Inara goes to school

Today we started a handling class that is put on by a local rescue.  It is specifically for pit bulls, which is awesome.  There are only 3 other dogs, so it’s not too overwhelming.  It’ll be nice to have a safe place to work on Inara’s reactivity issues.

Today we just worked on loose leash walking.  Always easier said than done, especially when there are other dogs around.  Inara did really well though.  She had one minor meltdown before class started when a super-reactive dog immediately started barking and screaming as soon as she (the other dog, not Inara) entered the room.  Inara got pretty worked up but as soon as the dog left she settled down pretty quickly.  

We took turns walking across the room and back, focusing a lot on eye contact.  Inara really made me proud, bouncing along beside me, glancing up at me frequently.  Near the end of the hour though she was starting to get antsy.  She was tired of the treats I had brought so they weren’t keeping her attention any more.  Next week I’m planning on taking 2 or 3 different kinds of treats.  I’m also going to try to keep her moving more next week, even when it’s not our turn.  That way she doesn’t have time to get bored and start obsessing over her Halti and being dramatic.

On a side note, they are selling hand-made leashes with these phenomenal clasps on them:


These are neat – they actually “lock” by sliding a toggle so there isn’t any possible way for it to come detached from the collar.  They’re very strong but still lightweight.  I’m pretty excited – I never trust “regular” leash snaps.

Inara’s already smart, but hopefully she’ll get even smarter as we attend dog school.  I think it’s 6 weeks long, and I’ll probably sign up for it again, just for the experience.