Between a rock and a dog…

Inara and I seem to have hit an impasse with our training.  Not due to lack of skill, but because I can’t trust her off-leash.  She’s totally ready for advanced rally signs, but even the 2nd level of rally and obedience stuff is off leash.  Ginger and I were talking this evening and we feel she’s kind of hit the max benefit from our Rally classes we’ve been taking.  Ginger thinks I need to expand outwards, into new training places.  That frightens me.  It’s very difficult finding good, positive trainers.  And quite frankly, other places are really expensive ($140 for 6 weeks?  Really?).  And I like Ginger and her style of teaching.

I suggested to Ginger that maybe she can offer “semi-private sessions.”  Her normal rally classes have 6 dogs and are $85 for 6 weeks, so I said that maybe she can offer 3 week sessions, with only 3 dogs, for $85.  It’d be a lot more individualized attention, and if we chose the dogs well we could do off-leash stuff w/o worrying.  Once Inara got used to being off-leash around those 2 dogs, another dog could be added in.  I’m not looking to get her playing with other dogs – I want her to IGNORE them entirely.

I may also just do some private sessions with Ginger out and about in the community, just for the change of scenery.  We all know that dogs don’t generalize, so I do maintain Inara’s training elsewhere.  It would be nice sometimes to have Ginger on walks in the park with me when other dogs are passing in close proximity.  Not because I don’t know what to do, but because my confidence increases with her around *blush*.

Any other ideas for me as to break through this impasse?  I’m going to start working hard with Inara on training/walking w/o relying on the leash to keep her by me, even outside.  It will be on, of course, but only as an emergency measure.  But while we’re doing that, I want to DO something – classes, seminars, something.

Inara with Joe, Big Mike and Johnny O of Rescue Ink.
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4 thoughts on “Between a rock and a dog…

  1. Boy, I sure feel your pain! Gus and I are at that same place! Advanced Rally and Obedience Novice…both off leash! My problem isn’t dog aggression…my problem is that he LOVES other dogs and wants to run and play! When we’re at class, he sometimes feels the need to take off and ZOOM around the whole building, jumping gates and making a complete fool of himself and me! I’ve had to go back to the beginning and use a 20 ft. leash on the recall because I can’t trust him not to run! When we showed in Beginner Obedience I actually prayed while walking around the ring that he would stay put! Thank God he did. It’s almost as if he knows when he’s at a show and HAS TO BEHAVE!!
    I’m very fortunate to belong to Youngstown All Breed Training Center where I get lots of help with Gus with great trainers. All I can say is that he’s a work in progress…and work it is! So, like you, I’m going to just keep plugging along and working with him till he gets it!!!

  2. She’s actually not aggressive for the most part, just reactive. She’s very hypermotivated to interact with other dogs, but she’s EXTREMELY rude about it. If the other dog snarks at her (rightfully so) THEN she gets pissy and escalates.

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