The Working Sheepdog Website

Sheep & Cattle dog training advice, articles & information

Find out how our dogs performed in the sheepdog trials they competed in

Fond Memories of Mel Five Years Ago

Mel and Andy at Powick sheepdog trials
Mel at her last sheepdog trial in July 2011 Many of you will remember Mel as one of the great sheepdogs we’ve had the pleasure of living and working with. Sadly, Mel passed away in March of this year, but she’s far from being forgotten. Her daughter Carew may have been easier to control in a delicate situation, and indeed Mel was not an ideal trials dog because she was … Read more

Farm Dog vs Trials Dog?

A sheepdog takes the sheep down towards the fetch gates at a sheepdog trial in Wales on a glorious day
Was Carew right to disobey me? I’ve looked forward to Penybont Sheepdog Trial for some months now. It’s a delightful setting with a friendly atmosphere. The sheep are good, the field’s reasonably straightforward, and once the sheep are in the exhaust pen, they’re well out of sight for other competing dogs. Penybont trials ground seen from the top end, where the sheep are released from. (Click to enlarge). A slight … Read more

Training Really Works!

Sheepdog Carew poses with the silver trophy she won for best outrun, lift and fetch at Evesham Sheepdog Trials
Carew’s performance is vastly improved at The Vale of Evesham Sheepdog Trials I’ve got quite a soft spot for Evesham Sheepdog Trials. The “Open” at Evesham was the first sheepdog trial I ever attended (albeit as a spectator). It has a long history, is always efficiently run and has a friendly atmosphere. Carew and Kay both look pleased after their runs while Gill watches the action on the field. (Click … Read more

Carew’s declared fit for Evesham Sheepdog Trial!

Close-up of sheepdog Carew looking at the camera.
She seems sound again now, so we’ll give it a go! After her cattle herding escapade last Sunday, Carew went lame, and we were worried that she might not be fit to run in the Evesham sheepdog trials this weekend. “And don’t even think of coming back!” Carew faces a defiant pair of cattle through the fence after she’s driven them back to their own pasture. (Click to enlarge). Several … Read more

Carew injury worry for Evesham Sheepdog Trials

Sheepdog Carew with her friends Meg and Jan behind her
We’re worried that Carew may not be fit for Evesham SDT. On the downside of Carew’s heroic cattle herding on Sunday, we noticed in the evening that she was limping on her left front foot. Carew was excellent in her last sheepdog trial at Mathon in Worcestershire. (Click to enlarge). With all the fencing we’d been doing that day we assumed she’d picked up a thorn, but when we examined … Read more

Long distance motivation – give me ten points ‘stead of three!

In pouring rain and with thunder crashing, Carew keeps perfect control of her sheep.
With apologies to Chuck Berry Many years ago, I asked a regular prominent member of the Welsh sheepdog trials team for advice on what to do with a dog that sticks on its outrun. “Sell it,” came the blunt reply. Carew looks for her sheep at the rain-soaked Mathon sheepdog trial. (Click image to enlarge it). I was shocked at the time. I hadn’t realised how difficult it is to … Read more

Oh, me of little faith!

A sheepdog showing confidence while working sheep
Or, if you’re a sheepdog trainer, practice what you preach! They say the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, and we’ve been very much aware recently that our regular readers will be wondering why no new blogs have appeared. For this I apologise. I’ve been intending to write a blog for several weeks now, but there’s so much I want to write that the task has become ever … Read more

A sweet and sour performance from Carew at Ivy House SDT

A sheepdog watches one of the runs at a sheepdog trial
And it wasn’t just the Red Arrows that were jet propelled – WAS IT, KAY? I’d heard about the challenges of Ivy House Sheepdog Trial, and was (cautiously) looking forward to it as I drove to Shropshire on Sunday morning. Sheepdog terminology – explanations of the terms and language used in this article Austin Bennett’s Jan brings her sheep through the gate and into the main field after gathering them … Read more

Limited success, but valuable lessons learned!

