Featured tutorial – Educating Gloria

Timing is everything; Setting the dog up; working distance; body position; the stop command;

This complete training session shows the importance of good timing when you’re training a sheepdog.

Encourage the best and, with good timing, 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.

The importance of good timing, and much more

This was nine-month old Gloria’s fourth training session; she’s headstrong and excited, but not uncontrollable. This tutorial shows the complete lesson twice, first at half-speed and then at its actual speed – demonstrating why new handlers often feel everything’s happening too fast and their timing’s far too slow.

Timing is everything; Setting the dog up; working distance; body position; the stop command; Gloria playing with her sister Dulcie is practicing her timing and her body language.
Gloria’s convincing werewolf impression takes Dulcie by surprise!

Don’t worry. You can’t hope to get it right first time, every time, but with patience, and calm persistence, you and your dog will progress.

This complete training session shows the importance of timing; setting the dog up for a good start; use of the stick and body position to impose and maintain control; discipline (and when to back off); how the handler’s attitude influences the dog; establishing a good working distance from the sheep, despite the dog’s best efforts; typical ways the dog may evade the stop command; and why you should guard against forming patterns in your commands.

For the highs and lows of a typical early lesson, with a typical trainee dog, watch Educating Gloria. And for an explanation of the words and phrases we use in sheepdog training, see our Terminology page.

To watch the tutorials you’ll need to be logged in as a paid member, and if you need more help, leave a comment or question on the tutorial page.


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