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.

Jun 13, 2010

Week 82

It was hot this week, and we are all having to acclimate once again to the Southern California summer. Working dogs means breaking it up with lots of shade and lots of water. It's going to get worse before it gets better.
This week's lessons:

  1. I know it's hot

  2. Momentum

  3. Lack of momentum
Here's an excerpt:
Instead of giving Star a flank command when sending him on an outrun, I simply set him up on the side I wanted him to go, and gave him a shush. This put the initiative on him to decide from the direction of my body, which way to go, and how wide to run out. It also caused him to look intently, and gauge his distance by feeling the sheep. His success was evidenced by the fact that, after he spotted his sheep, he cast himself out wider and deeper. I set him up on whichever side I wanted him to travel, then told him to "look." I could see that he was using my body as a guide, just as I've taught him, because he looked at me, then for his sheep. I waited until his nose pointed in the correct direction, then gave him a shush, and off he went. Sending him in that manner kept him from squaring off at the start, and running out too wide. Each time I sent him, the sheep were obscured below a low hill, so he was never sure exactly where he was going. He has become quite good at finding sheep, though, and had no trouble today. It was a beautiful thing to see him pick them up, speed up, and cast out to land wide and deep on balance. Lovely.

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