Sheepdog training


Basic sheepdog training by Dot McCarthy



Dot was born into a hill Sheep farming family and has been working with Sheepdogs and training them for use on the family farm since an early age. Since then she has worked training dogs in England (including undertaking basic training of dogs belong to National Sheepdog champion Thomas Longton) and abroad (in Arctic Finland training Huskies to pull sleds.)


When training dogs Dot works by the principle of praise and affection for good behaviour, which subsequently encourages that good behaviour to be repeated. Dot firmly believes you get the best out of a dog by getting it to love you and love its work by making it fun - NOT by bullying it, hitting or smacking, after which the dog will never truly trust you. Training with love always produces better results than training with fear.


Training options available


In comparison to the majority of Sheepdog trainers Dot is still at the beginning of her career. Subsequently only basic training for young/ problem dogs is available covering the following skills:


- Recall

- Stop

- Riding ATV's

- Basic fetch of flock in small field


When taking dogs to train Dot has found that it takes a minimum of two weeks for a dog to settle into its new surroundings and start learning. For this reason we do not take dogs for less than 4 weeks at a time. If you would prefer not to part with your dog private lessons on basic training may be more suited to you. Hour privates start from £25. As well as training sheepdogs Dot also trains pet dogs, particularly those with basic training issues such as recall and stop. 




- 50% Discount available for dog owners holding Sheepdog trial titles in the UK or overseas.


Working sheepdog basic training

Initial consultation: £35


This give you a chance to meet Dot, see the farm and where your dog would live and for Dot to spend a little time with your dog to see if it's a dog she feels she can train.


Outdoor living Sheepdogs: £80 per week

Indoor living Sheepdogs: £150 per week


Pet dogs basic training

We primarily train sheepdogs but can offer dog you training advice and guidance for problem dogs on a one to one basis for you and your pooch. Our behaviour consultations last around half an hour in which we can help identify issues your dog has, why they may be acting in such a way and how you as the owner can alter your approach to help your dog. Consultations take place here at the farm. 


Pet dogs training advice and guidance consultation session: £45 

To book your dog in for a consultation use the form below to email us:


"I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Dot to anyone looking for a kind, and knowledgeable professional to train their sheepdog. Dot trained my 18 month old Collie, Skye, superbly, keeping me updated through every stage of her education, including many videos of her training sessions. She trains her dogs in a calm, professional and compassionate manner. I now have a very happy collie, who is able to help out on my small holding. Thank you Dot!" Bella Goodridge farming in the Peak District


"Hi Dot I would like to say how pleased we are with the basic training you gave my twelve month sheepdog Poppy. We are delighted with the progress she has made in the time she spent with you and she is now well on the way to becoming a well trained and useful working sheepdog on our farm, and I can definitely recommend you to other people who need a young dog training. Regards " John Ellison farming in Lancashire

"Dot did a fantastic job with my first sheepdog Pip. Pip had picked up some bad habits before she got to Dot and Dot did a great job sorting them out and bringing on her training. Pip was really happy staying at Dots and I have been very happy with her work since she got home. “ Gala Bailey-Barker farming in Sussex

"Retiring to a small holding with two pedigree flocks of sheep, I needed a well trained sheepdog and all round farm dog. This is how I first met Dot. Listening to my needs, she matched me to the perfect dog who has turned out to be all she promised. A faithful shadow, he handles our sheep well, gets on with the other canines and is fully trustworthy around our deer, horses, chickens and ducks. I cannot recommend Dot highly enough. Everybody who meets our collie wants one but I always warn them this one’s special as it was trained by Dot!" Lesley Rowland, farming near Rochdale

"‘I spent a day filming sheepdog training with Dot and her wonderful dogs. I found her thoroughly professional and great fun to be around.’ Charlie Preston, Assistant Producer, Boundless productions. (Filming for the BBC programme 'Escape to the country'

"Many thanks to you and your lovely dogs for the shepherding lesson last week whilst we were being filmed for Escape to the Country. Whilst I don’t think we will ever make shepherds we thoroughly enjoyed the experience. You were so patient with us and gave us brilliant advice." Kathryn Bath 

SHEEPDOGS FOR SALE - Working homes ONLY (sheep, rescue work, professional level agility & obedience, fly ball)

ISDS registered October 2019 Puppies.


Parents with national titles in trailing and display experience.

Ready for pick up from January 2020 

ISDS registered

Fully wormed and vaccinated with Stanley House Veterinary group


Loving working homes with work only. 

Owners new to sheepdog handling/ starting out in trailing - new handler guidance is available for potential owners. Message us to find out more.

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