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 behavior, which subsequently encourages that good behavior 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, after which the dog will never truly trust you. Dot believes 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:
- Riding ATV's
- Fetch of a flock in small field
Looking for some pointers on the basics?
Whether you're training your first dog or experiencing your first difficulties with teaching basic skills such as stop, recall or fetching the flock, bring your dog along for a half hour or hour lesson. Working in a different space with different sheep is a great experience for dogs and handlers and you will receive pointers on your technique to help your dog understand what you want.
half hour private class: £35
Hour private class: £50
Location: Cronkshaw Fold Farm (~40 minutes drive North of Manchester)
*If you have emailed since early 2022 - Huge huge apologies you've not had a response to your dog related emails! - We accidentally filtered all the dog training emails into the 'read' folder in the farm inbox so they all went unanswered, what a fail on our part! Please do get back in touch - we are only offering limited availability for training at present as we're focusing on reducing the carbon footprint of the farm - it's important we all do what we can to help combat climate change!
Questions? Message 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