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 the sheep dog’s 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.
The dog’s outrun – from start to finish
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 demonstrates how we use the “Slingshot” technique to encourage a wider outrun; it will also help to improve the dog’s flanking. Some dogs do this naturally and some need to be encouraged, but, either way, most keen young dogs thoroughly enjoy themselves.
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 sheep dog the best possible chance with a reliable and confident outrun. Andy wrote several blogs about training and working with his dog, Carew. You can read about Carew’s increasingly confident outruns here. Better still, watch the movie!
If you need more help with your sheep dog’s outrun, take a look at our FAQs. Stopping at the end of the outrun; Sending the dog from your side; Dog going out too wide. And if you still have a problem, please leave a comment or question on the outrun page.
The Outrun tutorials are in the Outrun category, where you’ll also find other relevant training tutorials.
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”.
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