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Getting your trainee sheepdog to bring the sheep out of the training ring without crisis can be a tricky affair. The sheep will usually grasp the slightest opportunity to bolt and this can cause the inexperienced dog to become excited, resulting in a chaotic chase.
We've often mentioned the benefit of getting your dog out into the open field as soon as possible. Working in the training ring can be very repetitive, but more importantly, the ring is essentially, an enclosed space.
Whilst the training ring is a wonderful tool for restricting the sheep to a small area and bringing out the dog's instinct to keep them together, many young dogs feel uncomfortable being confined with their "prey" and under pressure, can become more aggressive.
This obviously makes training more difficult, so we recommend you transfer your training sessions to the open field as soon as the dog's able to keep control of the sheep. Usually the dog will be more relaxed and easier to control out in the open, but if the dog's inexperienced and excitable, how do you bring sheep and dog out of the ring while maintaining control? And then, just as importantly, bring them back?
In this tutorial Andy demonstrates how, with a little planning and by understanding what's likely to happen and why, bringing your sheep out into field needn't descend into chaos. And once you've learned the technique, your dog will learn some valuable lessons too.
Once you're working in the open, with your dog controlling the sheep (most of the time) training becomes more varied, and more fun for both dog and handler. While "fun" might be going too far, the sheep probably find it less stressful too.
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