If I may ask a question - Page 1

Pedigree Database


by bladeedge on 29 April 2020 - 06:04

I worked a number of dogs over the years. Some with super drive. some may have had lower food, ball, hunt ect. I know people who do sport with their dogs may say they need them all to be strong. I think if you're honest with your self every one has had a dog where some drives will not be as strong as others. I'm taken nerve out of this as without strong nerve you have nothing to start with imo. What I would ask is if a drive is lower or missing which one would you prefer it to be but still continue on in the roll you want from the start. Which drive is most important and which is give or take. I'd like to hear from sports people, pp, police, assistants dog people, ect. Thanks

by Hired Dog on 29 April 2020 - 06:04

Bladeedge, I understand what you mean about drives, but, please remember that many years a go, some of those drives that are important for sport, for example, were not as strong or in some cases, even present, yet, dogs were still trained and titled in whatever sport they were involved in.
The same thing applies to police and military and so on and so forth. I believe that since play and excess prey drives were over developed, the younger trainers who were not training 40 years a go learned how to train utilizing these drives and know of no other way to train or title a dog.

For me, I want a balanced dog, not too much or too little of anything, however, I believe that to continue to train a dog for a job without the proper drives genetically in place is an exercise in futility and frustration.
If a dog is missing the required prey drive or has very little of it, as an example, and that dog is being trained for police work, would it not be better to wash that dog and find another one that qualifies more for the job?
Of course not every dog comes perfectly balanced, but, depending on the job and your qualifications as a trainer, you can make do with a dog that is not 100% what you want.
If I had to pick one drive that could be less, but, not totally extinct, I would choose what people call toy drive, desire to play/engage with a toy.


by bladeedge on 29 April 2020 - 07:04

Yes hired dog. I would agree with you and the point you made that some drive wasn't as strong and definitely could not be utilised the way they are today. Alot of training to could not be done without these strong drives today.. Imo alot of trainers could not work without these drives.

Balance is one thing I won't do without myself. I myself could work with a lower food drive as that is very easily manipulate every dog has to eat at sometime.

One of my current dogs he is older now. When I trained him for pp had the lowest drive iv ever seen. What he had in abundance was nerve, very balanced strong discernment and presence. I figured out what made him tick and worked with that.


by GK1 on 29 April 2020 - 08:04

I do like the strong toy-focus (prey) drives and would probably be let down if a dog of mine had no interest. Frisbee, water retrieve, tug, flirt pole etc., - effective tools for obedience, control and bonding while keeping the dog well tuned physically. The toy focus can (and should) be kept totally separate from handler protection in which case the dog will require some capacity to work in/through defense via willingness to fight. Because life isn’t always fun and games right. On the other hand, most owners don’t require a dog with propensity for human suspicion, aggression. Maybe prey is the king then.

by apple on 29 April 2020 - 09:04

Regarding your comment that toy focus can and should be kept totally separate from handler protection, I'm going to offer a different perspective. Regardless if a dog is training for police apprehension, PP, or sport, the goal is controlled aggression meaning the dog bites when you tell him to bite unless you are being assaulted and a good dog's protective instincts should override handler control of aggression in that situation. I am training my 26 month old GSD in PSA. He is ready for the entry level PDC, but there are no trials due to the pandemic and we train for certain aspects of the higher levels anyway so that the dog is learning the behaviors he will need to be successful. What we have been working on is focused heeling with a decoy on the field. First the dog had to accomplish maintaining a focus heel with three decoys walking right next to him yelling, shaking and hitting him with a clatter stick or a can curtain. He did this off leash and he was rewarded by me tossing the tug to the side rather than forward so as not to create forging. The decoys were not wearing a suit because that would be a strong cue for the dog to want to bite them. The next step was to have a decoy on the field in a suit remaining stationary while we did focused heeling, but this time on leash. The heeling was in the form of a few steps, turns and pivots. When it was time to mark and reward with the tug, I didn't toss it, but made prey with it to the side holding on to it and the leash and the goal is for the dog to bite the tug. What always happens is the dog ignores the toy and tries to go after the decoy in the suit because it is of higher value to the dog. It took about three sessions and the dog learned if he didn't bite the tug after several tries of marking the release, he would be put up until the next training day. It took about three training sessions and the dog finally learned that if he wanted to bite something, it has to be the toy and not the decoy. The session he figured it out, he was released to bite the tug several times and then he was released to bite the decoy. After getting to bite the decoy, the next release from a focused heel goes back to biting the toy, and of course, the dog goes back to ignoring the toy because there is more satisfaction in biting the decoy, so after a few failed attempts he is put up. Eventually he will get to the point of consistently releasing to the toy, then releasing to the decoy and then back to the toy. This is controlled aggression and the toy is not at all separate from handler protection and actually facilitates control. It not uncommon for police dog handlers to have the belief that the dog should always be focused on the man, and that belief is not consistent with controlled aggression. It is similar to the concept of having a focused heel with a police dog so that he is not out of control and aggressing toward an angry group of people who are not posing an actual threat.

