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This is our full blog list, including Training FAQs, Training Articles, Tutorial News, Pictures, Our Dogs Working and Blog Posts.
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How to get your dog flanking both ways (FAQ)

Photo of sheepdog Kay flanking around a group of sheep
QUESTION: How can I get my dog to go both ways around sheep? ANSWER: It’s perfectly natural for a newly started dog to only want to flank one way around sheep or cattle, and in the case of sheep, the problem is worsened when they crowd together onto the fence. Being one-sided like this is bad practice because sooner or … Read More

Retirement. At what age should my dog retire (FAQ)

At what age should my dog retire? Kay worked into her old age
QUESTION: My working sheepdog it getting older and slower now. At what age should he retire? ANSWER: There is no set age for a dog to retire, some keep on working to a very old age, and others retire quite early. As the dog gets older, you’ll notice it getting slower, and it’s wise to take that into account when … Read More

How can I stop shouting at my dog? (FAQ)

Close-up photo of Trainee Sheepdog Portia for our 'stop shouting at my dog' blog
QUESTION: My dog ignores my commands unless I yell at it. How can I stop shouting at my dog? ANSWER: It’s important to try to work your dog quietly whenever possible. Once it will obey commands given in your normal voice rather than shouting, you’ll be well on the way to achieving higher standards of work. It takes time though … Read More

Slow your dog down! (FAQ)

How to slow your dog down! Photo of sheepdog Ezra, too close and too fast around sheep
QUESTION: My dog works too fast around stock. How can I slow it down? ANSWER: Dogs get excited by many things, not least being near to sheep or cattle. In its excitement the dog runs faster because speed makes it even more exciting. Just as with humans though, the dog’s initial excitement will soon fade if the experience isn’t as … Read More

Speed your dog up! (FAQ)

Close-up photo of border collie sheepdog Quinn
QUESTION: I know most people have the opposite problem, but how can I get my dog to go faster when it’s working? ANSWER: You’re right. Most trainers struggle to slow their dogs down, but if you have good control of the dog, and the biggest problem is that you’d like it to work faster, consider yourself lucky! What’s causing the … Read More

Young dog afraid of sheep and cattle (FAQ)

Photo of a dog jumping out of a sheepdog training pen to get away from the sheep
QUESTION: I’m hoping to train my seven month old dog to work sheep and cattle but when I took him to sheep for the first time, he ran away! ANSWER: My first reaction to your comment was to ask myself what the dog has been doing while you were going to the sheep, before now? Rather than “throwing the dog … Read More

Featured tutorial – Sometimes Nice is Not Enough

sheep attacking a herding dog
Building your dog’s self confidence Self confidence is essential in a working dog. Sheep are natural runners when they’re being hunted, but some situations, such as when held in a pen, or protecting their lambs, can make a sheep turn, challenge, and fight back. While sheep and dog welfare must always be a priority there are occasions when the dog, … Read More

Featured tutorial – The Outrun

A sheepdog handler sending his dog off on its outrun to gather sheep
The outrun – the only training session you’ll hope will go “pear shaped”! If there’s one aspect of sheep work that demonstrates the joy and convenience of a working dog, it’s the sheep dog’s outrun. When you no longer need to walk down the field to drive your sheep to where you want them, you save your time, your temper … Read More

Featured tutorial – Educating Gloria

Timing is everything; Setting the dog up; working distance; body position; the stop command;
Encourage the good, and make the best of the rest! Handlers who are new to sheepdog training can find it difficult to recognise what their dog’s doing, and take the appropriate action at the right time – timing is everything! Your timing will improve with practice, and watching a complete training session can help. Educating Gloria shows the importance of … Read More

Improved video playback performance!

Improved video playback performance!
Have you found your video buffering, or even stopping, when you watch our videos online? If you have, you’ll be pleased to hear we’ve made some big improvements to our service. Fast or Slow connections We’ve re-encoded each of our tutorials to make them more accessible on slower internet connections. At the same time, they cater for those whose faster … Read More

Featured tutorials – Introducing Sheepdog Trials

Trials competitor at the pen with sheep and dog
What to expect, and how to prepare yourself and your dog for your first sheepdog trial The better prepared you are for your first sheepdog trial, the less nerve-wracking it will be. It’s important to know what to expect, and what will be expected of you. It seems unbelievable now, but when I entered my first trial (oh, so many … Read More

Maddie & Ezra’s pups at play today!

Maddie & Ezra's pups at play today!
We thought you’d like to watch Maddie and Ezra’s pups at play today. This is just a short video with no commentary, but we know you’ll love it – especially the part when young Harvey decides he wants to take the dustbin lid from his big sister Portia. There are three male pups available for suitable active homes. View our … Read More

Border collie sheepdog puppy for sale (Sold)

Border collie sheepdog puppy for sale (Sold)
Reuben has been sold The parents of this litter, Maddie and Ezra, are both home bred and we expect the puppies to inherit their parents’ high work drive, stamina, and excellent temperaments. The available puppy is rough coated, black and white, and a great character! All our dogs work sheep but will “switch off” and relax when they aren’t working, … Read More

Where did the Border Collie come from?

Photo of a group of Border Collies sitting in a thistle patch
We’re often asked how and where the Border collie breed was developed. It seems that everyone has a theory, and there’s an undercurrent of dispute as to whether the Welsh collie is/was the Original and Best, or if the collie was developed in the Scottish/English borders. At a household auction, this would definitely be described as “a mixed lot” Here … Read More

Sheepdog Training 1 – How to train a sheepdog

Close-up photo of Border Collie mother and daughter, Mossie and Reiver
A Beginners’ Guide to Training a Dog to Herd Sheep First uploaded Feb 8th 2003 – currently under revision (September 2022) Introduction Struggling on our hands and knees in the base of a very overgrown hedge one day, it occurred to Gillian and me that there ought to be more information for beginners to sheepdog training and handling.
We were vainly … Read More

Sheepdog Training 2 – Basic requirements

Photo of a sheepdog riving a flock of sheep into a paddock
These are some of the details you should address if you wish to train a sheepdog Safety first! It’s the responsibility of the sheepdog trainer or handler to ensure the safety of the dog, the livestock, and most importantly, any bystanders or assistants in the vicinity. Dogs get very excited when they are first introduced to livestock, and they can … Read More

Sheepdog Training 03 – What makes the dog keep working?

Closeup photo of Dot looking out over the Welsh mountains of Corwen
What motivates the dog to keep working? Some time ago, some neighbours stopped to watch a training session and asked me how I could get the dog to work so well and for so long without giving it some praise or reward. I know little of training other breeds but in the case of Border Collie Sheepdogs, the greatest rewards … Read More

Sheepdog Training 04 – The definition of a sheepdog

Photo of a sheepdog at work
At what point does a trainee dog becomes a sheepdog? Some would say a dog becomes a sheepdog when it’s fully trained but we disagree. We believe there’s no such thing as a fully trained sheepdog! Dogs are learning throughout their entire lives and sheepdogs are no exception. Furthermore, who is to say when a dog is fully trained? A … Read More

Sheepdog Training 05 – A dog is for life

Border Collie Sheepdog 'Tiny' watching some action
Admirable though the maxim is generally, “A dog is for life” needn’t always apply to sheepdogs” This may seem a bad point to start discussing the negative side of training a sheepdog but it’s worth bearing in mind that dogs are individuals, just as we are, and not all dogs get along with their owners! Whilst I’m cautiously in favour … Read More

Sheepdog Training 06 – Bond with your dog

Sheepdog trainer Andy Nickless greets his dog Tiny
The importance of forming a bond with your dog. A good dog, which is strongly bonded with the handler, will do almost anything it possibly can for its handler. Its number one priority in life is to please. To form this bond isn’t so difficult if you’re kind and consistent whilst leaving your dog in no doubt who’s the boss, … Read More

Sheepdog Training 07 – Be firm fair and consistent

Close-up photo of Border Collie trainee sheepdog Cotton (looking confused)
Be FIRM, FAIR and CONSISTENT with your dog. Being consistent is one of the most important factors in successful training but it can go too far. From the dog’s point of view, we should feed them at the same time every day, visit them at the same time and take them out training at the same time. They would love … Read More

Sheepdog Training 08 – Never punish your dog for coming back

Portrait photo of sheepdog Oliver
NEVER punish your dog for coming back to you. Picture a typical scene. You’re out walking your dog in the local park and he runs off to play with another dog he’s just spotted. You call him back but he’s having a great time and ignores you. You call again – this time much louder than before. Eventually you resort … Read More

Sheepdog Training 09 – How to get a good recall on your dog

Photo of a large Border Collie running in a field
How to train your dog to have a good recall So what should you do if you’re out with your dog somewhere and he won’t come back to you? Well, first, you shouldn’t really be releasing a dog that you can’t trust but let’s imagine you thought he’d be OK (after all, he comes to you straight away when you’re … Read More

Sheepdog Training 10 – Always welcome your dog back

Close-up photo of a young tri-coloured rough-coated Border Collie
Your dog must always feel it’s safe to come to you Where possible in the early stages of training, the dog’s return to you should be made worthwhile, even exciting. Use a pleasant tone and a little fuss to show the dog you’re pleased that he’s returned. If the dog doesn’t respond to this, the chances are that it’s finding … Read More

Sheepdog Training 11 – Reading your dog’s mind

Close-up portrait photo of a young Border Collie sheepdog
Just how do we go about reading our dog’s mind? Well, we can’t exactly do that but we can get close. This is one of the trickier parts of sheep dog training – you need to read the dog’s body language! If you study it, you’ll see that when the dog’s preparing to grip, his ears go back, his hackles … Read More

Sheepdog Training 12 – careful thought helps cure problems

Photo of a small group of sheep standing in a field, looking towards the camera
Whatever problem you’re having with your dog, you should be able to cure it Think carefully about the problem – why the dog’s doing it and how you can change the training routine to correct it. Sometimes the dog will simply be using its own initiative to try to help you. For instance, if he knows the sheep prefer to … Read More

Sheepdog Training 13 – Control your temper

Close-up photo of a Border Collie Sheepdog lying on the ground, looking pensive
Control your temper – your dog will sense your mood. If you’re training a sheepdog and you find yourself getting angry, there are two simple choices open to you: 1. Control Your Temper
2. End the session. We’re only human, and we all get cross from time to time, but there’s really no point in going on with a training session … Read More

Sheepdog Training 14 – Don’t blame the dog

Photo of Border Collie Preston lying on the ground with his ears looking wayward!
99% of the time, if things go wrong it’s YOUR fault! Of all the sheepdog training videos and DVDs I’ve watched, this is the single most important statement I’ve gleaned. It was said by Martin Penfold on the Rural Route video Starting Border Collies on Cattle, Sheep or Ducks I think Martin actually said 90% of the time, so I … Read More

Sheepdog Training 15 – What does a sheepdog do?

Photo of a group of sheep trying to defy the sheepdog which is tasked with moving them
What do sheepdogs actually DO? A good sheepdog should be a valuable assistant to the shepherd or sheep farmer. It will learn where the sheep (or other stock) are likely to be in each field, and it will gather them together calmly, and not leave any behind. A really good sheepdog will even recognise if one or more animals is … Read More

Sheepdog Training 16 – Started sheepdog or puppy?

Photo of Border Collie pup Rebus looking at a sheep
Should you buy a puppy or a partly trained dog? It’s a very long road from buying a puppy to taking part in your first trial. This can be daunting for a novice handler but, on the other hand, if you buy a puppy you can be sure it hasn’t developed any bad habits. If you buy an older dog … Read More

Sheepdog Training 17 – ISDS registered or farm dog

Photo of Border Collie sheepdog Fen looking alert
“Pedigree” or farm dog – which is best? Don’t believe for a moment that a dog must be ISDS registered to be any use as a sheepdog. This is complete nonsense and anyone who says it should be ashamed of themselves. There are fantastically good non-registered sheepdogs – some of which would be perfectly capable of winning the top sheepdog … Read More

Sheepdog Training 18 – Choosing a part-trained dog?

Photo of a Border Collie sheepdog getting sheep into a pen in the middle of a field
Choosing between a started or partly trained sheepdog. Buying a partly trained dog’s a very popular way of shortcutting the long process of getting from puppy to working stage. The most difficult stage of training is getting control initially, so when you buy a started dog, the worst has already been done. Many people don’t feel able to train a … Read More

Sheepdog Training 19 – Car chasing and other vices

Photo of a dog chasing a car which is on the other side of a hedge
Car chasing is a common cause of sheepdog and cattle dog deaths. It could be argued that car chasing is even more serious than sheep worrying, because it’s natural to try to avoid a dog which is chasing your car, so the chances of a collision with another vehicle or pedestrian are greatly increased. It’s important to do all you … Read More

Sheepdog Training 20 – Suitable housing for your dog

Photo of young Trials-colour sheepdog Dulcie sitting on a garden chair
Give your dog somewhere decent to live. In a shed outside or on your bed? Sheepdogs are amazingly tough creatures, many dogs have virtually no shelter at all – having to find a dry corner somewhere on the farm or maybe having an old steel drum as a shelter from the elements. As long as your Border Collie isn’t in … Read More

Sheepdog Training 21 – The correct food for your dog

Close photo of smooth coated Border Collie Cotton standing in water and looking around her
Take a little care over feeding your dog (and take care not to over-feed it). Your sheepdog will be your friend and your pride and joy – so rather than feed it on the cheapest food you can find, take care to find a suitable diet. Equally, don’t take it for granted that the most expensive food is the best … Read More

Sheepdog Training 22 – Spend time with your dog

Photo of Sheepdog Pru who has jumped up against her gate and is gazing into the camera
The more quality time you devote to your dog, the stronger the bond between you will be. We strongly advise owners to spend as much time as possible with their dogs. The more the dog knows and trusts you, the more it will bond, and the better it’ll work for you – for instance if your dog’s used to being … Read More

Sheepdog Training 23 – Traditional sheepdog commands

Photo of sheepdog Fen setting off on her outrun, with sheep running away in the other direction
Visit our Sheepdog Terminology page for a fuller list of traditional sheepdog commands and language used by shepherds, sheep farmers and sheepdog trials competitors. To avoid confusing the trainee dog, keep your early commands to a minimum. You can introduce more, once the dog’s skill improves. The basic commands generally used in sheepdog training are traditional. “Come-bye” tells the dog … Read More

Sheepdog Training 24 – How to begin training your dog

Photo of Andy Nickless training a young sheepdog, called Smudge White
How do I train my herding sheepdog? When you take your sheepdog pup to sheep for the first time, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that he’ll behave just as it does at home. It’s possible of course, but even if he did, very soon he would gain confidence and turn into a quite different creature altogether … Read More

Sheepdog Training 25 – The dog’s first encounter with sheep

Sheepdog Carew showing good control of her sheep
Taking your dog to sheep for the first time. When you take your young dog to sheep for the first time, remember he may have a very short attention span – sometimes just a few seconds but more usually a few minutes. The younger the dog, the shorter the attention span will probably be. If the dog runs around the … Read More

Sheepdog Training 26 – The dreaded supermarket trolley

Photo of Sheepdog Carew steadily driving three sheep away
When is working a sheepdog like pushing a Supermarket trolley? Take my word for it, driving sheep is like pushing a loaded supermarket trolley The thing seems to have a mind of its own, and so do the sheep. If you push the trolley straight, it wants to go to one side or the other – likewise the sheep. If … Read More

Sheepdog Training 27 – The magic cord

Photo of trainee sheepdog Ray jumping around in an effort to run after the sheep in the background
Control an over-enthusiastic dog with The Magic Cord! Sheepdog training relies on your dog seeing you as its leader, so it’s important to give the dog the impression that you are in control of the situation, even when you’re not. Being on a lead can have a psychological as well as a physical effect on dogs. Once they know they’re … Read More

Sheepdog Training 28 – How to teach a young dog to stop

Andy Nickless in the training ring with puppy Rita
The secret of getting a good “stop” is: LET THE DOG GO ! Our Online Sheepdog Training Tutorials include three videos to show you how to stop your dog without damaging its confidence. Find out more. It’s vitally important that the dog learns that you’re not necessarily stopping its ‘game’ every time you tell it to lie down, so at … Read More

Sheepdog Training 29 – Dog gripping or biting sheep

Photo of Ezra the trainee sheepdog giving a sheep a hard time
What to do if the dog grips or bites or attacks the sheep. Our Sheepdog Training Tutorial Videos (see below) have chapters such as Training Max – The GRIPPER (3 videos) and Starting a Strong Dog, which will help you to get control of a dog which is attacking the sheep unnecessarily. Gripping is very common in dogs when they … Read More

Sheepdog Training 30 – Dogs with “too much eye”

Very close photo of the face of a black and white rough-coated Border Collie Sheepdog lying in the grass
Sheepdog “Eye” – Condition or Habit..? If the dog’s standing or even lying down and staring at the sheep as though it’s in a trance, rather than moving when commanded, this is commonly referred to as having too much eye. On the other hand, Eye is said to be a great asset for controlling sheep – but so is positioning … Read More

Sheepdog Training 31 – Teaching the dog to drive sheep

Photo of Kay the Border Collie driving a small group of sheep into a field
How to teach your herding dog to drive sheep away. Since writing this post, our sheepdog training methods have changed. In the case of driving, quite drastically. For the latest information on our much more efficient training methods, why not subscribe to our Online Sheepdog Training Tutorial Videos (membership required). As soon as time allows we’ll update the post, but … Read More

Sheepdog Training 32 – Sheepdog trials

Photo of a sheepdog trials competitor sending her dog on its outrun at Evesham Sheepdog Trials
The Sport of Sheepdog Trials. Our Online Sheepdog Training Tutorials (see Preview video below) include two lengthy videos which will help you to prepare your dog and yourself for sheepdog trials. The body which controls sheepdog trialling is the International Sheep Dog Society (ISDS). Various types of trials take place throughout the UK and internationally. UK trials are as follows:
Nursery
Taking … Read More

Sheepdog Training 33 – What happens at sheepdog trials?

Photo of a competitor penning sheep at Evesham Sheepdog Trials
What happens at a sheepdog trial and why? Our Online Sheepdog Training Tutorials (see Preview video below) include two lengthy videos which will help you to prepare your dog and yourself for sheepdog trials. Most sheepdog trials in the UK are run to similar format. The handler and dog stand at a ‘post‘ at one end of the course and … Read More

Our favourite Border Collie videos

A selection of our favourite Border Collie Sheepdog Videos. Go to first video DVD store Dirty Tackle! This is one of the videos we love best – it uses our dogs! This is one of a series of viral ads we made with the production company Maverick Media to promote the Football Manager computer game. The video features in the … Read More

Our Dogs in TV Film and Video Productions

Photo of seven Border Collie Sheepdogs looking very alert and ready to GO!
Trained Border Collie Sheepdog Animal Actors for Television, Film and Video. IMPORTANT!
We no longer offer dogs for work in TV and other public media, but we continue to show this page for those who may be interested to see some of the things our dogs did in the past.
Occasionally our dogs take a break from their daily sheepdog training … Read More

Novice sheepdog trials champion – Glen – 238575

Close-up photo of Novice Champion glen lying under a bench, with puppies all around him
A great Scottish Sheepdog – Davidston Glen (1998 – 2011) From a long line of champions Glen was bred by N G McEwan in Kincardine, Scotland, by Scottish Team member Davidston Cap 201111 (owned by Mary Caul) and out of Gael 192892 (N G McEwan). When he was a year old, Glen was sold to a farmer in Perthshire before … Read More

Denise Wilkinson’s dog agility star, Tia

Close photo of Denise Wilkinson's Agility Champion dog, Tinker Tia
Our tribute to a remarkable agility dog . . . Denise Wilkinson’s “Tinker Tia” Dog Agility Grade 7 (Advanced) – ISDS 267931 When Denise Wilkinson collected her eight week old puppy from us, she told us she was going to make “Tinker Tia” into a Dog Agility Champion. Well, you know how it is, you take these things with … Read More

A sheepdog to remember – Aled Owen’s Roy 200199

Close-up photo of Aled Owen's first Roy (ISDS 200199)
This true sheepdog story is our tribute to Aled Owen’s (first) Roy ISDS 200199 Updated Wed 23rd Jan 2013 First posted here on August 1st 2003, A Dog to Remember appeared in the Jan/Feb 2003 issue of International Sheepdog News and is reproduced here by kind permission of the author Austin Bennett. Photo of Roy – by kind permission of … Read More

Derek Scrimgeour’s Ben – 220939

Photo of Derek Scrimgeour's Ben with a small bunch of sheep on a rocky hillside
BEN was the Cornerstone of Killibrae Sheepdogs & star of Derek Scrimgeour’s Sheepdog Training Book: “Talking Sheepdogs” Before his retirement, Ben was a tremendous hill and trial dog – kind but very positive in his handling of the sheep. Derek Scrimgeour’s Ben 220939 – a Killibrae dog He was equally at home working on Derek’s Lonscale Farm near Keswick in … Read More

Featured tutorials – Bronwen and Scylla

A variety of smooth and rough coated border collies
A tutorial series to demonstrate the differences in young dogs. You can be forgiven for expecting that littermates would be very similar in temperament and working style, but we chose two home-bred puppies, Bronwen and Scylla, to demonstrate that even littermates can be poles apart. While both girls developed into keen, useful working dogs – just like their parents, Meg … Read More

Featured tutorials – the Point of Balance

Sheepdog with three sheep
You’ve probably heard of the “point of balance”, but what exactly does it mean? You’ll often hear that the dog MUST stop at 12 o’clock. The theory is that if you imagine the handler is standing at 6 o’clock on a clock face, the dog should be directly opposite the handler (at 12 o’clock) on the other side of the … Read More

Featured tutorial – Sending the dog the ‘wrong way’

Photo of a collie sheepdog working sheep in long yellow grass
Our “Sending the dog the wrong way” tutorial introduces a great exercise for widening the dog’s flanks and outrun. Just as when we start to teach shedding we ask the dog to ignore one of its basic lessons (NOT to run through the sheep) this time we want the dog to work off balance. We’re asking the dog to forget … Read More

Featured tutorials – Preparing yourself and your dog

Close-up photo of a border collie puppy
Many handlers seem to find the early “puppy” months very stressful; they’re anxious to raise the dog in a way that will spark and preserve the all-important working instinct, but worry about balancing that with the entirely natural desire to have a well behaved family playmate and companion. Sheepdog Selection and Preparation should answer these questions, and more, and help … Read More

Featured Tutorial: The Training Area

Trainee sheep and cattle dog Remus keeping a small bunch of sheep under control
(Not to be confused with “The Training Ring“) IS YOUR TRAINING GROUND A HELP, OR A HINDERANCE? Your training area can make or break the early training sessions. It might seem like hard work, but taking the time to round off the corners and clear some obstacles will make it easier for your dog to succeed, and pay dividends in … Read More

NEW tutorial – Flock Work

Photo of a flock of sheep crowded into a farm gateway
Is your dog ready to handle a flock of sheep? Once your dog can control a small number of sheep reasonably well in the training field, it’s natural to start thinking about working a flock of sheep. After all, that’s what the dog’s for, isn’t it! To us humans, flock work seems like a natural activity for the dog, so … Read More

Moving on to flock work (FAQ)

A trainee sheepdog bringing a small group of sheep
QUESTION: How do you go from training a dog to collect six dogged sheep, to collecting a hundred or more flighty sheep, scattered around in a field? ANSWER: In a word, gradually!
Good training should progress at a rate the student can cope with. If the student’s finding the work too difficult, the trainer’s pushing too hard. Just as you wouldn’t … Read More

Featured tutorial – Eve at the Pen

Photo of a sheepdog bringing a small flock into a handling pen
Many of our online tutorials include actual training sessions with a trainee dog. No training happens in isolation so, as well as the main topic of the tutorial, any training session can highlight other aspects of the dog’s work – good or not so good. A typical example is Eve at the Pen. At this point in her training Eve … Read More

Special membership offer for November and December 2021

Special membership offer for November and December 2021
A one-off 12 month subscription to our online training tutorials would be an ideal gift for anyone who’s training, or thinking of training, a sheepdog. New one-year subscriptions, paid for between 7th November and 31st December 2021, will be valid until 1st January 2023. So if you buy before the end of December 2021, you can be sure your recipient … Read More

Featured tutorial: Backwards is The Way Forward

Sheepdog trainer Andy Nickless walking backwards as his dog brings the sheep up to him steadily
Wondering whether to work on flanks, stop, or working distance? Work on them all at once with this deceptively simple but effective exercise. As soon as your dog’s working around the sheep, and under some sort of control, this simple exercise gives you the opportunity to improve the dog’s stop, flanks, and working distance – all at once. Backwards is … Read More

FREE Sheepdog Training Assessments!

