Featured tutorial – Moving out into the open field

Ricky keeps control of his sheep during training
Young herding dog Ricky watches every move of his sheep to prevent them escaping. (Click to enlarge)

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.


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