Over-commanded robots, or purposeful partners?
My philosophy on sheepdog breeding, training and handling
Overview: In this video, I outline the philosophy that underpins all of my sheepdog breeding, training and handling.
If you want a high-quality natural working dog working in cooperative partnership with you at the highest level, this video outlines the three basic requirements.
Also discusses some aspects of sheepdog trials, and sheepdog trial judging.
Running time: 18 minutes
How to teach “Sit down” (lie down)
First step in teaching “sit down” away from sheep
Overview: In this video, I discuss and demonstrate one method of how to teach our pup to “sit down” (lie down) to command, AWAY from sheep (dry). (For teaching this ON sheep, see the episode “Introducing Sit Down”.)
Getting a great “sit down” (lie down) is one of the most important things we can do to help us train our sheepdogs (or cattle dogs) quickly and to a high standard. It allows us to prevent bad habits (something about to go wrong?! “Sit down!”) and also to establish good ones.
One key to good sheepdog training is to always train in a “controllable situation”. This starts with a smaller yard, quiet sheep etc., and then moves on from there. A good “sit down” gives us a controllable situation in bigger areas much sooner, and so allows our training to progress a lot faster.
In this episode, I demonstrate this with an older 11 month old pup in order to show the training when it is more difficult, so that you can get an idea of teaching it at its (almost) hardest.
Running time: 14 minutes
The “Reverse Counter-Balance” directions exercise
The “King” of the directional command exercises!
Overview: In this episode I explain in detail my “reverse counter-balance” directions exercise.
This is the “king” of the directional commands exercises: done well it gives us good, solid control of the directional commands, regardless of where we’re standing or what we’re doing, or where the sheep are standing or what they’re doing.
If you struggle to get your dog to obey the directional commands off balance, then this is the episode that will help fix it for you.
It builds on the four previous exercises – “Introducing the Directional Commands”, “The Neutral Stationary Directions”, “The Offset Stationary Directions” and the “Crossing behind Directions”.
Running time: 30 minutes
The ICEPIRP Process
The art and science of masterful sheepdog handling condensed into one invaluable process!
Overview: Shortcut your path to sheepdog training success: Learn in 30 minutes what takes most sheepdog trainers years to master (and many never do)!
Do you struggle with your working dog IGNORING you, or having to be told MULTIPLE TIMES to do EVERYTHING? Do you find sheepdog training slow and frustrating? Would you prefer that your dog did what it was told the FIRST TIME, quickly and easily? And that training was faster, easier, and more enjoyable, for both you and your dog?
This video by Tully Williams reveals A SIMPLE TO REMEMBER 9 WORD PHRASE, which when followed will revolutionize your handling!
So if you would like to shortcut your path to SHEEPDOG TRAINING SUCCESS, and learn in 30 MINUTES what takes most sheepdog trainers years to master (and many never do), then watch this video today and revolutionize your sheepdog training.
Running time: 25 minutes
The Handler’s Position
In control? or Out of control?!
Utilize the “POSITION OF CONTROL” and take your training to the next level
Overview: Knowing where to position yourself in relation to the sheep and the dog (and what to do in that position) in order to train the sheepdog in the way you desire, is VITAL to becoming a good sheepdog (and livestock) handler and trainer. I call this position the “POSITION OF CONTROL” or the “POSITION OF INFLUENCE”.
If you are OUT OF POSITION, then no other sheepdog training methods or techniques will be effective!
If you are in the right position, then training becomes MUCH quicker and easier.
In this video, I explain EXACTLY where the “position of control” or “position of influence” is, how to GET yourself into that position, and then how to MAINTAIN that position with everything (sheep, dog, you) constantly moving and changing. If you are in the RIGHT POSITION, then everything else in your sheepdog training will work relatively easily. If you are not, then sheepdog training can seem almost impossible!
I also touch on some PRINCIPLES OF LIVESTOCK HANDLING, and why I don’t find descriptions such as “behind the eye”, “on the shoulder”, “on the hip”, etc., to be of much value, either when handling livestock or when training sheepdogs.
Running time: 45 minutes
Starting the pup on sheep (Part 1)
Overview: The very first training for the pup on sheep. How to teach the pup to move away from us around the sheep, in either direction, and to remain on the far side of the sheep. (And no, I don’t use a garden rake or a round yard).
This is sometimes referred to as “counter-balance”. This is also a stage where we continue to evaluate the pup’s instincts.
Running time: 27 minutes
Starting the pup on sheep (Part 2)
Overview: Following on from the pup’s very first lesson on sheep, this video continues the pup’s early training.
Running time: 11 minutes
Introducing “Sit down” on sheep
Keys to laying the foundation for a GREAT “Sit down” (or Lie down)
Overview: In this video we introduce the pup to the “Sit down” command on sheep.
“Sit down” (lie down) is really a foundational sheepdog training command, and having a reliable “sit down” will make future training much quicker and easier.
Running time: 22 minutes
“Stop there” – The standing stop – Part 1
Train your sheepdog to stop moving while remaining standing up
Overview: In this video learn how to teach your sheepdog the first stage of a quick, easy and definite “Stop There” command.
This tells the dog to stop moving, much like the “sit down” (lie down) command, but to remaining standing on it’s feet. In this episode I explain and demonstrate how to train this away from sheep, before then progressing onto sheep in the next episode.
This command is vital for precision work such as sheepdog trials and so on, but is also indispensable for high-quality stock work in general.
Running time: 11 minutes
Heel – The Sheepdog Way – Part 1 On Lead
Teach your sheepdog to stick to your heels like glue, wherever you go
Overview: In this video learn the 3 simple exercises to train your sheepdog to stick to your heels like glue wherever you go. This episode deals with the first stages of training this on lead.No more pulling on the lead, no more running around and making a nuisance of themselves and having to be constantly calling them back.
