Ideas for how to train your sheepdog to shed sheep

Ralf is a young sheepdog that I have in training at the moment. I want to prepare him to compete in nursery trials this season. I have him running out well to gather sheep. He has learnt his left and right, his off balance flanks and his inside flanks. you can see his flanks training video here He can […] Continue Reading

Alasdair MacRae in conversation (Part 2)

In this Part II conversation with Alasdair, he talks about training sheepdogs to single and what singling can tell him about a working sheepdog. He talks a little about judging the single and aspects that he feels are important. I think this has been one of my favourite conversations to date and I hope you find as much food for […] Continue Reading

How I got started in training and working sheepdogs

Churchmount Sheepdogs – How it all started I started to train sheepdogs in 1997 to help me cope with the work that came with handling big numbers of sheep and a hundred or so cattle. In that same year I met my friend, coach, sheepdog trainer and international trialist, Norman Deacon. Norman’s goal was always to have a working sheepdog […] Continue Reading

A Supreme Stud dog

‘I’m giving you a bitch with a bloodline i think you’ll like’, he said. ‘Sure maybe she’ll be the one that will get you started again.’ This is what happened after my friend John Heffernan called me and told me to drop in to see him. The bitch John gave me was well bred alright. Her mother was a bitch called Gra belonging to man […] Continue Reading

Glyn Jones Bodfari

A Way of Life I think I must have liked the picture on the cover because when i bought the book, ‘A Way Of Life’ by Glyn Jones of Bodfari, I had neither sheep nor a dog. I was probably about 21 at that time and was more interested in drinking and socialising than farming. That book must have sat at home […] Continue Reading

2015 European Nursery Final

European Sheepdog Trials Nursery Final 2015 This year I decided to slip down to the Three Provinces Nursery Final sheepdog trials. It was only an hour away in Borris Co. Carlow, home of the famous Borris Ewes. It was a lovely sunny Sunday morning that I had been looking forward to for a while. I would enjoy catching up with […] Continue Reading

Do you know how much your dog might know?

Finding a needle in a haystack – did you ever underestimate your dog? My brother Dermot has a part share on a hill in the Wicklow mountains. It forms one side of the Glenmalure valley, falling back over into the top of the mountain and into the other side, the well known Glendalough valley. An idyllic place full of deer […] Continue Reading

Who should you take training advice from?

If you’re going to follow someone, make sure they know exactly what they are doing. I was talking to Mick Crowe this morning ( and I was telling him about a service pup I picked by my dog Bruce yesterday. There were nine in the litter and after looking at them for a few minutes I picked a bitch that […] Continue Reading