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… Continue reading FAQ – Stop at the top of the outrun without command?
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… Continue reading FAQ – Sticky dog biting sheep’s faces
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… Continue reading FAQ – Outruns (send the dog from your side)
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,… Continue reading FAQ – Why’s the dog’s tail position so important?
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… Continue reading FAQ – How to stop your dog barking
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.… Continue reading FAQ – Circle sheep both ways (outside flanks)
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 –… Continue reading FAQ – Dog attacking cattle
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… Continue reading FAQ – Walking the dog around sheep