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19 Replies to “Contact us”

  1. Hi Andy
    What tutorial would you recommend ?
    I’m getting on great with my dog & had a wee go at a novice trial.
    I find him a bit tight for steering round obstacles or getting the sheep in the pen!
    If I could bend him out a bit it would be great!!
    If I push him out he’s liable to turn on him self which I don’t like

    1. Clearly your dog’s not ready for the work you’re expecting it to do, Michael. You need to go back to basics – get the dog working nicely when the sheep are close to you, giving them plenty of space and stopping well.
      Once this is going well, move on to “Walking Backwards” – and then “Back to Forwards”.
      You should make a point of watching all of the tutorials in the “Where to Start” category before moving on to “The Outrun” and “Driving“.
      Finally, before you enter it in a trial, your dog should be able to Circle the Sheep on Command – so watch the tutorials in the “Flanks and Circling” category, and make sure the dog can do it PROPERLY!

  2. Hi Andy, I have got a young puppy, and I am aware it’s too early to start actually training, what should I be doing in the meantime with my puppy. What obedience training is most necessary for her strive. E.g. Can I teach her away and come by without sheep. Etc

    1. We’re working on a tutorial which includes “pre-training” at the moment, Oliver. It should be available in a couple of weeks’ time.

      In the meantime, I strongly recommend you watch the tutorials in the “Starting” category – especially Puppy training essentials.

      Basically, you need to “bond” well with the dog, and earn it’s respect as a leader. It’s also very useful to teach the dog to “Sit” and “Stay” – and make sure it has a really good recall.

      I HAVE  heard of someone teaching the dog to flank both ways, but to be honest, without the presence of sheep, this is in the realm of obedience training, and I wouldn’t know how to go about it.

  3. Hi Andy, I am wanting to purchase your program although i am looking to train my border collie on goats. Would you recommend following your program or is the training different for goats than sheep. Thank you!!

    1. Personally I have no experience of working goats with dogs Shalene, but I know that people do.
      Basically, if the dog is keen to “get at” the goats, and the goats would prefer not to be near the dog, then the tutorials will apply.
      As well as sheep, Border Collies are used for working chickens, ducks, turkeys, cattle, and other animals.
      Why not try it and find out? It’ll only cost you $14.50 (US) for a month, and you can cancel at any time. Signup here.

      1. we have had goats and they can be very helpful for training dogs. They tend to have the fight vs flight response so not easy for some pressure sensitive dogs but similar to working cattle. they behave more alike than do sheep

  4. I have just found your site and hope it helps . I have a young male around 21/2 years Not much socializing done he was in a pen next to cattle working pens we sent him to a trainer they used a shock collar on him . The trainer called in 30 days and said the dog is no good in trainable the dog runs and hits the ground when you raise your voice he thinks you are going to hit him when you raise your hand is there any hope in getting his confidence back? He acts like he wants to work behind the fence but when you let him in with the sheep he is afraid to do anything

    1. Hmm – some trainer! I can’t help wondering what inspired you to send your dog to such a person in the first place, and how much the trainer charges people for electrocuting their dogs!
      The dog’s young enough, and if it’s showing an interest in sheep, you should be able to rebuild its confidence, but it might take a lot of patience on your part.
      The secret of training a dog is to make the work as simple as possible (for the dog) at first, then very gradually develop the dog’s new skills until its work becomes more practical.
      If he’s keen on the sheep when they’re inside a pen, that’s a good place to begin. Try walking him around inside the pen on a lead or short rope. Give him loads of reassurance and walk him towards the sheep to show him that they’ll move if he approaches. Avoid any conflict with the sheep. If they threaten him that will damage his confidence further, so if necessary, move the sheep yourself, and make sure they don’t stand up to him (or attack him, of course).
      If the dog’s frightened inside the ring, crouch down and make a fuss of him, to reassure him that he’s safe and that you’re not going to electrocute him.
      As soon as he’ll walk around inside the pen with you, let him off the lead but keep helping him to move the sheep around. If the sheep are moving they’re unlikely to threaten him, so keep them moving!
      Once you can get the dog to relax a little inside the pen, even if he won’t approach the sheep there are plenty of things you can try to get him interested. I suggest you watch the tutorial “Starting a Non-Starter” (watch parts 1 and 2).
      You also need to watch the tutorials “Calm But Firm”, “The Dog’s Confidence”, “Sticky Dogs” and “Starting a Reluctant Dog” to find out how to go about this. You can sign up for the tutorials on this link.
      Don’t expect quick results, but if you’re patient I’m sure you can do this.

