Regularly featuring one of our sheepdog training tutorials, to help with training your dog to work sheep, cattle or other livestock
Backwards is The Way Forward
Wondering whether to work on flanks, stop, or working distance? We think Backwards is the Way Forwards! Work on all aspects at once with this deceptively simple but effective sheepdog training exercise. As soon as your dog’s working around the sheep, and is under some sort of control, this simple exercise in an opportunity to improve the dog’s stop, flanks, … Read more
Featured tutorial – Early training with your sheepdog puppy
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that training a sheepdog puppy can wait until the puppy’s older – your puppy will start learning from you the moment it meets you. But it needn’t feel like work for either of you. The early months with any puppy are invaluable for getting to know its personality, and for establishing a bond between … Read more
Featured tutorial – Driving
A three-part tutorial to teach YOU how to teach your sheepdog to drive sheep. The Driving tutorials are among our most popular videos, tackling a subject that many handlers – and dogs – find challenging. Some sheepdog trainers dread teaching their dog to drive, but if you take the time to understand what’s happening there’s really no need to worry … Read more
Featured tutorial – Moving out into the open field
The training ring is ideal for keeping the action in easy reach of the handler, but some young dogs are unhappy when working in a restricted space. Confined with the sheep, and feeling under pressure, a dog can be uncharacteristically aggressive. Moving the sheep out of the training ring, and then putting them back in, is a useful exercise for … Read more
Featured tutorial – Why Your Dog Should Flank Both Ways
It’s important that your dog will flank both ways around the stock For day-to-day farming tasks you might be able to work around your dog’s shortcomings, but when the unexpected happens (as it surely will) you, your dog, or more likely your sheep, will run into trouble if the dog is reluctant to flank freely in both directions. Why Your … Read more
Getting the sheep into the training ring
Put your sheep in place before you start training New sheepdog handlers who’ve built themselves a training ring can be faced with a seemingly insurmountable problem: “How can I put my sheep into the training ring if I don’t have a trained dog?” It’s a fair question! You can’t start to train until the sheep are inside the ring. Watch … Read more
Featured Tutorial: Starting a Non-Starter
If your collie doesn’t want to work, is there anything you can do to spark its interest? The short answer is “Yes!” and understanding the possible reasons why the dog won’t work is a huge help to finding the cure. Most non-starters can become useful working dogs. It’s disappointing to find that your carefully selected border collie is an apparent … Read more
Featured tutorial – Sometimes Nice is Not Enough
Building your dog’s self confidence Self confidence is essential in a working dog. Sheep are natural runners when they’re being hunted, but some situations, such as when held in a pen, or protecting their lambs, can make a sheep turn, challenge, and fight back. While sheep and dog welfare must always be a priority there are occasions when the dog, … Read more
Featured tutorial – The Outrun
The outrun – the only training session you’ll hope will go “pear shaped”! If there’s one aspect of sheep work that demonstrates the joy and convenience of a working dog, it’s the sheep dog’s outrun. When you no longer need to walk down the field to drive your sheep to where you want them, you save your time, your temper … Read more
Featured tutorial – Educating Gloria
This complete training session shows the importance of good timing when you’re training a sheepdog. Encourage the best and, with good timing, make the best of the rest. Handlers who are new to sheepdog training can find it difficult to recognise what their dog’s doing, and take the appropriate action at the right time – timing is everything! Your timing … Read more
Featured tutorials – Bronwen and Scylla
A tutorial series where we train litter sisters, demonstrating the differences in young dogs. You can be forgiven for expecting that litter sisters would be very similar in temperament and working style, but we chose two home-bred puppies, Bronwen and Scylla, to demonstrate that even littermates can be poles apart. While both girls developed into keen, useful working dogs – just like their … Read more
Improved video playback performance!
Have you found your video buffering, or even stopping, when you watch our videos online? If you have, you’ll be pleased to hear we’ve made some big improvements to our service. Fast or Slow connections We’ve re-encoded each of our tutorials to make them more accessible on slower internet connections. At the same time, they cater for those whose faster … Read more
Featured tutorials – Introducing Sheepdog Trials
What to expect, and how to prepare yourself and your dog for your first sheepdog trial A two-part introduction to sheepdog trials. The better prepared you are for your first sheepdog trial, the less nerve-wracking it will be. You should know what to expect, and understand what will be expected of you. It seems unbelievable now, but when I entered … Read more
Featured tutorial – Sticky Dogs!
