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.

Mar 7, 2010

Week 68

The good news is that my entries were accepted into the Sanoma Sheepdog Trial held in Santa Rosa later this month. This trial is one of the biggest, best run trials on the West Coast, and I am very excited to be going. It is a 70-dog trial. Mirk will run in open, Star in the nursery. This week was spent in preparation.

This week's lessons:
  1. Wide, but not that wide
  2. Over the river and through the rye
  3. The start is the start

Here's an excerpt:

He came to the top on one of the outruns to discover that the sheep had lined up in the dreaded 3 - 4 defense. That is 3 had drifted some distance from 4. I watched while Star figured it out. I helped, but only with a few quiet walk-up whistles, because I thought it a better lesson for him to learn on his own. I was happy to see him eye both sets determinedly, and work the corners until everyone came together. When I first started Star we followed the lesson plan on never leaving anything behind, which was his inclination anyway. You can teach it to them, they can be predisposed as Star was, or they are born knowing, but it's an important lesson for the dogs to internalize from the outset if you want to find success working livestock.

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