The Working Sheepdog Website

Sheep & Cattle dog training advice, articles & information

Tag: confidence

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

    photo showing the dog with its tail in the air as it's led into the training ring

    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 but when they are nervous or afraid, the dog’s tail becomes rigid, and often points upwards. In the photograph above, […]

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  • FAQ – How to stop your dog barking

    Photo of an excited dog jumping up and down at the prospect of getting to the sheep

    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 or danger of some sort. If there really is no danger, it helps if you gently reassure the dog that […]

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  • Featured tutorial – Get off the Fence!

    getting sheep away from the fence

    When confronted with a dog, one of the few ways sheep have to defend themselves is to crowd together onto a fence, or in a corner. From this position they can turn to face the dog, and even just a few sheep can look very intimidating from the dog’s point of view! As a result, […]

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  • Featured tutorial – Sometimes Nice is Not Enough

    sheep attacking a herding dog

    Or, “Give your dog a bit more Grrr!” Building your dog’s self confidence. Self confidence is essential in a working dog. Sheep are natural runners when they’re being hunted, but some situations, such as when held in a pen, or protecting their lambs, can make a sheep turn, challenge, and fight back. While sheep and […]

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  • Featured tutorial – Sticky Dogs! with “too much” eye

    Young sheepdog working off balance

    It’s time to get moving if your dog has “too much” eye. To a greater or lesser degree, border collies use “eye” (a particularly intense and assertive stare) to move stock. In some dogs the look is very exaggerated (often said to have “too much eye”), while other dogs work with their heads up and […]

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  • Featured tutorials – gripping the sheep

    Training a dog that grips can feel like a thankless task; it might seem that you take three steps forward in your training session only to start the next session two steps further back! It’s important to have faith in your dog and yourself, and concentrate on the small improvements you make.  We wouldn’t want […]

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  • Featured tutorial – Working in a yard or pen

    As the photo shows, being close to the sheep in a confined space can be intimidating for any dog and, as usual, confidence is key. For help with this type of work, watch our Eve at the Pen tutorial. Watch Eve at the Pen for help with: A dog who circles the sheep after its outrun, instead of bringing […]

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  • Featured tutorial – Sometimes Nice is Not Enough

    Sheepdog Bronwen lies down defiantly in front of some threatening sheep

    It takes huge self-confidence for a dog to lie down in this situation, but even a cautious dog can learn to assert itself. Sheep are natural “runners” when they’re being hunted, but certain situations, such as when held in a pen, or protecting their lambs, can make a sheep turn and fight back. While sheep […]

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