Sheepdog Training Questions and Answers

These are recent questions we’ve been asked about sheepdog training and the answers we’ve given. Feel free to ask your own sheepdog training question in the comment section at the foot of this page.

FAQ - Calling the dog away from stock

FAQ – Calling the dog away from stock

QUESTION: How can I call my dog away when he's working in the ring or in a yard? ANSWER: It’s natural for the trainee dog to want to keep working. Being confined in a training ... Read More
Sheepdog trainer working close to the dog

FAQ – Can a sheepdog live in the house?

QUESTION: My dog is very enthusiastic and eager to work but she's a bit timid and runs away from aggressive sheep. Are we spoiling her by keeping her in the house? ANSWER: Living in the ... Read More
picture of a car driving down a country lane, being chased by a sheepdog

FAQ – Chasing cars and anything that moves!

QUESTION: How can I stop my dog chasing cars tractors, motorcycles, cyclists, lawnmowers and anything that moves? ANSWER: Chasing cars and other vehicles is a big problem for some dog owners. It can be extremely ... Read More
Photo of sheepdog Carew herding a bunch of ewe-lambs into a paddock.

FAQ – Circle sheep both ways (outside flanks)

QUESTION: "How can I make my dog go both ways around the sheep? She stops reasonably well, but insists on going anticlockwise all the time". WHY THIS HAPPENS: In a similar way to humans, a ... Read More
Photo of a cattle dog jumping up aggressively towards a heifer's face

FAQ – Dog attacking cattle

QUESTION: My dog works cattle quite well, but dives in and grips their legs for no apparent reason. How can I calm him down and stop him gripping cattle when they're moving OK? ANSWER: The ... Read More
Photo of a sheepdog waiting to be sent off to gather sheep

FAQ – Dog goes out too wide

QUESTION: My dog is generally working well but when I send her on an outrun to gather the sheep, she goes out too far. How can I stop my dog going too wide? ANSWER: Going ... Read More
FAQ - Help for an inexperienced handler

FAQ – Help for an inexperienced handler

QUESTION: I purchased a fully trained sheepdog but I have never worked a dog on livestock before. Do your videos cover how to start off with a trained dog? ANSWER: Sometimes people buy a trained ... Read More
photo of a trainee dog jumping and barking whilst chained to a fence.

FAQ – How to stop your dog barking

QUESTION: How can I stop my dog barking when I take him somewhere new, where there are sheep? ANSWER: Basically, there are two reasons why dogs bark: 1. ALARM - if they suspect an intruder ... Read More
FAQ - My dog killed a sheep

FAQ – My dog killed a sheep

QUESTION: My dogs killed a sheep today. I don't want to have the dogs destroyed, they are working Kelpie X Collie dogs which we want to train on sheep and cattle. What can I do? ... Read More
Training a sheepdog inside a training ring.

FAQ – My dog stops sheep going in the pen!

QUESTION: I'm trying to put the sheep into a yard but my dog stops them from going in. How can I get my dog to put the sheep right in? ANSWER: This problem is more ... Read More
graphic showing the position the handler should adopt if the dog is too tight on the sheep towards the end of its outrun

FAQ – Outruns (send the dog from your side)

QUESTION: My dog's doing lovely long outruns when I stand between her and the sheep, but how do I get her to do them from by my side? ANSWER: The reason for standing between the ... Read More
Photo of a working sheepdog very close to some sheep which are trapped in a pen

FAQ – Sticky dog biting sheep’s faces

QUESTION: My dog has become very 'sticky' and recently started biting the faces of the sheep, instead of responding to my commands what should I do? ANSWER: Being sticky (staring at the sheep and not ... Read More
The top of the outrun

FAQ – Stop at the top of the outrun without command?

QUESTION: Should my trainee sheepdog stop at the top of its outrun without a command from me? ANSWER: It's nice to think the young dog will stop at the top of its outrun without a ... Read More
FAQ - Stop the dog splitting the sheep!

FAQ – Stop the dog splitting the sheep!

QUESTION: My dog likes to split the sheep up and bite them. I am having trouble getting her to go round them. Can you help? ANSWER: It’s perfectly normal for your dog to split the ... Read More
Close up picture of a dog close behind a sheep.

FAQ – Training an older dog

QUESTION: We have an eight year old border collie and now live on a smallholding where we will soon get our first flock of sheep. Will it be possible to train the dog to work ... Read More
Huntaway dog herding a bunch of sheep towards some farm buildings

FAQ – Training Huntaway Blue Heeler ‘driving’ dogs

QUESTION: I’m getting a Huntaway to work my sheep and cattle but I can't find any Huntaway or Blue Heeler specific training on the internet. Are they the same as Border Collies? ANSWER: The basics ... Read More
photo showing the dog with its tail in the air as it's led into the training ring

FAQ – Why’s the dog’s tail position so important?

QUESTION: I keep hearing people talk about the position of the dog's tail when it's working sheep. What do they mean? ANSWER: When dogs are relaxed, they hold their tails in a normal downward position ... Read More
FAQ - Will my puppy work stock?

FAQ – Will my puppy work stock?

QUESTION: I have a young Border Collie puppy which I want to use for herding our sheep. How can I tell if he's interested in working? ANSWER: If one or more of your pup's parents ... Read More
Photo of a man holding a sheepdog on a lead whilst the dog is staring at nearby sheep

FAQ – Walking the dog around sheep

QUESTION: Is it OK to walk my dog around the sheep every day? He's not ready to work them yet but I want him to get used to being near them. ANSWER: Familiarising the dog ... Read More

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