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.