  5. Hi,
    I have a 19 month old cross female border collie.
    Due to continuing job commitments I can no longer keep her in the active lifestyle she is used to.
    I would prefer if she could go to a sheep farmer for training as a working dog if possible.
    She has been exposed to sheep but is too full on with them and just wants to chase so is a complete novice.
    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    1. Hello Gary. I’m afraid we don’t get involved with re-homing any more, although we’d always take back any dog we’ve bred or trained if its circumstances change. I think you should contact the breeder of your dog and explain the situation. For the dog’s sake, a conscientious breeder should be prepared to help you.

  6. Hello, I was hoping to find out if you think these tutorials are applicable and would still help if you have an Australian Shepherd. I have since added an Aussie to the mix. My border and I haven’t done much herding since I was last signed up over a year ago I believe. a lot of things got in our way, I enjoyed the tutorials and was hoping to start up again. Just curious regarding a loose-eyed breed. Thank you so much!!!

    1. Hello Rachelle. The short answer is yes, the tutorials will help you train your dog, provided the dog is of a gathering breed. We have very little experience of training Aussies, but we’ve trained collies and Kelpies with the same techniques. So long as Aussies have a basic gathering instinct then all of the tutorials will be useful. The driving tutorials will help with a breed that drives, rather than gathers, and all the tutorials that look at commands, the dog’s distance from sheep, and the dog’s confidence are equally applicable to any working dog.

      I hope that helps?

      Thanks, Gill

      1. Gill,
        Thank you so much for your quick response. Yes, this helps. I figured the process and basic commands would be the same regardless. I am very excited about improving our skills. Yes, Aussies do fetch and will drive. They don’t have that “stare” and most don’t crouch as much. Very fun breed. Love both my dogs :)

        One more question if I may: how few sheep is ok to start with? I am in the process of getting proper fencing to house some sheep we can work at home on our own. I was thinking of starting with 2 because I have the funds and adding some later. Maximum probably 5. Your thoughts.

  7. Should a young 11 month bitch border collie ever be hit [4 times on head in lie down position] after it appeared to be heading into a pack of nervous fragile sheep in a square pen?

    1. The only time I would condone hitting a dog during training would be if the dog was physically attacking the sheep and harming them. In other words, if hitting the dog was the only way to keep it away from the sheep and protect them. To find out how we train our dogs to work sheep and other stock, why not subscribe to our Online Sheepdog Training Tutorials?

  8. I have a question not so much a comment. I have a 4 year old BC and he likes to do everything 100{e9f43a434d6010da6dbd2b3f7c84d70e19d11d359b130214b424d1842cfa3837} quickly. When I work him on our very small flock of sheep he is so fast that he startles the sheep. This could also be the sheep breed by reacting quickly. I have tried slowing him down by giving him a long drawn out command, and also stopping him which is a lie-down. I don’t particularly like the lie-down as he is popping up and down as I give the come bye or away to me. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    1. The dog simply needs training, Hope. The majority of keen Border collies are like your dog when they begin working with sheep.
      I thoroughly recommend you watch “Backwards is the Way Forward” and train your dog to do this properly. If you have the resolve to insist he brings the sheep up to you at the same pace that YOU choose to walk backwards, and at the distance that you choose, it will transform him. He will learn to creep forward steadily, and he will learn that whatever distance you keep him back off the sheep is the correct working distance.
      I can’t promise it will be easy with such a strong willed dog, but it will be well worth it in the end.
      When you say you don’t like “Lie down” because he’s popping up and down, do you mean he actually lies on the floor when you give the “Lie down” command? If so, I suggest you encourage him to stay up on his feet. You can do this at the same time that you’re practising “walking backwards”. It would be worth watching “Sticky dogs” too!

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