Photo of a young trainee sheepdog lying down, glaring at sheep
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 of our advice. We’re looking … Read More

Featured tutorial – Early training with your sheepdog puppy

Collies and Chihuahuas can be great friends
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ll leave training until the puppy’s older – your sheepdog puppy will start learning from you the moment it meets you. But it needn’t feel like work for either of you. The early months with any puppy are invaluable for getting to know its personality, and for establishing a bond between the two of … Read More

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. We recommend you move your training sessions to the open field as soon as your dog can control its … Read More

Stop at the top of the outrun without command? (FAQ)

The top of the outrun
QUESTION: Should my trainee sheepdog stop at the top of its outrun without a command from me? ANSWER: It’s nice to think the young dog will stop at the top of its outrun without a command, and indeed, it sometimes happens. But I’m inclined to think the dog is likely to be stopping because its confidence is flagging, rather than … Read More

Sticky dog biting sheep’s faces (FAQ)

Photo of a working sheepdog very close to some sheep which are trapped in a pen
QUESTION: My dog has become very ‘sticky’ and recently started biting the faces of the sheep, instead of responding to my commands what should I do? ANSWER: Being sticky (staring at the sheep and not responding to commands) and biting sheep, are both indications of a lack of confidence. If the dog has recently begun to get ‘sticky’ it suggests … Read More

Sending the dog from your side (FAQ)

Graphic image showing the relative distance between dog, sheep, and handler
QUESTION: My dog’s doing lovely long outruns when I stand between her and the sheep, but how do I get her to do them from by my side? ANSWER: The reason for standing between the dog and the sheep when you send it on its outrun, is so that you can move towards the dog and encourage it to go … Read More

The sheepdog’s tail position (FAQ)

photo showing the dog with its tail in the air as it's led into the training ring
QUESTION: I keep hearing people talk about the position of the dog’s tail when it’s working sheep. What do they mean? ANSWER: When dogs are relaxed, they hold their tails in a normal downward position but when they are nervous or afraid, the dog’s tail becomes rigid, and often points upwards. In the photograph above, Andy is leading trainee sheepdog … Read More

Stop the dog barking (FAQ)

Photo of an excited dog jumping up and down at the prospect of getting to the sheep
QUESTION: How can I stop my dog barking when I take him somewhere new, where there are sheep? ANSWER: Basically, there are two reasons why dogs bark: 1. ALARM – if they suspect an intruder or danger of some sort. If there really is no danger, it helps if you gently reassure the dog that all is well. Alternatively, relocating … Read More

Flank around sheep both ways (FAQ)

Photo of a sheepdog herding sheep into a paddock
QUESTION: “How can I make my dog go both ways around the sheep? She stops reasonably well, but insists on going anticlockwise all the time”. WHY THIS HAPPENS: In a similar way to humans, a great many dogs are left or right “handed”, and as with most training issues, it’s all about the dog’s confidence. Once the dog discovers that … Read More

Featured tutorial – Why Your Dog Should Flank Both Ways

Photo of Mossie working sheep
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 in both directions. Why … Read More

NEW Tutorial! – Getting the sheep into the ring!

Title image of our sheepdog training tutorial - Getting the sheep into the ring.
How to get your sheep to go where they’d rather not be! New sheepdog handlers who’ve built themselves a training ring, are often faced with a seemingly insurmountable problem: “How can I put my sheep into the training ring if I don’t have a trained dog?” It’s a fair question! And one we should perhaps have addressed before. Sheep can … Read More

Featured Tutorial: Starting a Non-Starter!

Photo of a border collie clambering through a fence to get away from the sheep in the background
Can anything be done if your collie doesn’t want to work? The short answer is “Yes!” and understanding the possible reasons why the dog won’t work is a huge help to finding the cure. It’s very disappointing to find that your collie doesn’t want to work sheep or cattle, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to change … Read More

Featured tutorial – Get off the Fence!

getting sheep away from the fence
When confronted with a dog, one of the few ways sheep have to defend themselves is to crowd together onto a fence, or in a corner. From this position they can turn to face the dog, and even just a few sheep can look very intimidating from the dog’s point of view! As a result, a very common problem for … Read More

Dog attacking cattle (FAQ)

A dog leaping up at a young heifer's face to bite it
QUESTION: My dog works cattle quite well, but dives in and grips their legs for no apparent reason. How can I calm him down and stop him gripping cattle when they’re moving OK? ANSWER: The first thing is to try giving just enough well-timed correction so that the dog doesn’t go in too hard – and avoid rapidly repeated, and … Read More

Walking the dog around sheep (FAQ)

Photo of a man holding a sheepdog, using a rope for a lead
QUESTION: Is it OK to walk my dog around the sheep every day? He’s not ready to work them yet but I want him to get used to being near them. ANSWER: Familiarising the dog with sheep or cattle would seem like a good idea. After all, we want the dog to be relaxed when it’s with livestock, but unless … Read More

Dog goes out too wide (FAQ)

Photo of a sheepdog at work
QUESTION: My dog is generally working well but when I send her on an outrun to gather the sheep, she goes out too far. How can I stop my dog going too wide? ANSWER: Going too wide is certainly one of the better faults a dog can have. Often getting the dog to give the stock more room is the … Read More

Will my puppy work sheep or cattle? (FAQ)

Photo of a puppy gazing at sheep through a fence
QUESTION: I have a young Border Collie puppy which I want to use for herding our sheep. How can I tell if he’s interested in working? ANSWER: If one or more of your pup’s parents works sheep or other livestock, there’s a very good chance your pup will too. Probably the first sign you’ll have of its interest will be … Read More

Calling the dog away from sheep or cattle (FAQ)

Two border collie sheepdogs driving sheep along a farm track
QUESTION: How can I call my dog away when he’s working in the ring or in a yard? ANSWER: It’s natural for the trainee dog to want to keep working. Being confined in a training ring or yard creates a lot of stress for the dog but, of course, it must come away when you want it to. Typically the … Read More

Dog killing sheep (FAQ)

Photo of a Kelpie dog running around a flock of sheep
QUESTION: My dogs killed a sheep today. I don’t want to have the dogs destroyed, they are working Kelpie X Collie dogs which we want to train on sheep and cattle. What can I do? ANSWER: I’m sorry to hear that your dogs have killed a ewe. I’m afraid this is what happens when people keep dogs that they don’t … Read More

Featured tutorial – Sticky Dogs! with “too much” eye

Young sheepdog working off balance
It’s time to get moving if your dog has “too much” eye. To a greater or lesser degree, border collies use “eye” (a particularly intense and assertive stare) to move stock. In some dogs the look is very exaggerated (often said to have “too much eye”), while other dogs work with their heads up and don’t appear to be using … Read More

Dog stops sheep going in the pen! (FAQ)

Photo of a young trainee sheepdog lying down, glaring at sheep
QUESTION: I’m trying to put the sheep into a yard but my dog stops them from going in. How can I get my dog to put the sheep right in? ANSWER: This problem is more common than you would think. One example of it is when you first begin to move sheep into another field. As the sheep go through … Read More

Training Huntaway or Blue Heeler ‘driving’ dogs (FAQ)

Huntaway dog herding a bunch of sheep towards some farm buildings
QUESTION: I’m getting a Huntaway to work my sheep and cattle but I can’t find any Huntaway or Blue Heeler specific training on the internet. Are they the same as Border Collies? ANSWER: The basics such as general dog behaviour and discipline around stock are exactly the same, but as I understand it, Huntaways and Blue Heelers work in a … Read More

Stop the dog splitting the sheep! (FAQ)

Photo of a trainee sheepdog which has separated a bunch of sheep
QUESTION: My dog likes to split the sheep up and bite them. I am having trouble getting her to go round them. Can you help? ANSWER: It’s perfectly normal for your dog to split the sheep up in the very early stages of training. It shows she has the natural ability she needs to become a great sheepdog, but of … Read More

Can a sheepdog live in the house? (FAQ)

Sheepdog trainer working close to the dog
QUESTION: My dog is very enthusiastic and eager to work but she’s a bit timid and runs away from aggressive sheep. Are we spoiling her by keeping her in the house? ANSWER: Living in the house shouldn’t affect the dog’s confidence when it works sheep, as such. A more likely problem is that family members might ‘spoil’ the dog by … Read More

Help for inexperienced handler or trainer (FAQ)

Help for inexperienced handler or trainer (FAQ)
QUESTION: I purchased a fully trained sheepdog but I have never worked a dog on livestock before. Do your videos cover how to start off with a trained dog? ANSWER: Sometimes people buy a trained dog in the hope that it will know what to do, but that’s asking a lot of the poor dog! We need to give our … Read More

Training an older dog (FAQ)

Close up picture of a dog close behind a sheep.
QUESTION: We have an eight year old border collie and now live on a smallholding where we will soon get our first flock of sheep. Will it be possible to train the dog to work sheep? ANSWER: In theory, you can train any dog which has the necessary instinct for herding – but there are several factors which can complicate … Read More

Featured tutorial – Inside Flanks (Circling the Sheep on Command)

Border collie maintaining the point of balance while working sheep in a field
Teaching inside flanks (circling on command) Once your dog’s driving competently, teaching inside flanks (circling on command) is the next step. Make no mistake, good inside flanks can be the difference between having an average dog, and a great dog! In the two-part tutorial, Inside Flanks (Circle on Command), we see Wyn learning to overcome her inhibitions to flank between … Read More

Featured tutorials – assess your dog’s progress

Photo of herding sheepdog Mo looking towards the camera. Behind her are two lambs.
There are plenty of ups and downs when you’re training a sheepdog, so take the time to assess your dog’s progress realistically. If you feel progress has slowed (or stopped) then you probably just need to take a step back and give your dog some easier tasks for a while. On the other hand, if you set a task for … Read More

Featured tutorials – Putting a stop (or wait, or lie down) to it

Featured tutorials - Putting a stop (or wait, or lie down) to it
Stopping the Dog – Parts One, Two & Three take a detailed look at the problems surrounding the stop (or wait, or lie down, or whatever command you choose). They explain why your dog doesn’t want to stop, and what you can do to make it more likely that the dog will obey your stop command when you give it … Read More

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, … Read More

Featured tutorials – gripping the sheep

Featured tutorials - gripping the sheep
Training a dog that grips can feel like a thankless task; it might seem that you take three steps forward in your training session only to start the next session two steps further back! It’s important to have faith in your dog and yourself, and concentrate on the small improvements you make. We wouldn’t want to describe gripping as the … Read More

Featured tutorials – Looking at Sheep

Bronwen standing in the corner of the yard with several ewes facing her, very close, but she's not intimidated by them.
A short introduction to sheep behaviour can be very useful to a beginner in sheepdog training … Read More

Featured tutorial – whistles and whistle commands

Photo of a sheepdog whistle against a black background - title image for our tutorial
If you’d like to use a sheepdog whistle, but don’t know where to start, there are two tutorials in the Online Training Tutorials library that can help. Part 1: How to blow a sheepdog whistle In The Sheepdog Whistle Andy demonstrates a tried and tested technique to get you blowing your whistle within minutes. Once you can make a … Read More

Featured tutorial – Working in a yard or pen

Herding Sheepdog Kay shows her great courage as she calmly and confidently removes some sheep from a very dark confined space
As the photo shows, being close to the sheep in a confined space can be intimidating for any dog and, as usual, confidence is key. For help with this type of work, watch our Eve at the Pen tutorial. Watch Eve at the Pen for help with:
  • A dog who circles the sheep after its outrun, instead of bringing them … Read More

Featured tutorial – the Training Ring

Featured tutorial - the Training Ring
In Part One of our Training Ring tutorial we demonstrate how the ring can be invaluable when starting a young dog or puppy, especially when there’s no experienced dog to lend a hand; the ring keeps the action within easy reach, and allows us to control or support the youngster, as needed. In time, of course, you’ll be able to … Read More

Featured tutorial – The Stop (Part 3)

Some sheepdogs stay on their feet, rather than lie down, when they stop
Stopping the dog is a great help, but don’t rush it! A huge thank you to the subscriber who let us know they were having problems running Part Three of our Stopping the Dog tutorial. The entire tutorial has been taken apart and put back together again, and not only is it up and running as it should be, we think … Read More

Watch Dulcie Working at Dean Farm Early Today

Herding sheepdog Dulcie controlling a yard crowded with sheep
Follow Dulcie as she gathers a flock of sheep in the open field, and then takes them to the farm, where she guides them through the ‘sorting race’ so that the lambs which are ready for market can be ‘drafted out’. Dulcie works quickly and calmly as she brings the flock from the field into the sorting area and she … Read More

Featured tutorial – Driving

Featured tutorial - Driving
The Driving tutorials are among our most popular videos, tackling a subject that many handlers – and dogs – find challenging. In Driving Part 1 you’ll discover how to ease the dog into driving and reduce the stress involved when we ask the dog to take the stock away – the exact opposite of everything we’ve been teaching up till … Read More

What’s Wrong With White Sheepdogs?

A predominantly white border collie sheepdog working a small bunch of sheep
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 have a predominantly white … Read More

Dulcie’s First Gather in Over Three Months

Dulcie gathering the sheep together and driving them towards the farm
Since the Covid-19 outbreak, we’ve been confined to working the dogs at Kings Green, so today’s outing to Dean Farm was very welcome – and Dulcie didn’t disappoint us! On a glorious June morning, Dulcie gathered the sheep effortlessly. Her outrun has improved considerably since we last visited Dean Farm. Here, she’s moving the flock towards the railway bridge … Read More

Kings Green Coronavirus update

Photo of two young border collie sheepdogs running and biting at each other in play as they run
It’s reassuring to know that the current coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) can’t be contracted by dogs, or passed on by them, so we’re all able to spend as much time with our dogs as we like. They’re the perfect excuse to get outside. Currently all’s well at Kings Green Farm; we’re still posting DVDs (UK First Class or International Standard) and the … Read More

Featured tutorials – The Outrun

Cover image for the Outrun tutorials
If there’s one aspect of sheep work that demonstrates the joy and convenience of a working dog, it’s a good outrun. When you no longer need to walk the length of the field (or up the hill) to drive your sheep to where you want them, you save your time, your temper and your legs. Put simply, the outrun is … Read More

Stop your dog chasing cars and anything that moves! (FAQ)

picture of a car driving down a country lane, being chased by a sheepdog
QUESTION: How can I stop my dog chasing cars tractors, motorcycles, cyclists, lawnmowers and anything that moves? ANSWER: Chasing cars and other vehicles is a big problem for some dog owners. It can be extremely dangerous, both for the dog, and any humans involved. The drivers amongst us know they shouldn’t swerve to avoid small animals which suddenly appear on … Read More

A February offer for new subscribers

A February offer for new subscribers
Have you been waiting to take the leap? If your new year resolutions included improving your sheepdog’s work – or your handling – or perhaps training your first sheepdog, make February 2020 the month when you take the leap! All new 12-month (one-off) subscriptions taken out during February 2020 will receive 13 months for the price of 12. Simply sign … Read More

Featured tutorials – My Dog’s No Good, and No Excuses Please!

Smooth coated border collie puppy Boz
Sheepdog training – with a little help from Johnny Mercer? Take a look at two complementary short tutorials, My Dog’s No Good and No Excuses Please! My Dog’s No Good warns against falling into the trap of believing your dog will never make a good sheepdog. So long as it’s fit, healthy and keen, the only thing preventing your dog … Read More

Featured tutorial – Stopping the Dog Part 2 – Revised!

Featured tutorial - Stopping the Dog Part 2 - Revised!
We’ve uploaded the latest tutorial to benefit from a lot of new footage and much more information. Now that part two of our “Stopping the Dog” series is available to members, these completely revised tutorials Stopping the Dog – Parts One & Two take a detailed look at the problems surrounding the stop (or stand, or lie down, whichever command … Read More

Slow broadband, or poor mobile reception?

Lovely image of man and sheepdog. Border collie yawning.
Now our tutorials easier to watch. If you live or work in a rural area you’ll know that rural broadband and mobile coverage can be especially poor, so we’ve added a “lower quality” option. Our latest player gives you three play qualities to choose from, so we’re sure that at least one of them will suit you! You’ll see … Read More

Special offer for one-year subscriptions

Photo of a large group of border collie sheepdogs and pups on a frosty, misty morning
New subscriptions will be valid for up to 14 months. A one-off 12 month subscription to our online training tutorials will make a super gift for anyone who’s training, or is thinking of training, a sheepdog. New one-year subscriptions, paid during November and December, will be valid until 1st January 2021 – it means that, regardless of when you buy, … Read More

How old is your dog?

Chihuahuas - Eric, Chester and Alfie
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 and Remus behind him. Remus’s … Read More

Featured tutorials – basic training

Kelpie Will and Border Collie pup Jago standing side by side
There’s more to training a sheepdog than just sheep work. We know that sheepdogs love to work, so we can take advantage of that to teach our dogs other things that will make life easier for us – and them. We want to remind you of two tutorials in the library: Use a Reward to Get Training on Board, and … Read More

Featured tutorial – the Point of Balance

Cover photo of our video tutorial about the all important point of balance when training a sheepdog
Everyone’s heard that the dog must balance the sheep, but what does it mean? You’ll often hear that the dog MUST stop at 12 o’clock. To understand where this is, you need to imagine that the handler is standing at 6 o’clock on a clock face with the dog directly opposite the handler (at 12 o’clock) on the other side … Read More

Featured tutorials – the dog and the handler

Silhouette image of a shepherd and dog moving a small bunch of sheep
The Sheepdog Selection and Preparation and Sheepdog Handler tutorials provide lots of helpful tips and advice. Many handlers seem to find the early “puppy” months very stressful; they’re anxious to raise the dog in a way that will spark and preserve the all-important working instinct, but worry about balancing that with the entirely natural desire to have a well behaved … Read More

Revised tutorial – Stopping the Dog Part One

Title page of training tutorial stopping the dog
We’re continuing to revisit and revise the tutorials, adding information and improved footage as we go. Our latest revision is Stopping the Dog – Part One. Unsurprisingly it’s a popular tutorial, as problems with the stop are very common – almost to be expected. Of course there are things you can do to persuade your dog to stop – wait … Read More

Featured tutorials – How to use a sheepdog whistle

Featured tutorials - How to use a sheepdog whistle
Learn how to blow a sheepdog whistle. If you’d like to use a sheepdog whistle, but don’t know where to start, there are two tutorials in the Online Training Tutorials library that will help. In The Sheepdog Whistle Andy demonstrates a tried and tested technique to get you blowing your whistle within minutes. Once you can make a sound, any … Read More

Featured tutorials – Considering sheep

Featured tutorials - Considering sheep
Don’t ever be tempted to think that sheep are stupid! They might not be deep thinkers, but they’re experts at protecting themselves from a dog – either by running away, or by standing and facing – and their size (and feet!) can be intimidating to an inexperienced or shy dog. We talk about sheep on our First Steps DVD and … Read More

Our suggested training programme

Trainee sheep and cattle herding dog Jet, calmly holding a dozen sheep in the corner of a yard
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 flanking more important than … Read More

Registered dog puppy (Sold)

Registered dog puppy (Sold)
SORRY, Aanick has been sold Small but perfectly formed, Aanick’s big personality makes up for his lack of stature. When Aanick was born, on March 17th, he was the smallest (tiniest!) pup in a litter of 11. We feared the worst, but did our best to ensure he had the best start we could possibly give him. Luckily Aanick … Read More

Watch with subtitles

Close up photo of Kelpie Will looking at the camera
We’ve already made our tutorials easier to watch when your internet connection is slow, and now there are improvements to the tutorials themselves. Existing subscribers will notice a slightly different format. There’s not only the choice between Standard (SD) and High (HD) definition, but instant access to English subtitles – just click on (CC) on the video screen. Closed caption … Read More

A NEW Training DVD and a GREAT OFFER for BUYERS!

Picture showing the five DVDs on special offer
We’re proudly announcing our FOURTH Sheepdog Training Tutorials DVD and a great offer to help you buy more than one copy! If you’re eagerly awaiting the next volume of our collected tutorials… HERE IT IS! How to choose your currency and select a DVD or book category using a mobile phone PLUS, to celebrate Volume 4 and mark an amazing … Read More

Does your internet connection hold you back?

Young collie puppies playing together
Try our new video player We’ve made a few changes to make our tutorials easier to watch when your internet connection is slow. Some subscribers have to live with this all the time, and others only have an issue when using a mobile device away from home. Either way, it’s a real nuisance if you can’t concentrate on the information … Read More

Featured tutorial – Get Off The Fence!

Featured tutorial - Get Off The Fence!
It’s hard to make progress if your sheep just “stay put” Sheep have a real talent for assessing a trainee dog, and for making life as difficult for it as possible. As a result, a very common problem for young dogs and inexperienced handlers is getting the sheep into the middle of the ring or field, and keeping them there … Read More

Featured tutorial – Sometimes Nice is Not Enough

Sheepdog Bronwen lies down defiantly in front of some threatening sheep
It takes huge self-confidence for a dog to lie down in this situation, but even a cautious dog can learn to assert itself. Sheep are natural “runners” when they’re being hunted, but certain situations, such as when held in a pen, or protecting their lambs, can make a sheep turn and fight back. While sheep and dog welfare must always … Read More

Cammen Kay – our unsung hero?

Lovely portrait photo of Kay in the snow
Quietly in the background, with no fuss or bluster, we didn’t always give Kay her due! When we bought Kay, at about one year old, our intention was to train her but not, necessarily, to keep her forever. Yet I think Kay is probably the only dog we haven’t ever suggested we could sell. When Andy first started to plan … Read More

Featured Tutorial – What Shall I Do Next?

Thumbnail photo for our tutorial What Shall I Do Next?
Our recommended order for training sheep or cattle dogs When you first start training a dog to work livestock, it can seem daunting to say the least! With the dog whirling around and refusing to stop while sheep or cattle run in all directions, the beginner can be forgiven for thinking they’ll never regain control, but attending to the most … Read More

New Tutorial: No 70 – The Training Ring (Part 2)

Poster image for our sheepdog training tutorial The Training Ring (part 2)
The training ring can be used for much more than just starting a dog off Optional English subtitles are available on all of our sheepdog training videos We saw in part one of “The Training Ring” tutorials that getting your dog’s training off to a good start will be so much easier if you can confine the sheep and the … Read More

A Fine Sheep and Cattle Dog in the Making

A trainee sheepdog bringing a small group of sheep
Introducing Dulcie – daughter of Bronwen – granddaughter of Mel The latest addition to our team of working dogs is Dulcie. She’s the daughter of Bronwen and Oliver. Bronwen was one of our best ever sheep and cattle dogs, and features in our “Bronwen and Scylla” tutorials where we compare the litter sisters Scylla (the naughty one who takes ages … Read More

New dogs – new opportunities

New dogs - new opportunities
It feels like a new term at Kings Green. Boz, born 18th November 2017 from Pippin and Oliver. This year’s puppies are ready to start training, and they’re giving us lots of filming and photo opportunities Without actually planning it we have a real mix of dogs to bring on and, of course, they’re presenting us with a range of … Read More

Featured Tutorial – The Perfect Stop!

Improve the stop of your herding cattle or sheepdog without damaging the dog's confidence
Improve your dog’s stop without damaging its confidence A dog which will stop instantly on command is a great asset on any livestock farm. The most common fault among working sheepdogs is that they’re too eager, and their handler cannot stop them precisely when and where they need to, but over-intense training can damage a sensitive dog’s confidence. “The Perfect … Read More

New Tutorial: The Training Ring

Photo of sheepdog trainer Andy standing inside a training ring made from sheep hurdles
Correct size and shape of your training ring can make starting your dog far easier Not only is the training ring one the most useful assets you can have when you start to train a sheepdog, it can also be a great help when the dog moves on to advanced work such as driving, pen work and circling sheep on … Read More

New Tutorial: How Can I Slow the Dog Down?

Photo of a trainee Kelpie sheepdog splitting up a bunch of sheep
Many people ask us how they can slow their dog down when it’s working It’s essential that the dog learns to work stock steadily. During training, a dog which is calm is likely to learn much quicker than a dog which is excitedly racing around. If sheep or other stock panic as a result of the dog working too fast … 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) litter in early April. Fun … Read More

How to train a sheepdog to slow down

Training a dog to herd sheep - giving the sheep plenty of space
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 is covered in our online … Read More

New tutorial: The training area

Photo of a sheepdog trainer fastening the field gate, watched by Kay the trainee sheepdog. This is the title image of the training area tutorial
For beginners and beyond The wide open spaces have their place, but NOT in the early stages of sheepdog training. For the best chance of success, and to save your legs and temper, keep the dog and sheep contained. We stress, in our training tutorials, that: “The closer you are to the dog, the more control you have,” but it’s … Read More

New Tutorial: Sheep – Essential Facts for Beginners

The title image for our sheepdog training tutorial. Showing seven sheep in a line near a hedge.
Understanding sheep and their behaviour makes training your dog far easier As we approach the tenth anniversary of the release of our double DVD set “First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training“, we’re busy updating it in anticipation of releasing a second, even more comprehensive version in the near future. A useful spinoff of this is that as each “First … Read More

Pippin – Super Little Sheepdog and Super Mum!

