Practical farm and flock work involving our dogs

A collection of blog reports about our dogs working on local farms, including hill gathering, flock work and yard work

Herding sheepdog Dulcie controlling a yard crowded with sheep

Watch Dulcie Working at Dean Farm Early Today

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 … Read more
Dulcie gathering the sheep together and driving them towards the farm

Dulcie’s First Gather in Over Three Months

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 … Read more
Lovely portrait photo of Kay in the snow

Cammen Kay – our unsung hero?

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 … Read more
A trainee sheepdog bringing a small group of sheep

A Fine Sheep and Cattle Dog in the Making

Introducing Dulcie – daughter of Bronwen – granddaughter of Mel 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 … Read more
Sheepdog Carew standing on a tree stump - looking wonderful!

Sometimes I Really Miss Carew!

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 … Read more
Herding Sheepdog Kay shows her great courage as she calmly and confidently removes some sheep from a very dark confined space

Scary Place 2 (The Sequel)

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 … Read more
Trainee sheep and cattle herding dog Jet, calmly holding a dozen sheep in the corner of a yard

Jet Joins the Dean Farm Set!

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 … 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 … Read more
Extreme close up photo of a cheerful looking Bronwen

Farewell to Bronwen (her talent was wasted here)!

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 … Read more
Close up photo of Molly lying on the grass

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

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 … Read more
Photo of Kay (lying down on the left) and Carew (standing) keeping an eye on the sheep they have just put into some buildings

All Safely Gathered in

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 … Read more
Closeup photo of Dot looking out over the Welsh mountains of Corwen

Andy’s First Dog, Dot

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 … Read more
Close up of Bronwen concentrating very hard on some sheep

Bronwen – arguably our best sheepdog ever!

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 … Read more
Border Collie Sheepdog Carew gently pushes reluctant sheep into a pen

Carew Shows How to Pen Sheep!

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 … Read more
Close up of a very wet and muddy sheepdog, Bronwen

Bronwen excels under pressure at Dean Farm

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 … Read more
Herding Sheepdogs Bronwen and Kay behind the sheep in the handling yard

Bronwen Rises to Kay’s Challenge

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 … Read more
Sheepdogs herding a flock of reluctant ewes and lambs

A Vast Improvement in Kay’s Confidence

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 … Read more
Herding sheepdog Bronwen looks over the side of the pen at the sheep

Bronwen Excels in the Sorting Pen

“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 … Read more
When challenged, Bronwen reacted quickly and decisively. Here she bites the nose of a challenging ewe

Bronwen’s baptism of fire

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 … Read more
Bronwen demonstrates self control as she watches the sheep coming out of a tight spot

Kay and Bronwen gather sheep at Dean Farm

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 … Read more
Closeup of a group of speckle-faced sheep

Dogs aren’t the only ones who can learn

Our sheep have become experts at avoiding pressure Our sheepdog training course yesterday was a great demonstration of just how clever sheep can be. Many people think sheep are very stupid, because to us, they seem to do some really silly things, but anyone who really knows about sheep has a lot more respect for them. Little Kay was heroic when it came to returning difficult sheep to the training … Read more
Ezra did really well on his debut at working in a pen of sheep

Did I say I might miss Carew?

A Huge Test for Ezra and Bronwen at Dean Farm Regular readers of our blog will know that we parted with Carew earlier this month. Carew’s such a talented sheepdog that because we have so little work for her (especially in winter) we took the agonising decision to let her go to a large flock on Dartmoor in the South West of England. Of course, we have other dogs … Read more
sheepdog Carew, staring at her sheep

Pic of the day – sheep by numbers

An unseasonably sunny (is it really December?) morning was the opportunity for some sheep maintenance Primarily we were checking the ear tag numbers on our most recent intake of “training assistants”, but it’s important to check the sheep regularly, just to make sure they’re all the right way up. The ear tags show the sheep’s individual number, and the number of the flock they belong to, and are legal … Read more
Cover photo of our video tutorial about the all important point of balance when training a sheepdog

New Tutorial: Balance – What’s the Point?

