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 21, 2009

Week 31

I am so pleased to say that we are back on the B I G field, which has been so good for my dogs over the years. Star fared well here as he learned what an outrun really looks like, and how to listen and find sheep that you can't see. I can see his confidence increase with every step of the bigger gathers and longer fetches. He and I both love it here.

This week's lessons

  1. All ears, or listen and trust me
  2. Re-setting the outrun odometer
  3. Drive like you like it

Here's an excerpt:

I let Star unload sheep from the trailer and drive them out into the field for me. I lie him down out of sight of the sheep beside the trailer gate before I open it, and he has to lie there until the sheep come out and I ask him up. This teaches him obedience and to trust me that sheep are not necessarily going to escape when they start away from him. Earlier in his training he would jump to cover when sheep started away from him and I let him go so as not to diminish his enthusiasm or confuse him. When sheepdogs first start training, they're main thought is to get sheep, and if I do not gradually take a dog from "get sheep!!!" to "get sheep when I ask you," I run the risk of souring an otherwise excited youngster that is only doing what hundreds of years of inbred instinct tell him to do. In the beginning I sacrifice obedience for enthusiasm every time.

Happy father's day to all the happy dads. I wish for you an exceptional day.

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