar

    I just signed up yesterday and am finding these videos very helpful and inspiring. I cannot wait to get Jack out and in a ring with a few sheep. He’s 10 months and has already proven to be very helpful on the farm, he can’t gather the sheep for me but he will lay down and serve as another man in the field so I can get them to go where I want. I’ve never trained a dog, but the neighbors seem to think he shows great potential!

    Regarding the training ring, how flexible is the 16 metre diameter ring you suggest? I am trying to limit the amount I have to invest in hurdles, knowing Jack’s training time in the ring will be relatively quick. We have an area in the yard that is flanked on three sides by buildings / stone wall, leaving me only one area to close up with hurdles. However, it would end up being more of an oval than a circle, and only 12 metres wide. Will this suffice and what would you suggest for the longer diameter of the oval? No shortage of space there so could go as wide as needed.

    Thanks again for your brilliantly done videos.

    1. Thank you for the feedback Matt, it’s great to know you find the tutorials useful.

      Have you watched “The Training Ring Tutorials“?
      If you have, I suggest you watch again. You’ll see that I make our training ring into an oval shape, and you’ll also see that Dulcie (who like Jack, is pretty controllable) copes quite well with the very narrow “pen” that I make at one end of the ring. That part is only a few paces wide.

      It’s all about the dog’s confidence. If you demonstrate to the dog that it’s in very little danger when it’s in a confined space with the sheep, then the dog will learn to cope with it. If the dog’s nervous, walk round the sheep with the dog by your legs (even on a lead if it refuses to go in any other way). Introduce the problem gently and patiently, and the dog will cope very well.

  3. Robert Stillwell avatar
    Robert Stillwell

    I can’t get keeps stopping and loadings

    1. Gill has already replied to your email, Robert.
      Basically, if the videos play at all, everything at our end is working. It’s down to your internet connection or your device.
      Have you tried using the “Not playing well? Click here” link (above every tutorial).
      Please let us know whether that works better for you.


    Do you have a set of DVD that cover everything?


    Richard Feldman

    1. Many of the tutorials are in our three Tutorial DVD sets, Richard. There are around fifteen that are not though, because we’re working on a new DVD set which will have a full set of tutorials which will be in sequence rather than random as they are now.
      Hopefully the new DVD set(s) will be released in the early spring of 2019.

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