The Working Sheepdog Website

Sheep & Cattle dog training advice, articles & information

How well do our dogs rate when they’re working on the farms of our neighbours and friends?

Watch Dulcie Working at Dean Farm Early Today

Herding sheepdog Dulcie controlling a yard crowded with sheep
Follow Dulcie as she gathers a flock of sheep in the open field, and then takes them to the farm, where she guides them through the ‘sorting race’ so that the lambs which are ready for market can be ‘drafted out’. Dulcie works quickly and calmly as she brings the flock from the field into the sorting area and she shows courage and patience when confronted with a stubborn ewe which doesn’t want to go into the yard … Read more

Dulcie’s First Gather in Over Three Months

Dulcie gathering the sheep together and driving them towards the farm
Since the Covid-19 outbreak, we’ve been confined to working the dogs at Kings Green, so today’s outing to Dean Farm was very welcome – and Dulcie didn’t disappoint us! On a glorious June morning, Dulcie gathered the sheep effortlessly. Her outrun has improved considerably since we last visited Dean Farm. Here, she’s moving the flock towards the railway bridge on the way to the farm. As the leading sheep come through the gate, Dulcie can just be seen in the … Read more

Cammen Kay – our unsung hero?

Lovely portrait photo of Kay in the snow
Quietly in the background, with no fuss or bluster, we didn’t always give Kay her due! When we bought Kay, at about one year old, our intention was to train her but not, necessarily, to keep her forever. Yet I think Kay is probably the only dog we haven’t ever suggested we could sell. When Andy first started to plan First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training (as much as we ever plan anything) we picked three dogs to use … Read more

A Fine Sheep and Cattle Dog in the Making

Dulcie showing patience when walking up on some sheep
Introducing Dulcie – daughter of Bronwen – granddaughter of Mel Dulcie’s sheep control is excellent The latest addition to our team of working dogs is Dulcie. She’s the daughter of Bronwen and Oliver. Bronwen was one of our best ever sheep and cattle dogs, and features in our “Bronwen and Scylla” tutorials where we compare the litter sisters Scylla (the naughty one who takes ages to train) and Bronwen (who got the sheep into the training ring in her very … Read more

Sometimes I Really Miss Carew!

Sheepdog Carew standing on a tree stump - looking wonderful!
Since Carew left here, Kay’s hearing has deteriorated badly, and occasionally we’re stuck for a skilled dog It’s hard to believe that it’s nearly two years since Carew left here and to be honest, there have been a few occasions when I’ve wished she was still here. One such occasion was only a week or so ago. Our landlord John needed to move some very lively sheep from a field where one of the boundaries was a steep-sided brook with … Read more

Scary Place 2 (The Sequel)

Herding Sheepdog Kay shows her great courage as she calmly and confidently removes some sheep from a very dark confined space
Kay shows her daughter Jet how to get sheep out of a Spooky Black Hole! Watch the VIDEO below! There was quite a strong response on social media when we posted a picture of a rather nervous looking Jet outside a dark hovel which was full of sheep. Jet was contemplating the task of going into the hovel to remove the sheep. It’s not a pleasant task for a trainee herding dog because the dog knows it will be trapped … Read more

Jet Joins the Dean Farm Set!

Trainee sheep and cattle herding dog Jet, calmly holding a dozen sheep in the corner of a yard
Jet’s right on the ball with her first gather at Dean Farm With her mother Kay being out of action because she’s “in season” at the moment (Kay’s one of those females who’s work is sometimes affected by her seasons) it seemed like a good time to let young Jet try her paw at some ‘proper’ sheep gathering today. We thought it would be a good idea to video the operation because it was Jet’s very first attempt at real … Read more

Kelpie Molly earns her wings!

Kelpie Molly earns her wings!
Despite having little training to date, Molly’s reached basic Sheepdog Status! Sheepdog training sessions have been somewhat few and far between here recently, because we’ve been busy updating the sheepdog training tutorials as well as working on the website. So after a really good session with Scylla today, I thought it was high time Molly had a session. I was pleased to see that Molly was fully focussed on her sheep throughout today’s training session We were seriously impressed with … Read more

Farewell to Bronwen (her talent was wasted here)!

Extreme close up photo of a cheerful looking Bronwen
Bronwen’s gone to a new home in Gloucestershire where she’ll have a much larger flock of sheep to look after It’s difficult to take a bad picture of Bronwen Training and selling sheepdogs is all very well, but, when it comes to selling a dog that you’re very fond of, it can be an extremely difficult decision. For a long time we felt that Bronwen’s sheep herding skills were wasted here. During the summer we have around thirty five sheep, … Read more

Wow! Kelpie Molly gets our ‘Man of the Match’ Award!

