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.

Jul 12, 2009

Week 34

Star is on vacation this week. He is on summer hiatus, his theater has gone dark. That doesn't mean he has been idle though, and he has been busy cooling off in the breezeway with Mirk, helping me garden and playing peek-a-boo with his blanket. In other words, he is having fun just being a dog. While Star rests, I took your questions and reported my answers in this weeks' digest.

Here is an excerpt:

"we'll go out to the field, the sheep are at the top, he's next to me then I say either Come-by or Away, and he then starts off, but often not at a run, but more of a trot, with his head down, looking at the sheep and going out and around, but it's more like stalking them, then as soon as they start to move, THEN he starts running."

I don't know the dog personally, so I don't know if this is the case, but sometimes what she describes in her dog comes about when the dog is feeling picked on. If we give a command and then nitpick the way the dog carries it out, sometimes they think something along the lines of "I thought I was doing what she wanted, but I'm wrong. I'm confused and now and I don't know what to do. I'm going to do what I thought she wanted, but I don't like it and I really don't want to any more, because I got in trouble any way." When this is the case, as an International Supreme Champion once told me, "you have to put the dog back in the dog." Let him run through the stop, have sheep his way, make a mess, slice, chase, grip a little. Once the dog is feeling better about things, you can go back to the drawing board and start again with compromise between you and the dog until the teeter shifts in your direction and the dog responds confidently.

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