What shall I do next? Our sheepdog training programme

Border Collie Connie

There’s so much for a young sheepdog to learn, but does the order matter? Is there a correct sheepdog training program or training itinerary that will suit all dogs?

Every sheepdog, like every handler, is an individual so there are few hard and fast rules in sheepdog training. However, this tutorial shows you the basic plan that we adopt when we’re training a puppy or young (or even not so young) sheepdog. It will help you and your dog make progress and ensure that all the basics are covered in your training, and the basics are very important!

This is a logical programme to take you through the skills your dog will need. But be open-minded about your training, and take advantage of opportunities as they arise in the course of a training or work session.

This tutorial includes:

  • Bonding with your dog, and the first commands
  • The sheep dog training programme
  • How to instil confidence in your dog (see also the Training Short “The Dog’s Confidence“)
  • Using the training ring
  • Teaching the sheepdog to go around the sheep
  • Stopping the dog (see also the Training Short “Stopping the Dog“)
  • Teaching the dog to bring the sheep to you (also see the “Walking Backwards” tutorial)
  • Starting work in the open field (also see the “Moving Out” tutorial)
  • Increasing the working distance between dog and sheep (also see the “Give the Sheep Space” and “Close Work” tutorials)
  • The Look Back command
  • Teaching the outrun (covered in more detail in the “Outrun 1 & 2“)
  • Varying the lessons, and taking off the pressure
  • Driving – ready or not? (covered in detail in Driving 1, 2, & 3)
  • Conflict and confusion for the sheepdog (see also “Shedding” & “Driving

The Tutorials Library includes other sheepdog training videos that will be helpful in the early stages of teaching your first herding or sheep working dog, or even before you start. See our Terminology page. Take a look at “The Training Stick“, “Learn Your Commands” and “How Often, for How Long?”

Visit the Tutorials Library

English SUBTITLES are available on all our sheepdog training tutorials!


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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.


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