Border Collie Fact Sheets

Learning from my Border Collie, Bess


StartingYourBorderCollie 211x300 Learning from my Border Collie, Bess

About 5 dogs later, and about 7 years on, and my emigration to Canada, I bought a 2 month old pup from Jack Knox, a well-known Border Collie handler who was living in Wisconsin at that time. This little bitch was called Bess.

We had a few sheep that were always close to the yard and when Bess was about 5 months old, and loose around the yard, I soon found that wherever I was working in the yard, Bess would fetch this small group of sheep to me. It didn’t matter whether I was working in my garage, fixing a piece of equipment in the yard, or whatever. I then found that if I walked into the yard, away from what I was doing, Bess would keep bringing the sheep to me. And when the ewes ran bye, Bess would take off, circle them and then bring them back to me.

Interesting I thought! Next time the ewes ran bye I would make her go out on the other side. After a few days I started giving a side command, Come Bye or Away to Me, as she ran out.

Gradually, through being able to lay Bess down, I would let the sheep get further away before giving the side command and letting Bess fetch them back to me. I carried on this method until Bess had a great outrun of several hundred yards. I had read several books on training Border Collies and none of them gave any ideas of such a simple training method. They all had long sticks and hundreds of feet of rope for holding the pup back!!

Border Collie Training Information

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