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 24, 2010

Week 92

My turn, my turn

Mirk bore the brunt of my focus this week as I prepare for Soldier Hollow and Meeker. Star will be working on the trip, doing a demo at SoHo and exhausting at Meeker, but he is on my back burner just now as far as trainig goes. That certainly doesn't mean he got the week off, however.

This week's lessons:
  1. Why oh why?
  2. !##% *^!(!!
  3. Just a minute

Here's an excerpt:

Back in the big field today, and Star was all over the place. I set up big outruns of 500 yards. I don't care if he's running wide just now, I'm making final adjustments to Mirk for trialing, and Star will just have to play along. Still cautious away-to-me, I gave the odd whistle as he was running out and helped him retain impulsion. The whistle also kept him happy, and he was better to that side than the other. He ran out quite wide to the left, and would have missed his sheep altogether if not for my "there" whistle. He disappeared through the wash, then ran out around the big hill, instead of across it. When he appeared again, he was too deep, missin his sheep, and continuing on. You know, I just can't feel frustrated with him just now. He needs my acceptance and encouragement, and his work wasn't that bad anyway. I just left him to it with lots of praise and enthusiasm when he was at hand. I feel like I caused this slump he seems to be in, and together we'll just have to figure out a way through. I have absolutely no doubt that our up coming road trip will propel him in the right direction. I have never had a dog that reacted any other than favorably to the new and different away from home. It will likely be just what he needs.
Part of the problem too, I believe, is that he is getting only cursory work. He's there, he's young, he needs to be trained, so I work him. Clearly Mirk is my focus right now, and feeling the unmitigated glare of my scrutiny. Little Star man only has a supporting role. The producer of Soldier Hollow, Mark Petersen, has asked me to put on a demonstration at the trial for the masses. I will use Star as the demo dog, and at Meeker, he is signed up to exhaust. He will be getting work, he will be getting attention, and he will be getting socialized in grand style. All good.  

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