Featured tutorial – Sometimes Nice is Not Enough

sheep attacking a herding dog

(Or, “Give your dog a bit more Grrr!” Building your dog’s self confidence.)

Self confidence is essential in a working dog. Sheep are natural runners when they’re being hunted, but some situations, such as when held in a pen, or protecting their lambs, can make a sheep turn, challenge, 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 some dogs naturally shy away from confrontation, while others lose confidence after a bad experience.

Kay uses quiet self confidence to move a difficult ewe without aggression

We’re not suggesting a licence to grip in this tutorial, but we’re teaching the dog to move up a gear in its work, and be more assertive. Even a cautious dog can learn to cope with strong-minded ewes or tups, or even cattle if the handler is sympathetic and encouraging.

You can read more about how this tutorial considers temperament on an earlier blog, here.

Dealing with stubborn stock is a perennial problem, and Sometimes Nice is Not Enough was made in response to emails and questions left on the Training Tutorials pages. 

This tutorial is included in the library’s Confidence category, where you’ll find even more invaluable help with boosting and maintaining your working dog’s confidence. Other tutorials in the Confidence category include Starting a Non-Starter; Starting a Reluctant Dog; Get Off the Fence! (training can’t progress if the sheep are “glued” to the hurdles or fencing); Close Work; and The Dog’s Confidence.

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


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