Welcome to The Real Time Canine, Part Two

Welcome to part two of The Real Time Canine. In this edition, I will describe the daily life of a Border Collie sheepdog prospect. In weekly posts using words and pictures, I will describe what they learn and how they learn it. Each pup imparts knowledge in their own special way, and through them I will give you insight into how I train a Border Collie Sheepdog from beginning to success.

As with Kensmuir Star in the original
Real Time Canine, you will be with us every step of the way as these talented youngsters acquire the confidence, willingness and skills necessary to attain my goal for them to become a useful working sheepdog and successful trial competitor. I hope you will join us and find useful tips and technique on how to train a sheepdog.

After a lifetime with animals, dogs, horses and livestock, I am happy to share my expertise with you. I have found success at 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!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Tam's 1st Time

On his way to a successful pen
Tammy won the nursery at Hopland!!! How can that be, you ask? It was his first trial after all. Tam was the only nursery dog entered into the combined running of the pro-novice and nursery, so by default, he was the winner. Hey, sometimes you have to take it any way you can get it.

Little Tammy is the winner in my heart, but because there were not enough nursery dogs entered to qualify any for the national finals, he is still leg-less. That is without any of the 2 legs/wins necessary to qualify for the national nursery finals next year in Virginia. There must be 5 dogs entered to qualify 1, 7 to qualify 2, and so on up the list.

After an inauspicious beginning to the 1st of 2 runs, boy did he run well. He crossed on the 1st outrun, even though I sent him away-to-me, his most favored side. Upon reflection I realized that outrun was the farthest I'd ever sent him from my feet, and I hadn't been dissappointed any way. He's only 19 months after all. He took every whistle to make both drive panels, and had a successful pen in spite of the fact that he'd only practiced penning a time or two in his life.

In the second running, I sent him the other way, and off he went with all the speed and enthusiasm I've come to enjoy from my little Tam-O-Canter. No cross this time, just a wide and deep gather past a set out crew that he'd never encountered before. I was pleased to see him take steady whistles on the fetch after having struggled with the concept at home. On this run, Tam timed out at the pen, but what a great run it had been for him.

With this dog, it will be all about experience from here on out. He has accepted the training well, and now just needs miles. It is my intent to take it slow with Tam, because he is not one that is wise beyond his years. He has a happy, puppy attitude that I like and want to leave in place for as long as possible.

Next up, Coalinga, if we get in. Entries are in the mail. If not, Tam will be chilling at home, learning, gaining confidence and maturity until Snowbirds on the Border over New Years. Look for Tam in the nursery at a dog trial near you soon.