It’s time to get moving if your dog has too much “eye”. To a greater or lesser degree, border collies use “eye” (a particularly intense and assertive stare) to move stock. In some dogs the look is very exaggerated while other dogs work with their heads up, and don’t appear to be using eye at all. Sticky dogs – dogs … Read more
Featured tutorials – the Point of Balance
You’ve probably heard of the “point of balance”, but what exactly does it mean? You’ll often hear that the dog MUST stop at 12 o’clock. The theory is that if you imagine the handler is standing at 6 o’clock on a clock face, the dog should be directly opposite the handler (at 12 o’clock) on the other side of the … Read more
Featured tutorial – Sending the dog the ‘wrong way’
Our “Sending the dog the wrong way” tutorial introduces a great exercise for widening the dog’s flanks and outrun. Just as when we start to teach shedding we ask the dog to ignore one of its basic lessons (NOT to run through the sheep) this time we want the dog to work off balance. We’re asking the dog to forget … Read more
Featured tutorials – Preparing yourself and your dog
Many handlers seem to find the early “puppy” months very stressful; they’re anxious to raise the dog in a way that will spark and preserve the all-important working instinct, but worry about balancing that with the entirely natural desire to have a well behaved family playmate and companion. Sheepdog Selection and Preparation should answer these questions, and more, and help … Read more
Featured Tutorial: The Training Area
(Not to be confused with “The Training Ring”) IS YOUR TRAINING GROUND A HELP, OR A HINDERANCE? Your training area can make or break the early training sessions. It might seem like hard work, but taking the time to round off the corners and clear some obstacles will make it easier for your dog to succeed, and pay dividends in … Read more
NEW tutorial – Flock Work
Is your dog ready to handle a flock of sheep? Once your dog can control a small number of sheep reasonably well in the training field, it’s natural to start thinking about working a flock of sheep. After all, that’s what the dog’s for, isn’t it! To us humans, flock work seems like a natural activity for the dog, so … Read more
Featured tutorial – Eve at the Pen
Many of our online tutorials include actual training sessions with a trainee dog. No training happens in isolation so, as well as the main topic of the tutorial, any training session can highlight other aspects of the dog’s work – good or not so good. A typical example is Eve at the Pen. At this point in her training Eve … Read more
Featured tutorial – Get off the Fence!
When confronted with a dog, one of the few ways sheep have to defend themselves is to crowd together onto a fence, or in a corner. From this position they can turn to face the dog, and even just a few sheep can look very intimidating from the dog’s point of view! As a result, a very common problem for … Read more
Featured tutorial – Inside Flanks (Circling the Sheep on Command)
Teaching inside flanks (circling on command) Once your dog’s driving competently, teaching inside flanks (circling on command) is the next step. Make no mistake, good inside flanks can be the difference between having an average dog, and a great dog! In the two-part tutorial, Inside Flanks (Circle on Command), we see Wyn learning to overcome her inhibitions to flank between … Read more
Featured tutorials – assess your dog’s progress
There are plenty of ups and downs when you’re training a sheepdog, so take the time to assess your dog’s progress realistically. If you feel progress has slowed (or stopped) then you probably just need to take a step back and give your dog some easier tasks for a while. On the other hand, if you set a task for … Read more
Featured tutorials – Putting a stop (or wait, or lie down) to it
Stopping the Dog – Parts One, Two & Three take a detailed look at the problems surrounding the stop (or wait, or lie down, or whatever command you choose). They explain why your dog doesn’t want to stop, and what you can do to make it more likely that the dog will obey your stop command when you give it … Read more
Featured tutorial – Tess in the Open Field
Maintaining control in the open field An over-excited and strong-willed Tess first appeared in our Starting a Strong Dog tutorial. By the time we filmed “Tess in the Open Field” she’d made great progress, and proved she was quite capable of working to a high standard, but Tess was still young and sheer novelty and enthusiasm made her inconsistent. However, … Read more
Featured tutorials – gripping the sheep
Training a dog that grips can feel like a thankless task; it might seem that you take three steps forward in your training session only to start the next session two steps further back! It’s important to have faith in your dog and yourself, and concentrate on the small improvements you make. We wouldn’t want to describe gripping as the … Read more
Featured tutorials – Looking at Sheep
A short introduction to sheep behaviour can be very useful to a beginner in sheepdog training … Read more
Featured tutorial – whistles and whistle commands
If you’d like to use a sheepdog whistle, but don’t know where to start, there are two tutorials in the Online Training Tutorials library that can help. Part 1: How to blow a sheepdog whistle In The Sheepdog Whistle Andy demonstrates a tried and tested technique to get you blowing your whistle within minutes. Once you can make a sound … Read more
Featured tutorial – Working in a yard or pen
As the photo shows, being close to the sheep in a confined space can be intimidating for any dog and, as usual, confidence is key. For help with this type of work, watch our Eve at the Pen tutorial. Watch Eve at the Pen for help with: A dog who circles the sheep after its outrun, instead of bringing them … Read more
