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Old 03-28-2014, 03:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How did you figure out that your dog was high drive/stories/advice on high drive dogs

We were told that our dog Skadi was high drive before we brought her home. We soon discovered it was true because she is crazy for a ball and tug and is busy all the time unless she has something to do. She has been learning an off switch in the house and has been doing well, but sometimes she will still chew on things if we don't keep her busy. Grim is not as ball crazy but he still likes to play ball and has a lot of energy. I would love to hear about your high drive dog and how you help them to succeed.
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Grim, AKA Bones , GSD 7.7.13
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Old 03-28-2014, 04:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welll.. let me introduce Titan... He is 4. I very very quickly learned he was high drive when he was very very young.. about the time I got him home at 8 weeks. He always want the ball.. instantly learned that fetch was a great game.. then soon became obsessed. Initially I thought he was jsut a normal puppy.. but later learned he was a normal high drive puppy.. lol. He has been socialized up the wazoo, trained informally and formally, and is generally a very very good boy.. he however wants NOTHING in life more than to play fetch.. every second of every day. He doesn't even pay mind to anything or anyone when he's playing.. it's all pure focus on what were doing. To him.. fetch is work.. it is his job to get that ball.. people and dogs alike, become obstacles.

Just yesterday I had played with him.. intense fetch.. about 3 times already.. before work.. came home and took him for an about 2.5 mile run following with about .5 mile walk to cool down. Got home played fetch AGAIN immediately.. and he was out for all offfff... like 30-45 minutes. I would even give him an hour of just laying down, then he was asking to go play fetch again.

Anyways.. it has been an adventure learning how to get him to a place where he will turn "off" in the house. When he was a puppy it was much more frustrating. I thought if I gave him access to all his toys, he would jsut chew on something, or play with something, but he wanted nothing to do with anyting unless it involved me throwing it and him bringing it back to me. I even had to teach him proper tug, lol. I figured after research and coming on here, that he was a good candidate for "toy restriction" lol. He didn't get any access to toys at all, unless I brought them out. All he got were his bones and Kong. Even his Kong was tricky becaue it looked circular... like a ball. With Toy restriction, he didn't have the option to play or anything. He had the option to go outside, or be calm in the house chewing on a bone.

That took a while to get him used to but we also had/have a pretty good routine. Right now, he gets either, intense fetch, enough to tire him out, or a good run first thing in the morning. I get ready for work and he gets fed right before I leave. When I get home it's either a long walk or good run, and then more fetch when we get home. That's for his physical stimulation. For mental we do a mixture of OB and scent work. That really really works him mentally and he tends to tucker out quicker. That and mixing in OB and playing.

We are also part of a SAR orgnaization, currently taking a break, but when we did that, it helped with his energy level.

I also make him work for everything. He has to stay in a "down, stay" to eat. He has to do some basic OB before we start playing. Mid play we stop and he has to do more OB. Before we go on walks or runs, he has to do a sit, stay while I get ready and then before we take off he is in a sit until I say ok. I would say too that his toy restriction raelly really helped his energy level when we were inside. He doesn't have a choice but to be calm.

I am looking at getting into agility for fun, just for more physical and mental stimulation and he has the drive for it so I know he would probably be great.

How old is Skadi? What's her background, if you know?
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Old 03-28-2014, 04:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Lovely to hear about Titan! Skadi is the same way. She is on the same toy restriction and is only given toys in the house at certain times, otherwise we give her raw bones to chew because it helps her settle. She will be 2 in April. Her previous home returned her because she used to resource guard her toys and food and they had a child. We have mostly worked her through this except with especially tasty bones. We brought her home last June and our breeder let us know she was high drive. Her exact words were "You want her? She's nonstop!" She then went on to tell us that Skadi would need a job:-)
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Grim, AKA Bones , GSD 7.7.13

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Old 03-28-2014, 04:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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are you planning on doing any fun training with her? Do you have a kind of routine with her? I know that it makes a huge difference with Titan if we switch our routine. When we move.. he gets into this anxious state.. of OMG we need to do something now.. then the routine gets back into play and he's fine again.
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Old 03-28-2014, 04:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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So far Pan has been the highest drive dog I've raised. I'd call him a solid "high drive" but not extreme. High because it took very little, if anything to get him going and he would work work work for hours and still be having fun. He was not a dog that had to be lured or constantly "motivated" with rewards in order to stay engaged. Even when he saw a good amount of pressure in Schutzhund training he wanted to be there, wanted to do the work. When it came to flyball, he was just about out of control! NO rewards necessary there, just doing it all weekend was self-rewarding for him (made him harder to train since making mistakes were just as fun as doing it right and NRMs never made one lick of difference). His hunt drive and food drive were not as high, it was mostly prey drive with a low threshold. He was also a dog that needed some human interaction, metal, and physical work to be kept in check. Not a dog that would lie by my side if I were sick for a week. I didn't "figure" it out but specifically bought a dog that would have higher prey drive and be good for many sports. Pan was actually a bit of a sleeper puppy, pretty mellow for the first 6 months.
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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In the mornings before we work, she gets a workout playing and running with Grim in the backyard. When we get home, we take them both for a long hike, then my husband plays ball and tug with her with obedience mixed in, a few more play sessions/a ball/ tug session for Grim, then they get bones. Grim earns his dinner with obedience and handling exercises, and Skadi, who is getting over hand shyness, is handled for her food. We are taking her to an IPO group for obedience weekly, and soon we will also bring Grim once he is done with his first humane society class. We are unsure of whether she is suited for bitework, but she enjoys obedience there because it is so tug driven.
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Skadi, AKA Lady Wolfington, GSD 4.6.12
Grim, AKA Bones , GSD 7.7.13

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Old 03-28-2014, 05:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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awesome! Well test out IPO and if it doesn't pan out, you can try other stuff Sounds lieka good routine, I'd love to take Titan hiking more often. Though when we go, he always finds sticks and brings it back to us for fetch... lol
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Skadi will bring me socks to tug with in the absence of toys....sounds familiar.
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Grim, AKA Bones , GSD 7.7.13
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Haha! Yes.. Titan is like Skadi but with fetch.. lol ANYTHING is a fetch toy.. he's tried pine cones, rocks, sand, a leaf, crummpled papers.. and most recently a twig.. I kid you not.. it was about a millimeter in thickness and about 4 inches long.. it didn't even withstand him bringing it to me. *sigh* lol
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
So far Pan has been the highest drive dog I've raised. I'd call him a solid "high drive" but not extreme. High because it took very little, if anything to get him going and he would work work work for hours and still be having fun. He was not a dog that had to be lured or constantly "motivated" with rewards in order to stay engaged. Even when he saw a good amount of pressure in Schutzhund training he wanted to be there, wanted to do the work. When it came to flyball, he was just about out of control! NO rewards necessary there, just doing it all weekend was self-rewarding for him (made him harder to train since making mistakes were just as fun as doing it right and NRMs never made one lick of difference). His hunt drive and food drive were not as high, it was mostly prey drive with a low threshold. He was also a dog that needed some human interaction, metal, and physical work to be kept in check. Not a dog that would lie by my side if I were sick for a week. I didn't "figure" it out but specifically bought a dog that would have higher prey drive and be good for many sports. Pan was actually a bit of a sleeper puppy, pretty mellow for the first 6 months.
Skadi would probably find flyball pretty self rewarding as well...She is also high prey drive with a low threshold, not as food motivated, but she loves for me to hide her ball for her to find, and can do it for hours if I'd let her..:-).
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Skadi, AKA Lady Wolfington, GSD 4.6.12
Grim, AKA Bones , GSD 7.7.13

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