Dozer has low drive/motivation... - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Dozer has low drive/motivation...

I bring him to obedience class and he has no interst in it. I love how laid back and calm he is but in class he is so non-caring. He is not food motivated so it is hard to keep his attention.
He just lounges around yawning like he is bored. Luckily I am not doing any type of work with him but I need advice on how to get him motivated. He listens to me and does what I ask but he is so laid back about it. I even tried a toy and he was a bit better.
When I bring him off leash in a field he has full attention on me because I throw a stick and he LOVES his stick but in class I cannot bring a branch with me, lol. He loves to chase my Cairns and they motivate him, maybe I will carry Sadie around in class and put her on the floor to reward him. Just Kidding... His favorite part is when we put them in a down-stay and left the room. He stayed for 10 minutes waiting for me to release him, all the other dogs kept getting up.

Sadie, my Cairn, is HIGHLY food motivated and she will not take take her eyes off my face, that is why she did so good in Rally. Dozer is the opposite.

It is not a heath issue because he has lots of energy just short attention span. After class I brought him to a field and he was on turbo, running, fetching etc.

My goal is to have be a therapy dog and he is perfect with all the qualifications for that. Metting strangers and other dogs. Maybe he will not be doing Rally any time soon, lol.

Any ideas on how I can get him to be motivated?

Jess
Dozer (9/23/08-GSD),
Scooter (12/26/03- Cairn Terrier)
Sadie (7/24/2004- Carin Terrier)
Mylo (6/99 Maine Coon Kitty)
Ally (8/12/99 Ragdoll Mix Kitty)
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 02:10 PM
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Re: Dozer has low drive/motivation...

Play with him more. Try different toys til you find one that he really really likes. Blake was like that, totally bored at training and no drive at all. I started to play with him lots and now he has so much drive I can't believe it!

Blake - 2008/06/03
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 05:41 PM
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Re: Dozer has low drive/motivation...

Quote:
Originally Posted By: Dozer I even tried a toy and he was a bit better. When I bring him off leash in a field he has full attention on me because I throw a stick and he LOVES his stick but in class I cannot bring a branch with me, lol. He loves to chase my Cairns and they motivate him.
That's all prey drive. Get a ball on a rope, play with him with it, building drive by not letting him catch it, then insert a command, he'll comply, and release and let him catch it, the play tugging, and then "Out" (let go)...it will be the reward. Make it your toy, only used for short daily training sessions. Kept short to leave him wanting more, always ending on a success.

You can cut a couple of pieces of old rubber garden hose,about a foot long, to use as sticks, and play with those, tossing, fetching trading one for the other to teach the OUT. Safer than a stick, doesn't bounce crazy like a ball.

There is nothing you can't teach him employing that drive in a positive way. Formal classes often tend to go on too long for boredom not to kick in, but serve well to help socialize, and proof under distraction the commands you work on outside of class.

And don't just work at home, train the schoolyard, at the park, in an empty parking lot...it generalizes the commands so they are understood and complied with everywhere.


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 06:02 PM
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Re: Dozer has low drive/motivation...

he's still young, sometimes it takes a while for the drives and motivation to come out. my von hena c female took a good 8-9 months or so. i thought she was a poopy puppy, boy was i wrong!
maybe you should get Dozer into a more interesting class, like intro puppy agility, i bet that would spark his attention. thats what i did with Neka, she loved it!
the ddr lines are very slow to mature, you have to help things along if you want to see anything early, and even then, it just takes time and the right motivational stuff.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Dozer has low drive/motivation...

Those are all great ideas, I have an old garden hose in the basement and I am going to buy another rope with a ball on the end (he shredded the other one).

I feel like he is a poopy puppy too and although I love how he is laid back it is so hard to get him to stay focused on me.

I thought about agility but I figured it would be hard since he seems to have no motivation now.

Jess
Dozer (9/23/08-GSD),
Scooter (12/26/03- Cairn Terrier)
Sadie (7/24/2004- Carin Terrier)
Mylo (6/99 Maine Coon Kitty)
Ally (8/12/99 Ragdoll Mix Kitty)
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 06:51 PM
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Re: Dozer has low drive/motivation...

Keep working at it.I think it was well over 6 months for Athena to really want to play.She is all for chasing the ball now.She will tug with Lexi but if a human grabs what ever she lets go.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 06:59 PM
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Re: Dozer has low drive/motivation...

some pups that seem to have no motivation in Ob classes come alive in the agility stuff. its more exciting for them. and its really good for their coordenation. it builds confidence and dexterity.
how old is he? be careful about thinking he's a poopy puppy, you could get qyuite a surprise like i did. when Neka bloomed watch out anything that was chasable! she is a wild woman. and because she is so toy motivated, i can completely get and hold her attention, totally obsessed, and you might see this as well at some point soon. but in the meantime i would try a puppy agility.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Dozer has low drive/motivation...

Dozer is 6 months old. He has lots of energy when I take him out the fields and run around with him. I kind of hope he gets a little bit of motivation when he gets old. he has a very strong dive to chase Scooter and Sadie. I am just going to carry them around in class...

Jess
Dozer (9/23/08-GSD),
Scooter (12/26/03- Cairn Terrier)
Sadie (7/24/2004- Carin Terrier)
Mylo (6/99 Maine Coon Kitty)
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 07:13 PM
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Re: Dozer has low drive/motivation...

if he likes sticks, how about seeing if he likes one of those hard tuggy stick type toys?

With Masi, that dog has enough energy for a football team) She is much more toy /play motivated than food motivated,,she's gone thru I don't know how many of those "chuckit squirrels"? they are like a fabric squarer frisbee? She only gets them when we 'play',,but she is tough on those things )

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-22-2009, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Dozer has low drive/motivation...

He is weird because sometimes when I throw the stick he gets really excited, sometimes when I throw it he runs after it and right past it. His nose NEVER leaves the ground. He will put his nose in every single footprint he sees and he would much rather do that than play fetch.

He is still trying to get the bringing it back part down, most of the time he brings it back (within 4 feet) and sometimes he starts and just drops it to sniff.

I was thinking about trying tracking with him.

Jess
Dozer (9/23/08-GSD),
Scooter (12/26/03- Cairn Terrier)
Sadie (7/24/2004- Carin Terrier)
Mylo (6/99 Maine Coon Kitty)
Ally (8/12/99 Ragdoll Mix Kitty)
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