What is the point of balance and where can I find it? Don’t underestimate the importance of understanding the point of balance when you are training or working dogs on cattle, sheep or any other stock. Knowing precisely where the dog should be positioned in relation to the stock at any given time, and under what circumstances, will be of great help to any farmer shepherd or sheepdog trainer when … Read more
A sheepdog grips (bites) a sheep at a sheepdog trial

Get to grips with gripping

Many novice handlers are horrified if their dog grips. It has to be stopped, of course, but help is on hand! At a sheepdog trial, gripping usually results in disqualification “Gripping” is the euphemistic term we use to describe a dog that bites – literally “grips” – a sheep, but it covers a spectrum of behaviour from taking a nip at the fleece as the dog rushes past, to a … Read more
Cloes photo of a dog running around sheep in an uncontrolled manner

Training a strong dog and struggling?

Does your sheepdog training sometimes feel like a fight to protect the sheep? We welcome questions from subscribers to the online tutorials, and a common problem (sometimes described as “the red mist”) can be summed up by this extract from a recent email. “We are training an 18 month old B/C bitch we have owned for three months. She is very strong willed. We struggle with the stop and don’t … Read more
In true stock dog fashion, Carew launches herself at one of the troublesome cattle

Herding Sheep and Cattle at Dean Farm

Carew at work with sheep and cattle Yesterday’s routine trip to Dean Farm turned out to be more challenging than I expected when first Carew had to gather thirty ewes with lambs which were mixed up with an equal number of young cattle, and then she had to return some renegade calves to the field they’d escaped from. Gathering the ewes and lambs was no problem in itself until … Read more
Sheep challenging a herding dog

Herding Dog vs Sheep

Carew demonstrates patience and determination when challenged by a stubborn sheep Just under a week ago, we exchanged our well-chased sheep for some fresh ones. The new bunch of sheep comprises several breeds, including pure Welsh, speckle-faced, and mules. There are even two black sheep in there! Some of the newcomers can be surprisingly stubborn when they want to be. This is a short video of the confrontation between Carew … Read more
Sheepdog Mo being watched very closely by two lambs

Carew and Kay meet their match!

Our Featured image (above) shows Mo – seemingly unaware of the two lambs behind her! The sheep in Shropshire don’t give up too easily Herding began well on Saturday, when we took Carew and Kay to Shropshire to gather sheep for shearing, but unfortunately the ewes and their lambs were determined not to be gathered easily. Splitting into two or even three groups, some of the sheep literally fled … Read more
Trainee sheepdogs Bronwen and Scylla

Now Available – A Tale of Two Collies!

Our new Sheepdog Training Tutorials project compares the training of litter-sisters Bronwen and Scylla Scylla took to sheep herding when barely three months old They may be litter sisters, but Bronwen and Scylla are two trainee herding dogs with very different temperaments. Both love to play, and both are fanatical about working stock but there the similarity ends. Scylla isn’t too keen on people and much prefers the company of … Read more
Sheepdog training dog training video

FREE Herding Sheepdog Training Video

Signup for FREE Membership then simply LOGIN to watch this training tutorial! Tess in the Open Field is an entire eighteen minute training session with a strong and wilful dog that our regular members will be familiar with. Tess being taught to go out wider on her outruns by sending her “the wrong way” Tess is a strong-willed dog with the potential to become a very useful sheepdog once she’s … Read more
Border Collie sheepdog Carew looking under a gate at the sheep she's just herded into a yard

A cold wet gather but our spirits were high

In less than a month, the days will begin to lengthen! This morning I had a surprise call from our landlord John who wanted me to help gather sheep at Dean Farm. As usual, I was more than glad to oblige, but things were a bit rushed! We were late getting up, and the first real frost of the winter meant the hose pipe was frozen but once it was … Read more
A small flock of sheep turns to face the sheepdogs

Gathering sheep in glorious October sun!

