Pic of the Day – Should a sheepdog play?

Purists say sheepdogs should never play – we disagree!

Ezra with a ball. Some sheepdog trainers would condemn this but playing in moderation is fine
Ezra loves to play with toys but when it comes to working sheep, his attention is totally focussed.

This is Ezra – one of the toughest sheepdogs we’ve known. He’ll work cattle as well as sheep, but (like his mother, Mel) he’s hard to stop. Unlike his litter sister, Carew, Ezra is pushing all the time – often too hard, but if you need some stubborn sheep moved, he’s definitely “your man”.

Both Ezra and Carew love to play with balls, frisbees or any other toy that’s to hand when they’re not working, and we encourage them to play, but when we tell them to stop, they stop playing instantly. We also make a point of not mixing work with play. This keeps it clear in the dog’s mind when is the right time for each activity.

I think the reason so many sheepdog trainers don’t allow their dogs to play is because too much play, can result in the dog preferring to play rather than work. In our experience this will only happen if the dog is allowed to play too often and for too long. As with most things in life, playing in moderation is perfectly OK, especially if the dog knows that when you tell it to stop, you mean it.


The price you pay will not increase while your membership is valid

Over 70 clearly explained, easy to follow sheep and cattle dog training videos for first time sheepdog trainers, farmers, and shepherds. Just £10 per month or £100 per year (choice of currencies for payment). Watch the preview here!

For French, Spanish or English SUBTITLES click “CC” on player.


For a very small monthly (or annual) subscription, watch many hours of expertly presented sheepdog training lessons. Not just theory – we show you what should happen, and what to do when things go wrong. Signup now. It’s easy to cancel payments at any time and you can continue to watch for the period you paid for.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *