Calling your dog away from the sheep

This article shows how we use traditional commands for sheepdog training

Our new two-part tutorial looks at the issue of calling your dog away from sheep, or other livestock. We show you how you can catch an uncatchable dog, and guide you through avoiding the situation arising at all.

Catching the uncatchable dog.

However reliable your dog’s recall away from sheep, a keen young dog will often feel conflicted about coming back to you while, as the dog sees it, there’s still exciting work to be done. Part One looks at “Using a Refuge Pen“.

Young sheepdog coming away easily from the sheep. Early sheepdog training.

If, during an early lesson, your dog stops listening to you, and is simply charging around the ring and scattering sheep, it’s unlikely you’ll easily regain calm control of the situation. Simply diving onto the dog to catch it could frighten it, or one or both of you might be hurt in the process. It’s for times like these that we’ve found the refuge pen is invaluable. We don’t always need it for a young dog, and we don’t need it for long. Neither will you – but it will help you retake control when you’ve tried everything else.

Calling the dog away

A reliable recall is invaluable, and a reliable recall around livestock is essential. Part Two shows how early lessons with your dog or puppy can avoid ever needing the refuge pen, by making returning to you on command second nature to your dog. 

In Part Two we see why the dog might be reluctant to come back to you, how you might inadvertently reinforce this behaviour, and what you can do to make the recall something for your dog to enjoy. Your posture, your position in relation to the sheep, and timing your commands all have a part to play. 

The single most important thing to remember

And what is the single most important thing we recommend to encourage your dog to come away from the sheep? You’ll find out in “Calling the Dog Away“, Part Two!


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