Smooth coated border collie Pippin's doing really well in her new home.
Great things come in small packages! “Hi Andy. Just to let you know the dogs have settled in lovely. Pippin is already working groups of 300 ewes like she has been doing it for years. Thanks again. Brilliant dogs.” This was the text message I received a few days ago from Pippin’s new owner. It’s always a great relief when … Read More

The Sheepdog Whistle. Tune-in With Our Training Tutorials!

How to teach your herding dog to work on whistle commands
Watch the “Sheepdog Whistle” tutorials to get your dog moving There are some common misconceptions about whistles and sheepdogs. The first, and very common, is that you must have a shepherd’s whistle to train and work a sheepdog – you don’t. If you have only a few sheep, and a relatively small area in which to keep and work them, … Read More

Fifteen years ago these two changed our lives

Close-up photo of two very smiley sheepdogs Glen and Dot, in the back seat of a car.
Little did we know what was around the corner! This photo of Dot and Glen in the boot of Gill’s car, after a January training session, brought memories flooding back to us. Once Dot (left) and later Glen came along, our sheepdog training took on a much more serious and informed nature. (Left to right) Dot, Reiver, Mossie and Hattie … Read More

Sometimes I Really Miss Carew!

Sheepdog Carew standing on a tree stump - looking wonderful!
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 so ago. Our landlord John … Read More

Too Many Puppies in One Bed!

Photo of ten or more puppies crowded into a bed. Nearly all of the pups are looking towards the camera and looking bright and cheerful!
Lots of memories, but was it really six years ago today? We couldn’t resist showing you this photo of a whole bunch of puppies crowded into one bed! There are lots of fond memories here for us – and it’s a lovely picture too! The pair at the front left are Dulcie (tricolour) and Gloria, who both showed great potential … Read More

Too much eye? There’s a tutorial for that!

Closeup photo of a black and white rough coated sheepdog staring intensely at something. This can be a sign that the dog has what's known as too much eye
Watch the “Sticky Dogs” tutorial to get your dog moving Some years ago I kept my first training sheep in a small paddock behind a large country house. Sometimes the children of the house would come out to watch my efforts, and shout their approval from the sidelines. They also frequently dismantled my hurdle ring, despite my requests that they … Read More

Scary Place 2 (The Sequel)

Herding Sheepdog Kay shows her great courage as she calmly and confidently removes some sheep from a very dark confined space
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 into the hovel to remove … Read More

Is it wise to buy more than one puppy?

Two rough coated border collie puppies in the foreground facing the camera with another one sniffing around in the background
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 as possible. All dogs are … Read More

New Tutorial: Back to Forwards!

Cover image for online sheepdog training tutorial: Back to Forwards
Once you can go backwards, turn around and go “Back to Forwards”! Don’t be confused by the title of our latest sheepdog training tutorial, “Back to Forwards” is the follow up to “ Backwards is the Way Forwards” which really should be one of our most popular videos because it teaches the herding dog so many important things. If you … Read More

Jet Joins the Dean Farm Set!

Trainee sheep and cattle herding dog Jet, calmly holding a dozen sheep in the corner of a yard
Jet’s right on the ball with her first gather at Dean Farm With her mother Kay being out of action because she’s “in season” at the moment (Kay’s one of those females who’s work is sometimes affected by her seasons) it seemed like a good time to let young Jet try her paw at some ‘proper’ sheep gathering today. We … Read More

Kelpie Molly earns her wings!

Kelpie Molly earns her wings!
Despite having little training to date, Molly’s reached basic Sheepdog Status! Sheepdog training sessions have been somewhat few and far between here recently, because we’ve been busy updating the sheepdog training tutorials as well as working on the website. So after a really good session with Scylla today, I thought it was high time Molly had a session. I was … Read More

Big Fella in the Rain!

Lovely close up photo of the big sheepdog, Ezra looking to his right as he shelters from the rain under a tree
Ezra looking the part as he shelters from the rain Out with the dogs a few days ago, Gill and I took shelter under our big oak tree as the light rain became heavy. The dogs joined us under there, and as I had the camera with me, I used the opportunity to take some photos. Pick of the pics … Read More

New Tutorial: Train a Sensitive, Reluctant Dog

Close up photo of Maisie, the dog used in this herding sheepdog training tutorial
The first training session for reluctant Maisie Our online tutorials include Starting a Young Puppy, and Starting a Strong Dog. Now it’s time to look at another common type of young dog – A Reluctant Dog – sensitive and apparently uninterested. Maisie’s parents (Isla and Ezra) could never be accused of lacking enthusiasm, so at the age of 9 months … Read More

Farewell to Bronwen (her talent was wasted here)!

Extreme close up photo of a cheerful looking Bronwen
Bronwen’s gone to a new home in Gloucestershire where she’ll have a much larger flock of sheep to look after It’s difficult to take a bad picture of Bronwen Training and selling sheepdogs is all very well, but, when it comes to selling a dog that you’re very fond of, it can be an extremely difficult decision. For a long … Read More

Wow! Kelpie Molly gets our ‘Man of the Match’ Award!

Close up photo of Molly lying on the grass
It’s taken a while, but Molly’s showing real commitment and keeping her sheep together very well If you’ve read our Kelpie vs Collie blog, you’ll know that we’ve had our ups and downs with Kelpies over the years, and I’ve personally been on the receiving end of some bitter comments from enthusiasts for what I wrote about Kelpies. Our collie … Read More

All Safely Gathered in

Photo of Kay (lying down on the left) and Carew (standing) keeping an eye on the sheep they have just put into some buildings
Memories of Kay and Carew at Dean Farm on this day four years ago! Regular readers will know that we often gather sheep for our landlord John, at Dean Farm. This is a typical picture of Kay (left) and Carew keeping an eye on the sheep which they’ve just put safely into a building. Kay gathering a small flock of … Read More

A Surprise Turnout to Move a Few Sheep!

Photo of three herding sheepdogs walking up on a group of sheep
Scylla and Ezra join Kay’s fun! We only have five acres of land here (about two hectares) and at the moment there are just twelve sheep on it. (More sheep coming soon). Because the land is where we exercise the dogs twice a day for their recreation, we need to be careful that the dogs don’t chase the sheep. Normally … Read More

Border Collie Sheepdogs Come in Assorted Colours!

Close up photo of a very pretty black, white, tan and merle border collie with pricked ears (and her tongue out).
We love coloured dogs and we’ve had a few over the years! Yesterday’s post about so-called mis-marked puppies sparked a lot of response, mostly on Facebook and Twitter. One of the questions we were asked was whether we train Merle or Red and White dogs. Yes, we’ve trained quite a number over the years, but (and this may not go … Read More

How do you feel about mis-marked puppies?

Close up photo of two border collie puppies lying together. One has a white face and one of its eyes is blue
We love coloured dogs and we’ve had a few over the years! Yesterday’s post about so-called mis-marked puppies sparked a lot of response, mostly on Facebook and Twitter. Guess which pup is Stan! He’ll be going to his new home soon. There’s nothing unusual about this. We’ve noticed over the years that some people strongly dislike unusual markings on dogs … Read More

“They’re Behind You”!

Photo of herding sheepdog Mo looking towards the camera. Behind her are two lambs.
Little Mo doesn’t realise the lambs are behind her! Two years ago today we were helping Ian and Ruth Morris to gather sheep at Middle Hill Farm in Shropshire when I saw Mo looking very pleased with herself and not realising that two lambs were standing immediately behind her. As it happened, it didn’t matter at all that the … Read More

Our Relentless Pursuit of Excellence!

Screen shot showing the new categories and tutorial thumbnails in the tutorials library
With 60 tutorials in the library it’s time we made it easier to find what you want. In our relentless pursuit of the “Perfect User Experience” (is there such a thing as the “perfect user”) we’ve made it much easier to find your way around our Sheepdog Training Tutorials. Now you can scroll through thumbnails and brief descriptions of … Read More

Kay – always there, giving her best

Closup of Kay looking quizzical
If we’ve had any success in the sheepdog training sphere, we owe much of it to Kay. Kay’s taught us such a lot over the years. She’s one of those dog that somehow just knows what needs to be done, and despite not being in the first flush of youth, and being partially deaf, she’s still a very useful … Read More

Andy’s First Dog, Dot

Closeup photo of Dot looking out over the Welsh mountains of Corwen
Fifteen years ago today. This is little Dot, the herding dog that changed my life! After a turbulent start, Dot went on to become an excellent dog with both cattle and sheep She features in our Sheepdog Training Article (written in 2003). We had a lot of fun with Dot. In the early stages of her training I very nearly … Read More

Cooling off in the pond on a hot day!

Close up of Fay (and Kay) splashing about in the pond on a hot day
Puppy Faye and the dogs don’t like it too hot Three years ago today, the weather was unexpectedly hot – just as it is in the UK today. Unlike today though, we’d just had a spell of really heavy rain, and our (normally dried up) pond had some water in it for a change, so the dogs wasted no time … Read More

New Tutorial: Why Your Dog Should Work BOTH WAYS

Cover picture of sheep and cattle dog training tutorial showing why your dog should circle the sheep both ways
A good dog must circle fluently both ways Just as most humans are left or right-handed, the majority of herding dogs favour working in one direction over another. Often, sheep and cattle dog handlers are not bothered if their dog will only go in one direction to gather the stock, as long as it brings them successfully. In our latest … Read More

It’s our bed so we’ll sleep in it!

Three young puppies huddled together in an upturned dog bed
Dog beds are for sleeping in – whichever way up they happen to be! This time last year, these pups weren’t put off by their bed being propped against the wall to dry. They just climbed in and went to sleep as though nothing had happened. Go to the original blog and photosRead More

Meet the Sheepdogs (from Five Years Ago)

A large group of sheepdogs lying on the grass. One of them has possession of a ball
Some of our working sheepdogs at rest We thought you’d like to see this picture of some of the dogs taking a break from playing. The picture was taken on this day five years ago (20th May 2012) … Read More

Bronwen – arguably our best sheepdog ever!

Close up of Bronwen concentrating very hard on some sheep
At Dean Farm today, Bronwen worked supremely well Knowing she can be somewhat “trigger happy” when it comes disciplining an errant sheep, I really didn’t expect Bronwen to be a serious contender for being our best herding sheepdog ever, but her recent performances have been superb. Not just a pretty face! You’d think butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth, but … Read More

New Tutorial: Teach Your Dog Whistle Commands

Teach your dog to work on whistle commands
It’s not as difficult as you may think! Many sheepdog handlers think it’s very difficult to teach a dog to work on whistle commands but in fact the tricky part is learning to blow the whistle in the first place! Once you’ve mastered the “knack” of blowing the whistle (covered in part one of our sheepdog whistle tutorials) you need … Read More

How you can save a sheep’s life

Photo of a sheep lying on its side and unable to right itself
…it’s important to raise the BAA! Sheep don’t sleep or even lie comfortably on their backs, so if you happen to see one in this position you can be sure it’s close to death. If you know what to do, however, you might save its life. WATCH THE VIDEO! Free VideoDVDsBooksLibrary When you’re training … Read More

The Girls are growing fast

Smooth coated black and white collie puppy enjoying the spring sunshine
They have different personalities, but Maddie and Mew are in full agreement when it comes to sheep I know I look cute, but I’m actually in mid-bark The Girls have attained the great age of five months and the honeymoon’s over, so far as playing in the field is concerned. When the dogs move out into the field the sheep … Read More

Puppy Mew at sixteen weeks

Side on photo of Mew, facing the camera
Four months old and full of life, Mew’s a real character Young Kelpie Molly’s another of our favourites. Here she has a very serious-looking young Maddie, and her friend Mew in close attendance, with Isla in the background. Some very welcome sunshine this morning prompted me to take the camera out with me when I took the dogs for their … Read More

Did someone say GO?

Five of our herding sheepdogs jumping off a straw bale in a field
A picture from this day in 2013, to brighten up a dull Wednesday morning Whatever the weather, the dogs always seem to make the most of things. A great lesson for us all. The picture above shows (L-R) Carew, Ezra, Eli, Pru, Cabbage and Mab (peeping from behind the bale on the right) making the most of some straw bales … Read More

Carew Shows How to Pen Sheep!

Border Collie Sheepdog Carew gently pushes reluctant sheep into a pen
Carew shows how to pen some reluctant sheep We came across this short clip from a couple of years ago, and thought we’d share it with you. Notice that the task is much more difficult because Carew’s pushing the sheep into the pen on her own. Penning sheep is far easier for the dog if the handler stands closer to … Read More

Bronwen excels under pressure at Dean Farm

Close up of a very wet and muddy sheepdog, Bronwen
Working with sheep today was wet and extremely muddy, but Kay and Bronwen got the work done in style We had a very busy day gathering sheep today. First, we moved a bunch of ewes along the lane to a new field, where they joined another flock and put them through the race for ultrasound scanning (to see how many … Read More

Young Victor on a frosty morning

A rough coated black and white sheepdog watching sheep in the corner of a field
Even though it’s cold, the weather’s glorious! A favourite with visitors to this website, Mew must be one of the fluffiest dogs we’ve owned There’s nothing quite like a bit of sunlight to brighten up a frosty morning and Victor’s morning was certainly made brighter by the prospect of some training with these sheep. He’s a lovely young dog, with … Read More

Mew’s update!

A close-up photo of Mew - a very fluffy tri-colour border collie sheepdog puppy, with frost on her face.
The weather’s turned chilly, but Mew’s not bothered! One of the less well known but nonetheless amusing sides of puppy rearing, is the way the youngsters seem to grow in stages. Hector’s ears went awry for a few weeks when he was growing up, but they soon sorted themselves out (Click to enlarge) The most obvious example of this can … Read More

Hello! My Name’s Mew

Border collie sheepdog puppy Mew bounding towards the camera
Meg and Ezra puppy Mew enjoying herself in the garden this morning This is Mew – one of Meg and Ezra‘s latest litter and of course, granddaughter of dear old Mel. Mew’s not for sale, she’s staying here with us! Click the image to enlarge it Mew’s certainly a good looking pup and she’s got an awful lot to live … Read More

Started young sheepdogs and cattle dogs for sale (Sold)

A good looking border collie sheepdog, walking up toward some sheep
In recent years we’re training fewer dogs than we used to. This often results in dogs being sold before we get around to listing them here… The dogs shown below should give you an idea of prices and working skills of our dogs, but if you’re seriously looking for a dog, it might be a good idea to contact us … Read More

Border collie for an active pet home (Sold)

Non-working collie dog for sale
CLOVIS – bred for work, but bored by sheep!
Clovis is SOLD Clovis has a calm temperament, but loves to be in on the action Clovis was born here on April 3rd 2016. His parents are both working dogs with excellent trialling pedigrees but, despite some early promise, Clovis has decided against working sheep for a living. He will, however, make … Read More

Does your dog cast out too wide around stock?

Preparing a working sheep and cattle dog for an outrun
A dog which works too far off the sheep or cattle will lose control of them Although officially Part 7 of our Bronwen and Scylla comparison, this tutorial concentrates on a problem that’s Bronwen’s very own. While Scylla has been inclined to be too tight on her sheep, Bronwen’s flanks are often pointlessly wide. Worse, Bronwen can lose contact with … Read More

Two in a dog house

Victor and Scylla love to share the same bedroom
Victor and Scylla are happy to share the vantage point of an upstairs bedroom When we first started our collie collection, we had a routine. We’d buy the dog/dogs/puppy/puppies, get them home, put them in the yard and then build a pen around them. Sometimes it was just substantial enough to contain them overnight, and others we used for years … Read More

Our Cat Dog, Jet

Jet's a smooth coated prick-eared border collie sheepdog
Jet’s one of our favourite young sheepdogs but she might even be part-cat! Tall, slim, mostly black, and very fast. That’s how we think of Jet. She gets her tall and slim stature from her father, Oliver and her pricked ears from her mother Kay, but other than the ears, Jet has very little in common with Kay. Kay’s more … Read More

A sad end for one of ‘our’ Buzzards

The PBMS monitors the levels of contaminants to determine how and why they vary between species and regions, how they are changing over time, and the effects that they may have on individual birds and on their populations
Our suspicions proved right when we found the buzzard the next morning Last Tuesday, I wrote a short blog about a buzzard which the dogs found in our orchard. I was very pleased to be able to get close enough to get a decent photograph, but at the same time, Gill and I were worried that there must be something … Read More

It’s not often you get this close to a Buzzard

Close-up of a buzzard perched on a branch on the ground.
The dogs found this buzzard in our orchard this morning – we hope it’s OK Buzzards are a very common sight near our house. I think the most I have ever counted was thirteen, but that was just one occasion. Normally there are one or two around the orchard, and they take very little notice of the dogs, only lazily … Read More

Use a Reward to Get Training on Board

Herding Sheep and Cattle dog Odo was afraid of cars until he was trained with a reward
Our latest Sheepdog Training Tutorial‘s about much more than how to get a dog into the car! 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 in it for them. When we train our dog to … Read More

Two of our Favourite Boys!

Kelpie Will and Border Collie pup Jago standing side by side
Young Kelpie Will, and his Border Collie friend Jago Kelpie Will and Jago (above) are two of our favourite trainee herding dogs. Will’s training is progressing a little slowly, but he’s definitely getting there, while Jago (a Kay and Oliver puppy) is making great progress. Jago seems to have inherited his mother’s natural talent for working sheep, as well as … Read More

Between a Flock and a Barred-Place!

This sheep has got herself trapped. It looks as though the bars of the fence go through the sheep, but they're only squeezing the wool
“LOOK BACK” at our favourite posts! (No 1 – 23 Feb 2014) They say sheep spend their entire lives thinking of ways to die – this one gets full marks for ingenuity! When Gill and I were putting the dogs away after their run this morning, we heard a sheep calling. It sounded as though she was unusually close … Read More

Border Collie Puppies Like to Play Hard!

Three five month old puppies leaping as they play very hard in the field
They’re the best of friends really! Despite appearances, Hattie (with her back to the camera) Jago and Hector (right) are great friends really. It’s just that they like to play really hard. This picture was taken on this morning’s run and I dare say there will be similar fun and games when they go out on their evening jaunt, too! … Read More

Remember our “Stolen” Kelpie Puppy?

Dramatic photo of a Kelpie Sheep and Cattle dog running towards the camera
After a dramatic start to his early life, Kelpie Tucker’s doing really well Five of the seven stolen kelpies. Can you tell which one’s Tucker? Our regular readers will remember the high drama back in January of this year, when a Kelpie puppy we had ordered was stolen during the week before we were due to collect him. Fortunately, thanks … Read More

Sheepdog Recreation Time

Border Collie Scylla jumps to catch a falling Kong
Our dogs love to play just as hard as they work Every day of the year, our dogs go out morning and evening for at least an hour of hard play. Whatever the weather, they love nothing more than to race around after frisbees and balls and Scylla (above) is no exception. She loves to monopolise a certain toy for … Read More

Top tips for easier cattle and sheep dog training

Top tips for easier sheep and cattle dog training
How to make it much easier to train your dog to work cattle or sheep Our latest training video for cattle and sheep dog trainers is available for our members to watch – SIGNUP NOW Go to the tutorials library page to see all the videos currently available. We all know that teaching a keen dog to work livestock in … Read More

Bronwen Rises to Kay’s Challenge

Herding Sheepdogs Bronwen and Kay behind the sheep in the handling yard
Not to be outdone by Kay’s improved performance yesterday, Bronwen took charge of today’s gather and was outstanding Until now I’ve left the bulk of sheep gathering to Kay because Bronwen had a habit of cutting in and bringing only part of the flock at a time. She’d go back for more if commanded, but it was a tedious business, … Read More

A Vast Improvement in Kay’s Confidence

Sheepdogs herding a flock of reluctant ewes and lambs
The picture speaks volumes! With new-found confidence, Kay’s standing up to stubborn sheep We had another early start this morning as there were two lots of sheep to gather at Dean Farm. We’re “enjoying” a heatwave in the UK at the moment, so I was more than happy to get up at 5am today because I wanted to get the … Read More

Bronwen Excels in the Sorting Pen

Herding sheepdog Bronwen looks over the side of the pen at the sheep
“All my own work” – Bronwen proved exceptionally efficient when we were sorting lambs for market at Dean Farm this morning We arrived at the farm at 6.30am, where Bronwen and Kay set to work gathering the ewes and lambs from a large field. The two dogs work very well together, primarily because Kay works efficiently on whistle commands, but … Read More

Fond Memories of Mel Five Years Ago

Mel and Andy at Powick sheepdog trials
Mel at her last sheepdog trial in July 2011 Many of you will remember Mel as one of the great sheepdogs we’ve had the pleasure of living and working with. Sadly, Mel passed away in March of this year, but she’s far from being forgotten. Her daughter Carew may have been easier to control in a delicate situation, and indeed … Read More

Gain Control of an Aggressive Sheepdog

A trainee dog attacking a sheep
How can you train a dog who’s a danger to sheep? Our latest three-part video series covers the basic training of Max, a dog who was determined to attack sheep at every opportunity. Part One shows our first encounter with Max, and our first session with him at home. This tutorial shows you how to approach training such a … Read More

Bronwen’s baptism of fire

When challenged, Bronwen reacted quickly and decisively. Here she bites the nose of a challenging ewe
As we announce our latest sheepdog training tutorial, Bronwen faces a stiff challenge in the shearing pens Yesterday, we released our latest sheepdog training tutorial, Bronwen and Scylla, Part 6. As the title suggests, this is the sixth instalment in our fascinating series of videos comparing the training of litter sisters Bronwen and Scylla. While Scylla’s still untrustworthy around … Read More

Kay and Bronwen gather sheep at Dean Farm

Bronwen demonstrates self control as she watches the sheep coming out of a tight spot
Kay and Bronwen both look after their own interests at Dean Farm, in totally different ways Whenever I take dogs to Dean Farm to gather sheep for John, the one thing I can count on is that things rarely go smoothly, and today was no exception. Since we parted with Carew a few weeks ago, I’ve realised more and more, … Read More

You can find shelter in all sorts of places

Three young puppies huddled together in an upturned dog bed
These are a few of the border collie puppies we sometimes have for sale to suitable working or very active homes Spot the odd one out! Kelpie Molly is swamped by a mass of very wet border collie puppies The puppies come from excellent sheep and cattle working lines, and will be ideal for farm work as well as agility … Read More

Molly Completes Our Kelpie Trio

Molly is a red and tan Kelpie puppy aged eight weeks
Molly joins us as Kelpie number three! We’re very pleased to welcome our latest Kelpie puppy Molly to join our other Kelpies Will and Tucker, as trainee sheep and cattle herding dogs. Mollie is super-obedient at the moment, a real pleasure to have around but of course, she’s only been with us for a few days. Once she begins … Read More

Pic of the Day – Eric’s finding his place

Pic of the Day - Eric's finding his place
AND his name! It turns out that the Chihuahua, formerly known as Emrys, is actually called Eric. “Anything they can do!” – Eric’s pretty sure he’s in with a chance to catch that Frisbee Eric’s been with us for a week now, and is starting to find his place within the pack. I’d assumed that Eric’s “pack” would be the … Read More

Training your dog with cattle or ducks

Border collie working with cattle
“Starting your Border Collie on Cattle, Sheep or Ducks” A new DVD for the Working Sheepdog Website Shop Not all border collies are needed to work sheep; we’ve had dogs attending our courses who were needed to work with cattle, alpacas, goats and turkeys. Although we don’t keep cattle ourselves, it was often useful to have Carew on hand … Read More

Tutorials 3 DVD – Coming Very Soon!

Herding sheepdog Carew holding sheep in the yard
Volume THREE – available in a few days time! 2xDVD set containing another sixteen of our latest Sheepdog Training Tutorials Our new cattle and sheep herding dog training DVD will be on sale in a very few days time. It contains sixteen great chapters for those unable to watch our Sheepdog Training Tutorials online. Take a look at Sheepdog … Read More

Pic of the day – Puppies! Hurrah!

