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.

Dec 6, 2009

Week 55

All of a sudden I have 6 dogs in my kennel and I have a lot of chores to do. 3 of them are actively in training and then there is semi-retired Price, young Tim, the new kid, and little Dexie, the min pin, who really doesn't count. I am sending Star on ever longer outruns now with his at-hand work fully developed. As the distance grows longer, the holes begin to show up and Star man is overcoming them 1 at a time.

This week's lessons:
  1. Over flanking is better than stopping short
  2. Your body doesn't lie
  3. What I'm talking about

Here's an excerpt:

We worked again on getting him deeper at the top of his away-to-me outrun. The first time I sent him, he flattened out, which causes his tail to rise and his gate to become ragged when he comes to balance at an odd angle to the sheep. It is plain to see from his body when he is wrong. This time I stood by the sheep and backed up as he came near balance after speaking to him at the point of his outrun where he flattens. I am still allowing him to turn in and come on to the lift with intention, but noticed that he defaults to a come-bye flank when I steady him with a whistle just after the lift. A quiet "here, here," brings him back on task, but I would like to avoid the default flank all together. We practiced a steady with an immediate "here, here," and after 1 or 2 tries eliminated the default flank on the steady whistle. Back to the outruns. I sent him a few more times with me at the sheep correcting at his "flatten" spot, then tied him in the shade to soak. I was interested to see if he would internalize the lesson and improve. After a short break I sent him away-to-me from my feet and was gratified to see him carry all the way beyond his sheep to finish in a nice arc on balance.

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