Backing sheep is something that the majority of
confident Kelpies will do naturally. This involves jumping onto the animals and then running across their backs in the direction
given by the handler. The main advantage is to be able to position the dog in an area where the movement of stock is needed
and is usually inaccessible at ground level. Training a Kelpie, to do this needs a race or pen full of tightly packed sheep,
the dog is then asked to jump up or failing that lifted on, the handler must be close at hand to encourage and praise the
dog to install confidence once in position, eventually this situation will then become familiar.
A kelpie backing
sheep along a race when in training must not be allowed to jump out over the side panels and if does so should be made aware
that this is not acceptable, the dog should be able to back from the race entry point along the length to the exit point,
next it should drop to the ground behind the front two or three sheep. The next step is for the dog to move back up through
the sheep at ground level causing the stock to move in a forward direction past the dog and to the front of the race, this
will then cause the race to become full with little available movement, the routine tasks can now begin.