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.

Aug 14, 2010

Week 90

Star and I went visiting this week. We practiced in a new, bigger field, on new and improved sheep, and Star showed his approval in the work. With just a few more weeks before The Soldier Hollow Classic and Meeker Championship, we will be out and about more and more and it will be very good for my youngster.

This week's lessons:
  1. It's not the end of the world 
  2. Where did you learn to move like that?
  3. When the going gets tough...

 Here's an excerpt:
Sheep were being held for him by my friend and her dog, and I was quite happy to be told that Star never glanced at the set out dog on his way by with the sheep. That a boy! And he had fun on the fetch. Instead of having to push sluggish Dorpers, these sheep moved off easily, to the extent that his pace required an occasional steady whistle instead of the accustomed shushing encouragement. Nice! We were both having fun. He needed some support to accomplish the off-balance flanks on the fetch, but what I really liked was the fact that his flanks were animated and he didn't give ground at the outset. The pressure of the heavy Dorpers causes him to over-flank, but because these sheep were moving forward, the arc of his flanks had to match their momentum and he was a different dog. So nice to see. This is a reminder to keep in mind the type of sheep you train with when you are working your dog. I could have called Star bad, and attempted to fix the perceived problem when he gave ground to the Dorpers on his flanks, but I would have been wrong in doing so. Different sheep bring out different reactions from a dog, which is why some dogs are inconsistent from trial to trial, or are only successful at home, or do not handle fill-in-the-blank type sheep. The truly great dogs are able to rise to the occasion on all types, and the truly great handlers understand the difference.


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