Landlinks Press Series

Working Sheep Dogs

A Practical Guide to Breeding, Training and Handling

April 2008
More details
  • Publisher
    CSIRO Publishing
  • Published
    23rd April 2008
  • ISBN 9780643093430
  • Language English
  • Pages 280 pp.
  • Size 6.75" x 9.5"
  • Images figures, color & b/w photos

Working Sheep Dogs examines and illuminates every aspect of the high-quality working dog. It provides a detailed discussion of the principles behind the training of working dogs, and reveals little-known methods for training and handling sheep dogs in the most effortless manner.

The text is divided into six major sections covering the instincts of the working dog, breeding, principles of training, methods of training, handling livestock and sheep dog trials. Photographs and line drawings help to illustrate best techniques when training dogs, such as how to teach dogs to cast, muster and drive.

Containing the first comprehensive breakdown and analysis of the instincts of the working dog, and discussing the various principles and methods of their breeding, this book is a practical reference for farmers and stockmen, hobby and lifestyle farmers, sheep dog trial competitors and breeders of working dogs.

"It’s been a while since I came across a truly exceptional book on breeding. And this was the last thing I expected from a technical manual on working sheepdogs….This book was a joy to read. Williams’ detailed research and fine insights reveal the painstaking obsession of brilliance.”

- Dogworld

"I think this book is destined to become a classic in its field."

Stuart Robertson - NZ Sheepdog Newsletter

"Working Sheep Dogs is a helpful book on what to look for and how to train and breed a quality relaxed dog, that will perform in difficult situations."

Louise Preece - Special Southern Farmer Liftout

"Working Sheep Dogs is not simply a manual on how to train a working animal, but provides a whole new approach to breeding, training and handling farm dogs."

Trudi Slavin - The Land

Foreword; Acknowledgements; Introduction; PART 1—NATURAL ABILITY AND SELECTION: 1) Natural Ability; 2) Temperament, Intelligence, Steadiness, Minimal Activity, and Force; 3) The Holding Traits; 4) The Driving Traits; 5) Cast and Muster; 6) The High-Calibre Working Dog in Summary; 7) The Case for the ‘All-Rounder’; 8) When Things Are Not What They Seem; 9) A Few Good Dogs; PART 2—BREEDING SHEEP DOGS: 10) Dogs Past and Present; 11) Breeding Methods; PART 3—PRINCIPLES OF TRAINING AND CONTROL: 12) How Dogs Learn; 13) Training Tips; 14) Principles of Control; 15) The Long Rope; 16) Commanding Systems and Their Role in Achieving Control and Initiative; 17) Overview of Commands; PART 4—TRAINING: 18) Rearing; 19) Early Sheep Work; Color Photographs—Mustering, Working a Mob; 20) The Directional and Positional Commands; 21) Cast, Lift and Draw; 22) Heel; 23) Inhibiting and Wide-Working Commands; 24) Driving; 25) Recasting and Mustering; 26) Force; 270 Yard Work; 28) Splitting and Working One; 29) Working More Than One Dog; 30) Overview of Training; PART 5—AT WORK: 31) Handling Stock; 32) The Dog in Hard Work; PART 6—DOG TRIALS: 33) Sheep Dog Trials; 34) Various Trials—Their Limitations and Their Benefits; 35) Judging Trials; 36) A True Test; Afterword; References; Index.

Tully Williams

Tully Williams has an Advanced Diploma of Applied Science (Farm Management) and has worked as a farm manager and professional stockman for the past ten years. He has an in-depth knowledge of genetics and breeding, and animal psychology, developed over many years. Tully has also served as a counselor and Sheepdog trial judge for the Victorian Working Sheepdog Association (VWSDA), the body that manages sheepdog trials in Victoria.