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 22, 2010

Week 66

I have acquired a ram here at BorderSmith kennels to cover my Dorper ewes. He is 1/4 Dorper, 3/4 Cheviot, and very handsome. Star made the proper introductions this week, and got his bluff in early. Working in the big field this week, we had help in the form of a good friend come to work her own dogs. She held sheep for Star who had a test on the lessons of the past few weeks.

This week's lessons:
  1. Show me what you learned
  2. Pass with flying colors
  3. Kick back and chill out

Here's an excerpt:

Making every attempt to tighten him up on his outrun, I set him up to my right, as if I were going to send away-to-me. Then I gave him a walk up and a shush, before blowing a come-bye whistle after about 20 yards, followed by a shush. Where previously he would have squared off and headed for the hills, this time on the come-bye whistle, he bent out looking uphill for the sheep running freely on a nice path. The field is terraced, and as he neared the top of the first one, he pulled in a bit when he lost sight of the sheep. I was happy to see it because at this point I will take too tight over too wide, and he wasn't too tight anyway, but was just pulling in from loss of visual contact. I blew a come-bye re-direct, and again he did not square off, but simply bent out on a nice path to his sheep. Once he regained sight of the sheep, he kicked himself out further, and I blew another soft come-bye whistle to support that decision. He finished nicely on balance at the top and passed the test with an A+.

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