Working dog trainer and Muster Dogs judge Peter Barr, Pinaroo, has urged farmers to begin as early as they can in a working dog's life when training them to keep away from chasing cars and utes and other bad habits,
During a demonstration with his dogs Chum and Music held during the Birchip Cropping Group's Main Field Day, Mr Barr revealed that the car chasing issue was one of the most common questions.
"You just have to be the one to outsmart the dog at times," he said at the field day.
"All it starts with is a pup may see a ute drive past and go 'woof' and then it could see another vehicle go past and go 'woof woof' and then they think the ute is getting away from them and is scared of it,"
"All of a sudden when you don't have a chain on the dog, it will chase the car, com out, and will get run over."
Mr Barr said that owners could easily overcome issues in the early months of the dog's life by saying their name as the ute drives past and rewarding the dog if it doesn't chase it.
As well as outsmarting your working dog, the adage of being the dog's best friend rings true, and rewarding them for good deeds is fundamental.
But he also advocates having fun as well on the farm.
"You got to reward the pup and try make it fun for you and make it fun for them to be around you," he said.
Mr Barr says there are a set number of steps to set working dogs up he goes through in his training school, from balance to teaching where can and can't bite sheep.
"Sometimes you get a lot out of them if you are prepared to put the time into training them... but the most important thing is to let them get to a head of a mob of sheep, get them to block up and get the mob to come back to you," he said.
"The last thing you want is for them to come up to pull sheep down."
He also says some people could be surprised that there's not a lot of time you need to put into a dog to get it right, but there's a secret to dog training - all to do with the trainer or owner.
It's to put in a "100 per cent commitment" from the trainer from taking a dog off the chain until the time you put it back on the chain.
"When we do let our pup off, we should make sure we are doing something with it at all times until we go it tied back up," he said.
"A lot of us go and let a pup off, and maybe a phone rings, and we have that conversation and have a coffee, but then we come back out, the pup has killed the pet lamb or the chooks.
"That's generally because it isn't supervised, and you should always try to keep it sharp, play with him, teach them to sit."
While he insists trainers do not need to spend much time on training, he advocates not always keeping them on a chain for most of the day.
There are plenty of everyday examples on how to keep a working dog alert as well, which Mr Barr says farmers may also not be aware of.
"They don't have to learn something new in every session, but it's about getting something done with them," he said.
"Sometimes it can even be as easy as when you go into town to grab a parcel or something.
"You can put the dog in the ute, let him off for a wee or poo when you get into town, bring him to town and put him away when you get back home.
"He's had an outing for the day, and it's not a heap, but he's had something to do and all those things keep him sharp."
Mr Barr said there had been more awareness of the value of working muster dogs since the ABC program was aired.
"I found on [Muster Dogs] that dogs need to get opportunities at times, so if you only have a pup that you have [inside] but don't get the opportunity to do too much out there, at two years old, they still won't know what to do out there," he said.
"It's not just an age thing, it's opportunities and experience, and on that TV show, people would have seen those who gave more opportunity and got real busy with the real work and those who would have just trained them and getting them right.
"All those dogs were very good at different things, they just were brought up different ways, and goes to show that not every way is the same, it's what you put into them for what you want."