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.

May 2, 2010

Week 76

Cool weather and cloudy skies brought out the best in all my dogs this week. The sheep liked it too and were cooperative as a result. Star and I continued shedding practice and it was 2 steps forward, 1 step back. By week's end we were making real progress.

This week's lessons:
  1. It's foxtail season, be careful
  2. What's the difference?
  3. They're looking at me...

Here's an excerpt:

I learned something today while working on shedding with Star. It's easier for him to come through on the sheep's tails than it is when they are looking at him. This is true with the sheep we are working now anyway, and might be different on another type. When he comes in on the heads of my sheep, instead of turning away from him, they are trying to break back to join up with the others, and they are trying very hard. Star worries about it, because he doesn't know yet how to stop them, or even that he can. Honestly, even Mirk has trouble holding them sometimes, and will occasionally have sheep spread wide apart all over the field. The difference is, he knows what to do about it...and he likes it. At this point, I really don't care whether he comes in on the head or tails. I just want him to internalize and enjoy shedding. I called him through once on sheep that were moving away. I crossed in front of him, and turned it into a fetch. He happily flanked behind me, and fell right on balance to easily fetch them to me. I thought; "ah hah!" and called it a day.

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