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.

Apr 5, 2010

Week 72

Introducing something new in training is always fun and exciting. It's nice when you have the right tools to do the job properly, but I don't have enough sheep to easily teach Star to shed. I have begun that task anyway.

This week's lessons:
  1. Shedding 101
  2. Oh yes you can
  3. All fun

Here's an excerpt:

This might be slow and painful. Little Star man has a strong (very strong) inclination to keep things together, and I don't have near enough sheep to do this properly. "This" being, teach him to shed. But here is what it looked like today. I backed up to the fence and put the sheep between Star and I. I have 1 high-headed, Suffolk-cross ewe that likes to lead the way, and I let her lead. I then stopped as many of the Dorper lambs as I could and tried to get Star to come into the tiny space resembling a hole. Nothing doing. He just laid there eyeing both groups determinedly before finally saying "to hell with it" and flanking around to put them back together. That's OK. I could tell he at least thought about it for about a mili-second, before flying off to do what in his mind was surely the right thing. And, make no mistake about it, it is the right thing to do 99.9% of the time. At this point, no matter what he does, I will absolutely NOT correct him, be upset with him in any way, or even show the slightest irritation. Right or wrong, whatever he does, he will get praise just for being ready.

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