Administrator & Alpha Bitch of the Wild Bunch
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Michigan, USA
Re: No Drive?!
All you can do is bring out every ounce of drive the dog possesses, but that will still be limited by his genetics. You can't put drive into a dog that doesn't have it naturally.
Keep sessions short and sweet. Stop before the dog loses interest. For some dogs, this may mean 2 minutes is the most you can get. But quitting before their drive and interest wanes, while they still want more, helps bring out more drive through frustration for future sessions.
Back-tying a dog and teasing him, giving him the bite on the toy only when he's really in drive for it, helps teach him to maximize his drive. Many dogs work better to learn to work in drive when the handler uses a dog "fishing pole" rather than holding the toy in hand. This allows for quicker and more jerky movements of the prey object, which illicits more drive, and also keeps the play more away from the handler so there is less danger of the dog being intimidated by the handler looming over him or feeling inhibited about trying to take the toy from the handler.
You also have to go with what is a higher motivator for the dog. For some dogs this may be a tug, for others a rag, for others a leash, for others a ball. Try different things to find what he prefers and is more willing to work for. While obedience for a toy is preferrable in many ways, you have to work with what the dog brings to the table. If he doesn't have the drive for a toy, switching to food or praise as a motivator/reward may make for better training.
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