Featured tutorial – the Training Ring
In Part One of our Training Ring tutorial we demonstrate how the ring can be invaluable when starting a young dog or puppy, especially when there’s no experienced dog to lend a hand; the ring keeps the action within easy reach, and allows us to control or support the youngster, as needed. In time, of course, you’ll be able to … Read more
Featured tutorial – The Stop (Part 3)
Stopping the dog is a great help, but don’t rush it! A huge thank you to the subscriber who let us know they were having problems running Part Three of our Stopping the Dog tutorial. The entire tutorial has been taken apart and put back together again, and not only is it up and running as it should be, we … Read more
Featured tutorials – The Outrun
If there’s one aspect of sheep work that demonstrates the joy and convenience of a working dog, it’s a good outrun. When you no longer need to walk the length of the field (or up the hill) to drive your sheep to where you want them, you save your time, your temper and your legs. Put simply, the outrun is … Read more
A February offer for new subscribers
Have you been waiting to take the leap? If your new year resolutions included improving your sheepdog’s work – or your handling – or perhaps training your first sheepdog, make February 2020 the month when you take the leap! All new 12-month (one-off) subscriptions taken out during February 2020 will receive 13 months for the price of 12. Simply sign … Read more
Featured tutorials – My Dog’s No Good, and No Excuses Please!
Sheepdog training – with a little help from Johnny Mercer? Take a look at two complementary short tutorials, My Dog’s No Good and No Excuses Please! My Dog’s No Good warns against falling into the trap of believing your dog will never make a good sheepdog. So long as it’s fit, healthy and keen, the only thing preventing your dog … Read more
Featured tutorial – Stopping the Dog Part 2 – Revised!
We’ve uploaded the latest tutorial to benefit from a lot of new footage and much more information. Now that part two of our “Stopping the Dog” series is available to members, these completely revised tutorials Stopping the Dog – Parts One & Two take a detailed look at the problems surrounding the stop (or stand, or lie down, whichever command … Read more
Slow broadband, or poor mobile reception?
Now our tutorials easier to watch. If you live or work in a rural area you’ll know that rural broadband and mobile coverage can be especially poor, so we’ve added a “lower quality” option. Our latest player gives you three play qualities to choose from, so we’re sure that at least one of them will suit you! You’ll see from … Read more
Special offer for one-year subscriptions
New subscriptions will be valid for up to 14 months. A one-off 12 month subscription to our online training tutorials will make a super gift for anyone who’s training, or is thinking of training, a sheepdog. New one-year subscriptions, paid during November and December, will be valid until 1st January 2021 – it means that, regardless of when you buy, … Read more
Featured tutorials – basic training
There’s more to training a sheepdog than just sheep work. We know that sheepdogs love to work, so we can take advantage of that to teach our dogs other things that will make life easier for us – and them. We want to remind you of two tutorials in the library: Use a Reward to Get Training on Board, and … Read more
Featured tutorial – the Point of Balance
Everyone’s heard that the dog must balance the sheep, but what does it mean? You’ll often hear that the dog MUST stop at 12 o’clock. To understand where this is, you need to imagine that the handler is standing at 6 o’clock on a clock face with the dog directly opposite the handler (at 12 o’clock) on the other side … Read more
Featured tutorials – the dog and the handler
The Sheepdog Selection and Preparation and Sheepdog Handler tutorials provide lots of helpful tips and advice. Many handlers seem to find the early “puppy” months very stressful; they’re anxious to raise the dog in a way that will spark and preserve the all-important working instinct, but worry about balancing that with the entirely natural desire to have a well behaved … Read more
Revised tutorial – Stopping the Dog Part One
We’re continuing to revisit and revise the tutorials, adding information and improved footage as we go. Our latest revision is Stopping the Dog – Part One. Unsurprisingly it’s a popular tutorial, as problems with the stop are very common – almost to be expected. Of course there are things you can do to persuade your dog to stop – wait … Read more
Featured tutorials – How to use a sheepdog whistle
Learn how to blow a sheepdog whistle. If you’d like to use a sheepdog whistle, but don’t know where to start, there are two tutorials in the Online Training Tutorials library that will help. In The Sheepdog Whistle Andy demonstrates a tried and tested technique to get you blowing your whistle within minutes. Once you can make a sound, any … Read more
Featured tutorials – Considering sheep
Don’t ever be tempted to think that sheep are stupid! They might not be deep thinkers, but they’re experts at protecting themselves from a dog – either by running away, or by standing and facing – and their size (and feet!) can be intimidating to an inexperienced or shy dog. We talk about sheep on our First Steps DVD and … Read more
Watch with subtitles
We’ve already made our tutorials easier to watch when your internet connection is slow, and now there are improvements to the tutorials themselves. Existing subscribers will notice a slightly different format. There’s not only the choice between Standard (SD) and High (HD) definition, but instant access to English subtitles – just click on (CC) on the video screen. Closed caption … Read more
A NEW Training DVD and a GREAT OFFER for BUYERS!