Lovely black and white border collie with litter of day old puppies
We’re delighted that one of our favourite collies, Isla, has produced a litter of seven fabulous puppies. Isla’s puppies will soon get used to wet legs – family commitments won’t keep Isla out of the ditches Of course we’re just assuming, at the moment, that they’ll be fabulous, but with Isla for a mother, and a father like Ezra, what … Read More

New Tutorial: Training Max – the Gripper

Max the sheepdog gripping (attacking) a sheep
Here’s a way to save your sheep, your nerves, and possibly even your dog! Our Latest Tutorial – Training Max – the GRIPPER A dog with a persistent grip is no fun to train and, more importantly, can be a real danger to your sheep and a liability for your business. It’s a conflict: a strong dog can often develop … Read More

Happy sheepdog, happy shepherd & vice versa

Smooth coated border collie sheepdog
Smooth coated, but no smooth operator, Max is the focus of our next tutorial. What a sweetie! But when Max first joined us, this was his natural expression In 2011 we bought a dog who’s since become famous (or infamous) in our household. We expected Max to be a problem, that was why we chose him, but he tested our … Read More

Three Years Ago Today!

Border Collie sheepdogs squabbling with snow flying around!
As we await the coming storms, remember March 2013 As we bask in glorious sunshine today it’s hard to imagine there are some unpleasant storms approaching the UK. I was looking through some old photos recently and came across some which I took on this day (March 25th) in 2013. We don’t expect (or want) snow in late March, but … Read More

Dogs aren’t the only ones who can learn

Closeup of a group of speckle-faced sheep
Our sheep have become experts at avoiding pressure Our sheepdog training course yesterday was a great demonstration of just how clever sheep can be. Many people think sheep are very stupid, because to us, they seem to do some really silly things, but anyone who really knows about sheep has a lot more respect for them. Little Kay was heroic … Read More

Tucker and Pip

Tucker appearing from behind a tree stump
Two very bright lights to keep us cheerful Of course, we’re still very sad since losing old Mel on Wednesday, but having the other dogs around, especially puppies Tucker and Pip, is a great tonic. Despite Pip being several weeks younger than Tucker, the pair get along amazingly well. In fact the only small problem there has been with … Read More

The End of an Era – Mel

Mel lying on the grass looking happy
So sad to report that Mel died yesterday One day I’ll write a page in memory of Mel. She’s probably the greatest sheepdog we’ve ever had the privilege to know and work with. Mel’s “yampy” (quirky, carefree) look, that we loved so much Mel’s daughter Carew was far easier to control around sheep, and was definitely easier to stop (I … Read More

Pic of the day – Catching up

Red and tan Australian Kelpie sheepdog
Life’s slowly returning to normal after a trying month Tucker, with his hero Bronwen, and Odo’s hairy self in evidence at the back There’s been a distinct lack of news here in recent weeks, due to our domestic ‘flu epidemic (if two makes an epidemic). Luckily we weren’t ill at the same time, but for some weeks we’ve been operating … Read More

New Tutorial: Bronwen and Scylla (Part 5)

Training a herding dog inside a training ring
Part 5 of a Training Comparison Between Litter Sisters
MONTHLY OR ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP REQUIRED OUR LATEST TUTORIAL – Bronwen & Scylla, Part 5 In part five of our series comparing the training of litter sisters Bronwen and Scylla, we see the two facing the challenge of new, and “undogged” sheep. Some of the results are predictable and true to form. Scylla … Read More

Sheepdog puppies for sale (Sold)

sheepdog puppy Tesla looking at the camera
26th March 2016: Tesla has been sold. We’re expecting two litters in early April. A few of these will be available to sheep or agility homes, so please get in touch. Tesla (known as Tes) was born on October 3rd 2015. Her sire is our stud dog, Ezra, and her dam is a working sheepdog from Shropshire. Tesla hasn’t done … Read More

Pics of the day: The morning run

Blue merle border collie sheep dog puppy
A random selection of sheepdogs, out and about Odo and William may be different breeds, but they have the same interests: “Is it me, or do those sheep need tidying up?” If a fox were to carry a Frisbee, then it would look like this. I say “if”, but we’re pretty sure that foxes do carry the dog toys out … Read More

Pic of the day: Post “Storm Imogen”

Australian Kelpie sheepdog puppy, looking stylish
After five days in Storm Imogen’s clutches… …the dogs are enjoying some watery sunshine, and Tucker’s looking stylish. One dog’s perch is another (smaller) dog’s shelter! We’ve had a wet and windy few days, in common with most of the UK of course. Although we still made sure that the dogs had their usual exercise sessions, it always seems unfair … Read More

Pic of the day: Tucker gets promoted

Sheepdog puppies, two border collies and a kelpie
Tucker’s in charge when we collect new puppies And seems to change from bouncy puppy to calm, sophisticated young “dog of the world” in an instant! Currently known as Del and Jazz (left to right) the girls will make their chosen names known to us when they’re ready We’re told that Kelpies are especially good travellers. Tucker’s already pretty well … Read More

Pic of the Day: One last Kelpie fix

Pic of the Day: One last Kelpie fix
Perhaps the Kelpies have been getting more than their fair share of “Pic of the Day” attention recently. Trouble is, they’re so darned cute… Will and Tucker are best friends and, although Tucker’s tiny and Will’s adolescent (Will could easily flatten Tucker if he felt inclined) they get along really well. Well, perhaps not so easily flattened – Tucker’s … Read More

Pic of the day: Frosty dogs

Border collie and Kelpie in the frost
Whatever the weather, the dogs are always ready for the morning run and don’t seem to notice the temperature. “Sorry – can’t stop!” Can’t say the same for Andy and me, but even frost and fog have compensations. It took strength of will to get me out into the cold this morning but, as is often the case with weather, … Read More

Pic of the day: Take a look at Lottie!

Pic of the day: Take a look at Lottie!
Another new dog dialect in the pack But unlike the Kelpies, Lottie the Bearded Collie has fitted in immediately. Despite some very traditional Border collie markings, Lottie is a Bearded collie (known as a Beardie). She’s only 7 months old (so perhaps she hasn’t grown her full beard yet) but Lottie’s eager to work sheep, so we thought it … Read More

Did I say I might miss Carew?

Ezra did really well on his debut at working in a pen of sheep
A Huge Test for Ezra and Bronwen at Dean Farm Regular readers of our blog will know that we parted with Carew earlier this month. Carew’s such a talented sheepdog that because we have so little work for her (especially in winter) we took the agonising decision to let her go to a large flock on Dartmoor in the … Read More

Pic of the day – Talking sheepdogs

Muddy Kelpie puppy
Does dog language have accents and dialects? “I didn’t know what Isla meant, so I asked her to show me.” And she did. It’s a while since we introduced a new dog that wasn’t a Border collie. Now we’ve added the Kelpies, William and Tucker, to the crew, it’s fascinating to watch them finding their way around the collies – … Read More

Farewell to Carew, we wish her the best

Close up photo of Carew the sheepdog standing on a fallen tree
Would you part with one of the best sheepdogs you ever had? The last few days at Kings Green Farm have been something of a roller coaster. At the end of last week we had the trauma of the Kelpie puppies being stolen, and then huge relief when we heard they’d been recovered from North Wales. Right from the early … Read More

Our ‘Stolen’ Kelpie – Tucker!

Tucker is one of the litter of kelpie puppies stolen from a Shropshire farm
Tucker’s safe in his new home after his ordeal Handsome little chap! Hopefully little Tucker will become a worldwide star in sheep and cattle dog training circles. Tucker’s a puppy that we had reserved from a litter of Kelpie pups before they were dramatically stolen from Clunton in Shropshire this week. Thankfully, after many thousands of Facebook shares and Twitter … Read More

Meet Our New Kelpie – Will

Close up photo of Kelpie Will looking at the camera
Llwyfen (UK) William – Red & Tan Male Kelpie Will’s the first of our new Kelpies. We collected him today from his home in Brecon, South Wales. For some time now, we’ve wanted to include Kelpies in our sheepdog training tutorials and DVDs so we’re especially pleased to introduce Will. At seven months of age, we’re hoping Will might … Read More

Kelpie puppies found SAFE and well!

The puppies stolen yesterday from Shropshire are on their way home
The Kelpie Puppies stolen yesterday are on their way home! Seven Australian Kelpie puppies were STOLEN yesterday from Clunton, Shropshire UK The wonderful news is that thanks to the power of Facebook (11,000 Shares) and Twitter, these puppies were located (abandoned) in North Wales today, and as I write this, they are on their way home. Thanks to everyone … Read More

Kelpie puppies stolen – Shropshire

Picture of the puppies which were stolen from Clunton in Shropshire (January 2016)
Seven Australian Kelpie puppies were STOLEN yesterday from Clunton, Shropshire UK There are 6 males and 1 female in the litter, 1 brown and tan, and the remainder black and tan. Please help to get these pups back to their rightful owners if you possibly can. Kelpies are not very common dogs so they should be easy to spot … Read More

Eli in the Mud – 2013

border collie sheepdog soaking wet and covered in mud
It was muddy in 2013 too! The persistent wet weather we’ve seen in the UK recently can be quite depressing, but it prompted us to cast our minds back three years. 2013 got off to a REALLY wet start! You can’t see it in this picture, but our field was a vast expanse of liquid mud – with very little … Read More

My boy Olliepop

Oliver is Gill's favourite of all our collies
You CAN have brains and beauty! Oliver is our “other” stud dog. Ezra considers himself to be the Main Man, generally swaggering around the place looking self-important, but Oliver is a quieter, more gentle character. Kay’s daughter Jet, with her father Oliver in the background. That grey rosette in Jet’s tail is Oliver’s trademark in his puppies. He has … Read More

NewTutorial: Sheepdog Selection and Preparation

Sheepdog trainer Andy Nickless introduces Kelpie training
The Sheepdog – Selection and Preparation We start 2016 with a tutorial dedicated to two topics about which we receive the most emails – choosing a working puppy, and what to do with it before you start training for cattle and sheep. So many handlers seem to find those early months very stressful; anxious to raise the dog in … Read More

Pic of the day – somebody to lean on

Pic of the day - somebody to lean on
Jet usually picks Isla. One of the joys of keeping a group of dogs is to watch the interplay between the various personalities. Who plays with whom, and which dogs completely ignore each other (though entirely without animosity) is endlessly fascinating. Jet and Isla are great friends, often to be seen racing around the field, dodging trees and other dogs, … Read More

Stick of the day!

Two border collie sheepdogs. One is carrying a very large stick
They say you should never throw sticks for your dog! Whenever we publish a picture of one of our dogs with a piece of wood in its mouth, we get a stream of correspondence from people who’ve had really bad experiences when their dog played with a stick. If Carew would carry all her sticks like this she’d be OK … Read More

Pic of the day – beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Pic of the day - beginning to look a lot like Christmas
In January 2013 It’s not that I’m obsessed with the idea of a white Christmas, but a little snow round about now, just enough to bring public transport to a standstill, would be atmospheric. Will (on the right) demonstrating his hand brake turns for Eli Please someone, remind me of that in February, when the novelty’s worn off the frozen … Read More

Pic of the (shortest) day – Hurrah!

A group of sheepdogs with a frisbee
I don’t think we’ve ever had so much grazing in December. We reduced the sheep numbers, assuming there wouldn’t be enough keep for the 30 we had through the summer and autumn, and now our small flock (flockette?) is making very little impact on the grass. The orchard still has plenty of windfall apples under the trees; a sure … Read More

Pic of the day – sheep by numbers

sheepdog Carew, staring at her sheep
An unseasonably sunny (is it really December?) morning was the opportunity for some sheep maintenance Primarily we were checking the ear tag numbers on our most recent intake of “training assistants”, but it’s important to check the sheep regularly, just to make sure they’re all the right way up. The ear tags show the sheep’s individual number, and the … Read More

Pic of the day – Tesla’s first morning

Pic of the day - Tesla's first morning
Introducing Ezra’s daughter, Tesla. She arrived here on Thursday afternoon, and this photo was taken on Friday morning. She’s quite happy to mix, and to meet the other dogs, but Tes likes to have a “den” when the going gets a bit too rough (mentioning no names – Isla and Scylla). We don’t use our dogs widely at stud, but … Read More

Pic of the day – New, borrowed and blue

Scylla, Merlin (the merle puppy) and Jet
“It smells like a collie, and tastes like a collie, so I guess it must be!” It’s a novelty for us to have a blue merle border collie around the place. “Mine, I think?” Merlin is one of Ezra’s daughters. She was born in Shropshire, to an ISDS registered red merle, and has come to stay with us for … Read More

Pic of the day – why puppies are best in groups

Pic of the day - why puppies are best in groups
…provided the toy has enough handles. Taken three years ago, almost to the day, this photo shows the lovely Oliver, with his litter mates Justin and Jess, and (nearest to the camera) a friend of the family, Tiny White. We can spend/waste hours just watching puppies play, and trying to identify their developing personalities. Oliver (2nd from the left) is … Read More

Pic of the day – How Isla got her spots

Border collie puppy learning to herd with ducks
Proof that “naughty spots” are earned – not just inherited For a while we considered using ducks for training, so a friend brought his own ducks (Indian Runner crosses, I believe) for us to try. Isla was one of the dogs we picked for the experiment. I used to think that females don’t have as much sense of humour as … Read More

Pic of the Day – Best of Friends Really!

When the dogs are not working sheep, they love nothing more than a bit of play-fighting
A bit of “rough and tumble” in the sunshine When it comes to being friends, Bronwen, Isla, Scylla and Jet are very close, but they love nothing more than a good hard play-fight. It usually starts with one of them provoking the others by dashing off very close and fast, so they can’t resist giving chase. After a few noisy … Read More

Pic of the day – Bronwen

border collie sheepdog, Bronwen
Bronwen – what’s in a name? Pure Bronwen – if you see what I mean I’d be the first to admit that, when it comes to naming dogs, I try to avoid the traditional sheepdog names. There’s nothing wrong with them, it’s just that I prefer something that seems to describe the dog or its personality, if at all possible … Read More

Pic of the Day – Isla

Most border collies are predominantly black with white blaze, collar, and tail tip but Isla is mostly white.
Before and After – Isla’s unusual markings When it comes to border collies, Isla really stands out from the rest. She’s a black and white border collie all right, but instead of predominantly black, with white blaze, collar and tail tip, she’s predominantly white with black face and “naughty spots”. When she’s not training to be a sheepdog, Isla loves … Read More

New Tutorial: Balance – What’s the Point?

Cover photo of our video tutorial about the all important point of balance when training a sheepdog
What is the point of balance and where can I find it? Don’t underestimate the importance of understanding the point of balance when you are training or working dogs on cattle, sheep or any other stock. Knowing precisely where the dog should be positioned in relation to the stock at any given time, and under what circumstances, will be of … Read More

Pic of the Day – Gather Round!

The dogs give Andy their full attention
From April 2004 this is Andy with the dogs Words of wisdom? (Pic from April 2004). The dogs appear to listen attentively to who knows what? On the far left is Mel, then Mossie, Reiver and Pearl then (?), Patch (tail in air) next to him is Glen and I can’t remember the dog on the right One of my … Read More

Slow down you’re cornering too fast!

Bronwen keeping the sheep under control during her training
Bronwen’s lesson in tackling sheep in tight corners The eyes have it! Bronwen has a sheep under control while watching some others in case they try to escape. I tore myself away from editing sheepdog training videos this morning, to take Bronwen to the sheep. Our poor dogs don’t get nearly as much training as they should do at the … Read More

Bronwen – play nicely with your brother!

Border collie sheepdogs Bronwen and Odo
Bronwen with her “little” brother Odo. Bronwen (looking predatory, on the right) would really like to take possession of the dog disc, but she knows that we like Odo to have a chance with it sometimes. Odo has Ezra’s build (short legged and stocky) and he doesn’t have the svelte Bronwen’s acceleration, so often misses out if speed is … Read More

Pic of the Day – Scylla and Oliver

Two Border Collie Sheepdogs dispute ownership of a squeaky toy.
Pic of the day turns vid of the day – Scylla and Oliver in hot property dispute! The dogs have had some new toys recently, and this morning’s addition was a small, squeaky space hopper. (Those “of a certain age” will know what a space hopper was.) Oliver, who doesn’t usually play with toys, desperately wanted the space hopper, … Read More

Pic of the day – Dulcie & Gloria

No one plays quite like a litter mate, but even a litter mate can surprise you!
Dulcie and Gloria – such devoted sisters! No one plays quite like a litter mate, but even a litter mate can surprise you! Just before Christmas, 2011, we bought a litter of well bred Border collies in readiness for training during the following summer. They were all individuals but, typical of litter mates, played together endlessly – and at high … Read More

Pic of the Day – Should a sheepdog play?

Ezra with a ball. Some sheepdog trainers would condemn this but playing in moderation is fine
Purists say sheepdogs should never play – we disagree! 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 … Read More

Pic of the Day – this is Isla

trainee border collie sheepdog Isla
Isla’s a complete “nutcase” but all the same, we’re very fond of her. When she came to us in the spring of 2014 she was as white as snow, apart from her face and a spot at the root of her tail, but now her body’s covered in “naughty spots”, and quite rightly too. One of the things that … Read More

We’re Looking for a Working Kelpie Pup

We want to find a working Kelpie
Can you help us find a Kelpie from good working parents? Red and Mossie were the best of pals but Mossie went to work on a sheep farm long before Red could be trusted with sheep. Regular visitors to The Working Sheepdog Website may remember that five years ago, we acquired a Kelpie puppy and called him Red. Red was … Read More

Pic of the day – Here’s Scylla!

Scylla waiting for instructions
Pic of the day – here’s Scylla Granddaughter of Mel (probably the best all-round sheepdog we ever had) this is Scylla Scylla is a sister to Odo (see yesterday’s post) and has the makings of a really good sheepdog now that she’s through that “difficult” stage that some young sheepdogs go through when they begin training. You can watch several … Read More

Pic of the Day!

Border collie sheepdog puppy, Odo
We’re going to try our best to bring you a photo of our sheepdogs every day if we can! Odo was born on the 27th of May this year. This is Odo. He’s a lovely pup from Ezra and Meg, but just look at his face! At the moment, he’s not keen on having his photograph taken, and that clearly … Read More

Get to grips with gripping

A sheepdog grips (bites) a sheep at a sheepdog trial
Many novice handlers are horrified if their dog grips. It has to be stopped, of course, but help is on hand! At a sheepdog trial, gripping usually results in disqualification “Gripping” is the euphemistic term we use to describe a dog that bites – literally “grips” – a sheep, but it covers a spectrum of behaviour from taking a nip … Read More

Creating Sheepdog Videos For 10 Years!

A puppy gets squished as the dogs leap through the fork in an oak tree
It’s ten years since we made our first sheepdog video The featured image at the top of this page came very close to being used on the cover of Border Collie Sheepdogs – Off Duty but eventually we settled for this one because it shows more of our favourite dogs at the time Many years ago, Gill and I realised … Read More

Widen Outrun and Flanks with the Slingshot

widen your dog's outrun and flanks using our revolutionary slingshot technique
Our technique for SERIOUSLY widening your dog out from sheep or cattle Knowing where to stand and what to do, as you send your dog off to the sheep, can make a huge difference to the space the dog puts between itself and the stock but, if you want a sure-fire way to widen your dog’s outrun and flanking, and … Read More

Training a strong dog and struggling?

Cloes photo of a dog running around sheep in an uncontrolled manner
Does your sheepdog training sometimes feel like a fight to protect the sheep? We welcome questions from subscribers to the online tutorials, and a common problem (sometimes described as “the red mist”) can be summed up by this extract from a recent email. “We are training an 18 month old B/C bitch we have owned for three months. She is … Read More

Puppies available (Sold)

Medium or smooth coated black and white border collie puppy
Home bred puppies for sheep or agility All the available puppies are now SOLD. There’s a mixture of coats among the brothers – this is one of the shorter coated chaps The puppies (all male) were born on May 27th and will be ready to leave here on, or around, July 22nd. They will be ISDS registered and microchipped. The … Read More

When it comes to ears…

Sheepdog puppy Jet with her large ears upright
Jet has the most superb ears! This is Jet, one of Kay and Oliver’s pups. Jet has the most wonderful ears we’ve seen on a border collie for a long time. She clearly inherited them from her mother! Of course, when the need arises, Jet’s “radar” ears can be folded away for going under low things like this old … Read More

Herding Sheep and Cattle at Dean Farm

In true stock dog fashion, Carew launches herself at one of the troublesome cattle
Carew at work with sheep and cattle Yesterday’s routine trip to Dean Farm turned out to be more challenging than I expected when first Carew had to gather thirty ewes with lambs which were mixed up with an equal number of young cattle, and then she had to return some renegade calves to the field they’d escaped from. Gathering … Read More

Herding Dog vs Sheep

Sheep challenging a herding dog
Carew demonstrates patience and determination when challenged by a stubborn sheep Just under a week ago, we exchanged our well-chased sheep for some fresh ones. The new bunch of sheep comprises several breeds, including pure Welsh, speckle-faced, and mules. There are even two black sheep in there! Some of the newcomers can be surprisingly stubborn when they want to be … Read More

Carew and Kay meet their match!

Sheepdog Mo being watched very closely by two lambs
Our Featured image (above) shows Mo – seemingly unaware of the two lambs behind her! The sheep in Shropshire don’t give up too easily Herding began well on Saturday, when we took Carew and Kay to Shropshire to gather sheep for shearing, but unfortunately the ewes and their lambs were determined not to be gathered easily. Splitting into two … Read More

Sheepdog puppy training

Sheepdog puppy training
Starting a puppy on sheep Two tutorials about early lessons to give your sheepdog puppy a head start. The usual age to begin sheepdog training is between 6 and 12 months. We need the puppy to be fast enough to head the sheep, and to be mentally mature enough to cope with the stress of training and close proximity to … Read More

Sheepdog training programme

Title image for the What Shall I Do Next sheepdog training video
Wondering what to teach your sheepdog, and when? The “What Shall I Do Next?” tutorial gives a logical order of training to build on your dog’s skills. We explain how everything in sheepdog training progresses from small beginnings, from getting the foundations right, and then widening the dog’s experience and honing its skills through practise. The tutorial will show you … Read More

Sheepdog commands

A lamb hangs back as the dog gathers the sheep can mean there's something wrong with the lamb
You can’t teach your sheepdog something you don’t know! It’s not difficult to learn the commands you need to train a sheepdog, but it is VERY important. “Come-Bye” is Clockwise; “Away” is Anti-clockwise. What could be simpler? “Left” and “Right” – you might think – but not so! If you think of it in terms of left and right, you’re … Read More

The Vital Training Stick

Correct use of the training stick can halve the time it takes to train a dog to herd sheep, cattle or other livestock
It costs virtually nothing but correctly used, will HALVE the time it takes to train your dog! Andy directs Tess around the sheep with well timed, careful use of the training stick. A dog, some suitable stock such as sheep or cattle, and an appropriate training area are all essential to training a herding dog, but there’s something else that … Read More

Keeping the Golden Rule

Sheepdog Mo working hard to control her sheep.
What’s the single, most important rule to remember when you’re training a sheepdog? Other than subscribing to the Working Sheepdog online tutorials, of course? When you start to train a sheepdog you can be forgiven for finding yourself in a spin! Not just the dog and sheep seemingly spinning around you, but your head can spin with all the … Read More

New Tutorial: Eliminate the Toilet Break!

Archie during a recent herding lesson
It’s not difficult to train your dog to toilet on command Increase efficiency by training your herding dog to make itself comfortable before it begins working. A dog which stops to relieve itself while it’s supposed to be working, is not working efficiently. If the dog stops, it’s clearly not fully in control of its sheep or cattle. In our … Read More

A clip in time

Sheep being brought into the pen for foot trimming and dagging
“A little off the back and a pedicure, please.” I wish I thought that The Girls enjoy dagging and trimming. It would be lovely to think that when they skipped into the pen on Saturday afternoon they were fuelled by happy anticipation, rather than pursued by a wolf (well, Carew). Dagging sheep can be a mucky task, but like everything … Read More

Now Available – A Tale of Two Collies!