Kay and Carew both put in a good performance at Dean Farm After the sheep gather was delayed by two days of really wet weather, we were rewarded with bright sunshine at Dean Farm today. Carew and Kay driving the flock of sheep towards the farm. (Click to enlarge). Kay and Carew worked very well together. In this picture they’re driving a flock of ewes towards the railway bridge on … Read more
Herding sheep into and out of a pen is not easy for a young sheepdog

Eve at the Pen – Sheepdog Training Video

Getting sheep into a tight spot, and then getting them out again, needs confidence and control Eve is a bright, intelligent and eager young dog. She’s quick to learn and eager to please. Practising any particular technique, time and time again, becomes boring for handler and dog, so don’t be afraid to tackle something new with your young dog, even if you think he might not be quite ready. There’s … Read more
sheepdog Carew guides her sheep over the railway bridge during today's gather

Carew’s Impressive Outruns at Dean Farm!

“Rudi” (as I often call her) did the entire gather by herself today! As I drove to Dean Farm at dawn this morning, I decided to let Kay do the longer outruns for a change. If you know what breed these cattle are, please tell us! (Click to enlarge). Kay’s taken something of a back seat in recent weeks and I thought it only fair to give her the chance … Read more
A sheepdog takes the sheep down towards the fetch gates at a sheepdog trial in Wales on a glorious day

Farm Dog vs Trials Dog?

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
Sheepdog Carew working hard to separate sheep from cattle

A New Challenge for Carew!

Sheep hiding amongst cattle can be difficult to separate! There was a new challenge in store for the dogs yesterday, when we gathered sheep at Dean Farm. Kay’s bunch of thirteen sheep were stubborn, but no problem compared to what was to follow. (Click to enlarge). The regular gather and drafting of lambs went off without incident. I gave Carew a left-hand outrun, which meant she needed to find a … Read more
Close-up shot of Remus - a very handsome young sheepdog

Welcome to our Trials Team, Remus!

Remus has earned his place in our trials team at last! For some time now I’ve been looking for a good dog to replace Kay in sheepdog trials. Now that she’s getting older, Kay seems to be finding the finesse of sheepdog trials a little tiresome. If the outrun’s quite long, by the time she reaches the shed and pen sections of the trial these days, it’s obvious she’s really … Read more
Close-up of sheepdog Carew looking at the camera.

Carew’s declared fit for Evesham Sheepdog Trial!

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
Sheepdog Kay gathering a small flock of ewes and lambs on a sunny day.

Dave stands in for Carew gathering sheep

Dave learns more than how to gather a flock Late yesterday afternoon I had a call from our landlord, John, asking me to gather the sheep for him at Dean Farm today. He wanted to check over the entire flock as he suspected some had fly strike. Dave brings the errant ewes and lambs out of the field but one of the lambs is already hanging back. (Click to enlarge) … Read more
Cattle jumping a fence as sheepdog Carew herds them back into their own field

When does a sheepdog become a cattle dog?

Carew excels at a new form of herding Some of the fences around our rented patch of land have been in a state of disrepair for several years. They’re normally capable of keeping the sheep in, but sadly lacking when it comes to keeping cattle out. A tranquil scene, but cattle in a sheepdog training field can cause all sorts of problems. (Click to enlarge). The hedge between our old … Read more
In pouring rain and with thunder crashing, Carew keeps perfect control of her sheep.

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

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
A sheepdog showing confidence while working sheep

Oh, me of little faith!

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
Sheepdogs Carew and Kay keep the pressure on the sheep to move them over the bridge

Gathering sheep for late shearing

Kay and Carew work hard, gathering sheep at Dean Farm In recent months I’ve missed our trips to Dean Farm to gather the sheep. With far fewer sheep, now that he’s winding down towards retirement, it seems John didn’t like to trouble me, but when I spoke to him recently I assured him that experience in new circumstances and on new ground would benefit our dogs – even if there … Read more
Kevin Evans and Caleb successfully pen the difficult sheep at Kingsland Sheepdog Trial

Limited success, but valuable lessons learned!

