Featured tutorial – Moving out into the open field

Sheepdog driving sheep into a paddock

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 a trainee dog.

We recommend you move your training sessions to the open field as soon as your dog can control its sheep, but those first few moments of freedom are likely to be chaotic. You might find your inexperienced dog is very excited, and/or your harassed sheep make a run for it. 

Moving the sheep out of the training ring

How do you maintain control of the dog? And, just as importantly, how do you move everyone back into the ring again?

Sheepdog training in a training ring

In this tutorial Andy demonstrates how, by understanding what’s likely to happen and why bringing your sheep out into the field needn’t be chaos. And once you’ve learned the technique, your dog will learn some valuable lessons too.

Training becomes more varied, and more fun for both dog and handler, when you can work in an open field. While “fun” might be going too far, the sheep probably find it less stressful too.

Moving Out into the Open Field can be found in the Control category of tutorials, where you’ll also find Tess in the Open Field – an introduction to a typical training session, and how to make the best of it.


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