The focus of my courses are to train the handler in the correct technique of training their own dog. The courses are one to one where each participant gets individual attention. My sheepdog training courses are different to others available in Ireland, training handlers to train their dogs over an eight week period giving the handler and dog time to learn and practice the skills acquired at the course.
- Introduction/ registration
- Outline of training course
- Course duration Six half hour sessions at two week intervals
- History of the working sheepdog
- The basic principles of sheepdog training
- Various commands used while working the young dog
- Each participant is assessed while working their dog on a group of sheep
- Specific advice and home training exercises to be practiced daily before the next training session
- Assessment of home training and difficulties noted for attention at this session
- The main objectives for day two are: (a) getting the dog to the opposite side of the sheep and balancing the sheep to the handler. (b) Getting the dog to take out sheep from the fence or corner. (c) Using the “Stop” command; “lie Down";" Stay” and “Here” Commands.
- Teaching the young dog to obey these commands
- Specific homework in the use of commands to be practised for the next session
- Assessment of the participant’s home training of the young dog.
- Participants are required to demonstrate the “Lie down”; “ Stay”; and “Here” commands while working a group of sheep
- The correct procedure is demonstrated in setting off the dog on an outrun and fetching sheep to the handler using the “Away”; “Come Bye” and “Walk On” commands.
- Specific instructions will be given to each handler on how to get their dog complete a short outrun of approx 20 meters which should be practiced for the next training session.
- The progress of training is assessed and by this stage the participant should have a knowledge of how to train the dog to “lie down” ; “ Stay” take the” “Away” ;“ Come Bye”; and “Walk On” commands, be able to send the dog on a short outrun with good control.
- Problems that have occurred are discussed and methods to reinforce control and obedience is outlined
- The homework for the next session will be mainly practicing short outruns using all the commands encountered to date.
- The training area should be small approx .5 Ha to enforce good control. Home work sessions are kept short approx 15mins and dogs are to taken out twice per day.
- The participant is required to give a practical demonstration in collecting a group of sheep using the correct procedure of setting off the dog on an outrun and fetching them using the appropriate commands.
- The response of the dog to commands is noted and recommendations given where required. If the dog is responding well to the training with good obedience we can move on to teaching the dog to drive sheep away from the handler
- The dog and handler move to work a flock of sheep in a bigger field.
- Obedience can become a problem when the dog is working at a distance from the handler.
- The handler is shown how to set up the dog to gather sheep with a good outrun.
- Methods are demonstrated to ensure the dog obeys at a distance.
- Each participant is required to fetch sheep from a distance of 60 to 80 meters and drive them to a corner or pen
- By day five each participant is expected to be able to set up his/her dog for outrun and fetch the sheep in a controlled manner, be able to stop the dog at intervals give the right “Away” and left “Come Bye” and command the dog to “Walk On” and to return from the sheep with “Here that’ll do” command.