We’re proudly announcing our FOURTH Sheepdog Training Tutorials DVD and a great offer to help you buy more than one copy! If you’re eagerly awaiting the next volume of our collected tutorials… HERE IT IS! How to choose your currency and select a DVD or book category using a mobile phone PLUS, to celebrate Volume 4 and mark an amazing … Read more
Does your internet connection hold you back?
Try our new video player We’ve made a few changes to make our tutorials easier to watch when your internet connection is slow. Some subscribers have to live with this all the time, and others only have an issue when using a mobile device away from home. Either way, it’s a real nuisance if you can’t concentrate on the information … Read more
Featured tutorial – Get Off The Fence!
It’s hard to make progress if your sheep just “stay put” Sheep have a real talent for assessing a trainee dog, and for making life as difficult for it as possible. As a result, a very common problem for young dogs and inexperienced handlers is getting the sheep into the middle of the ring or field, and keeping them there … Read more
Featured tutorial – Sometimes Nice is Not Enough
It takes huge self-confidence for a dog to lie down in this situation, but even a cautious dog can learn to assert itself. Sheep are natural “runners” when they’re being hunted, but certain situations, such as when held in a pen, or protecting their lambs, can make a sheep turn and fight back. While sheep and dog welfare must always … Read more
Featured Tutorial – What Shall I Do Next?
Our recommended order for training sheep or cattle dogs When you first start training a dog to work livestock, it can seem daunting to say the least! With the dog whirling around and refusing to stop while sheep or cattle run in all directions, the beginner can be forgiven for thinking they’ll never regain control, but attending to the most … Read more
New Tutorial: No 70 – The Training Ring (Part 2)
The training ring can be used for much more than just starting a dog off Optional English subtitles are available on all of our sheepdog training videos We saw in part one of “The Training Ring” tutorials that getting your dog’s training off to a good start will be so much easier if you can confine the sheep and the … Read more
Featured Tutorial – The Perfect Stop!
Improve your dog’s stop without damaging its confidence A dog which will stop instantly on command is a great asset on any livestock farm. The most common fault among working sheepdogs is that they’re too eager, and their handler cannot stop them precisely when and where they need to, but over-intense training can damage a sensitive dog’s confidence. “The Perfect … Read more
New Tutorial: The Training Ring
Correct size and shape of your training ring can make starting your dog far easier Not only is the training ring one the most useful assets you can have when you start to train a sheepdog, it can also be a great help when the dog moves on to advanced work such as driving, pen work and circling sheep on … Read more
New Tutorial: How Can I Slow the Dog Down?
Many people ask us how they can slow their dog down when it’s working It’s essential that the dog learns to work stock steadily. During training, a dog which is calm is likely to learn much quicker than a dog which is excitedly racing around. If sheep or other stock panic as a result of the dog working too fast … Read more
New tutorial: The training area
For beginners and beyond The wide open spaces have their place, but NOT in the early stages of sheepdog training. For the best chance of success, and to save your legs and temper, keep the dog and sheep contained. We stress, in our training tutorials, that: “The closer you are to the dog, the more control you have,” but it’s … Read more
New Tutorial: Sheep – Essential Facts for Beginners
Understanding sheep and their behaviour makes training your dog far easier As we approach the tenth anniversary of the release of our double DVD set “First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training”, we’re busy updating it in anticipation of releasing a second, even more comprehensive version in the near future. A useful spinoff of this is that as each “First … Read more
The Sheepdog Whistle. Tune-in With Our Training Tutorials!
Watch the “Sheepdog Whistle” tutorials to get your dog moving There are some common misconceptions about whistles and sheepdogs. The first, and very common, is that you must have a shepherd’s whistle to train and work a sheepdog – you don’t. If you have only a few sheep, and a relatively small area in which to keep and work them, … Read more
Too much eye? There’s a tutorial for that!
