Drives in protection training - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 85 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Drives in protection training

Topic that came up on the sleeve carrying thread and I would like to continue it here to hopefully get more information.

It was stated that there are behaviors that you can observe to determine what drive the dog is working in. I know that each dog is going to behave differently, but would love to hear some examples.

Example:
A high pitched fast bark indicates prey drive.

Amy
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post #2 of 85 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 09:41 AM
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I was told that Stark works a lot in defense drive when working on protection.

Big deep booming barks, tail up and wagging slightly, eyes on the helpers eyes/not the sleeve when it is on, if it's on the ground or on the shelf, then he will bark at it though, he lunges forward about 90% of the time, not backing away from the TD. He has a bit of a choppy bite lately so we are working on increasing his prey drive/possession by doing a lot of carrying the sleeve, flirt pole, tug, etc.

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post #3 of 85 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 11:56 AM
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I have a defense type dog as well, barking has always been "normal" and not the high pitched prey stuff. Never barks at the sleeve. If the sleeve is on the ground and the helper is in his space, he's lunging at the helper, sleeve or no sleeve. Also he works better in close but the escapes are getting better.
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post #4 of 85 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 12:08 PM
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Lies, have you ever been told to work on bringing out more prey drive?

I was told a few weeks ago that although Stark has excellent prey drive, in protection it doesn't come out as much and that if he continues to work in defense (and I am not careful/in control) it could be bad (dangerous).

What are your thoughts on trying things to promote more prey into protection. To me I thought it sounded silly, because isn't protection work suppose to be about defense?

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post #5 of 85 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 12:13 PM
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Elisabeth, I think it's not so much promoting or not promoting prey drive but getting the dog to switch back and forth between the two. A very balanced dog will be able go back and forth between defense and prey depending on what the helper is doing. A more defensive dog will default to defense unless the helper makes a concerted effort to put him in prey (and even then the dog may not switch). A more prey-ish dog will default to prey unless the helper can get into his head and challenges him.

Last edited by Jason L; 08-25-2010 at 12:15 PM.
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post #6 of 85 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 12:16 PM
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Thanks Jason. Makes sense.

Besides bark, what other signs can you see that help a newbie like me know when he is using a defensive approach or a prey driven approach? And, when would each be appropriate?

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post #7 of 85 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by elisabeth_00117 View Post
Lies, have you ever been told to work on bringing out more prey drive?
I haven't been told to, but I don't really do anything at home that carries over into protection. Prey drive in obedience is totally different, the dog will chase, tackle, kill, shake, rinse repeat until he keels over from a heart attack if I'd let him. Helper does things to work on certain aspects, like last weekend we did something a little different with the long bites. The nice thing is that it doesn't take a lot to activate the dog. I notice some dogs that are more defensive also require more from the helper to activate. He will run the blinds and engage, doesn't need to get all whipped up by the helper before starting a round. Personally I kinda prefer defense over prey assuming no dog of mine is ever going to be completely and ideally "balance" as far as the "perfect" GSD.
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post #8 of 85 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elisabeth_00117 View Post
Thanks Jason. Makes sense.

Besides bark, what other signs can you see that help a newbie like me know when he is using a defensive approach or a prey driven approach? And, when would each be appropriate?
Oh, I don't know ... you have ask someone like Anne for that lol! Half the time I think I am putting the dogs in defense and they just look at me like I am some schmuck with a sleeve and a whip ...
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post #9 of 85 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
I notice some dogs that are more defensive also require more from the helper to activate.
Lies, I would think a more defensive dog will require less from a helper to activate.
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post #10 of 85 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason L View Post
Elisabeth, I think it's not so much promoting or not promoting prey drive but getting the dog to switch back and forth between the two. A very balanced dog will be able go back and forth between defense and prey depending on what the helper is doing. A more defensive dog will default to defense unless the helper makes a concerted effort to put him in prey (and even then the dog may not switch). A more prey-ish dog will default to prey unless the helper can get into his head and challenges him.
Also, a dog who is unable to switch to prey may ultimately begin to feel more and more pressured in bitework. After all, where is the release of pressure, what is the reward, and how do they win if they are always in defense and the guy ALWAYS comes back the next session?

Add in a new field and new decoys, and a 2nd decoy for the back half, additional pressure from the handler as you work toward that Sch3 and maybe more points, and the confrontation for the dog becomes a bigger and bigger deal. If they have the ability to switch into prey that will bring in more fun for the dog, more of a release of pressure after a moment defense/fight, and a reason to want to keep coming back.

Christine

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