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.

Apr 19, 2009

Week 22

Star made good progress on sheep this week, and just as important, he retained his lessons from day to day so that we could build on them. By week's end, he was performing little gathers, balancing the fetch nicely and calling off with "that'll do."

This week's lessons:

  1. Clean flank

  2. The "bubble"

  3. Keeping it together

  4. Using your God-given talent

Here's an excerpt:

Star showed me new confidence today and when I practiced his flanks, he did so with greater speed and enthusiasm, while staying off his sheep at a nice distance. When I flank him come-bye, he goes to balance then defaults to away-to-me to recover if the sheep pass me, so we continued to do almost everything come-bye today and I used a new exercise. I walked counter-clockwise with my body against a fence, the sheep to my left and Star to their left. This way, to head the sheep and stop them from passing me, he had to choose to flank come-bye, and he did so willingly. Interestingly, if I came off the fence at all he would flank all the way around away-to-me to stop them. Clearly though the exercise helped him and in the second session he was more willing to go whichever direction was more appropriate to hold sheep to me without any pressure from me.

Next week I will be introducing a new member of the BorderSmith pack and another contest! This contest will be a little messy, but worth it. I traded wool from shearing my sheep to a crafts store in town and got a gorgeous, ceramic wall haning, which I will ship for free to the first prize winner. Second place will receive a 6 month subscription or renewal to The Real Time Canine.

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