Close up photo of Molly lying on the grass
It’s taken a while, but Molly’s showing real commitment and keeping her sheep together very well If you’ve read our Kelpie vs Collie blog, you’ll know that we’ve had our ups and downs with Kelpies over the years, and I’ve personally been on the receiving end of some bitter comments from enthusiasts for what I wrote about Kelpies. Our collie pup Mossie (left) was exceptionally easy to train, whereas Red’s progress was erratic,. He was immature. That’s a pity, because … Read more

All Safely Gathered in

Photo of Kay (lying down on the left) and Carew (standing) keeping an eye on the sheep they have just put into some buildings
Memories of Kay and Carew at Dean Farm on this day four years ago! Regular readers will know that we often gather sheep for our landlord John, at Dean Farm. This is a typical picture of Kay (left) and Carew keeping an eye on the sheep which they’ve just put safely into a building. Kay gathering a small flock of sheep on a sunny day at Dean Farm Our regular readers will also know that Carew now works on a … Read more

Andy’s First Dog, Dot

Closeup photo of Dot looking out over the Welsh mountains of Corwen
Fifteen years ago today. This is little Dot, the herding dog that changed my life! After a turbulent start, Dot went on to become an excellent dog with both cattle and sheep She features in our Sheepdog Training Article (written in 2003). We had a lot of fun with Dot. In the early stages of her training I very nearly returned Dot to her breeder because she wasn’t doing the things I understood, from books and videos, that trainee sheepdogs … Read more

Bronwen – arguably our best sheepdog ever!

Close up of Bronwen concentrating very hard on some sheep
At Dean Farm today, Bronwen worked supremely well Knowing she can be somewhat “trigger happy” when it comes disciplining an errant sheep, I really didn’t expect Bronwen to be a serious contender for being our best herding sheepdog ever, but her recent performances have been superb. Not just a pretty face! You’d think butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth, but Bronwen can certainly look after herself in a tight spot. She still needs watching in a stressful situation, but Bronwen … Read more

Carew Shows How to Pen Sheep!

Border Collie Sheepdog Carew gently pushes reluctant sheep into a pen
Carew shows how to pen some reluctant sheep We came across this short clip from a couple of years ago, and thought we’d share it with you. Notice that the task is much more difficult because Carew’s pushing the sheep into the pen on her own. Penning sheep is far easier for the dog if the handler stands closer to the pen (or even inside it) because the dog’s natural instinct is to bring the sheep to the handler. In … Read more

Bronwen excels under pressure at Dean Farm

Close up of a very wet and muddy sheepdog, Bronwen
Working with sheep today was wet and extremely muddy, but Kay and Bronwen got the work done in style We had a very busy day gathering sheep today. First, we moved a bunch of ewes along the lane to a new field, where they joined another flock and put them through the race for ultrasound scanning (to see how many lambs they’re expecting). Kay did the road work and the gathering in the field, because she’s so skilled, but I … Read more

Bronwen Rises to Kay’s Challenge

Herding Sheepdogs Bronwen and Kay behind the sheep in the handling yard
Not to be outdone by Kay’s improved performance yesterday, Bronwen took charge of today’s gather and was outstanding Until now I’ve left the bulk of sheep gathering to Kay because Bronwen had a habit of cutting in and bringing only part of the flock at a time. She’d go back for more if commanded, but it was a tedious business, so I usually chose the easy option and sent Kay if there was any distance involved. This is not ideal … Read more

A Vast Improvement in Kay’s Confidence

Sheepdogs herding a flock of reluctant ewes and lambs
The picture speaks volumes! With new-found confidence, Kay’s standing up to stubborn sheep We had another early start this morning as there were two lots of sheep to gather at Dean Farm. We’re “enjoying” a heatwave in the UK at the moment, so I was more than happy to get up at 5am today because I wanted to get the sheep in and draft the lambs out before the heat became unbearable. Even so, by the time the lambs were … Read more

Bronwen Excels in the Sorting Pen

Herding sheepdog Bronwen looks over the side of the pen at the sheep
“All my own work” – Bronwen proved exceptionally efficient when we were sorting lambs for market at Dean Farm this morning We arrived at the farm at 6.30am, where Bronwen and Kay set to work gathering the ewes and lambs from a large field. The two dogs work very well together, primarily because Kay works efficiently on whistle commands, but Bronwen’s not yet been trained to the whistle, so she ignores the commands I give Kay. That way, I can … Read more

Bronwen’s baptism of fire

When challenged, Bronwen reacted quickly and decisively. Here she bites the nose of a challenging ewe
As we announce our latest sheepdog training tutorial, Bronwen faces a stiff challenge in the shearing pens Yesterday, we released our latest sheepdog training tutorial, Bronwen and Scylla, Part 6. As the title suggests, this is the sixth instalment in our fascinating series of videos comparing the training of litter sisters Bronwen and Scylla. While Scylla’s still untrustworthy around sheep, Bronwen’s quickly becoming our “go to” sheepdog for everyday work The inevitable time lag between a training session being filmed … Read more

Kay and Bronwen gather sheep at Dean Farm

Bronwen demonstrates self control as she watches the sheep coming out of a tight spot
Kay and Bronwen both look after their own interests at Dean Farm, in totally different ways Whenever I take dogs to Dean Farm to gather sheep for John, the one thing I can count on is that things rarely go smoothly, and today was no exception. Since we parted with Carew a few weeks ago, I’ve realised more and more, how lucky I was to have such an exceptionally capable dog, but the fact is, she was wasted here. We … Read more