Welcome to The Real Time Canine

My name is Amelia Smith of BorderSmith Kennel and with The Real Time Canine, I am providing training technique for Border Collie Sheepdogs. Beginning with 10 week old Kensmuir Star, I will document his daily lessons in words and pictures every Sunday. Previously subscription based, the complete working journal is now available here every Sunday.

From the moment I collected Star, his training began and you will be with us every step of the way. Good manners, willingness & confidence are necessary for him to attain my goal to become a useful working sheepdog and successful trial competitor. From the first lessons on manners & socialization to his first exposure to sheep, you will be a part of Star's journey to success.

After a lifetime with animals, dogs, horses and livestock, I am happy to share my expertise with you. I have found success in sheepdog trials at home and abroad and have trained dogs that went on to find success with others. To learn more about me and my dogs, please visit my BorderSmith website and my BorderSmith Blog! Cheers and thank you very much.

Jan 25, 2009

Week 10

To me, 2 of the topics that I wrote about this week are critical. Resolve and observation are my tools of choice and they are invaluable when applied dependably throughout a pup's training. I feel so strongly about it, that I've excerpted a portion of this week's digest for you and hope that the concept will benefit you and your dog.

This week's topics:

  1. Intention
  2. Observation
  3. More socialization

Excerpted from Volume 10, The Real Time Canine:

Find your inner resolve. Mine is in the middle of my chest, somewhere in the area of my diaphragm, and it seems to me that I have never needed the full extent of it. I can literally summon it up, and it is a physical feeling. We all have it. Sometimes it only shows up in our darkest hour. Sometimes it doesn't show up at all, but it's there. Start with something small. Identify something your dog does that you don't want him to do and determine to stop it. I'm not advocating force, or punishment, but to some degree, these things may play a part. That depends on you and your relationship with your dog. If you start with something easy enough, you will have success and you will build on that. Nurture your intention and you will surprise yourself.

Jan 18, 2009

Week 9

I chose 3 more questions to answer this week, from all that were sent in. The number and quality of the questions I received was the genesis of my new remote training feature, Your Questions Answered. Everyone is welcome to participate and there are no poor questions. From time to time I will post the questions and answers here so everyone can benefit. This week's questions:
  1. How do you prevent a dog from chasing and gripping sheep?
  2. How do you stop a dog from barking?
  3. How do you stop a pup from working other dogs when let out to play?

I received a generous invitation recently that I would like to share with you. This country's oldest and largest border collie club, The United State Border Collie Club of Amercia, has asked me to write a feature article for their annual newsletter. I'm thrilled at the prospect and want to thank them for their kind request. For vast amounts of relevant information about the border collie breed, please visit their website.

Next week I will be writing about one of my favorite topics. I hope you will join us.

Jan 10, 2009

Week 8

I took questions from subscribers and answered them in this week's digest. I received more than I could answer in one digest, so I will repeat the forum next week before moving back to Star's training. I deeply appreciate all the great questions that I received and regret that I was not able to get to them all.

This week's questions:

How do you stop a dog from barking incessantly to be part of the action?
What do you think of a shock collar to grab their attention? (I don't approve)
How much time do you spend with Star without any of the other dogs around?

One of my puppy behavior tests is whether or not they put their feet on me. Star, like other good ones that I've trained, will jump up in front of me when excited, but instead of touching me with his paws, will curl them against his chest and balance on his hind feet. Flying colors! He passed with flying colors.

Jan 4, 2009

Week 7

Star attended his first dog trial this weekend and behaved himself admirably. He made friends with all the other dogs. He was lavished with attention by the handlers who all wanted to know how old he is and how he is bred. He caught the action on the trial field displaying the appropriate mix of attention and distraction for a puppy his age, and he remained content in his crate when I was otherwise occupied running the big dogs.

This week's lessons:

  1. Dog trialing
  2. To view or not to view
  3. Diet

In next week's digest I will taking questions from the subscribers. If you would like to participate, please sign up now and send me your question. I will be glad to reply with an answer.