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.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Spottie, my Spottie...

At 11 months
I'm fortunate. I have 2 youngsters in my kennel that please me. Tam you already know. He's a little further along than young Spot, and going to his first trial the end of November. At a year and half, it's all about stretching things out with him, making the distances longer while keeping him happy and correct. Gifted with a natural outrun, and graceful precision, it was feel for his sheep that he lacked.

It's been a slow process instilling that particular skill and not over yet. Too often young dogs become the proverbial square peg in a round hole under the guidance of less patient handlers. They hurriedly pound prospects into places they don't fit to accomplish a short term goal sacrificing confidence in the hastened process. I take my time creating pace in Tammy, and leave his pushy side alive and well. I'd rather have a 3year old dog that's rough around the edges, than a 5 year old running mechanically and hesitant.

But enough about Tam. What about the gorgeous pup in the picture? Spot is from a paternal line of dogs I have long admired. I've had others from the line, and when they're good, there's nothing like 'em.  A trusted friend told me about the litter, and I bought him just like that.

Spottie is big, bouncy and playful. He's not one of those needy Border Collies though. He really doesn't care if I pet him. He's the one that digs the holes, chews stuff up, knocks the water over. I hauled him with me this summer on my road trip to Soldier Hollow, Meeker, Strang Ranch and the Finals, and he gained some much needed socialization. On that trip Spot was the one that barked if tied out, got his hair up at other dogs, snarked at Tam, and chewed through the trailer light plug. Agh! He's busy, and he's a handful.

And he's also very fun to train. His enthusiasm is boundless with huge displays of style and eye that I love. He hasn't shown any fear whatsoever towards anything, but he does possess a healthy respect for me. At 10 months, we're just having fun. Little gathers, a lie down, a stand, learning his flanks on whistle and voice, and lots and lots of wearing, wearing, wearing. Want to pull sheep off the fence? No problem. Load 'em in the trailer? OK, but watch out for a huge dive in after them. Clean flanks? You bet and he'll tuck in those ends all day long.

Life is good at BorderSmith Kennel just now. I have Mirk, who has become the grand old man and is running like buttah. My friend, Mandy is graciously allowing me to compete with Buff. So nice, and then there's my pups. Tam you'll be seeing soon enough, and then there's Spottie, my Spottie...

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