Featured tutorial – Moving out into the open field

Ricky keeps control of his sheep during training

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, the dog can be uncharacteristically aggressive.

Dogs are often more relaxed, and easier to control, out in the open, so we recommend you move your training sessions to the open field as soon as your dog can control its sheep.

But, if the dog's inexperienced and excitable, how do you move out of the ring while maintaining control? And then, just as importantly, move back in again?

Sheepdog training in a training ring

In this tutorial Andy demonstrates how, by understanding what's likely to happen and why, bringing your sheep out into the field needn't be chaos. And once you've learned the technique, your dog will learn some valuable lessons too.

When you can work in an open field training becomes more varied, and more fun, for both dog and handler. While "fun" might be going too far, the sheep probably find it less stressful too!

To find more information about using the training ring - for starting a young dog and for introducing more advanced work - see Training Ring 1 and Training Ring 2 in the tutorials library.

Moving out into the open field was previously listed in the tutorial library as Coming out - with dignity.


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 (CC) subtitles are broadcast compliant, and leave you free to opt-in or out of subtitle mode without navigating away from the page.

We're making the changes gradually, so please be patient if your favourite tutorial isn't yet available with closed caption subtitles - they are still available in the usual way.

To watch tutorials in the library you'll need to be logged in as a paid member.

Mainly white Border collie female

Our video tutorials give members lots of guidance for starting a dog, progressing its training, and dealing with the challenges that arise.

NB: Tutorials are available to paid subscribers who are logged in to their account. There's more information about our sheepdog training tutorials in the video below, or register for a free subscriber account to watch a sample tutorial, "Top Tips for Easier Training".


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!

Picture showing how to choose the currency you'd like to pay with
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 ten years since the launch of our first DVD, First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training, we're offering discounts on multiple purchases - from 10% (for two DVDs) to 20% when you buy all five.

The tutorials on Volume 4 are all available online, but we know that some subscribers have internet problems, or simply prefer to watch on TV.

Sheepdog Training Tutorials Volume 4 is in stock, and ready to ship to anywhere in the world NOW. You can buy in one of eleven popular currencies (see the picture above-left) and we automatically ship the correct format for your worldwide location.

So check out our new shop pages, choose your currency, and checkout with your DVDs!

WHAT'S INCLUDED IN THE 2xDVD SET?

Volume Four looks at new challenges, and goes into some previous topics in more depth, all using explanatory graphics, slow motion, and clear instructions. In just under four hours, 16 chapters cover:

Picture showing the two DVDs and the case for volume four
  • Slowing the dog down
  • Making the best use of the training ring, even for advanced work
  • Back to Forwards - taking a vital exercise a stage further
  • Bronwen & Scylla - further instalments of our training comparison
  • How work can be a reward for a keen dog
  • The how and why of flanking both ways
  • Starting a reluctant dog
  • Why some dogs don't want to work, and how to spark their interest
  • Top tips for training your dog
  • Further training with "Max the Gripper"
  • Stopping the dog - part 2

But hey? You'll find lots more information on the Sheepdog Training Tutorials Volume 4 page.

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.

It's a problem we've all had, and it's SO FRUSTRATING! Luckily, it isn't difficult to overcome.

how to train a sheepdog to get sheep off a fence or hedge

As with so much in sheepdog training, the dog's confidence is the key.

If your sheep are crowding into a corner, or pressing themselves up against a hedge in a (successful) attempt to foil the dog's gathering efforts, it'll probably be because your dog lacks the confidence to get between the sheep and the fence.

Don't despair! As with every other challenge, if you try to understand what's happening, and why it's happening, you'll overcome it with persistent, supportive training. Stay calm (your frustration or temper will only help to convince your dog that it's right to be scared) and practice the techniques you'll find in this tutorial.

With your newly co-operative sheep, and bolder, more confident dog, training will become so much easier!


Watch the Get Off The Fence tutorial to see how, with persistent, supportive training, your dog will learn to cope with sheep that "sit on the fence".

Our video tutorials give members lots of guidance for starting a dog, progressing its training, and dealing with the challenges that arise.

NB: Tutorials are available to paid subscribers who are logged in to their account. There's more information about our sheepdog training tutorials in the video below, or register for a free subscriber account to watch a sample tutorial, "Top Tips for Easier Training".


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 a good 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 and your legs.