Trainee sheepdogs Bronwen and Scylla
Our new Sheepdog Training Tutorials project compares the training of litter-sisters Bronwen and Scylla Scylla took to sheep herding when barely three months old They may be litter sisters, but Bronwen and Scylla are two trainee herding dogs with very different temperaments. Both love to play, and both are fanatical about working stock but there the similarity ends. Scylla isn’t … Read More

FREE Herding Sheepdog Training Video

Sheepdog training dog training video
Signup for FREE Membership then simply LOGIN to watch this training tutorial! Tess in the Open Field is an entire eighteen minute training session with a strong and wilful dog that our regular members will be familiar with. Tess being taught to go out wider on her outruns by sending her “the wrong way” Tess is a strong-willed dog with … Read More

Smooth coated collie puppies for sale (Sold)

Smooth coated collie puppies for sale (Sold)
There are two females available from this litter. Every dog we sell is covered by our “no quibble” 30 day money-back guarantee, together with a free online tutorial subscription, and DVD if required. Kay has become a mainstay of our training courses Kay and Oliver produced a litter of six healthy puppies on January 11th, and we have two females … Read More

Shuffling the pack

Sheepdog Kay watches while Audrey and Eli wrestle for the frisbee
We’ve been lucky (so far) this winter; the snow and ice in the weather forecast has missed us! We still have a covering of grass, can walk easily across the field and along the bridlepaths, and the strong winds brought down only one tree in the orchard. Amy and Ivy take advantage of the new log It’s always sad to … Read More

Kay and Ollie’s new family! (Sold)

A closeup of a new born border collie puppy
Take a really close look at Kay & Oliver’s pups Click any thumbnail to see the picture at full size, then click the image to see the next one. Feeding time brings competition for the best places If you must look at my puppies, please be careful. Just a few hours old and already crawling around Kay keeps a close … Read More

For sheep or agility – collie pups available

Border collie puppy, bred for work and already showing style and confidence
There’s only one puppy still available from this litter. Although you still have a choice of pup the rest are all ours. Every dog we sell is covered by our “no quibble” 30 day money-back guarantee, together with a free online tutorial subscription, and DVD if required. Even at 6 weeks of age, not everyone entirely trusts a photographer. (Click … Read More

Sheepdog Training Tutorials – Volume 2 now in stock

Promotional pic of our Sheepdog Training Tutorials 2xDVD set
The second of our tutorial 2xDVD sets for those who prefer DVD to watching online We’re pleased to announce to all those who’ve been waiting patiently for Volume Two of our collected Sheepdog Training Tutorials – it’s here! The PAL and NTSC format version are in stock and already shipping throughout the world. You don’t need to worry about … Read More

A cold wet gather but our spirits were high

Border Collie sheepdog Carew looking under a gate at the sheep she's just herded into a yard
In less than a month, the days will begin to lengthen! This morning I had a surprise call from our landlord John who wanted me to help gather sheep at Dean Farm. As usual, I was more than glad to oblige, but things were a bit rushed! We were late getting up, and the first real frost of the winter … Read More

What shall I do next? Sheepdog training video

Cover image for sheepdog training tutorial - What Shall I Do Next?
Paid membership required to watch tutorials – find out more There’s so much for a young sheepdog to learn, but is the order important? Is there a correct sheepdog training program or training itinerary for all dogs? It can be difficult to decide what to teach, and when to teach it. There are few hard and fast rules in sheepdog … Read More

Fatherhood, second time around, for Ezra

Fatherhood, second time around, for Ezra
Ezra confounds us – yet again! October’s a busy month for us; DVD sales start to pick up for Christmas, there’s a clutch of family birthdays and, often, a litter of puppies. We like our puppies to get out and about as young as possible, so even October is a bit late in the year for comfort, but somehow October … Read More

Gathering sheep in glorious October sun!

A small flock of sheep turns to face the sheepdogs
Kay and Carew both put in a good performance at Dean Farm After the sheep gather was delayed by two days of really wet weather, we were rewarded with bright sunshine at Dean Farm today. Carew and Kay driving the flock of sheep towards the farm. (Click to enlarge). Kay and Carew worked very well together. In this picture they’re … Read More

Eve at the Pen – Sheepdog Training Video

Herding sheep into and out of a pen is not easy for a young sheepdog
Getting sheep into a tight spot, and then getting them out again, needs confidence and control Eve is a bright, intelligent and eager young dog. She’s quick to learn and eager to please. Practising any particular technique, time and time again, becomes boring for handler and dog, so don’t be afraid to tackle something new with your young dog, even … Read More

Carew’s Impressive Outruns at Dean Farm!

sheepdog Carew guides her sheep over the railway bridge during today's gather
“Rudi” (as I often call her) did the entire gather by herself today! As I drove to Dean Farm at dawn this morning, I decided to let Kay do the longer outruns for a change. If you know what breed these cattle are, please tell us! (Click to enlarge). Kay’s taken something of a back seat in recent weeks and … Read More

Whose “des res” is this?

Whose "des res" is this?
We’d love to identify the creature that did this! We’ve had a couple of possibilities (see comment below). This may not be just a nest – more a serving suggestion! (Click to enlarge) Can you help us to discover what creature is responsible for snipping fresh ivy leaves and carrying them into this bird nesting box? A robin used the … Read More

Farm Dog vs Trials Dog?

A sheepdog takes the sheep down towards the fetch gates at a sheepdog trial in Wales on a glorious day
Was Carew right to disobey me? I’ve looked forward to Penybont Sheepdog Trial for some months now. It’s a delightful setting with a friendly atmosphere. The sheep are good, the field’s reasonably straightforward, and once the sheep are in the exhaust pen, they’re well out of sight for other competing dogs. Penybont trials ground seen from the top end, where … Read More

A New Challenge for Carew!

Sheepdog Carew working hard to separate sheep from cattle
Sheep hiding amongst cattle can be difficult to separate! There was a new challenge in store for the dogs yesterday, when we gathered sheep at Dean Farm. Kay’s bunch of thirteen sheep were stubborn, but no problem compared to what was to follow. (Click to enlarge). The regular gather and drafting of lambs went off without incident. I gave Carew … Read More

Educating Gloria! Sheepdog Training

Cover image for our Educating Gloria sheepdog training tutorial
EDUCATING GLORIA! Sheepdog Training Tutorial Video. All our tutorials have optional English subtitles. Gloria is one of those dogs that as a sheepdog trainer, I wish I had never parted with. She had tremendous potential as a sheep herding dog. (Click to enlarge). Hot on the heels of “What Shall I Do Next?” our latest tutorial shows an entire eight … Read More

Welcome to our Trials Team, Remus!

Close-up shot of Remus - a very handsome young sheepdog
Remus has earned his place in our trials team at last! For some time now I’ve been looking for a good dog to replace Kay in sheepdog trials. Now that she’s getting older, Kay seems to be finding the finesse of sheepdog trials a little tiresome. If the outrun’s quite long, by the time she reaches the shed and pen … Read More

Training Really Works!

Sheepdog Carew poses with the silver trophy she won for best outrun, lift and fetch at Evesham Sheepdog Trials
Carew’s performance is vastly improved at The Vale of Evesham Sheepdog Trials I’ve got quite a soft spot for Evesham Sheepdog Trials. The Open at Evesham was the first sheepdog trial I ever attended (albeit as a spectator). It has a long history, is always efficiently run and has a friendly atmosphere. Carew and Kay both look pleased after their … Read More

Carew’s declared fit for Evesham Sheepdog Trial!

Close-up of sheepdog Carew looking at the camera.
She seems sound again now, so we’ll give it a go! After her cattle herding escapade last Sunday, Carew went lame, and we were worried that she might not be fit to run in the Evesham sheepdog trials this weekend. “And don’t even think of coming back!” Carew faces a defiant pair of cattle through the fence after she’s driven … Read More

Dave stands in for Carew gathering sheep

Sheepdog Kay gathering a small flock of ewes and lambs on a sunny day.
Dave learns more than how to gather a flock Late yesterday afternoon I had a call from our landlord, John, asking me to gather the sheep for him at Dean Farm today. He wanted to check over the entire flock as he suspected some had fly strike. Dave brings the errant ewes and lambs out of the field but one … Read More

Carew injury worry for Evesham Sheepdog Trials

Sheepdog Carew with her friends Meg and Jan behind her
We’re worried that Carew may not be fit for Evesham SDT. On the downside of Carew’s heroic cattle herding on Sunday, we noticed in the evening that she was limping on her left front foot. Carew was excellent in her last sheepdog trial at Mathon in Worcestershire. (Click to enlarge). With all the fencing we’d been doing that day we … Read More

When does a sheepdog become a cattle dog?

Cattle jumping a fence as sheepdog Carew herds them back into their own field
Carew excels at a new form of herding Some of the fences around our rented patch of land have been in a state of disrepair for several years. They’re normally capable of keeping the sheep in, but sadly lacking when it comes to keeping cattle out. A tranquil scene, but cattle in a sheepdog training field can cause all sorts … Read More

Long distance motivation – give me ten points ‘stead of three!

In pouring rain and with thunder crashing, Carew keeps perfect control of her sheep.
With apologies to Chuck Berry Many years ago, I asked a regular prominent member of the Welsh sheepdog trials team for advice on what to do with a dog that sticks on its outrun. “Sell it,” came the blunt reply. Carew looks for her sheep at the rain-soaked Mathon sheepdog trial. (Click image to enlarge it). I was shocked at … Read More

Oh, me of little faith!

A sheepdog showing confidence while working sheep
Or, if you’re a sheepdog trainer, practice what you preach! They say the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, and we’ve been very much aware recently that our regular readers will be wondering why no new blogs have appeared. For this I apologise. I’ve been intending to write a blog for several weeks now, but there’s so much … Read More

Gathering sheep for late shearing

Sheepdogs Carew and Kay keep the pressure on the sheep to move them over the bridge
Kay and Carew work hard, gathering sheep at Dean Farm In recent months I’ve missed our trips to Dean Farm to gather the sheep. With far fewer sheep, now that he’s winding down towards retirement, it seems John didn’t like to trouble me, but when I spoke to him recently I assured him that experience in new circumstances and on … Read More

A sweet and sour performance from Carew at Ivy House SDT

A sheepdog watches one of the runs at a sheepdog trial
And it wasn’t just the Red Arrows that were jet propelled – WAS IT, KAY? I’d heard about the challenges of Ivy House Sheepdog Trial, and was (cautiously) looking forward to it as I drove to Shropshire on Sunday morning. Sheepdog terminology – explanations of the terms and language used in this article Austin Bennett’s Jan brings her sheep through … Read More

Holding the fort

Close-up photo of three mainly white border collie puppies
Behind every aspiring trials dog, there’s a woman who knows where the kibble’s kept. It’s all very well, but when someone spends an entire day gossiping at a sheepdog trial then someone else has to stay behind to look after the day-to-day stuff. With Andy away testing his handling skills the care duties fall to me, not that I’m complaining … Read More

Limited success, but valuable lessons learned!

Kevin Evans and Caleb successfully pen the difficult sheep at Kingsland Sheepdog Trial
Kingsland Trial’s a reminder of an important point I’ve been looking forward to Kingsland Sheepdog Trial for some time. The trials field is less than an hour from home, and I remember really enjoying myself when I ran Glen, several years ago, on its unusually-shaped course. Sheepdog terminology – explanations of the terms and language used in this article The … Read More

Trials go South in Shropshire – and Carew’s wobbly at Obley

Photo of a sheepdog handler working his dog by whistle commands at a sheepdog trial
Carew has mixed fortunes while Kay’s consistently impatient. Colin Gordon’s dog Maid at South Shropshire Sheep Dog Trial in 2014 I mentioned in my last blog that I was running in the South Shropshire Sheepdog Trial at Asterton on the 17th of May. I did indeed go to the trial, but only Carew came with me. Unfortunately, Kay’s hormones had … Read More

More surprises at Felindre Sheepdog Trial

Even Aled Owen's Roy struggled with the sheep, but completed the course in the end
Carew recovered from a very bad start – Kay was just Kay! The weather went from one extreme to the other and the sheep at Felindre provided an interesting challenge for dogs and handlers. I had intended to get up really early on Saturday morning and be at Felindre Sheepdog Trial ground before the first run, but somehow I couldn’t … Read More

Carew’s full of surprises at Erwood Sheepdog Trials

Mervyn Lewis with Don at the pen
Carew was good, then bad, then wonderful at Erwood SDT! Aubrey Lloyd’s Bryn sets off on the steep climb to the sheep. Since making the decision to run in more sheepdog trials this year, I have been looking forward to running in last Saturday’s Erwood trial (nr Builth Wells). I find the Welsh trials very pleasant because everyone seems so … Read More

Do Things Go Wrong When You Train Your Dog to Herd Sheep?

Ricky keeps control of his sheep during training
If you hear of a way to train a herding dog where nothing goes wrong, please let us know straight away! Young herding dog Ricky watches every move of his sheep to prevent them escaping. (Click to enlarge) In the real world there isn’t a reliably easy way to train a sheep or stock dog, because every dog is an … Read More

Collie with issues becomes collie with issue

Collie with issues becomes collie with issue
The reason behind Nell’s recent rise in status within the pack, in her own eyes at least, became clear. “We have to look into the camera. Mum says we’ll have to get used to it.” Four weeks ago Nell gave birth to 5 tiny, but perfectly formed, puppies. That girl’s full of surprises. I’m fairly sure that the sire is … Read More

An Introduction to Sheepdog Trials (Part 1)

Image depicting sheepdog trial competitor with dog
A training tutorial for budding sheepdog triallists The latest addition to our sheepdog training video tutorials is part one of a great new introduction to sheepdog trials. As well as learning a lot from the tutorial, you’ll see some great sheepdog trial footage! We know from the emails and feedback we receive that many of you would like to compete … Read More

Gretchen’s talents come to light all at once

Border collie puppy Gretchen showing typical sheepdog style
Hayley’s sister Gretchen develops new skills. Gretchen looks a little awkward as she waits for the rest of the pack to decide what they’re doing next. For several weeks now, young Haley has been confidently working sheep (confidently for a puppy, that is) but her litter sister Gretchen has shown a far more passive interest in herding. Until now, that … Read More

A Kelpie and a Beardie brighten up our training course

Working Kelpie sheepdog during training to work sheep
A working Kelpie and Bearded Collie joined us on our sheepdog training class yesterday Hugh Emerson teaching his working Beardie Bessie to give the sheep some room Monday’s group sheepdog training class provided plenty of variety as well as entertainment with a bright young working Kelpie called Tess along with one of our more regular Bearded Collies, Bessie. When Emmanuel … Read More

Kay shows her true potential at Slindon Sheepdog Trial

Kay shows her true potential at Slindon Sheepdog Trial
Kay’s excellent performance at Slindon SDT is in stark contrast to that of her handler Jim Cropper had a good run with his wife Shirley’s Ricky – apart from missing the last drive gates. Here Ricky completes the Single I cannot recall when I last competed in an Open sheepdog trial. It must be at least five or six years, … Read More

Drier weather means sheepdog training courses go ahead

Sheepdogs and storm-damaged apple trees in a Worcestershire orchard
At last! Sheepdog training is underway again There’s been a definite feeling of Spring in the air for the last few days, so we’ve resumed training our own dogs and getting the sheep “fit” for the March training courses. “Was anyone thinking of consulting us?”” Several people have contacted us to ask whether the courses will go ahead as planned, … Read More

Learn your sheepdog training commands the easy way!

A sheepdog being trained to work sheep in a small enclosure
Learn your commands thoroughly before training your dog We find that newcomers to sheepdog training regularly get their commands mixed up. Of course, this is very bad for the poor dog, because its “teacher” is giving it wrong information. If you find you get your commands muddled in the heat of the moment, there’s no need to worry, in … Read More

A dog that doesn’t want to work sheep

Border Collie Sheepdog running away from sheep
How to get a dog to take an interest in sheep A very common problem is getting a dog to take an interest in sheep. Only yesterday, we had an email from someone in Norway who has an eighteen month old dog from excellent working lines, which will chase birds but isn’t interested in working sheep. Without seeing the dog’s … Read More

Watching the sheep go by

Border Collie sheepdog puppy Jack perched high in a hedge, watching the sheep below him
Jack’s not ready to take an interest in sheep Being a high drive yet biddable (obedient) border collie puppy, from excellent working parents, means that, on paper at least, Jack has the potential to be a good sheepdog. Safe haven! Jack watching the sheep from his safe position between Gill’s boots Jack’s delightful character is a bonus for us, because … Read More

Taking a sheepdog puppy to sheep

Young sheepdog puppy confronting a group of sheep
Training a sheepdog can be much easier if you introduce the dog to sheep at an early age.
But only attempt it if you know what you’re doing. Dash and Hayley moving the sheep with Carew keeping watch. Note Hayley has made the division to flank around the sheep. Our regular readers will know that we like to introduce pups to … Read More

To the woods!

Collie puppy resting on a log
Puppies learn that the world’s bigger than they thought Audrey and Eli’s daughter, Dill It’s been a wet and windy winter, as I think we may have mentioned before, so the puppies who were born at the end of last year have really only known mud and puddles. After a week of much more settled, and sometimes almost warm, weather … Read More

Jack’s growing – and going – up

Border collie puppy
Jack becomes a little more adventurous every day, and keen to take his place among the big dogs Master of all he surveys – until Carew shoves him off, of course Despite a considerable increase in his weight (Jack’s not a tall chap, but he’s very stocky) Jack’s not losing any of his enthusiasm for climbing. Whereas previously his tree … Read More

Collies can make their own games

Collies can make their own games
This girl just wants to have fun – and will organise anyone willing to join in! It started so well, with the sight of our first local primroses and snowdrops on Monday, but by Wednesday the weather seemed worse than ever and we lost our favourite, bravest damson tree (and the roof off the wood shed). It started so well … Read More

Spot the training differences – competition result

Border collie sheepdog
At last we can announce the winner of our “Spot the differences” training competition Oh? And what’s going on here then? To keep our sanity we had to make ourselves judge what’s actually presented in the training chapter from Still Off Duty. Many people included many excellent suggestions and it may seem churlish to ignore them, but we had to … Read More

Sheepdog Training Courses Cancelled

Close-up of a young border collie sheepdog looking between the rails of a wooden fence
The continuous heavy rain has finally beaten us! The may be wet and bedraggled but the dog’s spirits are as high as ever. Regrettably, we’ve had to succumb to the inevitable and cancel both of February’s scheduled training days. The place is a mud-bath and the forecast shows no sign of a let-up. Although we’d managed to preserve a usable … Read More

Nell’s finding her place

A small pack of female border collie sheepdogs
Nell’s decided it’s time she had some status in the pack When Nell arrived, last July, she was pretty mixed up, and very nervous of us. She was anxious about life in general, spending much of her spare time pacing in tight anti-clockwise circles, but dashing to the back of her bedroom whenever anything happened in the yard, or to … Read More

Dogs being dogs – do not disturb

Close up portrait of a tricolour border collie sheepdog - Pru
How keeping quiet can make every command count “Is this how a paddy field works?” Ezra is up to his knees in it When I first started to keep Border collies (entirely by accident) I did what everyone does – I read everything I could find about dog training, and training collies in particular. Twenty-plus years ago there probably wasn’t … Read More

What a difference some rays make!

Beautiful white faced Border collie cross
Puppies meet sheep on a sunny Sunday “They’ve let loose the ankle biters – let’s go girls!” After what feels like weeks of doing the dogs’ morning routine in the rain, yesterday morning was bright, mild and wonderfully sunny. Of course there’s mud everywhere, but to see the dogs looking so happy with the sun on their fur made all … Read More

Scavenging collies cleave to Cleavers

Most dogs enjoy eating fruit, vegetables and wild herbs and plants
Collies find there’s something to be said for mild weather In tune with the current culinary trend for baby vegetables, Remus relishes the young goose grass I know, we really don’t have much to complain about; our roads aren’t flooded, we haven’t lost an entire crop under water, and we haven’t been forced to move our belongings upstairs. Nonetheless, I’m … Read More

Puppy training continues despite the weather

Sheepdog Kay feeding two of her own puppies, as well as five from another litter.
Kay takes the training of her pups very seriously Gretchen has good reason to look worried. Kay’s about to pounce on her as part of her training programme! We only have two puppies (Gretchen and Hayley) left from Eli and Kay’s recent litter so Kay seems to have taken on Audrey’s litter as well as her own. Audrey’s pups are … Read More

It’s Official – Sheepdog Training’s Suspended

Sheepdog Jan on a misty frosty morning
Constant rain (with even more predicted) has forced us to stop sheepdog training for a while Whatever the weather, Jan will always grasp an opportunity to submerge herself in water! We managed to run both sheepdog training courses in January. That in itself is remarkable; last year we were forced to cancel all courses from October (2012) until March (2013)Read More

A sheepdog puppy with altitude!

Sheepdog puppy Jack can climb fences with ease
Confining Jack to our yard becomes increasingly difficult Jack wants to join the fun out in the field. (click to enlarge). From the day he arrived here, we’ve been impressed with Jack’s determination. In our blog of the 19th of December, we reported that he’d rather perch on the back of a car seat than somewhere more sensible. As Jack … Read More

Sheepdogs don’t seem to mind wet weather

Muddy sheepdogs Jan and puppy Dash
With training on hold, our dogs just play more seriously The Retriever’s Apprentice – Meg shows Pru how it’s done (for the umpteenth time) Predictably the continuing rain fails to dampen the dogs’ spirits, and every play and exercise session is greeted with the same enthusiasm as if the weather was warm and dry. While stylish Jan demonstrates the finer … Read More

Rain almost stops work, but never play!

Sheepdog Meg leaps into the water
Training on hold due to wet weather? We’ve cracked it! Walking’s no fun on ground like this, and training’s worse. Sudden stops and sharp turns are definitely out! Training our own dogs is pretty much at a standstill at the moment, in an effort to preserve the training field for the training classes, but even so, this morning we came … Read More

Despite appearances, Jack and Dash are good pals!

Dash is a predominantly white tricolour border collie sheepdog puppy
You may not think it, but Jack and Dash are pretty good friends really! Meg and Eli‘s little girl Dash is a very good looking young collie pup. Although she’s typically fun loving and mischievous, Dash is also very obedient and adores being with people. One of Dash’s favourite pastimes is what she regards as “training” poor little … Read More

All clear for Sheepdog Training on Monday!