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
Photo of a sheepdog handler working his dog by whistle commands at a sheepdog trial

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

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
Even Aled Owen's Roy struggled with the sheep, but completed the course in the end

More surprises at Felindre Sheepdog Trial

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
Mervyn Lewis with Don at the pen

Carew’s full of surprises at Erwood Sheepdog Trials

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
Young sheepdog puppy confronting a group of sheep

Taking a sheepdog puppy to sheep

Training a sheepdog can be much easier if you introduce the dog to sheep at an early age.
But only attempt it if you know what you’re doing. Dash and Hayley moving the sheep with Carew keeping watch. Note Hayley has made the division to flank around the sheep. Our regular readers will know that we like to introduce pups to sheep at an early age, but they will also be … Read more
Three border collie sheepdogs stalking towards the camera

A glorious start to the new year

Despite all the rain, the weather’s been mild and surprisingly sunny for the time of year! All this running around makes you really thirsty! Jan’s very photogenic You may have noticed that we’ve been really busy over the holiday period; we’ve been improving the look of the website and adding dedicated comments pages for people to ask questions and leave their thoughts on our tutorials. The next few days should … Read more
Young black and white border collie

After so many, we still get excited about a lovely new dog

Perhaps the novelty doesn’t ever wear off! Kim’s such a lively, happy little dog; a joy to have around Last Saturday we welcomed Kim to our pack, and we’re both looking forward to working with her. Kim came to our attention in a training class a couple of months ago. Over lunch, Andy gave me the run through the day’s dogs (as I always insist he does). He paused, before … Read more
photo of a distant flock of sheep being brought towards the camera by a trained sheepdog

Carew’s Big Outrun – The Movie

You’ve read the blog, now see the film! We’re pleased to see a lot of interest in our blog, particularly on the days when we take Kay and Carew to gather sheep at Dean Farm for our landlord and friend, John Richards. Dean Farm is our easiest opportunity to give our dogs practice with long outruns. For English Subtitles, click ‘CC’ on player. Long outruns develop gradually As the dogs … Read more
Photo of Kay as she waits patiently as the sheep move into the farm buildings

Sheepdogs must flank both ways

Kay’s control, versatility and manoeuvrability prove their worth in a tight situation Kay, patiently pushing the sheep into the buildings Saturday isn’t our regular day for gathering sheep at Dean Farm, but on Wednesday, John had mentioned that he wanted to take some ewes to a weekend store sale at Worcester Cattle Market. I volunteered to help with the dogs, reminding him that I want to give the dogs as … Read more
Sheepdog Kay gathering sheep in the mist

Gimmers in the mist – if you can find them

Gathering sheep in the mist is atmospheric – if only you can find them! A beautiful sight – sheep in the early morning mist I’m not a great sleeper, so it’s hardly surprising that this morning I found myself wide awake at four-thirty even though I wasn’t due to meet John for another two hours. Undaunted, I filled in the time by doing some maintenance on the website and, as … Read more
Photo of sheepdog Kay awaiting her next command in the sheep sorting pens

Carew really doesn’t want to be left out

Carew makes it clear she wants to be involved when there’s work to be done Kay has the sheep under control in the sorting pens With the knowledge that most of the lambs have already gone to market and many, if not all, of the ewes will soon be sold, I was pleasantly surprised when John rang and asked me to help gather his sheep again yesterday. There would be … Read more
A good sized flock awaits gathering early in the morning

Ness shines on her sheep gathering debut

Despite her inexperience, Ness proved her worth on today’s sheep gather The flock congregated in one field, giving Ness a great opportunity for an outrun For this morning’s sheep gather, I finally decided to take Ness. I’ve intended to take her on the last two gathers, but changed my mind at the last minute because she’s inexperienced. This mindset is responsible for a great number of excellent sheepdogs never actually … Read more
Sheepdogs Kay and Carew holding stubborn sheep at bay

