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 17, 2010

Week 61

Listen and trust. Listen carefully to my whistles, and trust that I will help you find sheep that you can't see. Those are the lessons impressed upon Star this week and he internalized them beautifully. I sent him blindly, I sent him far and wide, and I sent him for sheep in areas of the practice field that he didn't even know existed. Clearly, it became an enjoyable game to him as he took each re-direct and encouragement to "look" for his sheep with eager enthusiasm.

This week's lessons:
  1. Look
  2. Listen
  3. Trust

Here's an excerpt:

More distance and more trust today and I'm pleased to report that little Star-man handled it well. We worked from the other end of the 40 acre field, from bottom to top, where the hearing is spotty. While the field rises up, it does so in terraces with little peaks and valleys and the odd boulder outcropping to challange you. I set the sheep far to the right and completely obscured by a small rise. I couldn't see them, and neither could Star when I untied him. I set him up for a left-hand outrun, showing him the way with the direction of my steps, and told him to "look." I waited until his head swiveled in the right direction, then sent him with a quiet "come-bye." He ran out with authority and speed, requiring no help whatsoever to land spot on balance behind his sheep. I did little to straighten the fetch line, because I wanted to reward him for a job well done. Sometimes when we get too picky about all the little things in practice, the dogs feel over burdened. With the youngsters especially, I like to let them have their head quite a lot to make sure they are having fun and figuring things out on their own.

No comments: