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 25, 2009

Week 23

Star is progressing nicely and I am pleased with him. I considered that, if I am not careful, I may push Star in his training just to provide content for The Real Time Canine, and have made up my mind that I will not do that. As long as he is confident and happy working, I will continue working him on stock. I used exercises this week to increase his enthusiasm and he responded well.

This week's lesson:
  1. "Watch 'em!"

Here's an excerpt:

Star became useful today. Every morning I move my sheep from a corral near the house to a small field at the end of the driveway and Star got the call this morning. He was totally confused at first, because it broke routine for him and he wasn't sure where we were headed. As soon as I opened the gate into the sheep pen, he flanked beautifully around the ewes and brought them through the gate. Good boy. When I worked him in the field, I noticed for the first time a bit of hesitancy on his part and it occurred to me that I may be putting too much pressure on him. I spent some time simply encouraging him and letting him have his sheep. I hoped he would slash and burn and grip, because that's exciting. I felt I needed to trade control for entusiasm at this point. He did slice and buzz and become much more animated. Since it's his favorite thing to do, I sent him on a little gather and let him pen the sheep. But, this time instead of stopping him at the gate once they were in, I gave him a big "sshhush" and let him fly in to bring the ewes back out, then run out after them and do it again. I was glad to see he became more keen through the process and I'll likely stay with this type of exercise for a while.

The BorderSmith SheepShot PelletPick ConTest has begun over at my BorderSmith blog and will run for 2 weeks. Please visit my Blog, make your best guess, and good luck to you!

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