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 9, 2010

Week 77

Photo credit, Jan Elliott
It's foxtail season here at BorderSmith Kennels, and training was kept to the minimum of what was necessary. It was more of the same for Star as he continued his lessons on shedding, and he continued to improve.

This week's lessons:
  1. No need for support
  2. Rear view
  3. Getting "juked"

Here's an excerpt:

It worked again today. This time away from the fence, I was able to call Star man through to shed off the sheep that were moving away. In other words, I called him through on the butts. After 7 days of shedding practice, (I counted them,) Star is easily coming through now without hesitation...on the butts. He is still reluctant when they are looking at him, but that's OK. I have to be happy with the progress he's made by going from staunch unwillingness to separate sheep to sliding right through in only 7 lessons. I am also encouraged because he flanks squarely most of the time, and comes in behind me, which is my strong preference. If you have ever had livestock running at you trying to get past, or if you are a football player, you know that the more room between you and the animal/ball player running at you, the better chance/more time you have to read the moves and stop it. It's the same for the dogs, and by coming in behind the handler on the shed, it gives them more room and time to shut down the shed off sheep if they try to re-group.

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