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 29, 2010

Week 93

There was quite a bit of up and down this week as Star hit a rough patch. I can trace it all to an in appropriate correction I gave him a few weeks ago that caused him hesitancy in his outwork. We are endeavoring to correct my mistake using a few different techniques getting with mixed results. Gone for 2 weeks, I leave for The Soldier Hollow Classic and Meeker Championship sheepdog trials in 2 days, however, and I am confident that the change of sheep, scenery and job description will work wonders for Star and re-boot his connection to the work.

There will no posts here or to The RTC II-Jed for the next 2 weeks, but please check back often to the BorderSmith Blog. I will be blogging from the road with commentary, pictures, results and dish from 2 of the year's biggest sheepdog trials. Stay tuned...

This week's lessons:
  1. In the groove
  2. Out of the groove
  3. Half a pound of cure
Here's an excerpt:

In the big field again, I used to Price to set sheep on the high end, then took Star and Mirk and began walking to the bottom. Learning from yesterday, we stopped half-way, I staked out Mirk, and sent Star for his sheep over a distance of about 200 yards. Even though they were slightly obscured behind some low brush, Star ran out well away-to-me, found them easily, and looked quite keen during the entire process. I allowed him to fetch them a short way, then together we drove them back up on the hill for Mirk. This is my last full day to tune up for SoHo and Meeker, so I ran the hair off Mirk before giving Star another go. I had Mirk leave the sheep a few hundred yards away, and sent Star away-to-me. With the sheep in plain sight, he ran out like a shot, and looked every bit his old self doing so. I called him off, we walked a few hundred yards away, and I sent him again only this time, come-bye. I was watching for it, and he again pulled in while eyeing his sheep. No good. I again called him off and we walked a short ways away. This time, I left him lying down, walked to the sheep, and sent him come-bye using the presence of my body to push him out wide on his outrun. Not only was he nice and fast and keen, but he made a beautiful gather. That worked so well that we repeated the endeavor for the same result then re-grouped for shedding.

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