Agility Border Collie Izzy meets her half-sisters
It’s OK for Monday’s training course – and we get a visit from Carew’s sister It might be a little wet underfoot (to say the least) but Monday’s sheepdog training course will go ahead as planned Occasionally we have to cancel a sheepdog course, and at other times we come very close! We don’t cancel lightly because we know how … Read More

Monday’s sheepdog training class is looking doubtful

Picture of a big splash as Jan rushes through the water (away from the camera).
Unless the rain eases, we fear that next Monday’s sheepdog training course will have to be cancelled After weeks of heavy rain nearly every day, much of our training ground is waterlogged Despite having a decent covering of grass this winter, the constant rain has brought our training field to saturation point. We’re seriously considering whether we should go ahead … Read More

Sheepdog Puppy Jack – Update

Close up picture of a very pretty tricolour border collie puppy with fluffy coat and white tips on its ears
Jack’s settling in very well with the bigger dogs Jack tries to get the torn-up football away from his friend Dash Since Jack moved here, in early December, we’ve been very impressed with him, and not just because he’s such a striking looking puppy. Jack’s curious, and quietly confident whenever he’s faced with a new situation. Confidence is vital in … Read More

A glorious start to the new year

Three border collie sheepdogs stalking towards the camera
Despite all the rain, the weather’s been mild and surprisingly sunny for the time of year! All this running around makes you really thirsty! Jan’s very photogenic You may have noticed that we’ve been really busy over the holiday period; we’ve been improving the look of the website and adding dedicated comments pages for people to ask questions and leave … Read More

Today’s the shortest day

Sheepdog Jan leaps out of a puddle, leaving a shower of muddy water behind her
Daylight hours are in short supply at this time of year, but the weather’s been great for dogs! Jan has settled in really quickly. She’s proving to be a real character Well, the shortest day means it’s actually the dead of winter, but so far, the weather’s been great for the dogs. It’s unusually warm for the time of year … Read More

Our NEW LOOK Website and Lots of News

Border Collie Sheepdog Puppy - Jack (looking very cute)
We hope you like the new layout for the website Kay’s allowing the pups a quick snack before she joins the other dogs on their morning run We’ve been meaning to get around to updating the website for some time, because we’re aware that many of you visit The Working Sheepdog Website via phones and other devices. This design should … Read More

In sheepdogs, a family likeness doesn’t make a clone

Border collie puppy with wellington boots and a ball
It’s important to train the dog you’re with! Pomme isn’t quite ready to join in the rough and tumble of pack playtime. Her half-sister Pru, on the other hand… Reggie – what a sweetie; but you can’t tell what he’s thinking Ronnie – looking heavenwards, as well he might My overarching impression of this time last year is of the … Read More

Sheepdog News Round Up

Successful young dog and handler
We love to hear about dogs that we’ve bred or trained, and it’s been a busy news week Particularly as some news came with photos, I thought it would be good to share (and yes, an opportunity to show off just how lucky we are with the people who choose our dogs). Kay and Max’s little boy, Dougal Ruari and … Read More

Pouding aux pommes avec crème

Puppy Pomme with cream all around her face
Pomme’s been in the cream pot! What’s everyone looking at? Having a dog, or a puppy or two, living in the porch by the kitchen means less wasted food and fewer walks to the bin or the compost heap. FOUR puppies can recycle an awful lot of carrot peelings and bread crusts, and will entertain themselves for hours with a … Read More

After so many, we still get excited about a lovely new dog

Young black and white border collie
Perhaps the novelty doesn’t ever wear off! Kim’s such a lively, happy little dog; a joy to have around Last Saturday we welcomed Kim to our pack, and we’re both looking forward to working with her. Kim came to our attention in a training class a couple of months ago. Over lunch, Andy gave me the run through the day’s … Read More

Handling a nervous sheepdog – Nell

Group of assorted Border collies
Nell has good days and bad days, but on the whole she seems a happier dog Either Nell’s enjoying being part of the pack, or just believes in safety in numbers When we first mentioned Nell in the blog, back in August, she’d been with us for a month. We felt we were making some progress (inasmuch as we could … Read More

Registered dog – suitable for an active pet home

Smooth coated collie dog for active non-working home
Preston certainly has the pose of a proper working sheepdog! Preston is SOLD Preston, and his brother Warwick, were bought as 8-week old puppies, with a view to training them as sheepdogs. However, Preston really doesn’t want to work with sheep, so we’ve reluctantly decided he’ll be happier in an active pet home. He’d almost certainly enjoy agility or obedience … Read More

Meg’s puppies are growing fast

Agility handler, Denise Wilkinson with Tinker Tia and Chai
…and now one of them’s left home! Denise and Tia with new recruit, Chai – still gazing This morning the first of Meg’s puppies to fly the coop left for an exciting new life – today Norfolk, tomorrow the world! (Well, the world may have to wait a year or two, but we’re entitled to our expectations.) We’re delighted that … Read More

Keen Sheepdog Puppy for Sale

Two young border collie puppies looking sternly at the camera!
Parents are dual registered (ISDS and Kennel Club) and DNA tested Normal for CEA ALL THE AVAILABLE PUPPIES HAVE NOW BEEN SOLD Every dog we sell is covered by our “no quibble” 30 day money-back guarantee, together with a free sheepdog training DVD if required. What’s this then? What’s going on? The pups are very playful and responsive Meg’s a … Read More

Our Pearl – lovely sheepdog – great mum

Black and white femail collie with a half-white face and a blue eye
A small tribute to a wonderful dog – PEARL – 258969 Pearl was born on the 8th February 2002 and died in 2018. She was the daughter of Ben 220939 (A D Scrimgeour) and Tillymauld Nell 241682 (T R Lawrenson) Pearl, one of the early sheepdogs who taught us so much (mostly that we weren’t as clever as we thought) … Read More

Started sheepdog for sale – Zak

Border Collie sheepdog Zak's a handsome dog
Zak’s a handsome young sheepdog whose work’s improving daily Every dog we sell is covered by our “no quibble” 30 day money-back guarantee and sheepdog training DVD, if required. Zak’s a delightful, sociable dog, ideal for a smallholder Zak is sold. Zak is a black and white, rough coated, microchipped Border Collie. He’s approximately eighteen months old and from ISDS … Read More

Carew’s Big Outrun – The Movie

photo of a distant flock of sheep being brought towards the camera by a trained sheepdog
You’ve read the blog, now see the film! We’re pleased to see a lot of interest in our blog, particularly on the days when we take Kay and Carew to gather sheep at Dean Farm for our landlord and friend, John Richards. Dean Farm is our easiest opportunity to give our dogs practice with long outruns. For English Subtitles, click … Read More

Our team of working sheepdogs – Carew

Carew calmly controlling her sheep
Carew is a highly skilled worker on a sheep farm Carew looks as well as she works Carew is a tricolour (black/white/tan) rough coated border collie sheepdog. She was born on 10th March 2011 and is ISDS registered. Equally at home gathering 200 or more ewes with lambs at foot, or pushing them up in tightly packed sorting pens, Carew’s … Read More

Started sheepdog for sale – Smudge

Photo of black and white rough coated collie dog
Unregistered started dog for sheep, cattle or poultry. Requires further training. Smudge gets on very well with people and other dogs Smudge is SOLD. Smudge is a rough coated black and white (microchipped) female who was born here on 28th September 2012. This means she’s at the perfect age for sheepdog training. Both her parents are here, and both are … Read More

Sheepdogs must flank both ways

Photo of Kay as she waits patiently as the sheep move into the farm buildings
Kay’s control, versatility and manoeuvrability prove their worth in a tight situation Kay, patiently pushing the sheep into the buildings Saturday isn’t our regular day for gathering sheep at Dean Farm, but on Wednesday, John had mentioned that he wanted to take some ewes to a weekend store sale at Worcester Cattle Market. I volunteered to help with the dogs, … Read More

International Supreme Championship Trials

The JCB 2013 International Supreme Championship Sheepdog Trials The International Supreme Championship Sheepdog Trials are run by the International Sheep Dog Society and this year, they are taking place at Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LZ England. Friday September 6th to Sunday September 8th 2013 Follow @SuzyWoolston on Twitter for a brief summary of every run at the International Sheepdog … Read More

Gimmers in the mist – if you can find them

Sheepdog Kay gathering sheep in the mist
Gathering sheep in the mist is atmospheric – if only you can find them! A beautiful sight – sheep in the early morning mist I’m not a great sleeper, so it’s hardly surprising that this morning I found myself wide awake at four-thirty even though I wasn’t due to meet John for another two hours. Undaunted, I filled in the … Read More

Started sheepdog for sale – Sue

Photo of started sheepdog - Sue
Sue’s a sweet natured dog, who could become a lovely sheepdog Sue is now sold Sue just started training, and has good potential Recently, our workload has increased drastically, and unfortunately, time available for training sheepdogs is very short, so we’ve taken the difficult decision to sell some of the dogs that we intended to keep and train. Sue’s an … Read More

Trained sheepdog for sale – Rosewood Ness

Photo of working sheepdog Ness
Registered skilled sheepdog – flock work, outrun, lift, fetch, driving, shed and pen. Ness is a lovely dog, although she can be a little nervous of strangers until she gets to know them Ness is SOLD (subject to her 30 day trial). Rosewood Ness (ISDS: 00/307030) is a delightful friendly, rough coated black and white female who was born on … Read More

Relevant sheepdog skills and their prices – UK

Glen looking stylish as he walks up on some sheep
The various levels of a sheepdog’s skills and their prices can be confusing Dan – a powerful sheep and cattle dog In recent years UK sheepdog and cattle dog prices have increased dramatically, despite the fluctuating prices of farm animals sold at market. To put an accurate price on a sheepdog can be very difficult but we try to be … Read More

Carew really doesn’t want to be left out

Photo of sheepdog Kay awaiting her next command in the sheep sorting pens
Carew makes it clear she wants to be involved when there’s work to be done Kay has the sheep under control in the sorting pens With the knowledge that most of the lambs have already gone to market and many, if not all, of the ewes will soon be sold, I was pleasantly surprised when John rang and asked me … Read More

Ness shines on her sheep gathering debut

A good sized flock awaits gathering early in the morning
Despite her inexperience, Ness proved her worth on today’s sheep gather The flock congregated in one field, giving Ness a great opportunity for an outrun For this morning’s sheep gather, I finally decided to take Ness. I’ve intended to take her on the last two gathers, but changed my mind at the last minute because she’s inexperienced. This mindset is … Read More

Little Dot – Andy’s first sheepdog

Closeup photo of Dot looking out over the Welsh mountains of Corwen
They say you ruin your first sheepdog . . . If I had Dot today, her training would be very different This is Dot, a daughter of Derek Scrimgeour’s Ben. Dot was my first sheepdog back in 2002. They say you ruin your first sheepdog, and there’s certainly some truth in that. I was much too hard on Dot right … Read More

The highs and lows of working sheepdogs

Sheepdogs Kay and Carew holding stubborn sheep at bay
Kay and Carew take me from despair to joy in 48 hours! What with Powick, Mathon, and Evesham sheepdog trials as well as gathering sheep in the early morning on Wednesdays, the dogs and I have been exceptionally busy recently, but I wouldn’t have missed it for anything and I’m sure they wouldn’t either. Kay and Carew hold the sheep … Read More

Mixed fortune at Evesham Sheepdog Trial 2013

Adrian Hall and Gwen ease the sheep into the pen - Evesham Sheepdog Trials 2013
Kay and Carew’s exploits at Evesham Sheepdog Trials Adrian Hall and Gwen ease the sheep into the pen Saturday 10th August was the date of the Local Novice section of the Vale of Evesham’s annual sheepdog trial at Pebworth in Worcestershire. I had already sent in an entry for Carew and Kay for this friendly trial which is held on … Read More

Sheepdogs for sale – but which to choose?

Sheepdog gathering a large flock of sheep
“I think we’ve decided we need a dog…” …is often the opening to an email enquiry, or a telephone conversation with a farmer, smallholder or shepherd who’s reached the size of flock that his friends and family are no longer prepared to spend a Saturday morning helping to catch. For a beginner to sheepdogs, what’s the best option? A well … Read More

The Benefits of a Sound Puppy Policy

Black and white Jack Russell terrier cross puppies
You should only buy a puppy if you’re sure you have enough time, space and energy As yet, un-named sisters. The two Black and white Jack Russell cross Border Collie puppies – doubtless plotting a coup from a safe distance Yesterday’s To Do List consisted of Andy staying at home to work on the next tutorial, while I drove to … Read More

Gathering sheep at dawn in August

Sheepdog Carew facing down a stubborn ewe
Today’s early morning gather went smoothly for dogs and sheep Carew seems to rise to the challenge if a stubborn ewe turns to face her. Last week, I noticed that it was barely light when my phone’s alarm woke me at 4.45 am, but at the same time this week, I would describe it as dark. It was time to … Read More

A sheepdog can have psychological issues too

Nell is a rough coated tri-coloured female border collie sheepdog with psychological issues
Training a sheepdog isn’t always as straightforward as you’d think Nell’s a good looking dog and she’s very keen to work sheep, but she has issues. Nell’s our latest work in progress. She’s been here for four weeks now, is desperate to work and showing power with sheep, but she’s quite terrified of strangers. When she first came to us … Read More

We have too many sheep. Sadly, some must go

Sheepdog Carew working a small bunch of sheep
Our field’s overstocked, so we have to reduce the number of sheep. We don’t own the sheep we use for training the dogs, they belong to a sheep farmer in Mid-Wales. For years now, Glyn’s kept us supplied with however many sheep we want. He’s happy to change them at any time, but to keep his travelling to a minimum, … Read More

When sheep don’t see a dog as a predator

Sheep standing watching a dog
How do you load sheep onto a trailer if they see the dog as a friend? The sheep weren’t afraid of Carew – they ran to her! Once again, I had no intention of writing a blog about today’s sheep gathering experience, but yet another extraordinary thing happened and I feel I should mention it. When I spoke to John … Read More

Carew loads sheep into a cattle truck

sheepdog loading sheep onto a cattle truck
Carew showed great talent when it came to loading sheep onto a cattle truck Carew had the last batch of sheep up the ramp and into the truck before the driver was quite ready. This is yet another morning when I was not expecting to be writing a blog! We’re hoping to get our new sheepdog training tutorial online later … Read More

Carew does the entire gather by herself!

Carew drives a large bunch of sheep towards the gate
Working alone, Carew completes this morning’s gather in record time! Carew driving a large bunch of sheep towards the gate. About half the flock is already out of the field and on the way to the farm buildings This morning’s sheep gather and lamb drafting operation was completed in record time. Of course, the more the dogs and I do … Read More

Little Big Dog – This is Chester

Chihuahua x Papillon, Chester is one of the nicest dogs you could wish to meet
Chester is one of the nicest little dogs you could wish to meet Chester’s a black white and tan Papillon x Chihuahua and so small that many people don’t take him seriously, but he’s a big dog at heart. Chester is one of the nicest, most obedient dogs we’ve had. (Click to enlarge photo). When the fields are muddy and … Read More

Toad in the Bowl

A common toad swimming in a stainless steel dog bowl
A common toad cools off in Carew’s water bowl Toad in the bowl – a common toad cooling off in Carew’s water bowl With the heatwave we’re experiencing in the UK at the moment, it came as quite a surprise to find a common toad swimming around in Carew’s water bowl first thing this morning. The bowl has steep sides, … Read More

Sheepdog Training – that moment when the light comes on!

Trainee sheepdog Matt's work has improved dramatically
Matt reaches a major milestone in his training Matt loves to play – when he’s not working that is! One of the best things about training sheepdogs is witnessing that magic moment when the dog realises what it’s all about. Some dogs are very hard to train, others seem to take to it naturally, but it’s the moment when “the … Read More

You can’t beat flock work for developing a dog’s character

Sheepdog Carew holding a stick as she faces sheep in a pen
Carew’s strength of character has improved drastically with flock work Sheepdog Carew holding a stick as she faces sheep in a pen. (Click to enlarge image) As the run of unusually hot weather continues in the UK, I’m grateful (and I’m sure the dogs are too) that we can do the bulk of our training and flock work in the … Read More

Carew & Kay compete at Mathon, Carew’s first sheepdog trial

Sheepdog Carew in action
Carew’s first sheepdog trial went much better than expected In Worcestershire there are very few sheepdog trials venues, so we normally have to travel a significant distance to parts of Wales, the north, or south west of England to get a run for our dogs. With all my website, video and sheepdog training commitments, the long distances involved make most … Read More

Working sheepdog Carew has hidden talents

Kay gathering sheep in one of the fields
It was Carew’s turn to astonish me during this morning’s gather I didn’t intend to write a blog about this morning’s sheep gather, but such extraordinary things happened that I felt I must. If you’ve read some of the recent blogs about our dogs at work, you’ll know that I regularly help our landlord with gathering his sheep and drafting … Read More

Kay helps Carew with her sheepdog trials training

Herding dog Kay driving sheep into a field
Carew’s in training for a sheepdog trial this weekend We have another local sheepdog trial this weekend (Mathon, near Malvern) and I’m hoping to run both Kay and Carew. Having done well at Powick last weekend I’m happy with Kay’s performance, but Carew is a different matter. Kay starts to drive the stubborn sheep up the field Carew’s not as … Read More

Giving the dogs temporary shelter from the hot sun

The dogs are shaded by the tarpaulin over their runs
Today we rigged up a tarpaulin to give our dogs some shade The temporary “roof” is on, and the dogs are enjoying the shade For some time now I’ve been intending to cover the dog kennels with a permanent roof. It will shade them in the summer and keep the runs drier in winter, making it easier to keep the bedding … Read More

Oops there goes my excuse for not sheepdog trialling

Little Kay is an excellent sheepdog
Kay was a little star at Powick Sheepdog Trials today Kay did well in her first sheepdog trial It’s one of my regrets that in recent years I have not taken part in sheepdog trials. In the early part of this century (goodness, that makes me feel old) I was out with Glen or Dot on most weekends if I … Read More

Gathering sheep doesn’t always go to plan

Sheepdog gathering a small flock of sheep
5:45am is a great time to start a day’s work on a July morning! Kay gathering a small bunch of sheep Using our dogs to gather sheep for our landlord has become a regular activity recently. We jump at the chance of improving their sheepdog training by giving them new experiences, particularly with different sheep in new locations, so I … Read More

Proper flock work with Carew and Kay

Sheepdog Carew standing in front of a shed full of sheep
Farm work broadens the dog’s experience and tests the handler’s skill Sheep are all safely in and Carew’s keeps watch Whenever possible, we like to take our dogs out to other farms to work on different sheep, in unfamiliar fields. It’s excellent for broadening a sheepdog’s mind, so when our landlord asked for help with his sizeable flock recently, I … Read More

Working Sheepdog Website update

Close photo of tri-colour Border Collie sheepdog Carew lying down with a leaf in her mouth
Announcing our new and improved website! After a minor website hosting-hiccup (as we now term BT) Andy was distracted away from the next tutorial to make some changes to the website. As a result, we like to think that the new format for the online DVD store will make it easier to access the DVDs buyers are looking for, as … Read More

We have a result – and it’s printable

Close photo of the face of an upturned sheep
My older sisters used to tell me, “To the pure, all is pure” and our latest competition really proved it. Where some people see a (to me) surprisingly relaxed sheep undergoing an extensive pedicure, other people could only see a groin. When it came to picking a winner I was very tempted by Chris Bradley’s “I’m not sleeping, just resting … Read More

TOO LATE – for the free caption competition!

Close photo of the face of an upturned sheep
Win a great DVD prize in our FREE CAPTION COMPETITION All you need to do is think of a great caption for this picture of a sheep awaiting a pedicure. The person whose caption we judge to be the best for this picture will be invited to choose one of our fabulous DVDs (see below). Our December Caption Competition was … Read More

The wettest winter I can remember

This is Carew, walking up on the sheep
After the worst winter I can recall, spring finally seems to be here. Carew walks up quietly on her sheep. The sun’s shining, and it feels warm outside. Now we just need the grass to grow! The winter of 2012-13 hasn’t been particularly cold, although the relentless easterly winds have brought unseasonably cold weather at the very time we were … Read More

Why do some sheep run away from dogs and others don’t? (FAQ)

Photo of a group of sheep in the late evening sun with a sheepdog in the background
QUESTION: Why do some sheep run away as the dog approaches, while others stand their ground? ANSWER: There are many reasons for sheep to run away from dogs but, primarily, sheep instinctively see dogs as predators. Dogs are descended from wolves and, let’s be honest, there’s an awful lot of sheep worrying these days to demonstrate that the instinct is … Read More

Sheepdog training course goes ahead despite the weather

Sheepdog training course in progress
Our sheepdog training course will go ahead tomorrow The weather forecast is not good but we have some ground which should be dry enough to train a group of sheepdogs tomorrow. Despite the mud and a gloomy forecast, last Saturday’s course enjoyed glorious sunshine for most of the day, but we paid for it overnight with heavy rain. Despite the … Read More

Training the dog to lie or stand, on the stop command

Working sheepdog lying in the grass, close to the sheep
Should the dog lie down, or remain standing, when you stop it? There’s a dog lying in the grass behind the sheep in this picture. (Far right). Click the image to enlarge it. We’re often asked whether a working sheepdog should lie on the ground, or remain standing when it receives a stop command. Logically, a dog that receives the … Read More

Sheepdog Training Tutorial – The Sheepdog Whistle (01)

Cover image of our sheepdog whistle tutorial, showing a typical whistle, and the title
We’ve just added our latest Sheepdog Training Tutorial
Basic Sheepdog Training – Sheepdog Whistle (Part 1). Although we planned to bring out the Driving (part 3) tutorial after Driving part 2, the number of enquiries we’ve had about mastering the sheepdog whistle, prompted us to re-edit the whistles chapter of our
First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training DVD and upload … Read More

Sheepdog training as usual on Saturday and Wednesday

A training group of handlers and their dogs at a Kings Green Farm training day
We can’t promise weather like this, but Saturday’s course will go ahead The weather forecast isn’t great, but the training field has dried out a little since Andy’s panic last week We’re confident the group sheepdog training days on Saturday and next Wednesday, will go ahead as planned. I imagine we’ll all get soaked, and be extremely cold, but I … Read More

Sheepdog training courses – possibility of postponement

Wet sheep, standing in a muddy field
It’s not just the ground that’s saturated! These poor sheep have hardly dried out in recent days “YELLOW warning” to anyone booked onto our sheepdog training courses this month (Saturday the 16th, and Wednesday the 20th March). The heavy rain over the past two days means our ground is saturated once more. Its condition is nearly as bad as it … Read More

Teaching a dog to flank wider when driving sheep

Teaching a dog to go out wider when it's flanking
It’s important to teach the dog to go out wide when it circles the stock Several subscribers to our online sheepdog training videos have recently asked us how to get a dog to flank wider when it’s driving. In the early stages of driving, a trainee dog will often get too close to the sheep when asked to flank because … Read More

Online sheepdog training videos – now with subtitles

Cover pic of The Golden Rule of Sheepdog Training
One of the positive sides of many weeks of persistent rain is that when it’s far too wet to train sheepdogs, you can spend more time catching up with various other jobs that you’ve been meaning to do for a while. In my case, it’s adding subtitles to our online sheepdog training videos I should explain that ‘too wet … Read More

Maggot’s morning

Little tricolour collie puppy Reggie is out enjoying the sunshine
What a glorious morning! After the snow and greyness of yesterday this morning was mild and sunny, with endless blue skies and an optimistic feeling of spring in the air. The sort of morning that can make me forget I don’t have a proper job or a stable income. Almost. Reggie looks innocent enough, but he’s probably just planning his … Read More

Sheepdog comings and goings

Two black and white smooth coated border collie puppies, taking a well-earned break.
I love this photo. It’s two of my favourite puppies, Maggot and Cotton, sisters from Kay’s litter with the lovely Max Maggot and Cotton – just chillin’. Cotton’s on her 30-day trial with a farmer in Oxfordshire, and it was with mixed feelings that we saw her go. She’s a pretty little dog, with a big personality and very obliging; … Read More

It’s clear, border collie sheepdogs love snow!

Sheepdogs playing cause a spray of white snow
We ‘enjoyed’ about 4 cm of snow overnight Our dogs adore the snow! A somewhat surprised Eli (left) staring at Cabbage, with Pru looking on from behind as the snow flies up in spectacular fashion Last night we were woken by the sound of our dogs barking so I got out of bed and went to the window to see … Read More

Rain stopped sheepdog training – but not play!

Muddy sheepdogs Carew and Kay sit on a fallen tree and are being watched from below by Meg
Muddy sheepdogs, Carew and Kay, relax on a fallen trunk, while Meg looks up at them from the ground below This seemingly unending spell of extreme wet weather has brought all sheepdog training to a standstill here for the time being. Our poor training field has not quite been reduced to a mud bath, but it’s close. The grass you … Read More

Sheepdogs love to play as well as work

Three border collie sheepdogs jumping off a big straw bale together
You did say GO – didn’t you? In the picture above, Eli (left) Cabbage (back) and Eli’s daughter, Pru leap off a big bale of straw, while one of the younger pups looks on from a safe distance! The dog’s don’t really care how wet and muddy it gets – they’ll always find ways to make the most of it … Read More

The versatile Border collie – and its owner

Border collies playing with a ball
She flies through the air with the greatest of ease… We know from the many conversations we have, and emails we receive, that Border collie owners are a versatile lot, and many of them thoroughly exploit the variety that collies offer. Necessarily, most of the people we know and correspond with have their dogs primarily for sheep work, but those … Read More

And the winner is…or rather, the winners are…

border collie sheepdog soaking wet and covered in mud
If we’ve learned anything from our caption competition, it’s that we should never try to caption our own photos; other people’s ideas are far better than ours! “That is the very last time I run behind that damn quad :( ” Thanks to everyone who spent time and mental energy on our photograph of Eli and Kay, and took the … Read More

Wet border collie sheepdog picture CAPTION COMPETITION

border collie sheepdog soaking wet and covered in mud
Win a great DVD prize in our
FREE CAPTION COMPETITION All you need to do is think of a great caption for this picture of soaking wet, mud covered Eli, and his friend Kay
The person whose caption we judge to be the best for this picture of Eli and Kay will be invited to choose one of our … Read More

100 Percent Wool – Dry-flat!

Rain soaked sheep in a wet field
100 Percent Wool – Dry Flat or they may go out of shape! (Click to enlarge). Sometimes, we feel really sorry for our sheep, and today is one of those days. The poor creatures have withstood an enormous amount of rain over the past few weeks, and now they look really sorry for themselves. I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, that … Read More

Working sheepdogs in winter has its compensations

Sheepdog Carew gathering sheep in the winter mist
After the continuous soaking rain of the past few days, it was a great relief to gather the sheep in sunshine this morning Sheepdog Carew gathering sheep in the winter mist. (Click to enlarge). Carew was working well, and we were even joined by a couple of curious young puppies at one stage. With bright, clear light, and the mist … Read More

Revised schedule of sheepdog training courses

Training a young tri-colour border collie in a training ring with three sheep
Sheepdog training courses – January to June 2013 We regret that due to the saturated state of our ground, we have no alternative but to cancel all sheepdog training courses until March 2013. Anyone already booked on these courses will be offered the choice of an alternative course date (between March and October 2013) or a full refund of … Read More

Not just a lovely sheepdog puppy

Black and white border collie sheepdog puppy - rough coated, mostly black with white chest, nose and feet.
Starting puppies and young dogs on sheep, cattle and other livestock A puppy from Audrey’s litter that we’re keeping back to train as a sheep or cattle dog This is one of the (as yet unnamed) border collie pups from Audrey’s litter that we’re keeping to train as a working stock dog. At just over eight weeks, two of the … Read More

Today, a fissure in the clouds let loose a shaft of sunshine

Rough coated, red and white Border Collie Sheepdog Audrey inspecting the flood water
Audrey takes a cautious approach to the recent flood water. (Click to enlarge image). Whenever we have unusual weather conditions (flooding, deep snow, thunderstorms for example) we like to get all the dogs and puppies outside to experience it. It’s particularly useful for the puppies to see that even when there’s meteorological chaos, work and/or fun go on as normal … Read More

Training course abandoned!

