The Real Time Canine II

After spending 2 years writing the Real Time Canine, the adventure continues with The Real Time Canine II. Read along as I look for just the right puppy to continue the experience. After false starts with Tim and Jed, I am currently training young Tam, and Spot, which are both off to a strong start. Please visit the RTC II to read about training sessions as they occur.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Watch This!

Photo credit:
Visit this crazy link to a Welsh television station, Ffermio.TV, and see a few of the semi-final runs and all of the final from the 2008 World Trial in Wales, including Richard Millichap's edge-of-your-seat shed and pen completed as time dwindled. Since all of his dogs, including my 2, are on the same whistles, it was like a training clinic for me, but so is watching all world-class hands.
I am humbled by the precision with which these dogs work. A slight inflection, use of their name or half-whistle issued in a consistent, streaming conversation around the course that simply guides the dogs leaving them to flow behind their sheep. There's none of the start and stop, get up and lie down that I see at so many trials and what a pleasure it is to see. An appreciative nod here to Penny Caster for alerting everybody to the website through her sheepdog-L post and to technology for bringing a Welsh event from half a world away into my living room with no more effort than a mouse click. Amazing.


  1. Hi Amelia,

    while watching the preliminary runs, I was struck by how much the UK handlers stopped and started thier dogs!Even more so than over here. It was not what I had expected to see.

    What I heard about the finals, was that they were afraid to stop thier dogs, as the sheep were going to be heavy and they would have difficulty moving them if the dogs stopped too often.

    This is non-specific to any one person or dog, but a general comment I heard alot during the world trial.

    Nancy O

  2. Hi Nancy, and thank you for your comment. Just wanted to take a minute to congratulate you on your success in Wales. I was very proud to have you on our team.

  3. Hi Amelia,

    thanks. field 3 would not have been my choice of fields, with it being small (heart shaped, with sheep dropped at the left side of the top of the heart and allowed to drift down the fence to settle about 20-30 yards off the fenceline with at the most a 300 yard outrun) and more of a technical field,not what I had been expecting. Many many handlers sent thier dog as soon as they saw the sheep being pushed down along the fenceline, I was told it was because they were afraid to let the sheep settle too much, as they would be difficult to lift.

    Nick is known for his pushiness and not for precision. So I was very pleased with his run, he did all that I asked, when I asked it and the errors were on my part, dropping a bit low on the cross drive, a little wide on the turn at the cross drive panel and in and out of the shedding ring for the shed, each one of these errors costing me about 2 points per judge.

    My blog of the world trial is at

    Nancy O