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Dot McCarthy, sheep dog trainer
Dot McCarthy sheepdog trainer
Dot McCarthy training sled dogs
sheepdog training with Dot McCarthy
Mr B loving his work.
Sheepdog training by Dot McCarthy
Sheepdog training by Dot McCarthy
Dog ATV training by Dot McCarthy
Sheepdog training by Dot McCarthy
Sheepdog training by Dot McCarthy
Recall training by Dot McCarthy
Dot McCarthy sheepdog training
Sheepdog training Cronkshaw Fold
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 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


Dot specialises in teaching basic training for young/ problem dogs covering the following basic skills:


- Recall

- Stop

- Fetch of a flock in small/ medium sized enclosed fields (~10 acres or less)

- Driving a flock in small/ medium sized enclosed fields (~10 acres or less)

- Riding ATV's

For more advanced training needs such as polishing skills ready for open trials, working dogs on open moorland and working dogs in teams we recommend the fabulous Emma Gray.



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/ driving 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. Check our calendar below to choose a date and time to book in for an hour lesson (£50) or click here to book a half hour lesson (£35) 

Location: Cronkshaw Fold Farm (~40 minutes drive North of Manchester)


Getting to us


We're easy to get to via google maps and only 10 minutes off the motorway, so minimal wiggly roads to cause pooches to get travel sick. There are dog friendly pubs nearby if you want to stop for food before or after visiting us - we recommend The Cotton House in Helmshore which is a 5 minute drive from us. Dogs are allowed round the back on their 'river terrace' inside dining area.


"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 

*If you have emailed since early 2023 - 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!

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