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.

Feb 14, 2010

Week 65

It is that time of year in Southern California that makes foxtails, rattlesnakes, and brutal summer time heat all worth living through. While the rest of the country is buried under snow and cold, we have warm sunshine, gentle breezes, and loads of green, green grass. Star has become a little unhinged in his work, and instead of continuing down that path, we backed up and started some things over.
This week's lessons:
  1. Be direct.
  2. It's a lot more work that way.
  3. Shedding? What's shedding?

Here's an excerpt:

In the small field, and with shedding on the agenda, I started the day with a few small gathers and some driving. Star continues to grow stronger from shoving my heavy Dorpers around, and commits to some pretty nice work behind them. I noticed a tendency today to slide off to one side or the other, however, instead of staying in place and finding his power. I asked him to drive and stayed within 20 or 30 feet of him giving him a little "hey" when he took a step to either side. The nice thing about Star is the smallest correction garners the biggest benefit, and that tiny, little correction deterred him each time from a mis-directed step causing him to stay true to the line. Just beautiful. A tune up was necessary, but it wasn't a complete engine tear-down, just the quarter turn of a screw.

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