Don’t ever be tempted to think that sheep are stupid! They might not be deep thinkers, but they’re experts at protecting themselves from a dog – either by running away, or by standing and facing – and their size (and feet!) can be intimidating to an inexperienced or shy dog.
We talk about sheep on our First Steps DVD and the revised sheep chapter appears in the tutorial library. Sheep – Essential Facts for Trainers looks at how to find suitable sheep, where to keep them, and why sheep can be controlled by a dog. We also cover what types of sheep are easier to work with, and what types should be avoided (if possible).
Of course, we can’t all choose our perfect sheep and many of us simply have to work with what we’re given. Watch Woolly Jumpers for some ideas about coping with sheep who’ve discovered that escape is the best policy!
You don’t want your dog to cause distress to the sheep, for reasons of both welfare and productivity, so it must learn to control and move the stock with respect. Watch Give the Sheep Space to see the difference it makes when a dog keeps its distance; the sheep will be much calmer, and subsequently far easier to manage than excited or frightened animals will be.
Calmer sheep make for a calmer dog, and you’ll probably feel calmer too!
Give the Sheep Space can be found in the Where to Start; Flanking & Circling; and Working Distance categories of the online tutorials library.
If you need (or prefer) to watch on DVD you’ll find Give the Sheep Space
on the tutorials collection, Volume 1, where you’ll also find Close Work, The Outrun, Driving, and more.