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.

Oct 25, 2009

Week 49

More than Star this week, it was I who was learning, or at least being reminded...again. While correcting another dog that was here for lessons, I noticed the effect on Star who was feeling the tension and fairly unhappy. I kenneled him where he felt safe, toned down my efforts and remembered how much intellingence in Border Collies is tempered with sensitivity.

This week's lessons:
  1. Body language
  2. I don't like it when you do that
  3. All is well that ends well

Here is an excerpt:

All is well that ends well and even though Jan's dog started rough, she finished well. By the end of the lesson she was flanking between the fence and the sheep, tucking in the ends and listening beautifully without any desire to chase. I worked Star the next day and he was as keen as ever with no apparent damage done by the tension from the day before. Having said that, I am sure I could create permanent damage if I continued to subject him to tension and going forward I will take precautions to make sure that doesn't happen. I know that my little man is sensitive to pressure and needs encouragement, not intimidation. This week I had a good lesson in that and yet another reminder to be very, very careful with pressure and correction. A little goes a long way with most Border Collies.

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