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.

May 3, 2009

Week 24

Star continued to improve this week and became more confident and more smooth. He understands my voice flank commands and gives them to me without hesitation or confusion, which is fairly advanced for one so green. He is a very clever dog so far. I keep his training sessions consistent, 4 or 5 times a week, but short. I don't want to wear him down, I prefer to keen him up and create an atmosphere where he looks forward eagerly to next time.

This week's lessons:
  1. "There"

  2. Come-bye and away-to-me

Here is an excerpt:

Star gave me the most beautiful flanks and small gathers today. He seems to be internalizing his job, he stayed on his feet for the most part and completed quiet, short gathers without encouragement from me to make it all the way to the top. The nice thing about his gathering is that I can send him from my feet by just gently pushing his first steps out as opposed to laying him down, backing up to the sheep then sending him around as I've do with most trainees. I sent him on one bigger gather letting him decide which direction, (away to me, of course,) to travel because I want him to understand that his first and foremost lesson is to bring me sheep no matter what or how. All of his fetching was nicely done for one so green. Nothing rash, no gripping or chasing. I introduced a "there" today. I flanked him, said "there" then "lie down." In this way, I'll eventually be able to say "there" and he will stop his flank, turn onto his sheep and walk up at any point in his flank. In other words on or off balance.

There is 1 week left in the BorderSmith SheepShot PelletPick ConTest. Please visit the BorderSmith Blog and take your best shot.

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