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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-15-2009, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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Drive Threshold in SchH Training

I am reading a book that talks about drive threshold or "Reizschwelle". This is a new concept to me and the book, at least so far, doesn't give a lot of examples.

Just for general knowledge, what does a low or high drive threshold look like in training? What are the challenges of each?

Specifically, I wonder if low drive threshold is what I am experiencing with Bison. It doesn't take much at all for him to get so um..."drivey" that he can't learn.

Also, I did not raise him to do SchH. (He will be 4 at the end of the month) I wonder what I could have done differently in raising him that would help with this situation.

Amy
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 12:32 AM
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Re: Drive Threshold in SchH Training

I came across some info on drive thresholds few days ago - see if your questions are answered here: http://leerburg.com/drives2.htm

Check the 'Drive Thresholds' section.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 07:29 AM
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Re: Drive Threshold in SchH Training

Thresholds are basically a measurement of how must stimuli is required to get a dog to react to something. The more stimuli required the higher the threshold. A dog that has little prey drive would be considered high threshold for prey. Most of this is genetic, but can be influenced by environment. Thresholds also usually increase as a dog ages. Puppies that are VERY aware of their environment (due to being low threshold and not because of weak nerves) will become less aware and reactive as they mature.

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 05:00 PM
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Re: Drive Threshold in SchH Training

Quote:
Originally Posted By: lhczthPuppies that are VERY aware of their environment (due to being low threshold and not because of weak nerves) will become less aware and reactive as they mature.
Boy! I hope that you are correct! We have a male who just turned 2 and he is by far the most alert, curious and aware dog that we have ever had (or seen for that matter). Can be a real handful esp. in class or when trying to keep his attention and focus during training.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Drive Threshold in SchH Training

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Originally Posted By: gagradyI came across some info on drive thresholds few days ago - see if your questions are answered here: http://leerburg.com/drives2.htm

Check the 'Drive Thresholds' section.
This information is about defense thresh hold and strength of nerve. Based on what I have read, Bison has good nerve. The book I referenced talked more about prey drive threshold.

Quote:
Originally Posted By: lhczthA dog that has little prey drive would be considered high threshold for prey.
The author made a distinct difference between the level of drive and the threshold. That is what I thought was very interesting. I alway thought that Bison had a VERY high prey drive, but after reading this, I wonder if he has high prey drive with low threshold. I will give you a training example.

Being a novice handler, I am still trying to figure out how to hold the leash, how to grab the treats... just my figity movements are putting Bison into high drive. The last two Saturdays during obedience time durin club, Tim has been coaching me to display confident and clear movements so as not to kick in his drive. It is working better. When I read about the low prey drive threshold, it made me think of this.

Quote:
Originally Posted By: lhczthPuppies that are VERY aware of their environment (due to being low threshold and not because of weak nerves) will become less aware and reactive as they mature.
So, Bison is 4 and is still acting like this. I am sure partially due to me not training something correctly when he was a pup. So they say hind sight is 20/20. What should I have done?

Amy
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 07:25 PM
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Re: Drive Threshold in SchH Training

My first dog Ryot had a VERY high threshold for agression (while he was with me he never reached that threshold, no matter what anyone did, though he was only about 16 months old). He was very self assured and never reacted to anything with agression. Now looking back his temperament was the best out of the 3 I have owned. I would much rather have an overly confident dog vs one with a low threshold for agression(that is what I would want, I'm sure others have different needs/wants)

My second dog, Rade, had a VERY low threshold for agression. One wrong move and the agression came out. He was very trigger happy (weak nerved IMO due to other temperament issues). I went from one end of the spectrum to the other and was not prepared to deal with it.

Now I would say Mace has a low to moderate threshold for agression (depending on the situation). He rarely barks but watches intently and if there is something he doesnt like he responds to it. For example, last night I was sitting in a parking lot and these two guys came out and started walking towards the car (they were parked next to us). Mace didnt respond, just watched and then they began wrestling and Mace alerted to that. Now had that been Rade he would have been barking/snarling/growling the second he saw them walking towards the car, and Ryot would not have even barked when they did start wrestling.

I do have a question though. Mace, when he's on the schutzhund field he goes straight into defense. Would that determine his threshold level, or would his everyday life determine it? Outside of Schutzhund it takes a little more to get him into defense, as he likes to sit back and wait for something to happen vs seek it out.

BTW, I only used agression as a threshold example because thats one thing all my dogs have differed dramatically.

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 07:33 PM
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Re: Drive Threshold in SchH Training

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Originally Posted By: RuthieI wonder if he has high prey drive with low threshold. I will give you a training example.
I would say yes, Bison has high prey drive with a low threshold. Bison, like Mace, feeds off of anything and goes straight into drive. There is no need for build up or frustration to bring the drive out, to bring them higher in drive, yes, but not to bring it out (this is my novice opinion).

I dont even think Mace has a threshold, he's always in some form of drive, lol

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 08:54 PM
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Re: Drive Threshold in SchH Training

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Originally Posted By: lhczthThresholds are basically a measurement of how must stimuli is required to get a dog to react to something. The more stimuli required the higher the threshold. A dog that has little prey drive would be considered high threshold for prey. Most of this is genetic, but can be influenced by environment. Thresholds also usually increase as a dog ages. Puppies that are VERY aware of their environment (due to being low threshold and not because of weak nerves) will become less aware and reactive as they mature.
To simple explanation to a new buzz word

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 09:24 PM
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Re: Drive Threshold in SchH Training

Sometimes simple is better and the term threshold has been around for a rather long time.

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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 09:40 PM
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Re: Drive Threshold in SchH Training

I really like the part on this article about thresholds

http://www.vanerp.net/ilse/GSDINFO/E...emperament.htm

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