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Top sheepdog training tips

Top Sheepdog Training Tips

A breed known for their unique background and shepherding attributes, Sheepdogs were once primarily required for protecting their herd, but now they are one of the most popular pet breeds in the UK. Sheepdogs’ intelligence and sensibility make them a joy when it comes to training, but the level of how easy this is, largely depends on what type of sheepdog they are.

Read on to find out some handy training tips to help your sheepdog settle into family life.

Old English Sheepdog

A distinctive breed due to their shaggy, heavy coasts, Old English Sheepdogs are good-natured, loving dogs that are obedient and well behaved. However, to get to a great level of obedience and behaviour they still require training, as their natural impulse is to herd and chase. Obedience training is highly recommended for the Old English Sheepdog, as without learning the simplest commands such as ‘sit’, ‘come’ and ‘stay’, they tend to like chasing bikes and cars!

One of the other issues that can arise from training Old English Sheepdogs is that they grow at an alarming rate. If they are not trained by the time they ‘max-out’, they can cause more damage to things around your home and can be harder to tame.

This shows how important it is to get them up to scratch quickly.

Border Collies

Without a doubt, the most commonly owned sheepdog around, Border Collies are a very active breed that acts instinctively and intelligently. They require physical exercise often due to their build and love of the outdoors.

Certainly, the ideal breed for families with a love for the activity, the Border Collie responds quickly to training but still requires sufficient teaching to become fully adaptable to life at home. They are very demanding to train due to their energy capacity, so opting for a breed of this kind is not recommended if you’re not willing to give them the exercise they need. Socialise them early to help them enjoy interacting with others and cater to their exercise requirements to ensure their happiness. They are great with children but are less keen on strangers.

They’ll need training on your house rules too but as they can grasp new things quickly, you shouldn’t face many problems.


A physical and powerful breed, Tornjaks are considered one of the best behaved and the easiest to train type of sheepdog. They have a free willing nature, just like any other sheepdog, however, what makes them so ideal for families is that they are easy to handle. Their temperament is very calm, making them easy to train, and despite their protective nature, they don’t show aggression within the family home.

They remember training techniques superbly; however, they need training consistently to stop them becoming stubborn and willful.

a border collie on its first walk

Shetland Sheepdog

As loyal as they come, Shetland Sheepdogs are an outgoing breed but can be reserved with strangers. Socialising can be an issue for them as a puppy, however by interacting them with people from a young age, they soon grow accustomed to family life.

They’re regarded as a very intelligent breed, so to make obedience training fun, avoid repeating the same techniques over and over again, instead opt for something new so they don’t lose focus, as they are incredibly quick to learn. It’s especially important for them to learn basic commands to avoid them straying when off the lead. This type of training will enable a bond to be created between you.

If you’re currently in the process of training your new sheepdog, take a look at our extensive Dog Advice section, providing you with the answers to all your training and wellbeing concerns.

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