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 5, 2009

Week 33

It has turned quite hot here lately and everyone is feeling the heat. At just 10 months, I believe I have asked too much of my good young dog and have come up with a different plan. He is getting 2 weeks off. Call it summer vacation, mentally injured reserve or hiatus, but Star will be enjoying some down time.

This week's lessons:
  1. Overacheivement
  2. Why didn't I just...
  3. Support

Here's an excerpt:

I started trotting towards the sheep, calling him with me and he came. He started to gather come-bye and I let him. I trotted around the field shushing Star to keen him up and let him have his sheep his way. He felt much better about himself when I called him off. I walked back towards the truck and asked him for an away-to-me outrun of a hundred yards or so. He hesitated. I asked again. He hesitated. I asked again, then off he went. Why didn't I send him on his favored side? He pulled in to cross over and instead of letting him just have his sheep, I stopped him, gave a correction and a redirect. He took it pretty well, got to the top, and lifted. The sheep were not cooperating and had wandered a fair distance apart from each other. To his credit, he did not want to bring just a few, but tired and confused, he hit his belly. I decided to send in reinforcements thinking that another dog would help him feel better about the job. It worked and he and Mirk brought the sheep to me without incident. Star helped me load them and we got out of there in one piece. Writing today's misadventures here has made it clear to me that I am asking too much of this good young dog. I have come up with a new plan.

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