Sheepdog Training Tips and Advice

General tips and advice about sheep and cattle dogs, and how to get the best out of them

This is a collection of blog posts which contain tips and advice for training dogs to work sheep or cattle – and sometimes including other dogs too. Our most recent post appear first. Scroll down for more, or use the links above to refine your search.

Sheepdog trainer Andy Nickless walking backwards as his dog brings the sheep up to him steadily

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 … Read more
Photo of a Bearded Collie sheepdog flanking around sheep

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 … Read more
Herding Sheep and Cattle dog Odo was afraid of cars until he was trained with a reward

Use a Reward to Get Training on Board

Dogs benefit from a reward for their efforts, and sheepdogs are no exception. Luckily for us herding dogs have a huge capacity for learning, but in order to teach our dogs the things that we want them to do, there must be some kind of reward for them. When we train our dog to work … Read more
Photo of a young trainee sheepdog lying down, glaring at sheep

FREE Sheepdog Training Assessments!

Send us a clear video of your sheepdog, cattle dog or stock dog training session for FREE advice! Our advice is based on our interpretation of the information you provide, and intended to help you improve your dog’s work. We cannot be held responsible for any unforeseen or unintended consequences which result from your interpretation … Read more
A predominantly white border collie sheepdog working a small bunch of sheep

What’s Wrong With White Sheepdogs?

Answer – NOTHING! (Well, almost nothing). A recent question from one of our members reminded us that white border collie sheepdog pups are not as popular as black and white, tricolour, red or other colours. That’s a pity – and there’s little or no justification for it, unless you’re a sheepdog trials competitor. If you … Read more
Chihuahuas - Eric, Chester and Alfie

How old is your dog?

There’s a new way to calculate your dog’s age! We were brought up to believe that a year of a dog’s life was the equivalent to seven human years, but it didn’t always ring true when we watched the development of puppies, young dogs and adults. Four Generations! Puppy Martin (centre) with his parents Nell … Read more
Trainee sheep and cattle herding dog Jet, calmly holding a dozen sheep in the corner of a yard

Our suggested training programme

Tutorials that guide you through the maze of sheepdog training – what to do, and when to do it. The early stages of sheepdog training, especially for a beginner, can seem daunting. There’s so much for the dog to learn, and it can be hard to decide on what to teach first – is good … Read more
The essentials of sheepdog puppy training

The essentials of sheepdog puppy training

Spring time is puppy time! The promise of longer daylight hours and milder weather makes puppy ownership more appealing than during the cold of winter, and it’s a time of year when there are more puppies to choose between. We have our own puppies in the spring, and are eagerly awaiting our (Ezra and Meg) … Read more
Training a dog to herd sheep - giving the sheep plenty of space

How to train a sheepdog to slow down

A dog working too fast and close, disrupts and stresses sheep and shepherd alike For maximum working efficiency and minimum stress to the sheep, the herding dog should work with a calm authority, keeping a good distance between itself and the sheep, but not so far off that it loses control of them. This topic … Read more
Sheepdog Carew standing on a tree stump - looking wonderful!

Sometimes I Really Miss Carew!

Since Carew left here, Kay’s hearing has deteriorated badly, and occasionally we’re stuck for a skilled dog It’s hard to believe that it’s nearly two years since Carew left here and to be honest, there have been a few occasions when I’ve wished she was still here. One such occasion was only a week or … Read more
Herding Sheepdog Kay shows her great courage as she calmly and confidently removes some sheep from a very dark confined space

Scary Place 2 (The Sequel)

Kay shows her daughter Jet how to get sheep out of a Spooky Black Hole! Watch the VIDEO below! There was quite a strong response on social media when we posted a picture of a rather nervous looking Jet outside a dark hovel which was full of sheep. Jet was contemplating the task of going … Read more
Two rough coated border collie puppies in the foreground facing the camera with another one sniffing around in the background

Is it wise to buy more than one puppy?

The short answer is “no – it’s a bad idea”. From time to time, people ask if they can buy more than one puppy from us. It’s very rare that we say yes. When you buy a puppy or even a trained sheepdog, it’s very important that the new dog ‘bonds’ with you as quickly … Read more

Online Sheep and Cattle Dog Training Tutorials

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