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 24, 2010

Week 70

We were entered at the Wine Country Sheepdog Trial last weekend on California's stunning central coast, in the heart of the state's world famous wine country. The weather was perfect, the sheep were grand, the trial was spectacular, and Star ran his 18-month-old heart out for me to finish 7th among 14 entries in the nursery.

Here's an excerpt:

Maybe because of the unfamiliar sheep, or the presence of a set-out guy and dog, little Star man erred on the side of caution and slowed considerably on his away-to-me outrun. Left was a good option, and right went past the set-out pen, but I went that way anyway, because it has always been his preferred side. The sheep were only 150 yards, and I knew he would easily spot them and focus his attention, so I wasn't worried about passing the set-out pen, and he didn't even glance at it on his way by. It was well beyond that when I worried that he would trot, or even stop, and gave him a redirect, which was all he needed to hit another gear and finish his outrun nicely. He overflanked slightly though, and the sheep wanting to go that way anyway, were drawn off line costing more points. The sheep drew determinedly to my right, and Star took the flank 2 or 3 times to cover. Because he gave ground each time he flanked, they were outpacing him on the way back to the set out, and he eventually lost them to the pen. There at least he had them stopped, and I'm not quite sure what he did to bring them to the bottom side, but after a second, there they were. Assuming he would never get them off the pen, I took a "retire" step away from the post, before I saw that he had them heading my way. I stayed put and did some enthusiastic shushing, which meant all the world to that little dog, and on he came. I was approached later by more than one hand expressing that it was a good job for him to have gotten them away from that pen. I agree.

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