Training a dog to stop chasing sheep (including video)

Colin trained my sight hound to stop chasing sheep

I have a whippet named Jess, she is a sight hound and sight hounds were originally bred to hunt by sight and so they instinctively chase moving objects.

We bought Jess at 6 months old and a few months after we bought her she started reacting to sheep. She would strain at the lead whenever I walked with her through a field of sheep, even getting up on her hind legs and yelping so desperate was she to chase them! Ok, I thought, I just won’t let her off lead in sheep fields, I did not realise what a problem this would become.

Soon after Jess’ behaviour escalated and one day she saw sheep in the distance whilst off lead, left me (despite my calling her and blowing the whistle!) squeezed under a sheep fence and began chasing them. There was nothing I could do to stop her, she was clearly enjoying the mayhem she was causing and ran around the field at top speed chasing sheep and lambs for a good five minutes before finally getting tired at which point she flipped a lamb on to its back andĀ over it. She still refused to come to me and I had to climb over the fence into the field and grab her collar. Luckily the lamb and the rest of the sheep were unharmed.

I live in a country area, my Neighbour is a sheep farmer, I knew I had to do something or Jess would end up killing a sheep and/or being shot. Some people suggested an electric collar others tethering her to a ram but I though both of these barbaric! A fellow whippet owner recommended Colin.

Colin found some sheep for us to begin our first lesson. He explained that Jess had to be taught to respect the sheep and to learn that chasing them was not an option. What Colin did was teach me how to train her. He did so by giving me very clear instructions, I practiced with him and went away and repeated the training with Jess. Each session we advanced through the training, no cruel methods just patience and treats. Colin also built my confidence and helped me regain the trust I had lost in Jess. By the end of 5 or 6 sessions I felt ready to continue her training alone. Colin told me that I must keep reminding Jess of what she had learned and so when we come across a field of sheep (which we do fairly regularly) I repeat the latter stages of her training.

The transformation is nothing short of amazing, she can now calmly walk through sheep off lead without incident. Colin is a miracle worker and I would recommend him to anyone whose dog has behavioural issues. The first instinct of a whippet is to chase, whilst Jess still chases rabbits and squirrels she has learned to leave sheep well alone! I can’t thank Colin enough!


Does your dog chase sheep?

Get in touch and tell me about your dog. I don't use electric collars or other harsh techniques. My techniques are calm and effective.