Yes – abandoned before it began! There’s been an awful lot of rain over the past few days, but I wasn’t too worried about today’s sheepdog training course, because the BBC weather forecast predicted that the rain would stop by 11am. (Well, it did first thing this morning). By about 9.30, the forecast had changed to rain until at least … Read More

Sheepdog celebrities, and a ewe with a view

Tri-colour Border collie sheepdog with blue eyes
A sheep dog in Dire Straits? I was watching the younger dogs playing and suddenly realised who Lucas reminds me of: Mark Knopfler. Now just take a look at the link and tell me I’m wrong. Lucas, sporting a rather fetching head band. Very Eighties. Sheep/dog training
It’s an up and down sort of life as a sheepdog trainer. A young … Read More

Pru goes sheepdog training

Border collie puppy watches while a young collie is trained with sheep
Pru decides to take at look at our sheepdog training class

Life with the pack and the puppies

Photo of 16 Border collies relaxing in the orchard
Dodging the rain and the pups! [Some months ago I made a solemn pact with myself that I’d update the blog at least once a week. Since then, it seems I’ve begun every blog entry with “It’s been a while since I last updated the blog, but the last week/s/months have just flown by.” So, being a creature of … Read More

Sheepdog Pip at work yesterday

Sheepdog Pip at work yesterday
Pip in the grass! Pip’s so stylish when she works sheep or cattle. She has a great “stop” most of the time, and when she stops, she presses herself firmly into the grass like this. Love it! … Read More

The Wichenford week

A lovely group of young Border collies; red and white, black and white, and tricolour.
After my frenzy of dog acquisition last week, this week seems quite dull in comparison That said, even a dull week here is pretty good when compared with having a “proper” job! From left to right: Audrey, Rita, Scylla, Gloria and Dennis are waiting to see what’s in store for this week – us too! When weather and light permit, … Read More

Another arduous sheepdog training session

Scylla and some of the other dogs at play
You don’t get this good without lots of practise Sometimes we even train our dogs on sheep. Honest. But I couldn’t resist this photo, partly because it shows two new dogs that we haven’t written about yet. Meg (left) and Eli (right) coaching the youth team of Kings Green Rovers. Scylla in the air, with Glenalpine Charybdis (a.k.a. Cabbage) looking … Read More

Ten days old, and counting

Collie puppy at 10 days old, with photo inlay showing how much she's grown since birth
It’s not easy being an only child – I have to eat for 8 Since Mel’s puppy made her astonishing appearance we’ve been asked many times how she’s doing. Sometimes we reply “Growing like Topsy” without actually knowing who Topsy is/was and how/why she grew. (Of course I’ve never said I don’t know; I don’t go out of my way … Read More

Never say never

Rough coated red and white border collie sheepdog, Roy
One of Andy’s Rules for Life is that we never sell dogs at auctions (for reasons that I’m sure we’ve enumerated many times on the website) Another rule is that we only ever buy dogs at auction if we already know them, and it’s very rare that we do that (Eli’s the only dog I can bring to mind at … Read More

Be careful what you wish for

Mel is a tricolour border collie, and an excellent sheepdog
It doesn’t matter how many dogs we own, or for how long, they just never cease to surprise us. Mel’s enjoying a semi-retirement, but likes to keep us on our toes The weather’s been really warm this week, far too warm to close the bedroom windows at night. That means we can hear every disturbance or disagreement between the dogs … Read More

What a difference some sunshine makes!

Smooth coated collie, Dulcie, playing at high speed with her rough coated sister, Gloria
Her sister’s convincing werewolf impression takes Dulcie by surprise! A very wet April has made way for some lovely warm (today, even hot) weather, giving the dogs the opportunity to spend the afternoons in the orchard. It’s far cooler there than in the yard, and they can lie around under the trees and relax. Well, some of them relax. The … Read More

Rain Rain Stay For Days – we need it so desperately

A group of our sheepdogs play in the puddles on the bridleway
The dogs thought their run in the heavy rain was great fun on this morning’s run. I know I’ve been banging on about the drought for months now, but the water table where we are is desperately low. We’ve had the driest eighteen months since records began – and that’s pretty dry! Thankfully, the past week or so has been … Read More

The eyes have it

Tricolour Border collie puppy with pale blue eyes
Are you looking at me? Kay, Mel, Eli, Carew and Ezra, to name just a few, are excellent sheepdogs; strong, enthusiastic and tenacious when necessary, but I don’t think any one of them would turn a hair if they realised they’d never see another sheep. What they really like is companionship and entertainment; sheepwork’s just a bonus and I doubt … Read More

Scylla sits still, and Dora steps out

Beautiful tricolour collie bitch puppy, relaxing in the woods
I wrote about Scylla’s arrival in my last blog, but at that time she refused to pose for her photograph. Finally! Scylla keeps still long enough to get a decent photo She appeared on lots of photos, but was just a blur so we had to wait for her legs to get tired. It took a while. We think she’s … Read More

Out walking with twenty or more sheepdogs

Teaching the dogs to 'stay close' while walking in the woods
Spring really does seem to be with us now. There are lambs in the fields. young leaves on the trees, flowers in the hedgerows, and the grass is growing. These delightfully delicate elm leaves caught my attention in a hedge on this morning’s walk. Such a huge relief after the winter, but of course, we are still worried about the … Read More

Life – with collies underfoot

Chester is a small dog who likes to climb
It’s been a few weeks since I sat down to write the blog, though I know Andy’s been keeping it supplied with photographs. Chester takes advantage of the opportunity to abuse the collies from a safe height Apart from filming for the next DVD there have been new puppies to cater for, young dogs to start training and numerous odd … Read More

Working hard on the new sheepdog training DVD

Rosewood Eli looking very regal on top of a tree stump with a glorious blue sky behind him.
Forgive us if our blog entries are a little irregular at the moment, we’re hard at work on the monumental task of filming our new sheepdog training DVD Rosewood Eli is a superb stud dog – no wonder the girls love him! So far the weather has been unbelievably good for filming. March was one of the three warmest on … Read More

A picture to gladden the heart

Group of approximately thirteen Border Collie sheepdogs and puppies all facing the camera
What a lovely sight! All those smiling faces! Front (from the left): Dennis, Bess, Snip and Badger. Carew and Ezra are together at the back, towards the right, with Mel on the far right I just had to share this lovely picture. When I took the sheepdogs and pups out for their evening walk (well, more of a dash, really)Read More

Somebody has to keep the puppies in order

Border Collie sheepdog puppy Audrey asserts her authority over younger pup, Dennis
OK – OK – You have the toy then! Young Audrey, the red and white bitch pup is beginning to assert her authority over the younger puppies lately. This morning, she showed Dennis that the toy is hers by right, whenever she chooses. At the moment, she has seven weeks’ seniority over Dennis (b. 14th November 2011) but soon, the … Read More

The puppy games get rougher as they grow up

Puppies play-fighting in the early March sunlight
Poor Bess is ‘it’ today! As far as I can tell, the dogs in the picture are: (l to r) Audrey, Bess (on floor) Meg (at the back), an unidentified puppy, and Gloria. Puppies love to play, and this morning was no exception. The sun was shining gloriously when I took the dogs out for their morning walk, and the … Read More

Another glorious morning for walking the sheepdogs and pups!

Find out about the puppies we have for sale
One of our favourite pictures – EVER! Snip was surprised to find the camera right in front of her nose! … Read More

Accidents and emergencies

Rita, the tri-colour collie puppy, loves to get out and about
Back in January I mentioned Bella, an ex-rescue collie living in Florida, and her heroic effort to alert neighbours to her owner, Adam’s horrible accident with some farm machinery. The latest news from Bella is that Adam’s hand is healing well, and there seems to be some feeling coming back into his fingers. Once the recuperation is complete, Bella’s planning … Read More

A good looking sheepdog and a great worker too

Border collie sheepdog watching her sheep
Not just a pretty face, Carew is a very promising trainee sheepdog Carew continues to shine above the other dogs when it comes to working sheep. She’s desperate to please, a very keen worker, and shows signs of having power too. If anything, she’s a little too sensitive – not with the sheep, but with her handler. A very sensible … Read More

Just you wait till I get this plaster off!

Sheepdog puppy Lupin with her leg in plaster, eyeing the sheep through a fence
Poor Lupin can’t wait to get the plaster cast off her leg Lupin watches the sheep closely. Note the plaster cast on her right rear leg. This is Lupin with her leg in plaster, the day before she went back to the vet to have it removed. She broke her tibia in two places and there was a fold in … Read More

Security alert at Kings Green Farm

Two dogs on the bonnet of a car in frosty weather
With things the way they are these days, you can’t be too security conscious When Midge (left) and Ezra are around, it’s perhaps, not such a good idea to park your car in our yard. Security is the buzz-word in these modern times, so if you come to one of our sheepdog training courses, be sure to park where we … Read More

Only a short spell of snow thank goodness

Eli in the foreground with his daughter Midge looking on
I must admit, I like to see snow – but it causes us all kinds of inconvenience Eli’s a handsome dog whose pups are proving exceptional. We took the dogs out for their morning run today, hoping to get some nice pictures of them in the snow but it was rapidly thawing thanks to the mild temperature. I must admit, … Read More

It may be bitterly cold, but the dogs love it

Some of the collie sheepdogs running along the bridleway in the morning sunlight
The dog’s don’t seem to mind how cold the weather is, as long as they can enjoy a good run morning and evening The dogs don’t mind what the weather’s like as long as they get their morning and evening run. I took this picture yesterday morning while we were on the bridleway that goes alongside our local wood. Luckily … Read More

Border Collie Sheepdog Traffic Jam in the Woods

Lots of Border Collie dogs and pups out walking in the woods
What a great morning for walking the dogs! OK – which way now guys? Sometimes, I think I have the best job in the world (but the pay’s nothing to shout about). We seem to have a great number of puppies at the moment (far too many if the truth were known) so it’s especially good fun to get them … Read More

Accidents will happen

Border Collie puppy with it's leg in a purple plaster cast
Free access to the garden and all its interesting sights and smells are only a few of the advantages of being Very Special. Although Lupin has her back leg at a difficult angle while the plaster cast is in place, she’s learning how to cope with it and staying pretty cheerful. She can even enjoy being out in the garden … Read More

News from the DVD shop

Bella is a smooth coated border collie
New DVDs and other news from The Working Sheepdog Website Last October I added “Rocky Mountain Cowboys” to the online shop and it proved to be a popular title over Christmas. If any blog readers have watched it, then you might be interested in an email we received shortly after it went online: I have been looking through your website, … Read More

A welcome touch of frost but we urgently need rain (in England)

Sheepdogs in the early morning frost
It’s great to see the landscape covered with frost again, but what we really need is a good steady downpour of rain lasting for several days, if not weeks. The early morning sun casts long shadows in the frosted grass. England is traditionally associated with a high annual rainfall but last summer and autumn were exceptionally dry, especially in the … Read More

Oh BUOY this is fun! – dogs enjoying the mild winter weather

Our sheepdogs and puppies enjoy playing with a buoy
(Left to right) Eli shows some of his puppies how to tackle a buoy on a rope. (Click to enlarge image). Last winter, we were lucky to get some wonderful snow and freezing frost scenes while we were filming our latest Border Collie DVD (Border Collie Sheepdogs and Friends – Still Off Duty) but I much prefer milder weather, so … Read More

Me? Train to be a sheepdog? . . I don’t think so.

Five and a half month old bitch pup which shows no interest in working sheep
Hettie is five and a half months old and to date has not shown even a hint of any interest in working sheep. (Click image to enlarge). It’s my belief that somewhere deep in their mind, most border collies have the instinct to work sheep and other livestock. The instinct may well be dormant, but I believe it exists, and … Read More

Caption Competition – What are the dogs saying?

Border collie sheepdogs, Mel, Mick, Kay, Midge and Eli.
(Left to right) Mel, Mick, Kay, Midge, Eli. (Click image to enlarge) I took this picture this morning when I was out with the dogs. Gill and I just love the expression on Eli’s face. Just for fun, leave a comment below to tell us what you think the dogs might be saying … Read More

A young sheepdog with all the qualities I like

Carew calmly controlling her sheep
Among the many important attributes that I look for in a trainee sheepdog are confidence, the power to move stubborn sheep, and ‘sheep sense’. By ‘sheep sense’, I mean a dog that can ‘read’ what the sheep are about to do and act accordingly. Carew – demonstrates confidence, power, a steady pace and a good helping of ‘sheep sense’ You … Read More

Dennis – Our chunky new border collie sheepdog puppy

Border Collie Sheepdog Puppy, Dennis
Dennis is the grandson of Aled Owen’s Bob – winner of the 2002 World Trial at Bala. This is Dennis – not to be confused with our original Dennis featured on the ‘Border Collie Sheepdogs – Off Duty!’ DVD Dennis has only been with us a few days. We waited until now to show you a picture of him, as … Read More

A great morning for a walk with the dogs

Walking our sheepdogs in the January sunshine
Walking our sheepdogs in the January sunshine Yesterday was a lovely day to be out with the dogs – at least, the morning was! Later on, the weather deteriorated until the afternoon run was in fairly heavy rain. Still, we have been very lucky really. Last year was very cold and I’m not a lover of snow. Before everyone asks, … Read More

“All equal, each working according to his capacity, the strong protecting the weak”

Photo of Alfie the Chihuahua lying on a green cushion
Sitting here in the office, looking out at blue sky and bright sunshine, it’s hard to imagine the weather conditions of this morning In common with much of the UK, Worcestershire was being buffeted by strong winds, gale force gusts and heavy rain when we went out to walk the dogs. By a fair process of task-sharing (“You stay and … Read More

The CULPRIT – Dulcie the ‘Sheep Worrying’ Puppy

Dulcie has a slighly guilty look - and it's no wonder.
The sheep worrying puppy – Dulcie’s innocent looks don’t fool us! Don’t be fooled by the looks . . . If you think Dulcie is a picture of innocence, think again. She’s the one who’s leading the other puppies into bad ways – running off to have a go at the sheep when the rest of us are on our … Read More

Some things are easier said than done

Sheep grazing.
Our sheep are quite placid when confronted with dogs, but some are not nearly so nice! On our Sheepdog Training DVD I explain that you must keep young puppies away from sheep. There’s a very good reason for this – if the sheep should frighten the pup, that fear could stay with the pup for many years, if not for … Read More

Even Sheepdogs Must Retire Sometime

Jill the sheepdog retires at last
We’re sad to see her go, but we know that Jill will be happy in her new home with Pearl Today’s a sad day for us in one way, but a happy one in another. One of our favourite dogs, was collected by her new owners this morning. Jill’s been a faithful servant for years and she’s been a wonderful … Read More

Networking…

Our modern forms of communication are wonderful things; just consider, for example, the mobile ‘phone. In my previous life (pre-children and pre-sheepdogs, that is) I was allowed out onto the open road in a company car, armed only with a mobile freezer full of shellfish and – wonder of wonders – a mobile ‘phone. The battery for it was roughly … Read More

More puppies, and more progress

Chester the Papillon doesn't enjoy having his photograph taken
“I don’t know what I did that was so bad, but please, just get this punishment over with!” A few dark, damp days have given us the opportunity/excuse to catch up on some indoor chores. Andy’s been digging out old photographic equipment to sell on eBay, and photographing it, so I took advantage of having a photographic set and asked … Read More

Puppies’ progress

Border collie puppies at 4 weeks of age
These much-photographed puppies are starting to take the camera for granted. The black and white puppy on the right is called Ronnie – and he has a blue eye Almost the end of the first week since putting the clocks back (here in the UK anyway). I always find it disorientating, and the dogs must do too. They can’t understand … Read More

Welcome return to form for Alfie

Tan longhaired Chihuahua Alfie gazes wisely into the distance
Regular readers of this column (as they say in The Guardian) will recall that a convincing sign of Alfie’s chest infection – read the full story here – was his complete disinterest in an open bag of pigs’ ears that I left in the car with him. Today, his behaviour has finally returned to something more recognisable. My car has … Read More

10 days old already!

Close-up photo of a cute collie puppy, asleep with his tongue stuck out. Wonder what he's dreaming about?
I wonder what this little chap’s dreaming about? And just look at those perrfect little paws! The new puppies are ten days old now All the books tell us that their eyes should be open, but we (almost always) find they open when the puppies are 14 days old. Perhaps we only ever breed late developers. I’d suggest that they … Read More

New puppies are always worth the wait

Photo of black and white border collie puppies, less than a day old!
In a few weeks’ time we’ll look at this photo and say “Oh look, there’s Vic (or whoever)” but for now it’s just a sea of black and white By the time we went to bed on Monday night there were seven new puppies lined up at the milk bar – warm, dry and feeding enthusiastically. What a relief! I … Read More

Puppies keep us waiting…and awake

An assorted group of smooth and rough coated Border collies
From the left, Sheba, Jen, Midge, Eli and Mo – looking out for those pesky puppies. Mel’s there too, at the back, but Lord knows what she’s looking for! It’s been a week of new additions, though not the new additions we were expecting. The litter of puppies that was due last Friday has yet to put in an appearance … Read More

Finding grass in unexpected places…

Red, long coated Chihuahua dog wearing stylish diamong studded collar
I promise never to mention the weather again (probably) but we’ve had some damp cloudy days, and a few good heavy showers, this week and it’s amazing how much more green everywhere’s looking. Typical! In a week when we could have used a few dry days to do some filming… Considering it’s been a summer of very little grazing, we … Read More

Still Off Duty! – our new sheepdog DVD is taking shape

The proposed cover of our latest Border collie fun DVD includes a Chihuahua, a Papillon, a Great Dane and a lurcher
You CAN judge a DVD by its cover – Border collies are joined by friends this time round Today we’ve been working on the artwork for the new DVD, and it’s really starting to feel as though we’re making progress! I’m impatient to see the finished article, but I know there’s a way to go yet. We still haven’t finally … Read More

Introducing the Class of 2011 – this year’s additions to our sheepdog team

Tri-colour collie bitch puppy, Carew
Carew reminds us of her mother Mel, in so many ways We’re absolutely delighted with the puppies we’ve kept back for training this year – seven puppies, from three different bitches and three different dogs We have seven completely different characters, but all with one thing in common which is, thankfully, they’re all madly keen to work sheep. Again, it’s … Read More

Remember December

Border Collie Sheepdogs in the snow
We’ve had a nostalgic few days, watching clips that Andy’s turned up while he trawls the hard drives for footage for the new DVD He’s working on a snow sequence at the moment, and it’s difficult to imagine that we were ever so cold, for so long. It’s not that I’m obsessed with the weather (particularly) but now that I … Read More

It’s Raining! well, it was…

Field showing the effect of drought on a normally lush, green pasture in the UK
Kings Green finally managed to have a rain shower early this morning – what luxury! Normally a lush green, but after months with virtually no rain, our training field is badly damaged by drought. Luxury. I know it won’t be long before we’re complaining that the rain never stops, but this summer has been the driest we’ve known since we’ve … Read More

DROUGHT in Worcestershire?

Fleck is a lovely example of a smooth coated border collie sheepdog puppy
I wish we could have some rain! Isn’t the grass supposed to be green? Fleck standing on our sun-scorched grass Although our ground is heavy clay, the grass is brown and burned off. The sheep are eating what amounts to wisps of hay stuck in the ground (but I must admit they seem to be doing well on it). But … Read More

Little Mo – Sheepdog Training Course Assistant

The sheepdogs of Kings Green Farm shelter from the rain under an oak tree
It’s so easy to keep using the dog which proves best for any one task, and overlook the less experienced dogs These are some of our sheepdogs – sheltering from the rain under an oak tree. Kay has certainly proved invaluable as an assistant on our sheepdog training courses but for yesterday’s group training course, Kay was unable to help … Read More

Grass seed in eye – Puppy much improved today

Puppy with a green eye. The dye shows up damaged areas.
The poor puppy looking sorry for itself after treatment. Just a note to mention that the sheepdog puppy which had the grass seed in its eye is improving rapidly. She’s so active that we can’t help thinking the seed may have been there for a couple of days more than we thought. Today, she’s bounding around all over the place … Read More

Ghastly Grass Seed in a Puppy’s Eye

Puppy with a green eye. The dye shows up damaged areas.
The poor puppy looking sorry for itself after treatment. A couple of days ago, we noticed that one of our eight week old pups had a sore-looking eye. Normally, we can cope with minor eye problems very well by washing the eye with cold tea, or salt water, but on this occasion, our efforts were in vain. This morning, the … Read More

Broadening the sheepdog’s horizons!

A working sheepdog flanking round a group of herdwick sheep.
Kay showed good control of her Herdwick sheep – most of the time. One of the important points I like to make when teaching people to train their dogs, is the value of taking your dog to work somewhere completely new. New sheep and a different training ground, offer excellent fresh challenges for the dog and broaden its experience dramatically … Read More

Dogs fighting . . . friend or show?

Two border collies apparently about to fight - but are they?
The longer we keep dogs, the more we realise how little we know about them. Especially their behaviour. Mog and Maeve look as though they are about to fight but they’re the best of friends. If you keep a number of dogs together, there will inevitably be the odd disagreement but where possible, we try to remain calm and allow … Read More

Sometimes you notice something special!

Four puppies playing tug with a fabric toy monkey.
Puppies Ezra (left) Imogen, Toad and Headingley are all convinced the monkey is rightfully theirs. When it comes to toys for dogs and sheepdog puppies, we’re convinced that soft plastic flower pots are the best (certainly for value) but a toy monkey can be great fun too! Mel’s pup Ezra (left) feels the cloth monkey is his, but Gwen’s offspring … Read More

My favourite tree – for how much longer?

A tall spindly damson tree which we suspect cannot stand for much longer
This old damson tree is very special to us! This tree has so much character but we fear its days are numbered The field we train the dogs in is an ancient orchard, with many different varieties of apple and pear trees, as well as a few damsons and the odd plum too. Who knows how long this tall, thin … Read More

Kay and Mel – two great thinkers

Sheepdogs Kay and Mel relaxing on a bench
Kay (left) and Mel relaxing after work. Having great sheepdogs is an honour that I appreciate more and more. Of course, how you train a dog is very important but there are things that you can’t really train for; things that money can’t buy either. A dog which can think for itself is priceless and we are extremely lucky to … Read More

The Sheepdog Blog has landed!

Border Collie puppies Lady and Ezra (right) with a pup from a later litter from Gwen.
Border Collie puppies Lady and Ezra (right) with a younger pup from Gwen’s litter. AT LAST! – We’ve finally managed to get a self-hosted interactive blog on the Working Sheepdog Website! Please accept our apologies if you’ve been trying to follow us while we’ve moved around from place to place (and sometimes back again). THIS time, we’ve achieved our goal … Read More

One of our ‘New Boys’ – Brad

Young border collie sheepdog - Brad
Brad during one of his more restful moments Apologies for being away from the blog for a while. We’ve been hard at work shooting our new Sheepdog Training DVD which we are hoping to release before christmas 2011. We’ll try to keep you posted more regularly in future. Click here to get details and watch a preview of our current … Read More

News Roundup – Puppies, DVDs and Training Courses

Border collie puppies asleep in a concrete pipe
Playing in a concrete pipe is great fun for a while but we all need a break sometime. Puppies everywhere!
Mel’s pups are having a wonderful time now. They’re into absolutely everything and making lots of noise. Every time we want to train a dog, we have to catch the pups and put them away because they want to join in … Read More

Puppies Playtime

Working Border Collie Puppy playing with a plastic flower pot
Making good use of the plastic plant pots – “Apparently never sleeps” is in the foreground, with a Demon Twin in the background. Mel’s puppies are now spending their days outside on the lawn – weather permitting. It’s hard to believe they’ll be five weeks old tomorrow! Mel’s beginning to weary of their demands (until there’s puppy food around) and … Read More

At last – the Spring weather tempts us to linger outside!

Alfie the chihuahua watches the sheepdog training
Alfie looks on in disbelief – he really can’t see what’s so difficult about penning a few sheep. The last couple of weeks of dry weather have been a welcome relief after an unremittingly wet February. Of course, after spending the early part of the year worrying about wet ground and losing our grazing in a sea of mud, we’re … Read More

From Pet to Sheepdog – in One Session!

