Featured tutorial – Tess in the Open Field

Maintaining control 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, it was important to try maintaining control in the open field, and to broaden and consolidate Tess’s skills.

Over-excitement is typical in a keen young dog; it’s nothing to worry about, but it can be frustrating when you’re anxious to make progress. Nonetheless you should always aim to give the impression that you’re calmly in control of the whole situation, and try to keep your head.

Tess in the Open Field is an unedited training session. You’ll see the techniques we use to improve the dog’s flanks and outrun, and to introduce the concept of driving, while always aiming to keep the session calm and flowing. As you’d expect, Tess doesn’t always get it right (for one reason or another) but she’s learning and improving all the time.

Watching an unedited training session is the next best thing to watching a session of your own. You’ll see the theory of the tutorials actually put into practice, and it will help you understand what your dog’s doing, and why, and how you can put it right.

You can read more about working with a strong dog in Andy’s reply to one of our subscribers’ questions – here.

If you recognise your own dog in this tutorial take heart – after a trying start, Tess became a useful and stylish sheep dog.

If you prefer to watch our tutorials on DVD, Tess’s debut, Starting a Strong Dog, can be found on Training Tutorials Volume One. Tess in the Open Field appears on Training Tutorials Volume Three.

NB: Tutorials are available to paid subscribers who are logged into their account, and paid subscribers are also invited to submit short videos of their own training sessions for evaluation and advice. Please contact us for more details.


With nearly FOURTEEN HOURS of our SHEEPDOG TRAINING TUTORIALS now available as FOUR double DVD sets, you can SAVE up to 20% if you buy all four, together with our original “First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training” DVD set. More details.

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