What Age to train


 The first question people ask is – At what age do I train my dog on sheep?

No one considers the time while the pup is growing up as a training period.

Everyone is concerned about the sheep training.   To have a nice dog to train on sheep the raising of the young pup is all part of it.

Training starts with the Breeder who raises a well socialized pup for you. The pup has been handled a lot exposed to various situations around the house/yard. This is an article on its own.

When you receive your pup at 8 weeks.  You start with the young pups training.  This is a tender age where the pup is sensitive to a lot of things.  So, No shouting, just gentle, firm corrections in a normal voice.  This is really the way you should be working with your older dog as well – NO SHOUTING.   These  intelligent dogs learn quickly, what is right and wrong. Just a firm No, stops the pup doing what it is doing. (chewing or pulling on something)  Animals don’t shout at each other we humans do.

A light collar should be put on the pup.   Allow him to get use to the feel of the collar.

He needs to get is food twice a day and this is a learning time.   You call the pup on his name, so he learns his name and to come.    Hold the bowl slightly above the pup’s head and slightly behind the head so that he is forced to sit – looking up at the bowl – and use the command “sit”.    If the bowls position is correct the pup will sit.   You also allow the pup to relax before offering the food.    If he does not, hold the skin on the side of the face with a gentle backward push to encourage the “sit.”  

NEVER PUSH DOWN ON THE PUP (on the rump.)  Be it for the “Sit” or “Down.” Always be aware of a slight injury you can cause to either the hips or shoulders.   This can later become a problem as the pup gains weight.  People are often times unaware of how strong they are.

In a few days the sit comes quickly when the bowl of food is there.    A Down can be practiced by drawing out the front legs and allowing him to drop down.  Use the word “Down”.

The lead training can be added as early as eight weeks or you can allow you pup to settle after being fetched.  Getting use to his collar and begin in the ninth or tenth week with the lead training.   The collar should not be so tight as to choke the pup but not loose enough so that the pup can slip the collar.  Lead training with time the pup must walk on both sides of you as a “sheepdog” must cast from both sides.  The pup grows quickly so always adjust the collar as he grows.

Never force the dog.  Don’t make a fuss about the command you are teaching.   A lie down taught in a forced manner will make the dog hate the action and so will always want to fight it.   If it is the normal thing to do and the only thing to do, it does it in a very responsive manner.   Any dog forced to do something even at training with/on the sheep will always lead to a confrontation.



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