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.

Jun 14, 2009

Week 30

Star has exceeded my expectations and has come a long way in a short time. He is useful around here doing chores and has reached the fun stage of his training. He is flanking in both directions on whistles, has a good beginning to the inside flank, a great down on stock and recall off stock, and I have started to teach him to drive. At just 9 months of age, this is asking a lot and he has proved to me that he is up to the challenge.

This week's lessons:
  1. Drive away
  2. Off pressure flanks, yes you can
  3. The little dog is bigger than you think

Here's an excerpt:

He seemed to be a little more comfortable driving today. It seemed like he was beginning to internalize that job. I had him drive away to set up the inside flank, and when I gave it, he just laid still. I gently gave him the flank with whistle and voice a couple times and then all of a sudden he just popped up and flew around on the inside. He has always been a thinker, and he considers his options until he's ready, then Bang! He's off. He demonstrated this performance in both directions, and, based on other experiences I have had with him, it is his prelude to understanding. I finished by letting him load the sheep and sending him out about 100 yards to gather them. I let him choose his own pace on the fetch, which is a bit faster than I would like, but the sheep knew the way after all. I'm choosing not to steady or down him yet, because at this age with Star, I need more dog, not less and he takes the stop and steady a little too well.

There's a new caption contest going on over at the BorderSmith Blog. It involves a picture similar to the one above, with little Dexter using every advantage. I will choose a winner next Sunday and everyone is welcome to play. First and second prize are a 1 year and 6 month subscription to the RTC. Come and play. Tell your friends and good luck!

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