Mike (from Sheffield) with Jack
Initially Jack preferred to go in the ‘away’ direction but by the end of the day was going ‘come bye’ without being told. On our training courses, we see all kinds of dogs. There are the hardened sheepdogs whos attention locks onto the sheep from the first moment, and at the other extreme, we see the occasional dog which doesn’t … Read More

Finding a Sheepdog Trainer

Bob Lever and "Max the Welsh" watch a sheepdog training session
Bob Lever and “Max the Welsh” watch a sheepdog training session in progress. As far as we know, there’s not really a nationally recognised route to becoming a qualified pet dog trainer (though there are NVQs and the APDT) so it’s theoretically possible for a well-meaning dog enthusiast to book themselves a community hall for the evening, and charge an … Read More

The Family Reunion

Young border collie sheepdog Reiver
Reiver looks very much like her litter mates, Kevin and Midge – but she’s much cleaner! It’s been a quiet week at Kings Green, quiet and very wet, but Midge and Kevin had a good afternoon with their long-lost sister, Reiver. (Not that she was actually long-lost, we knew she’d gone to live with Jazz (a daughter of Glen) in … Read More

SKIPTON SHEEPDOG SALE – To buy . . . or not to buy . . .

Very close photo of Border Collie Fran looking as though she thinks she's in trouble
We very rarely go to auctions – when it comes to sheepdogs we both suffer from ‘twitching arm’ syndrome, so it’s the only way we can restrict ourselves – but I’m always interested to read the reports afterwards. It seems that every Skipton sale sets a new record that can’t be entirely explained by inflation. February’s record dog, the tri-coloured … Read More

Variety was the spice of this weekend!

Gorgeous young sheepdog, Midge lying on the ground looking over her shoulder
by Gill As well as being a great looking dog, Midge is a great sheepdog. For anyone who works with livestock, one day is pretty much the same as another – you don’t get days off – so I suppose it’s just a habit that every Monday morning I reflect on the weekend that’s gone. This weekend was fascinating; over … Read More

Another Beardie on our Group Training Course

Working Bearded Collie Sheepdog at work
Thanks to Hugh Emerson for this picture of Bess working, and thanks too to fellow course member, Liz Harper, for the camerawork. We were delighted to see another Beardie on our sheepdog training course today. Hugh Emerson brought Bess from their home in Cheshire to see whether she was interested in sheep. Bess certainly didn’t disappoint him. Bess got off … Read More

A great little Beardie

Bearded Collie at work
Bearded collie Izzy working sheep. We don’t see many working Bearded Collies but today we had a super Beardie on the group training course. Izzy is from a Shropshire farm and was a delight to train. Working Bearded Collie Izzy was a credit to her breed on today’s sheepdog training course. She was fully focussed on her sheep, showed plenty … Read More

Training Update

Very low angle shot of sheepdog Kay lying in the grass
Kay. Tomorrow’s group sheepdog course will go ahead as planned. The forecast is for grey cloud but doesn’t mention rain, so lets hope we get a dry day. It will be quite windy, so the dogs are going to have fun! Kay will be on hand to keep the errant sheep in order during the day. She’s an invaluable assistant … Read More

News Roundup – and the Best Sheepdog in the World

Portrait of Mel - a truly great sheepdog
Mel is semi-retired now, but in her day, she was the best sheepdog we ever had. Years ago, I said that if I thought it was possible, I’d say Mel (left) can read my mind. Time and again since then, Mel has convinced me she really can. I owe so much to this wonderful dog. (Click the image for a … Read More

Pearl’s Retirement – and Pups For Sale

Close-up photo of sheepdogs Pearl and Maeve who look as though they're smiling at the camera!
“Smile Please” Pearl and Maeve look happy! Tomorrow’s Group Training Course will go ahead as normal. At the time of writing, the weather forecast is good with white cloud and 6 celcius expected. Check the current 3 day forecast for our area. Unless we get more rain, the ground will be reasonably dry but bring warm clothing and good boots … Read More

New Young Talent at Kings Green Farm

Good looking boy! Border Collie puppy, Kevin
Six month old Border Collie puppy, Kevin Kevin and SpotTum are two very promising puppies. Despite the wet, miserable weather we’re experiencing in the UK at the moment, things are looking pretty bright for us as far as future sheepdogs are concerned. Kay and Eli’s pup, Kevin continues to impress us with his natural ability around sheep. He has only … Read More

Everything’s So Wet!

Very close portrait of Great Dane Lily
Despite the wet weather and the condition of the training ground, we’re hoping to keep our sheepdog training courses going. OK – Just for Gill’s son Greg (see Facebook comments) this is a pic of our lovely Great Dane – Lily. She doesn’t work sheep, but we love her just the same! Just at the moment (especially after last night’s … Read More

Kelpie v Collie (14) Hey! I like THIS KELPIE!

Training a Kelpie to work sheep
Page 14 of 14 – go to page 1 A 1-2-1 Training Session with a Kelpie In the picture, Kay’s keeping a careful watch as Working Kelpie Mollie learns to give her sheep more room. Kay’s exceptionally useful for keeping the sheep together for a trainee sheepdog, but she was hardly needed at all today, once Molly had learned … Read More

This Kelpie’s pretty COOL !

Working Kelpie Sheepdog - Molly
Working Kelpie Sheepdog Molly was totally focussed on her sheep during her sheepdog training course. Having had a rather disappointing experience with training our Kelpie, Red, Andy had mixed feelings when Paul Marsh brought his young Kelpie bitch Molly, for training today. He needn’t have worried. Molly was a credit to her breed. She showed none of the lack of … Read More

With Border Collie Sheepdogs, Things Can Change Quickly

Puppies at play in the snow
Kevin keeps watch while his sisters Bo and Midge investigate something disgusting in the grass. There’s nothing quite like the feeling you get when a puppy first takes an interest in sheep. On the 31st July last year, one of our best female sheepdogs produced a litter of pups. Kay’s litter was sired by Eli, a young dog who’s producing … Read More

ME? . . . a BLOGGER?

Andy sitting at a picnic bench, looking quizzically at Kay who's face is extremely close to his!
Andy with Kay during the shooting of the introductory sequence for our successful sheepdog training DVD – First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training. I wonder how many of our readers shared the same new year experience as me years ago? Each year one member of the family or other was sure to give me a diary and my reaction … Read More

Kelpie v Collie (13) Mossie Gets Better & Better!

Closeup of Mossie with her head through the sheep hurdles, obviously looking at sheep
Page 13 of 14 – go to page 1 A further update from Mossie’s new owner Jon, at Skilgate, Exmoor. Mossie was one of the easiest dog’s we’ve ever had the pleasure of training. If you’ve been keeping up with this blog, you’ll know that Mossie went to her new home at the end of October. We’re deeply grateful to … Read More

Kelpie v Collie (12) Red’s Gone Back to Wales!

Kelpie Red enjoying the heavy frost
Page 12 of 14 – go to page 1 Sorry – no more Kelpies for us! Through no fault of his own, we’ve returned Red to his breeder in Mid Wales. We love the dog and will miss him, but dogs are our living and training Red has proved time consuming and frustrating. Red’s breeder was very happy to have … Read More

Kelpie v Collie (11) Red’s Recent Sessions Disappointing

Red with some of the other dogs enjoying the hard frost
Page 11 of 14 – go to page 1 The normally temperate UK is currently locked in what for us is a serious freeze. Red and the other dogs are having a wonderful time though. For them, it seems to be all play and no work because we’ve suspended sheepdog training while the weather is so cold. This is not … Read More

Winter’s Arrived Early This Year

Border Collie sheepdog Fran covered in frost, in a misty, frosty field
In recent years, the UK has enjoyed relatively mild winters. Anyone who was around in 1947 (and I’m not one of them – I didn’t arrive until two years later) will tell you it’s been relatively tropical here since then. Even when we have had the odd cold snap, they normally don’t arrive until after but this year, we have … Read More

Kelpie v Collie (10) Update From Mossie’s New Owner

Photo of Border Collie pup Mossie running in an orchard
Page 10 of 14 – go to page 1 Mossie Update (from her new owner). Mossie at work before she went to live on Exmoor. Mossie’s doing really well – very rarely nipping and with a nicely developing outrun. She’s still a bit sticky on come-bye occasionally but she’ll walk up to the sheep and has got a great stop … Read More

Kelpie v Collie (9) A Rest Brings Out a Good Change

Red enthusiastically gathering sheep
Page 9 of 14 – go to page 1 OK, ok . . . (maybe I was wrong)! There appears to have been a fairly serious development in Red’s training. Since the last blog, he escaped from the yard more than once, and proved to us that he’s quite capable of concentrating on his work when he wants to (notice … Read More

Kelpie v Collie (8) Lack of Dedication & Inconsistency

Photo of Kelpie Red looking into the distance
Page 8 of 14 – go to page 1 Red’s capable, but can’t really be bothered I’m sorry if this isn’t what you Kelpie fans want to hear, but I’m being absolutely honest here. Yep – he’s a great character.
Yep – he’s a joy to have around.
Yep – he’s (usually) very obedient.
Yep – he can be incredibly funny.
Yep – he … Read More

Kelpie v Collie (7) Red’s Promising, Mossie’s Unbelievable!

Kelpie Red training to work sheep
Page 7 of 14 – go to page 1 An amazing little dog At just over five months of age, Red’s really taken us by surprise. This picture shows him circling his sheep a couple of days ago. (Click the image for a larger version). We’ve taken him to sheep a few times and to be honest, the last session … Read More

Kelpie v Collie (6) Red Shows Determination

Photo of Kelpie Red holding a small bunch of sheep to trainer, Andy
Page 6 of 14 – go to page 1 Red’s five months old now. The changes in him are noticeable almost daily. Although he’s very active and would apparently play all day, he’s curiously obedient. Where collies may have to be told several times, it seems Red learns immediately. When corrected, he’ll sometimes look thoughtful for a few moments as … Read More

Kelpie v Collie (5) Growing Up & Starting Work

Kelpie Red's growing up
Page 5 of 14 – go to page 1 Red’s film star look Red’s certainly not shy when it comes to posing for the camera. (Click the image for a larger version). What a well behaved little chap he is. Apart from a passion for being heard, Red’s no trouble at all. He’s eager to please and very quick to … Read More

Kelpie v Collie (4) Finding their Feet and Growing!

Kelpie Red's growing up
Page 4 of 14 – go to page 1 Red keeps improving Red’s finding his feet now. He’s mixing with all the dogs and is not afraid of any of them despite some quite rough playing. At last he’s trotting happily into his pen (rather than having to be carried in every time) and when he’s let out in … Read More

Kelpie v Collie (3) Red & Mossie’s Progress

Close photo looking under a border collie at Kelpie Red eating a bone
Page 3 of 14 – go to page 1 Red’s progress This picture will tell you how Red’s settling in! He’s playing with Mossie who is ten weeks older, and much larger. Red was never going to be short of confidence but his first few days here were naturally cautious. Now, he’s quite full of himself and making his … Read More

Kelpie v Collie (2) Red and Mossie’s Training So Far…

Photo of a Kelpie pup chasing some rather worried looking sheep
Page 2 of 14 – go to page 1 Red’s work We dont normally allow a pup of Red’s age to go near sheep because a threatening sheep can permanently ruin a dog’s confidence, but when we collected Red, he’d already been to sheep. The farmer (Meirion) demonstrated this as you’ll see from the picture, and we could see that … Read More

Our First Working Kelpie – RED!

Working Kelpie Sheepdog, Red at twelve weeks of age.
Working Kelpie Sheepdog, Red at twelve weeks of age. For some months now, we’ve wanted to train a Kelpie. They’re very popular in Australia of course, but you don’t see them winning sheepdog trials here in the UK – at least, not to my knowledge. We’re fascinated to find out more about training a working Kelpie sheepdog, so we looked … Read More

Kelpie v Collie (1) Sheepdog Training Comparison

Herding sheepdog trainees, Mossie and Kelpie Red
Page 1 of 14 Working Kelpie sheepdogs are now in common use throughout the UK and there’s a healthy debate over which makes the best sheepdog. To shed some light on the matter for ourselves, we decided to train a Kelpie along with a Border Collie Before we could start our informal (and somewhat haphazard) training comparison between a Kelpie … Read More

Wonder Dog Kay!

Border Collie Sheepdog Kay
Kay was just amazing during our sheepdog training course yesterday Kay has amazed me recently. She was wonderful on our sheepdog training course. I’ve trained quite a number of sheepdogs over the years, and sometimes, I think I’ve seen just about everything but Kay was just amazing during our sheepdog training course yesterday. Not only did she work all day … Read More

On Top of the World!

Border Collie Sheepdog Mo jumping the sheep hurdles.
Mo’s fast becoming one of our best working sheepdogs. The only problem is she’s too fast! When Mo slows down a little, she’ll be as good as her mum (Mel) but for the time being, we love to see her enjoying herself. Mo doesn’t need an excuse to jump things – she just does it for joy! … Read More

We’re expecting puppies!

This is a newly born Border Collie puppy
A new-born border collie puppy – Ahhh! We’re expecting puppies at the end of July. They should be ready to leave by the end of September. Visit the websiteRead More

It’s not all work!

Border Collies Mog (on the floor) and Mossie relaxing in the May sunshine.
Mog (on the floor) and Mossie enjoying themselves in the field Sometimes you just need to take a break from work and get down to some real fun! Even though there’s quite a big difference in the ages of the young sheepdogs Mog and Mossie spend a lot of their spare time ‘sparring’ with each other. They’re the best of … Read More

Mossie – born to work sheep!

Mossie - Born to work sheep.
This is Mossie – one of the survivors of Jill and Eli’s litter which met with tragedy in March. One of the most naturally talented puppies we’ve ever had is Mossie. She was born on 29th January and can already get the sheep in by herself. Mossie’s parents are Jill and Eli. We don’t normally recommend allowing sheepdog puppies to … Read More

A glimmer of interest!

Today we sheared a few sheep and we let Doris wander around while we were shearing. Once or twice she went up to the sheep and barked at them quite enthusiastically. If I went up to her to try and encourage her, she trotted away immediately but at least there’s a glimmer there and I’m now quite hopeful that Doris … Read More

Don’t be fooled by appearances

Border Collie Doris gives the impression she's already a great sheepdog but she's not.
If style was skill . . . Border Collie Doris gives the impression she’s already a great sheepdog but she’s not. Doris is a beautiful young border collie with a fantastic sheepdog trials ancestry.
She was born in September 2009 and to look at her, you’d think she was already keen on sheep. Whoops! There she goes! Doris makes her … Read More

Phew! It’s So Hot!

jackdaws drinking at a water tank
Was May supposed to be this hot? Hot weather brings the jackdaws to the water trough for a wash and brush-up as well as a drink We just ‘enjoyed’ a few days of exceptionally hot weather for the time of year. May is normally one of my favourite months but the past week has been seriously hot and I have … Read More

Sheep Shearing By Numbers.

Recently sheared sheep with unsheared sheep in the background
Last week I had my first attempt at shearing sheep. I’ve watched sheep being sheared many times before but never actually had a go. One of the first sheep I ever sheared – she seems to have survived OK! I invested in some good quality Hauptner electric shears last year, with the intention of doing our own shearing in 2010 … Read More

It just gets busier and busier!

Sheep at water trough
Even the sheep seem to appreciate the better weather. Well, after a couple of false starts, it seems spring is really here at last!
The fields are greener, the hedges and trees are coming into leaf and not least of all, the sun is shining! I’m not a lover of hot weather (I’ve never enjoyed sunbathing) but the last few days … Read More

Working sheepdog wins Crufts Canine Freestyle championship

Crufts 2010 Freestyle Heelwork to Music Winner Richard Curtis with Pogo
Who said you’ll ruin a sheepdog if you allow it to do tricks? It’s one thing knowing that a dog you’re helping to train as a sheepdog has won some of the greatest Heelwork to Music competitions in the past . . . but when that dog (and man) win Crufts (AGAIN) it’s quite breathtaking. Our heartiest congratulations to Richard … Read More

Uggh! . . . More snow,

Just when we thought the ground was drying up nicely and there were even small signs that the grass was beginning to grow, down comes the snow again. I hope this won’t be a setback for our first sheepdog training class on the 6th March. The weather forecast is not too bad, so all should be well. The puppies are … Read More

Barking mad – a lesson in dog training

Close-up photo of three mainly white border collie puppies
I was thinking about dog training – on Saturday night, actually. Gill has long believed that the best thing to do about bad behaviour is to make it unrewarding, usually by simply ignoring it. This works well in the case of a first offence, especially with puppies that are really only craving attention. (This only applies to Border collies of … Read More

Training sheepdogs . . .

I may have suggested before that I don’t always agree with Gill and Andy’s training methods. Well, to be fair it’s the whole idea of training that I disagree with, but given my privileged position within the household training is something I’ve managed to avoid, pretty much. You’ll often hear dog trainers say that the key to training is timing … Read More

Those puppies!

Gill took me to see Jill’s puppies last night. They were 16 days old, and to celebrate they had their third consecutive day of worming. Poor little grubs, but their eyes are open now and what am I saying, “little”? They’re HUGE! The bigger of the girls is almost as big and heavy as me, I think. I’ll have to … Read More

A dog friendly pub in Caunsall?

A couple of weeks ago I was taken out for lunch by Gill and my doting aunties. They live in Stourbridge, and as we drove over I thought I could guess how this would turn out. You see their idea of a good lunch usually involves mussels and white wine, and the sort of restaurant that doesn’t understand how a … Read More

Puppy progress.

Thanks to everyone who has been in touch with us about the puppy disaster. You’ll be pleased to know that Jill and her surviving puppies are doing really well now. The pups’ eyes are open and they’re starting to move around a lot more. Soon they’ll be into all kinds of mischief … Read More

Do I detect a hint of spring?

Closeup of a border collie puppy in the sunshine
Yesterday was such a lovely day! One of our puppies enjoying the sunshine There are snowdrops in the garden and some of the buds on the shrubs are just beginning to grow. It’s still very early, of course (there was heavy snow in the south east yesterday) and things can still get very cold indeed, but every day the days … Read More

The injustice of it all . . .

You know I’m not a great fan of border collies, and even less, of sheepdogs, but the puppy disaster that happened to Jill and Eli’s litter shocked us all. I wanted to write something on the blog but just didn’t know what to put. Now, things have settled down, the puppies’ eyes are open and they are growing very fast … Read More

Very bad news . . .

Jill's games led to her accidentally killing most of her puppies
She’s an excellent mother, but Jill’s love of playing accidentally killed all but two of her puppies Apologies for the delay but it’s very difficult to bring yourself to announce really bad news and we’ve certainly had a big shock with Jill’s litter of puppies. Jill’s a wonderful character, she’s playful and fun loving. One of her tricks involves chasing … Read More

Oh – NO ! (Puppies again)!

A tiny border collie puppy with tricolour markings, just one day after being born
Tricolour border collie sheepdog puppy – just 24 hours old When border collie puppies are first born, they’re just like little grubs. This picture is of a one day old sheepdog puppy Harmless, aren’t they?
Don’t you believe it.
Before you know it these sweet little grubs are big as chihuahuas – and they don’t seem to be able to take “no”Read More

We have PUPPIES !!

Border collie sheepdog Jill produced a litter of puppies last night
Proud mother Jill produced a lovely litter of pups last night. They’re all doing well despite the bitter cold wind we have today. We’ll post more news on this blog – or you can find out more about Jill and the pups at The Working Sheepdog WebsiteRead More

Alfie’s Blog

Alfie the chihuahua sharing his bed with border collie sheepdog Glen
OK Glen, if you really insist, I’ll sleep on the floor. Did you know our little chihuahua Alfie has his own blog?
Just recently, Alfie’s lost his tiny little chihuahua bed because the great big border collie Glen has taken it over!
For a great pic of Glen curled up in Alfie’s little bed, visit Alfie’s BlogRead More

A dog in need . . .

Alfie the chihuahua sharing his bed with border collie sheepdog Glen
OK Glen, if you really insist, I’ll sleep on the floor. Never let it be said that I’d overlook a fellow dog in need (to be honest, at my height it’s not easy to overlook anything). Towards the end of that cold, wet, snowy fortnight the old stager, Glen began to suffer more than usual from the arthritis in his … Read More

I’m in trouble again . . .

Chihuahua Alfie with a border collie puppy
This is me telling a border collie puppy, who’s wears the trousers around here! No I don’t mean the picture – that was taken in April 2007 when I first arrived here. When you’re so much smaller than the other dogs (there are about 15 border collies, a great dane and a deerhound x lurcher to contend with) you have … Read More

Who said Chihuahuas aren’t tough?

Chihuahua x Papillon and Chihuahua dogs in the snow
Chihuahua x Papillon Chester (left) and Chihuahua Alfie, enjoying themselves in the January snow. I thought you’d like to see this picture of Chester and me in the snow today – and not a dog coat in sight! We both love a good run in the snow (as long as it’s not too deep). The cold doesn’t really affect us … Read More

Elitist? . . Me?

I can’t believe it, but I’m getting complaints. I’m accused of elitism. It’s not elitism, it’s called noblesse oblige – we Chihuahuas have responsibilities. Chihuahuas are born to be adored leaders, firm but fair (ish). Collies, Kelpies, Huntaways and Corgis, for example, are born to work with sheep and cattle; Labradors collect shot birds (ugh) and St Bernards deliver brandy … Read More

Sheepdog in the making.

Border collie sheepdog Jill produced a litter of puppies last night
Mog may only be very young, compared to some of the sheepdogs, but she’s already started work (well, nursery) and Andy’s extremely proud of her. She can’t do much at the moment, but that’s not because she doesn’t want to – far from it. I can’t tell you how many playtimes Mog’s spoiled by slinking off to fetch the sheep … Read More

It’s not that I mind puppies . . .

While I write this, Chester is sitting on the window ledge, watching the dogs in the yard and shouting out encouragement or disapproval as the occasion demands. Mainly disapproval. I know I said we’d have puppies in January, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t puppies here now. The current banes of my life are a bumbling 5-month old called Tony, … Read More

And as though border collies weren’t enough . . .

Great Dane Lily
Lily the Great Dane There are two other dogs here that aren’t sheepdogs. Lily is a Great Dope (I mean, Great Dane) and Eris is a half-Deerhound lurcher. Eris (whose name is borrowed from the Greek goddess for strife and dischord – and I’m not surprised) thinks it’s funny to follow me about, ruffling my fur and pretending to bite … Read More

As if we don’t have enough collies around the place already!

Rough coated black and white border collie bitch Connie, looking at the camera with her tongue out!
Rough coated black and white border collie bitch Connie, looking at the camera with her tongue out! A nice man, who trains dogs for sheepdog trials, drove all the way from Powys a few days ago with some dogs for Andy to see. They seemed to spend the afternoon chasing sheep into pens and then chasing them out again, and … Read More

Female border collies causing chaos as usual!

The yard has been in chaos all weekend. Some of the girls have come into season (apparently that’s what happens when females live together in a group) and they can’t play with the other dogs out in the field. Don’t they make a fuss when they get left behind! And I’m afraid that there have been some lewd comments coming … Read More

I’m a chihuahua, get me out of here!

Alfie the chihuahua sitting upright, regally looking into the distance
Alfie just knows he’s as good as any dog! I think it’s time to put the record straight. The Border collies around here are getting the impression that they’re somehow important. Just to explain things, I’m a Chihuahua called Alfie, and with my friend, Chester (a Papillon/Chihuahua cross – I prefer to think of him as a mongrel) it’s MERead More

Training area? What training area?

Photo of a group of sheepdogs drinking icy water in the snow
Thirsty work this! Another picture showing the state of our sheepdog training area!
It will be some weeks before we can start training again, so those of you who are hoping to attend training courses, please keep in touch with the blog for the latest news.
Meanwhile, please let us have your feedback on the website, and if you have any sheepdog … Read More

Dogs just wanna have fun!

Photo of Border Collie Sheepdogs playing on a frosty field
The sheep may not be enjoying the winter weather but the dogs certainly are. Eli and Connie (see photo) have been having a great time playing together recently … Read More

SHEEPDOG TRAINING SUSPENDED !

Photo of sheep standing around in a snow covered field with a large oak tree behind them.
Sheep stand waiting for some food. They cannot get to the grass when it’s covered with snow. Sadly, we must suspend all sheepdog training for the near future. We have been snow-bound for a week now and more snow is forecast.
Unfortunately, we are on heavy clay and it doesn’t drain too well, so we expect the ground to be unusable … Read More

Welcome to the Sheepdog Blog!

Wintery photo of sheep in the field with plenty of frost on the trees
Sheep in the frost at Kings Green Farm With all the bad weather we’ve had recently in the UK, we thought it would be good to have a blog so that we can keep people in touch with what’s going on, like sheepdog training courses, the availability of puppies and news from Kings Green Farm, generally. Please keep in touch … Read More