The highs and lows of working sheepdogs

Kay and Carew take me from despair to joy in 48 hours! What with Powick, Mathon, and Evesham sheepdog trials as well as gathering sheep in the early morning on Wednesdays, the dogs and I have been exceptionally busy recently, but I wouldn’t have missed it for anything and I’m sure they wouldn’t either. Kay and Carew hold the sheep by the gate If Kay’s performance has given me cause … Read more
Sheepdog Carew facing down a stubborn ewe

Gathering sheep at dawn in August

Today’s early morning gather went smoothly for dogs and sheep Carew seems to rise to the challenge if a stubborn ewe turns to face her. Last week, I noticed that it was barely light when my phone’s alarm woke me at 4.45 am, but at the same time this week, I would describe it as dark. It was time to get up and get ready for gathering sheep with John … Read more
Sheep standing watching a dog

When sheep don’t see a dog as a predator

How do you load sheep onto a trailer if they see the dog as a friend? The sheep weren’t afraid of Carew – they ran to her! Once again, I had no intention of writing a blog about today’s sheep gathering experience, but yet another extraordinary thing happened and I feel I should mention it. When I spoke to John yesterday about today’s gather, he mentioned that there were a … Read more
sheepdog loading sheep onto a cattle truck

Carew loads sheep into a cattle truck

Carew showed great talent when it came to loading sheep onto a cattle truck Carew had the last batch of sheep up the ramp and into the truck before the driver was quite ready. This is yet another morning when I was not expecting to be writing a blog! We’re hoping to get our new sheepdog training tutorial online later today, but first thing this morning when I took Carew … Read more
Carew drives a large bunch of sheep towards the gate

Carew does the entire gather by herself!

Working alone, Carew completes this morning’s gather in record time! Carew driving a large bunch of sheep towards the gate. About half the flock is already out of the field and on the way to the farm buildings This morning’s sheep gather and lamb drafting operation was completed in record time. Of course, the more the dogs and I do this work, the better we should get, but I really … Read more
Sheepdog Carew holding a stick as she faces sheep in a pen

You can’t beat flock work for developing a dog’s character

Carew’s strength of character has improved drastically with flock work Sheepdog Carew holding a stick as she faces sheep in a pen. (Click to enlarge image) As the run of unusually hot weather continues in the UK, I’m grateful (and I’m sure the dogs are too) that we can do the bulk of our training and flock work in the early morning. This morning was no exception. At five-thirty Carew, … Read more
Kay gathering sheep in one of the fields

Working sheepdog Carew has hidden talents

It was Carew’s turn to astonish me during this morning’s gather I didn’t intend to write a blog about this morning’s sheep gather, but such extraordinary things happened that I felt I must. If you’ve read some of the recent blogs about our dogs at work, you’ll know that I regularly help our landlord with gathering his sheep and drafting out lambs ready for market. Kay gathering the first bunch … Read more
Sheepdog gathering a small flock of sheep

Gathering sheep doesn’t always go to plan

5:45am is a great time to start a day’s work on a July morning! Kay gathering a small bunch of sheep Using our dogs to gather sheep for our landlord has become a regular activity recently. We jump at the chance of improving their sheepdog training by giving them new experiences, particularly with different sheep in new locations, so I was happy to take Kay and Carew to work several … Read more
Sheepdog Carew standing in front of a shed full of sheep

Proper flock work with Carew and Kay

Farm work broadens the dog’s experience and tests the handler’s skill Sheep are all safely in and Carew’s keeps watch Whenever possible, we like to take our dogs out to other farms to work on different sheep, in unfamiliar fields. It’s excellent for broadening a sheepdog’s mind, so when our landlord asked for help with his sizeable flock recently, I jumped at the chance. At 6am this morning, I arrived … Read more
Little tricolour collie puppy Reggie is out enjoying the sunshine

Maggot’s morning

What a glorious morning! After the snow and greyness of yesterday this morning was mild and sunny, with endless blue skies and an optimistic feeling of spring in the air. The sort of morning that can make me forget I don’t have a proper job or a stable income. Almost. Reggie looks innocent enough, but he’s probably just planning his next attack Instead of getting the yard cleaned up and … Read more
Two black and white smooth coated border collie puppies, taking a well-earned break.

