Our best sheepdog training exercise, once you have control of your farm dog, and the dog has basic control of the sheep or cattle.
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What to do next, once your dog goes round the sheep, and stops reasonably well.
Our best sheepdog training exercise once your dog has basic control of the sheep.
Improving the stop, flanking, manner, control, working distance – and the bond with its trainer.
Done correctly, walking backwards enables you to take a bunch of sheep wherever you like.
The walking backwards exercise paves the way for teaching outruns, driving, shedding, and even penning sheep.
Taking sheep in two circles (a figure of 8) means the dog must flank both ways to control them.
WARNING: You may fall over if you do the Walking Backwards exercise in a field.
Introduction to a ‘walking backwards’ session with a strong dog.
Setting the dog up for an outrun.
The dog runs to the sheep, but goes around them – just!
Try to give the dog the impression you’re in control, even if you’re not!
Keeping the dog back, allows the sheep to reunite.
Using the training stick, to keep the dog back off the sheep.
Continue to give calm, well-timed commands when control is lost.
Making the dog stay back as you walk backwards.
Flanking practice to relieve pressure on the dog.
Taking the sheep towards two trees to practice figure of eight flanking.
Reminding the dog to keep back behind the sheep.
Working in a figure of 8 to improve both of the dog’s flanks.
Turning to face the dog improves control.
Time to use some outruns to relieve the pressure on the dog.
Moving through the sheep, keeping the dog in place, to allow the sheep to move away.
The dog stays in place while the sheep are still, but moves the moment they do!
When the handler crouches down to put the dog on a lead, the sheep move away!
When the dog loses a sheep, it’s a good opportunity for a ‘look-back‘.
Calm, well-timed commands, should still be given if control is lost.
And once again, keeping the dog back enables the sheep to reunite.
The moment the dog is restrained, the sheep move off …
Our best sheepdog training exercise
It’s boring – and it might appear pointless to the novice, but walking backwards with the dog bringing the sheep up to you, is our best sheepdog training exercise, but it relies on your dog having basic control of the livestock before you try it. It improves pace, flanking, working distance, the stop, general sheep control, and much more.
As well as clearly demonstrating how to get a strong dog to bring the sheep up quietly – this tutorial provides a valuable tip on how to ‘read’ your sheep, or in other words, predict what they will do next.