Kevin Evans and Caleb successfully pen the difficult sheep at Kingsland Sheepdog Trial
Kingsland Trial’s a reminder of an important point I’ve been looking forward to Kingsland Sheepdog Trial for some time. The trials field is less than an hour from home, and I remember really enjoying myself when I ran Glen, several years ago, on its unusually-shaped course. Sheepdog terminology – explanations of the terms and language used in this article The picture doesn’t show the “L” shape of the field very … Read more

Trials go South in Shropshire – and Carew’s wobbly at Obley

Photo of a sheepdog handler working his dog by whistle commands at a sheepdog trial
Carew has mixed fortunes while Kay’s consistently impatient. Colin Gordon’s dog Maid at South Shropshire Sheep Dog Trial in 2014 I mentioned in my last blog that I was running in the South Shropshire Sheepdog Trial at Asterton on the 17th of May. I did indeed go to the trial, but only Carew came with me. Unfortunately, Kay’s hormones had got the better of her, and in the interest of … Read more

More surprises at Felindre Sheepdog Trial

Even Aled Owen's Roy struggled with the sheep, but completed the course in the end
Carew recovered from a very bad start – Kay was just Kay! The weather went from one extreme to the other and the sheep at Felindre provided an interesting challenge for dogs and handlers. I had intended to get up really early on Saturday morning and be at Felindre Sheepdog Trial ground before the first run, but somehow I couldn’t get myself organised and we didn’t arrive until nearly nine … Read more

Carew’s full of surprises at Erwood Sheepdog Trials

Mervyn Lewis with Don at the pen
Carew was good, then bad, then wonderful at Erwood SDT! Aubrey Lloyd’s Bryn sets off on the steep climb to the sheep. Since making the decision to run in more sheepdog trials this year, I have been looking forward to running in last Saturday’s Erwood trial (nr Builth Wells). I find the Welsh trials very pleasant because everyone seems so friendly, and the mid-Wales countryside is exceptionally attractive. Unfortunately though, … Read more

Kay shows her true potential at Slindon Sheepdog Trial

Kay shows her true potential at Slindon Sheepdog Trial
Kay’s excellent performance at Slindon SDT is in stark contrast to that of her handler Jim Cropper had a good run with his wife Shirley’s Ricky – apart from missing the last drive gates. Here Ricky completes the Single I cannot recall when I last competed in an Open sheepdog trial. It must be at least five or six years, but I can’t even remember which trial it was. Last … Read more

Mixed fortune at Evesham Sheepdog Trial 2013

Adrian Hall and Gwen ease the sheep into the pen - Evesham Sheepdog Trials 2013
Kay and Carew’s exploits at Evesham Sheepdog Trials Adrian Hall and Gwen ease the sheep into the pen Saturday 10th August was the date of the Local Novice section of the Vale of Evesham’s annual sheepdog trial at Pebworth in Worcestershire. I had already sent in an entry for Carew and Kay for this friendly trial which is held on the afternoon and evening before the main Evesham National Open … Read more

Carew & Kay compete at Mathon, Carew’s first sheepdog trial

Sheepdog Carew in action
Carew’s first sheepdog trial went much better than expected In Worcestershire there are very few sheepdog trials venues, so we normally have to travel a significant distance to parts of Wales, the north, or south west of England to get a run for our dogs. With all my website, video and sheepdog training commitments, the long distances involved make most sheepdog trials impractical for me. After the “fetch” section of … Read more

Kay helps Carew with her sheepdog trials training

Herding dog Kay driving sheep into a field
Carew’s in training for a sheepdog trial this weekend We have another local sheepdog trial this weekend (Mathon, near Malvern) and I’m hoping to run both Kay and Carew. Having done well at Powick last weekend I’m happy with Kay’s performance, but Carew is a different matter. Kay starts to drive the stubborn sheep up the field Carew’s not as experienced as Kay and can get confused when she’s not … Read more

Oops there goes my excuse for not sheepdog trialling

Little Kay is an excellent sheepdog
Kay was a little star at Powick Sheepdog Trials today Kay did well in her first sheepdog trial It’s one of my regrets that in recent years I have not taken part in sheepdog trials. In the early part of this century (goodness, that makes me feel old) I was out with Glen or Dot on most weekends if I could find a trial within sensible driving distance, but as … Read more