by ValK on 29 April 2020 - 10:04

to be successfully trained, the dog must have sufficient level of intelligence, ability to bond, be loyal to owner and desire for cooperation with owner.
without that, all those so much accented drives (prey, play, aggression, possession, etc.), will worth nothing.

Q Man

by Q Man on 29 April 2020 - 10:04

I think everyone would agree that we want a Balanced dog...What does that mean to you? Then you begin to wonder what your definition of Drive is...What is Prey Drive...What is Defensive Drive...etc...
Are there sub-categories of each...and if so...What?

Is Food Drive...Prey Drive...
Is Ball Drive...Prey Drive...

Tell me what you think...



by GK1 on 29 April 2020 - 10:04

Hey cool that you chimed in apple.

Cannot a dog heel in public safely without a toy to gaze at - instead of eyes downrange along with her handler?

No doubt impressive the control and obedience in these complex sport routines. Much repetition with dog continuously in drive is required for polish.

Helpful if you can post a video of your dog (lol not someone else’s) transitioning from toy focus to decoy focus in a handler protection drill. Although I suspect my dogs learn to anticipate/associate equipment and certain places, people, behaviors with handler directed aggression, I haven’t seen the need to add toys to this equation.

Has any k9 handler as matter of standard procedure transitioned their dog from toy focus to live fight/bite or reverse order? If so, in retrospect was the toy necessary?


by GK1 on 29 April 2020 - 10:04

to be successfully trained, the dog must have sufficient level of intelligence, ability to bond, be loyal to owner and desire for cooperation with owner.
without that, all those so much accented drives (prey, play, aggression, possession, etc.), will worth nothing.

indeed. the reverse applies too..handler must have sufficient intelligence, ability to bond be loyal etc...

by apple on 29 April 2020 - 11:04

Food drive is food drive. There is no such thing as ball drive, yet people know what the term refers to. It is prey drive. Drives are related to instincts and survival. A dog doesn't have a natural instinct to play with a ball and doesn't require one for survival. But having enough prey drive to catch a rabbit will provide food and survival. Same for defense drive. It is instinctive and is a major factor in survival. There are not subcategories, but there are thresholds. Some dogs have a higher threshold for prey drive and might chase an animal and have to interest in a toy. Other dogs with a very low threshold for prey drive will chase practically anything that moves and usually with much higher intensity. I would argue there are sub types of defensive aggression. There is active defensive aggression even though defensive aggression is always reactive. Active refers to a strong type of aggression where a dog is genetically hardwired to be violent and bite when a threat is perceived, even with being trained to bite a person. I am not referring to fear biters. There is passive defensive aggression, where such a dog is hardwired to display defensive posturing such as growling, showing of teeth, snarling, etc. Some of these type of dogs can be taught to fight a man very well and others have a weak passive defensive aggression and are prone to flight. Hunt is a drive which is what it says, a desire to hunt which does not require prey in that the dog doesn't have to see an animal/object moving in order to hunt, but it is not uncommon for dogs with strong prey drive to have high hunt drive. Play is a drive and instinctively, it serves the purpose of teaching pups how to spar with their litter mates so they develop physically and learn certain skills related to p[rey and defense such as chasing, striking, etc. Most other characteristics of dogs are traits rather than drives, such as dominance or frustration aggression which is related to a dog having a low threshold for prey. Handler hardness is a trait. Submission is a trait. Handler independence and handler dependence are traits. For me, a balaqnced GSD has very good prey drive and strong active defensive aggression.


Contact information  Disclaimer  Privacy Statement  Copyright Information  Terms of Service  Cookie policy  ↑ Back to top