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.

Jan 11, 2010

Week 60

This week I gave Star a break after all the hard work he made in preparation for last week's dog trial. This edition of the RTC contained my perspective of the trial itself together with Mirk's results. He is the open dog I ran.

Here's an excerpt:

Mirk ran 13th on Friday, so I had the opportunity to see a good number of hands maneuver the small and deceptively tricky course ahead of me. Just like every year, the lambs were recalcitrant without an older sheep to guide them and were set on hay where they would just as soon stay, thank you very much. As usual, many dogs struggled to lift them. Most of what I saw at the lift were hands who have interfered with their dogs much too much, taking the power out of them in training, sacrificing effectiveness for perceived obedience or perfection. It always saddens me to see Border Collie dogs wearing at the lift, eyeing their master over the sheep in case they're wrong, finally surrendering to lie down and wait for the inevitable, whatever that is to them. I hate it actually, and I see it a lot. Then the discussion afterward that goes something like this; "My sheep were so tough, did you see that?" "Joe Hand sure got lucky. His sheep just marched around like 4H lambs." No credit given to the good dogs, and none to the effective trainer and handler. And it's the same people saying the same things, who perform with consistent mediocrity as a result of their self-serving excuses. I see it at every trial I go to.

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