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.

Mar 8, 2009

Week 16

Star got in with the sheep this week and gave me a glimpse of what I hope is to come. Demonstrating balance and feel for his sheep, he brought them in my general direction while I used my happiest voice to try and distract him and pull him off. The last thing I would want to do is lose my patience with him for demonstrating traits that have been selectively bred into him over hundreds of years. This week's lessons:
  1. When is it time?
  2. What is soft?

Here's an exerpt:

I often wonder what is the appropriate age to start a dog and I have experimented within a range. I have seen handlers start dogs very young, at 4, 5, 6 months, who pushed them beyond their tender capabilities and the dogs suffered as a result. They did what they were told, but the intensity was missing as was the happy, willing expression on their faces. I don't believe youngsters should be trained that hard, by other than the masters anyway, and it takes spontaneity out of them instead of instilling knowledge. Too much training at an early age takes the edge off and tires a dog mentally. The ability to assimilate sustained training, correction and physical exertion come with maturity and I prefer to let my dogs be puppies for as long as necessary.

The "Caption Contest" will run for another week and you should see the clever posts over on my BorderSmith Blog. I'm already planning another opportunity for April, but the contest and the prize will be different. Won't you join us and play?

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