Watch the “Sticky Dogs” tutorial to get your dog moving Some years ago I kept my first training sheep in a small paddock behind a large country house. Sometimes the children of the house would come out to watch my efforts, and shout their approval from the sidelines. They also frequently dismantled my hurdle ring, despite my requests that they … Read more
New Tutorial: Back to Forwards!
Once you can go backwards, turn around and go “Back to Forwards”! Don’t be confused by the title of our latest sheepdog training tutorial, “Back to Forwards” is the follow up to “ Backwards is the Way Forwards” which really should be one of our most popular videos because it teaches the herding dog so many important things. If you … Read more
New Tutorial: Train a Sensitive, Reluctant Dog
The first training session for reluctant Maisie Our online tutorials include Starting a Young Puppy, and Starting a Strong Dog. Now it’s time to look at another common type of young dog – A Reluctant Dog – sensitive and apparently uninterested. Maisie’s parents (Isla and Ezra) could never be accused of lacking enthusiasm, so at the age of 9 months … Read more
Our Relentless Pursuit of Excellence!
With 60 tutorials in the library it’s time we made it easier to find what you want. In our relentless pursuit of the “Perfect User Experience” (is there such a thing as the “perfect user”) we’ve made it much easier to find your way around our Sheepdog Training Tutorials. Now you can scroll through thumbnails and brief descriptions of all … Read more
New Tutorial: Why Your Dog Should Work BOTH WAYS
A good dog must circle fluently both ways Just as most humans are left or right-handed, the majority of herding dogs favour working in one direction over another. Often, sheep and cattle dog handlers are not bothered if their dog will only go in one direction to gather the stock, as long as it brings them successfully. In our latest … Read more
New Tutorial: Teach Your Dog Whistle Commands
It’s not as difficult as you may think! Many sheepdog handlers think it’s very difficult to teach a dog to work on whistle commands but in fact the tricky part is learning to blow the whistle in the first place! Once you’ve mastered the “knack” of blowing the whistle (covered in part one of our sheepdog whistle tutorials) you need … Read more
Does your dog cast out too wide around stock?
A dog which works too far off the sheep or cattle will lose control of them Although officially Part 7 of our Bronwen and Scylla comparison, this tutorial concentrates on a problem that’s Bronwen’s very own. While Scylla has been inclined to be too tight on her sheep, Bronwen’s flanks are often pointlessly wide. Worse, Bronwen can lose contact with … Read more
Tutorials 3 DVD – Coming Very Soon!
Volume THREE – available in a few days time! 2xDVD set containing another sixteen of our latest Sheepdog Training Tutorials Our new cattle and sheep herding dog training DVD will be on sale in a very few days time. It contains sixteen great chapters for those unable to watch our Sheepdog Training Tutorials online. Take a look at Sheepdog Training … Read more
New Tutorial: Training Max – the Gripper
Here’s a way to save your sheep, your nerves, and possibly even your dog! Our Latest Tutorial – Training Max – the GRIPPER A dog with a persistent grip is no fun to train and, more importantly, can be a real danger to your sheep and a liability for your business. It’s a conflict: a strong dog can often develop … Read more
New Tutorial: Bronwen and Scylla (Part 5)
Part 5 of a Training Comparison Between Litter SistersMONTHLY OR ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP REQUIRED OUR LATEST TUTORIAL – Bronwen & Scylla, Part 5 In part five of our series comparing the training of litter sisters Bronwen and Scylla, we see the two facing the challenge of new, and “undogged” sheep. Some of the results are predictable and true to form. Scylla … Read more
NewTutorial: Sheepdog Selection and Preparation
The Sheepdog – Selection and Preparation We start 2016 with a tutorial dedicated to two topics about which we receive the most emails – choosing a working puppy, and what to do with it before you start training for cattle and sheep. So many handlers seem to find those early months very stressful; anxious to raise the dog in a … Read more
New Tutorial: Balance – What’s the Point?
What is the point of balance and where can I find it? Don’t underestimate the importance of understanding the point of balance when you are training or working dogs on cattle, sheep or any other stock. Knowing precisely where the dog should be positioned in relation to the stock at any given time, and under what circumstances, will be of … Read more
New Tutorial: Eliminate the Toilet Break!
It’s not difficult to train your dog to toilet on command Increase efficiency by training your herding dog to make itself comfortable before it begins working. A dog which stops to relieve itself while it’s supposed to be working, is not working efficiently. If the dog stops, it’s clearly not fully in control of its sheep or cattle. In our … Read more
Online Sheep and Cattle Dog Training Tutorials
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