Once this is mastered, Part 2 will demonstrate how to transition to off lead.
Running time: 10 minutes
“Get out” – Widening the sheepdog out
How to train “GET OUT” faster, easier, and more effectively
Overview: In this video, I demonstrate my method of training the sheepdog pup to “get out” to command, and to work wider off its sheep. This method is one I have never seen anyone else use, and it gets MUCH faster, EASIER results than other methods.
Most handlers just tend to chase their dogs out wider in some fashion while yelling at them to “get out”. This is often not very effective. My method has important differences that mean the sheepdog understands very quickly EXACTLY what we expect it to do, and is therefore FAR more effective and gets FAR better results, with minimal time and effort.
This also slows (and calms) everything down (dog, sheep, and handler!). It makes it much easier for the trainer to maintain a position of control (see The Handler’s Position). This is particularly important with pups lacking the natural instincts of “width”, “square break” and “breakaway break”, but all sheepdogs should be taught the “get out” command at some stage.
I also use this as the foundation for training the dog to cast.
Running time: 20 minutes
Introducing the directional (flanking/side) commands
Overview: This video deals with the first introduction of training the directional commands (sometimes called the flanking commands, or sides). This comes after having initially broken the sheepdog pup in to “go back”.
Running time: 23 minutes
The “Stationary Directions”
Increase control of the directional (flanking) commands with the “neutral” and “offset” stationary directions exercises
Overview: After giving the pup a basic introduction to the directional commands (see Introducing the directional commands), it is time to begin increasing it’s understanding, and gaining more control of the directions.
To do this, I utilize a number of different training exercises. These include:
- Introduce the directional commands
- The “Stationary directions” – Neutral
- The “Stational directions” – Offset
- “Crossing behind”
- “Reverse counter-balance”, and
- The “Overtaking directions”
These exercises start to teach the pup to obey the spoken commands regardless of our position. Many handler’s dogs are only responding to their position and movement (or their use of the training stick or arm signal), rather than to the spoken (or whistled) command itself. It is vital (if we want a well-trained dog), that we train the pup to respond to the directional commands regardless of where we are standing or what we are doing.
In this training video, I look at the next exercises in my method of training the directional commands which do exactly that – the “neutral” and “offset” stationary directions.
Note: In this episode we also see how Campaspe Rust’s “sit down” has progressed since we last saw him in “Introducing “Sit down”“.
Running time: 17 minutes
Secrets of the long line
How to use the long line for faster, more effective training
Overview: The long line has the potential to greatly speed up certain aspects of sheepdog training (particularly with certain dogs), and to prevent bad habits from occurring. However, it will only be of help if USED PROPERLY.
Many people attempt to use the long line, but unless they understand the secrets of its use, then it’s just about a waste of time.
In this video, I explain the biggest secret to using the long line, and also various other tips of getting the most out of this useful training tool.
Running time: 12 minutes
PRO’s and CON’s of the 4 systems of arm signals
What is the best way to use arm signals, and the training stick?
Overview: In this video I discuss the FOUR WAYS arm signals can be used, and answer the question of which is the BEST METHOD of using the arms for training and for directing sheepdogs.
Don’t SELL YOURSELF SHORT by using a SUB-STANDARD system of arm signals (and sub-standard use of the training stick).
How we use our arms (and the training stick) when training our dogs, can make a HUGE DIFFERENCE to how quickly and smoothly training progresses. And how we use them when directing our sheepdogs at work (if we use arm signals at all) can greatly influence how effective they are.
Running time: 22 minutes
The “POINTING” system of arm signals
How to use the superior “pointing/guiding” system of arm signals for best results
Overview: A detailed video on how to use the superior “pointing/guiding” system of arm signals.
POINTING in the direction you want the sheepdog to go (as compared to CHASING or blocking the dog), was a much more popular method of arm signals in the past than it is today. It was used by some of the best sheepdog trainers, stockmen, and trial handlers, and for GOOD REASON.
This is the method of arm signals (and the way of using the arms in sheepdog training) that I believe is superior to the “chasing/blocking” system.
Running time: 12 minutes
Commands for success!
Could the commands you use be sabotaging your sheepdog training success?!
Overview: Could the commands you use be sabotaging your sheepdog training success? For most people, they are!
In this video, I explain why something as seemingly simply as the commands you use, can actually be making your sheepdog training much slower, and far more difficult, than it needs to be. And ultimately it can also be limiting the results you will achieve. Why handicap yourself, and your dog, with less than ideal commands?
I give you two simple rules, and one useful exercise, to evaluate your existing commanding system, and a suggestion on how to fix the problem quickly and easily.
Running time: 9 minutes
Commands as praise?
Why using commands as praise for themselves is simply POOR TRAINING
Overview: Over the years I have come across at least one quite well-known sheepdog trainer (and many pet trainers), who recommended using commands as praise. For example, if we sit our dog down, then instead of just saying “good dog”, these trainers recommend saying “good sit down”. In this video, I explain why this is simply BAD TRAINING and why it is a sign of a POOR TRAINER. Make sure you don’t make the same mistake!
Running time: 5 minutes
The best age to start training your pup on sheep
Overview: In this video (aimed at newer handlers), I discuss the various considerations in deciding the best age to start training your sheepdog pup on sheep.
Starting the pup at the right time can help training go as smoothly as possible.
Running time: 8 minutes
Working Sheep Dogs – A Practical Guide to Breeding, Training and Handling
Colour photographs, illustrations
280 pages, 248 x 170 mm
Publisher: Landlinks Press
Paperback – 2007
Natural Ability – The instincts of the high-calibre working sheepdog
DVD – All regions
Approx. 270 minutes
A Few Good Dogs – Australian sheepdogs in action
DVD – All regions