12 Mo Old Pup Can't Cap His Drive - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-09-2015, 07:13 AM Thread Starter
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Arrow 12 Mo Old Pup Can't Cap His Drive

And he's always in drive.

I've had a lot of WL dogs in my lifetime & never run into this problem. He can be channeled, but he can't really cap it. Makes him a real delight in the house.

Fortunately he's very food driven, so keeping him occupied with obed is easy & as long as someone is throwing a kong for him, he's fine. He just can't chill.

Is there any chance that this will come with maturity? He can be crated but not kenneled. He's a non stop machine gun barker--right through his e collar.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-09-2015, 12:55 PM
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What's his breeding?

And how are you training him? There are certain methodologies that work better (and worse!) for dogs prone to leaking. Scale back on the reward-based training, or at least don't use highest-value rewards or you will be counter-productive, in that he'll be anticipating his reward and keeping himself keyed-up all the time.

For a dog with extreme drive, I keep everything very low-key. Quiet praise, reward for working for me, not for themselves, and note the things that over-stimulate them and try to avoid them. Too much "drive-building" as a pup can cause this is, so that's why I ask what you're doing with him.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-09-2015, 02:44 PM
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Titan is this way.
He's from the same kennel.
He's getting better at being calm in the house as long as we wear him out which is difficult because he has way more stamina that we do lol.
He's very ball/tug driven. Very very vocal during OB and once he knows you have a ball or tug, sometimes he can't settle. He gets too over stimulated and has a one track mind. He will follow
Commands but will forage forward and if he feels he isn't getting rewarded he will jump up or not out. He will not worry if any part of my body is on the ball, he will take my hand with him.
He's always been high drive and his drive was built up and up as a pup.
As a first time high drive gsd owner, it's too much for me.
So we're taking a break from training, and I'm doing normal dog stuff with him.
Fetch with commands but nothing too formal.
Being out and playing with our other GSD. Long walks.
I'm looking forward to seeing some good replies to this thread.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-09-2015, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vom Eisenherz View Post
What's his breeding?

And how are you training him? There are certain methodologies that work better (and worse!) for dogs prone to leaking. Scale back on the reward-based training, or at least don't use highest-value rewards or you will be counter-productive, in that he'll be anticipating his reward and keeping himself keyed-up all the time.

For a dog with extreme drive, I keep everything very low-key. Quiet praise, reward for working for me, not for themselves, and note the things that over-stimulate them and try to avoid them. Too much "drive-building" as a pup can cause this is, so that's why I ask what you're doing with him.
Excellent advice!
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-10-2015, 07:35 AM Thread Starter
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I have been using a high value food reward, Natural Balance. As long as he's working, he's fine. He falls into a nice focused heeling on his own for his food rewards. He's a maniac on the track, of course. He'll retrieve the kong forever, you can't wear him out.

He's from True Haus, out of Esko & Gina. Their pedigrees are on the site, if you wanted to delve into those & have some insights.

Our nearest club right now is over 1 1/2 hrs away so we haven't gotten him out there nearly enough. Primarily we've focused on obed & tracking with a little rag work--he goes bersek for anything he think looks like a rag. We're moving across country in a couple of weeks & will have a club in our city. I have some concerns about his nerves, we'll have to see. He was actually bolder when he was younger.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-10-2015, 04:33 PM
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You need to teach him to contain himself and use his drive to motivate to perform. First off, from what you describe he is a drivey dog. This is the type of dog that I prefer, but they are not for everyone. My male didn't settle in the house until he was 6 years old. At 9 if there is a toy or kong around he is non stop in the house. I simply remove the toys when I want him to relax, then he calms down and chills out.

It requires some skill and a lot of patience to work a high drive dog. Most folks do not understand how to do this properly. I work with a kong on a rope or a ball on a rope and ensure that my dogs from pups are crazy and high drive for them. A tremendous amount can be taught to a dog with drives as you describe. Part of the learning and training is teaching the dog to "cap" or contain it's drive. The dog get's rewarded with the toy for correct work and being calm, focused and settled. Then he gets paid.

You have a dog that wants to work and you need to make working fun and worthwhile, while he works in a focused manner. I teach behaviors with food, then train the behaviors with the toy. It can be frustrating to work a high drive dog with toys but it is certainly fun and rewarding.

I am not a fan of the dog "working for me" approach. It is one of my pet peeves. If you have a dog that will work and perform then work him and pay him with what he really enjoys. As I said, teach with food and get a reliable performance. Once the dog understands how to heel for example with food, then switch to a ball or kong on a rope. Pay when he is focused, correct and clear headed. Never pay if he is out of position, jumping or frantic. Teach the dog to focus on you with food then move to the toy. When the dog stares up at you and is focused you will see his mouth close, that is the time to pay the dog with food or a toy. If the dog is gassed then he will have trouble closing his mouth, but you will see the concentration and attempts to close the mouth as he is "capped."

Tracking is a different story, if he is a "maniac" on the track then you need to take a step back and design different tracks. You can not teach a dog to track, but we can lay tracks that teach the dog to track in the style and method that we want. I have a fair amount of experience training high drive dogs as you describe for Police and sport work. Your dog can be an excellent tracking dog with that drive, you just need to settle him in with the correctly laid track.

If he will retrieve the "kong forever" play the two ball or two kong game with him on a football field. 10 minutes of wind sprints will teach a lightning fast recall and to "out" or release what ever is in his mouth. Trust me, 10 minutes of that game and he will be gassed. Dogs like yours are a pleasure to train once you get the hang of it. Be patient, and don't get frustrated, you have something very nice to work with.

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance”. George Bernard Shaw

Jim

Last edited by Slamdunc; 05-10-2015 at 04:35 PM.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 02:00 PM
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Nice post as always from Slamdunc.

My husband had a long standing issue with his GSD in terms of capping drive and getting a clean, consistent out so he took Shade Whitesel's online toy class at the Gold level. Really created a thinking/listening dog where outing isn't even an issue that Martin thinks about anymore. Highly recommend the course.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 02:40 PM
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Definitely following this as I have a 4 year old, similar problem - can focus well while working, can even crate and be calm, and be calm outside in a kennel, but hard to settle in the house. Very hard.

Nancy



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