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 21, 2010

Week 83

This week was a bit of a mixed bag. We were here and there doing this and that. A little shedding, a little international shedding, a little work in the big field, and lots of rest in the shade. Summer is here after all, and things are heating up.

This week's lessons:
  1. Shed and then shed again
  2. Shed 'em and drive 'em away

  3. The training wheels are off!

Here's an excerpt:

Observation. I am noticing a new maturity about my dog lately that is a new development. At 20 months, and approaching 2 years old, it is to be expected, but I just noticed it today, and I am very glad to see it. Star is beginning to reach his first level of maturity. In the past I have noticed huge differences in my dogs at 2 years old and then again around 4 years old. It seems as if during the first 4 years I have gotten a different dog when each has reached those milestones. On that basis, Star is right on target. He goes about his work with a clearer understanding, less hesitancy, more enthusiasm, and ever-increasing skill.

His shedding has become quite proficient, and today he demonstrated his mastery in fine fashion. I was able to call him through not once or twice, but 3 or 4 times on the same group of 12 sheep, thereby beginning to teach him the international shed. I could see after making 3 or 4 cuts, he became mentally tired. He demonstrated that by slowing and widening unnecessarily on the come-bye flank when I used it to set up the next cut. When I saw that, I called him off and let him rest.

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