Stop my Dog Chasing Sheep


by Chris

My 18 month old cocker spaniel has recently found the delights of chasing sheep, she is usually quite good at recall but seems to become deaf when so distracted. What can I do?


Our Response

Hi Chris and thanks for your question – this is such a common problem and one that I might be able to help with. I will go through a list of possible methods to utilise that can cure this problem (please remember I do not advocate all these methods I am simply stating that they are used and it is up to you as to whether you want to use them (I am referring to the E-Collar).

1. The first technique any dog trainer will ask you to consider is to walk your dog where there ar no sheep.

2. The next technique would to always have your dog on a leash when you are near sheep. Some breeds are particulaly prone to chasing and herding.

3. The E-Collar is sometimes used by people who live around dogs that encounter sheep on a regular basis. The E-Collar is placed around the dog’s neck and if the dog runs off it can be remotely controlled by the owner to deliver an electric shock at a distance or short spray of water, gas or air to the dog that will stop the dog wanting to chase the sheep. This method has been banned in Wales and can result in a £20,000 fine if used. Although this method has its fans some people think that it breaks the special bond between dog and owner. I do NOT use these methods

4. One of the reasons why dogs love chasing sheep is either down to curiosity, the chase instinct in some breeds and a mixture of the two – but the main reason why dogs chase sheep is because they have not been socialised around them on a regular basis.

5. Below is an email that I have tracked down for you who is happy to answer any questions by email and can arrange work shops where dogs are introduced to sheep and trained not to chase. Contact and she will be happy to guide you.

Hope this helps.