Most dogs thoroughly enjoy this part of their training, and outrun practise is often a good way to relieve the tension when training becomes more intense.

Our three Outrun tutorials show you how to teach the outrun, and how to make it longer and wider as the dog's skill and experience grow. As ever, don't skimp on the basics. We have lots of emails and enquiries about the outrun "going wrong at the end", when the answer is simple: Get it right at the START.

Part One - a real training session with a headstrong young dog, Jed, shows how to begin teaching the outrun, and how to make the best of it when things go wrong.

You'll probably find that teaching the outrun helps to improve other areas of the dog's work too.

Part Two shows how positioning yourself, your dog, and the sheep, in relation to each other, is the key to success when you're working on lengthening or widening your dog's outrun.

Experiment a little, and discover how much control you can have over the outrun.

Part Three in the series demonstrates how we use our "Slingshot" technique to encourage a wider outrun.

The Slingshot will help to widen the dog's flanks, too.

You'll often hear that a sheepdog trial can be won at the pen, but it can be lost on the outrun. If you plan to compete, give your dog the best possible chance with a reliable and confident outrun.

Our video tutorials give members lots of guidance for starting a dog, progressing its training, and dealing with the challenges that arise.

NB: Tutorials are available to paid subscribers who are logged in to their account. There's more information about our sheepdog training tutorials in the video below, or register for a free subscriber account to watch a sample tutorial, "Top Tips for Easier Training".


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 be a priority there are occasions when the dog, quite simply, needs to get the job done. But what if your dog naturally shies away from confrontation, or has the memory of a previous bad experience holding it back?

Even a shy dog can be taught to assert itself in this situation, but give it time.

Sometimes Nice is Not Enough was made in response to many emails, questions and comments left on the Training Tutorials pages. It features two dogs, Carew and Kay, with very different ways of controlling their sheep. Neither approach is perfect, but with training they both became extremely capable sheepdogs.

The tutorial looks at how their personalities dictate how Kay and Carew work; how to recognise the different ways a dog can demonstrate a lack of confidence; and how to build that much-needed self-confidence to deal with practical shepherding situations.

Our video tutorials give members lots of guidance for starting a dog, progressing its training, and dealing with the challenges that arise.

NB: Tutorials are available to paid subscribers who are logged in to their account. There's more information about our sheepdog training tutorials in the video below.


Featured Tutorial – What Shall I Do Next?

Title image for our sheepdog training 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 urgent points, and tackling them correctly, can quickly yield good results.

"What Shall I Do Next?" suggests a solid structure of priorities for setting the situation up correctly and maintaining (or regaining) control when the dog is released.

If you're wondering what you should be teaching your dog now, and what can wait, or even whether you should be training all of the basics at once, watch "What Shall I Do Next?" to learn the order of lessons that many years of sheepdog training has given us the best results.

Interesting and Varied
The training order shouldn't be inflexible though. Once you have good control of the dog (and the dog has good control of the stock) as the dog's skill increases, it's good practice to vary the training, the training venue, and if possible, the stock too. This keeps sessions fresh and interesting for both dog and trainer, and equally importantly, broaden's the dog's mind.

Image depicting sheepdog trial competitor with dog

Sheepdog Trials
For the aspiring sheepdog trials competitors, we have two tutorials which deal specifically with preparation for Sheepdog Trials and how they are run, and the things trials competitors are expected to know.

Our video tutorials give members lots of guidance for starting a dog, progressing its training, and dealing with the challenges that arise.

NB: Tutorials are available to paid subscribers who are logged in to their account. There's more information about our sheepdog training tutorials in the video below.


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

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 action within an enclosure of the right size, but that's only the beginning.

title image of our sheepdog training tutorial video with optional English subtitles
Optional English subtitles are available on all of our sheepdog training videos

Our seventieth sheep and cattle dog training tutorial shows ways to use the training ring for increasing the dog's skill and experienced to a far more advanced level.

In this tutorial you'll see ways to get better control of the dog when it's working in tightly packed yards or pens, how to get the dog to circle the sheep on command, and how to teach a sheepdog to drive sheep and other livestock as well as widen its outrun and flanks, improve its stop and self control.

This is the latest of our SEVENTY online training tutorial videos! It will give our members lots of ideas for taking the dog's training to a more advanced level.

NB: Tutorials are available to paid subscribers who are logged in to their account. There's more information about our sheepdog training tutorials in the video below.