Sheepdog comings and goings

I love this photo. It’s two of my favourite puppies, Maggot and Cotton, sisters from Kay’s litter with the lovely Max Maggot and Cotton – just chillin’. Cotton’s on her 30-day trial with a farmer in Oxfordshire, and it was with mixed feelings that we saw her go. She’s a pretty little dog, with a big personality and very obliging; she impressed us with her work when she was really … Read more
Border collie sheepdog watching her sheep

A good looking sheepdog and a great worker too

Not just a pretty face, Carew is a very promising trainee sheepdog Carew continues to shine above the other dogs when it comes to working sheep. She’s desperate to please, a very keen worker, and shows signs of having power too. If anything, she’s a little too sensitive – not with the sheep, but with her handler. A very sensible head on very young shoulders. From the early stages of … Read more
Carew calmly controlling her sheep

A young sheepdog with all the qualities I like

Among the many important attributes that I look for in a trainee sheepdog are confidence, the power to move stubborn sheep, and ‘sheep sense’. By ‘sheep sense’, I mean a dog that can ‘read’ what the sheep are about to do and act accordingly. Carew – demonstrates confidence, power, a steady pace and a good helping of ‘sheep sense’ You wouldn’t expect a ten month old dog with little training … Read more
Dulcie has a slighly guilty look - and it's no wonder.

The CULPRIT – Dulcie the ‘Sheep Worrying’ Puppy

The sheep worrying puppy – Dulcie’s innocent looks don’t fool us! Don’t be fooled by the looks . . . If you think Dulcie is a picture of innocence, think again. She’s the one who’s leading the other puppies into bad ways – running off to have a go at the sheep when the rest of us are on our way back to the yard after a run. She didn’t … Read more

Networking…

Our modern forms of communication are wonderful things; just consider, for example, the mobile ‘phone. In my previous life (pre-children and pre-sheepdogs, that is) I was allowed out onto the open road in a company car, armed only with a mobile freezer full of shellfish and – wonder of wonders – a mobile ‘phone. The battery for it was roughly the same size as the freezer, the charge lasted for … Read more
The sheepdogs of Kings Green Farm shelter from the rain under an oak tree

Little Mo – Sheepdog Training Course Assistant

It’s so easy to keep using the dog which proves best for any one task, and overlook the less experienced dogs These are some of our sheepdogs – sheltering from the rain under an oak tree. Kay has certainly proved invaluable as an assistant on our sheepdog training courses but for yesterday’s group training course, Kay was unable to help because she’s ‘in season’. This meant that I would have … Read more
Sheepdogs Kay and Mel relaxing on a bench

Kay and Mel – two great thinkers

Kay (left) and Mel relaxing after work. Having great sheepdogs is an honour that I appreciate more and more. Of course, how you train a dog is very important but there are things that you can’t really train for; things that money can’t buy either. A dog which can think for itself is priceless and we are extremely lucky to have not one, but two dogs which can think. On … Read more
Mossie - Born to work sheep.

Mossie – born to work sheep!

This is Mossie – one of the survivors of Jill and Eli’s litter which met with tragedy in March. One of the most naturally talented puppies we’ve ever had is Mossie. She was born on 29th January and can already get the sheep in by herself. Mossie’s parents are Jill and Eli. We don’t normally recommend allowing sheepdog puppies to work sheep because of the very high risk of them … Read more

SHEEPDOG TRAINING VIDEOS ON DVD

With nearly FOURTEEN HOURS of our SHEEPDOG TRAINING TUTORIALS now available as FOUR double DVD sets, you can SAVE up to 20% if you buy all four, together with our original “First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training” DVD set. More details.