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Kay 12-18-2012 05:09 PM

Tips on getting my girl into "drive" or "work mode"
Hello. My girl is 2.5 years old. We have been working on obedience for a while now. She has 2 legs towards her CDX. We almost finished this past weekend, except she took a liking to walking the broad jump :(

The broad jump has always been a touch and go issue with her. I feel she knows it, but is deciding when she wants to actually jump it... she's messing with me. I'm going to set up some poles next to it and start from the beginning... make sure she knows it's a jump.

My MAIN issue with her is keeping her interested, she seems to get very bored when in the ring... but not all the time. When she is in "work mode", she is amazing... she'll launch over the broad jump, rush out to retrieve the dumbell like I shot her out of a cannon, and do instant finishes. Other times, she saunters when heeling, casually strolls to the dumbell and walks the broad. I'll set her up for an exercise, and when I tell her to sit she responds very slowly, and sometimes I have to say it multiple times. It's frustrating for me, and I feel she can sense it. We were in two trials in one day, and she was on in the morning, but dead in the afternoon. Even the judge said it was like I had two different dogs.

I can tell if she is going to walk the broad or not, just based on her attitude when we're in the ring. If she seems lazy, bored, and uninterested, no way she'll jump it. If she's in "work mode", she is a blast and I have nothing to worry about. I need to know how to switch her "on" and keep it that way. I know it is something I'm doing wrong, and I want to fix it. I want her to have fun :(

Is there something I can go back to the beginning and work on? She loves toys and food, but I can't bring those into the ring. Any help is appreciated!

JakodaCD OA 12-18-2012 05:11 PM

since she loves toys, can you get a spare dumbbell and work it as a TOY??

Ever tried blowing in her ear? LOL, my aussie used to go into nutso mode when I did that:)

martemchik 12-18-2012 05:20 PM

21 Attachment(s)
I play tug all the time. As soon as I see my boy getting flat or bored I'll pull out a tug toy to motivate him. You can do this at trials...just not inside the actual ring. I also try not to sit around at trials for too long. One time I did a Rally trial in the morning, and should've been in the obedience ring like 2 hours later (with the same judge) but he was SUPER SUPER slow and it ended up being about 5 hours later. We qualified for our CD leg...but with a super low score and 6 out of the 8 dogs NQ'd.

So if I'm at a trial, I'm constantly playing/training him every 15-30 minutes just to make sure he doesn't get tired and bored.

4TheDawgies 12-18-2012 07:25 PM

My dogs adore a good "party" is what I call it. After obedience I will throw a celebratory party about how awesome their obedience was. This involves pets, jumping up in arms, running around playing with each other. Sometimes I will throw small ones for a victory in the middle of a training session. Sometimes I will offer small hints of "keep going" with a neck scratch or a pat on the head before we start to heel.

In the ring you are allowed to share affection with your dog in between exercises within moderation. When you start throwing parties with your dog getting them amped up playing with you and goofing off, they will just build drive when you offer small hints of it.
This ends up building my dogs up throughout routines to keep them motivated to work for me.

A huge thing as well is your mood and attitude. If you run in that ring confident as ever with happy tones and playful up beat cheer to your routine, Your dog will match that tenfold and you guys will dance.
If you walk in the ring with a poor attitude, mild headache, tired, doubtful, your dog is going to reflect that and look dull and lack enthusiasm.

onyx'girl 12-18-2012 07:43 PM

Have you looked at Bridget Carlsen's site? She has some good tips about enthusiasm and engagement. You can rent some of her vids at bowwowflix

Frid 08-24-2013 04:35 AM

You can try praising up your dog or interact with him before hand or like others have said hype him up with a toy.
I go on and on about how I was taught with working dogs about stuff, but it seems to help out alot regardless of breed line. The new dogs here obviously don't have that drive to work like the one trained dog that I run alot. To get them interested in searching, we "play" with them. Acting like we throw the Kong down the hallway or throwing it to someone down the hall and they run into a room or area and pretend to hide it helps alot. You should see how hard they will work to find that thing lol. Also at the end of searching or in your case obstacle course, we throw their Kong into a building or out of their line of sight. That way next time they go back, they will search like mad to find it. It's not the same as what you are having trouble with, but just a couple ideas on how to get the dog interested in what you are trying to complete. Hope this helps.


hunterisgreat 08-24-2013 09:04 AM

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Practices loading the dog up with drive using just your eyes and breathing (hard to explain) prior to reward in training. This will give you a tool to keep her engaged and in drive without dangling a reward. Ill try and video it for you

Samba 08-27-2013 11:06 PM

Can you get to a Bridget Carlsen seminar? There is no quick answer for this. Your dog needs to be conditioned to come in to drive upon entering the ring and your training needs to focus on keeping the drive built in to all the exercises. Keeping the dog keen in competition is ongoing maintenance of drive and desire.

Freestep 08-28-2013 01:11 AM

At one time I was sort of trying to do SchH with a softer GSD. She did not have a ton of drive, so I used to crate her before training. At least an hour, preferably two. I'd let her sit in the car and watch other teams training before taking her out. This really did seem to build her drive. It would carry her through the training session most days.

hunterisgreat 08-28-2013 08:57 AM

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Originally Posted by Freestep (Post 4110090)
At one time I was sort of trying to do SchH with a softer GSD. She did not have a ton of drive, so I used to crate her before training. At least an hour, preferably two. I'd let her sit in the car and watch other teams training before taking her out. This really did seem to build her drive. It would carry her through the training session most days.

Sounds too late, but brings up a good point. If that dog was put back in the crate right as she was almost in peak drive, she'd be coming out next week the same way.

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