Building drive / Leave it command - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
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Building drive / Leave it command

If you are attempting to build a dog's drive which follows closely with confidence in the dog - would using the command 'leave it' squash some of that drive?

I'm not talking about the actual verbage, what I mean is pulling the dog off of natural drive by correcting it (often) when the action isn't what the handler is seeking.

Say I'm trying to build ball drive and in the mean time my dog grabs anything that moves and attempts to initiate play. If the handler allows the dog to build a natural drive (or build on the existing drive) would continuous corrections without some sort of positive reinforcement actually teach the dog that the drive isn't what the handler is seeking, but only interaction with the ball?

Is this making any sense?

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 09:17 AM
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I think telling a dog to leave it when you are drive building will only increase his drive/build frustration.
If you correct(verbally) and then redirect, it shouldn't squash it.

Last night I was having Karlo retrieve bumpers(teaching him some control on directions). There were two white ones and an orange one in the middle. He had to watch me throw them while in heel position and then I sent him to a certain one. All the time he was sitting there his drive was ramping up. If he went towards the wrong one, I called him off, brought him back to re-do it. It didn't squash his drive, just built it up! For some reason, he wanted the orange one...it was thrown out the farthest and in the center of the others. I had to correct him a few times because he went center instead of where I was directing him.

Is my example what you are thinking of? This wasn't a confidence exercise, though....I was working on taking directions/control work.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
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Yes! Exactly what I was meaning. If I have a dog that has drive, but I want to build on that drive, how to keep him focused on the exercise and not on the 'feeling' that is being built. Not making him lose the excitement by using too many corrections.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 09:28 AM
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My trainer has me use food instead of ball/tug for teaching some things. After I've done a correction or redirection I'll have him circle for the food then jump up to get it. That will bring him back into drive quickly, so I'm not wasting time with a ball or tug.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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So in an effort to get him to engage back into gear, you'll use something that you know will bring him back into focus of the drive and not focus on the correction, right? But asking him to do something simple or solid to him (jumping for the food) and then rewarding that action with the treat, right? And then go back to the original exercise....

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilie View Post

Say I'm trying to build ball drive and in the mean time my dog grabs anything that moves and attempts to initiate play. If the handler allows the dog to build a natural drive (or build on the existing drive) would continuous corrections without some sort of positive reinforcement actually teach the dog that the drive isn't what the handler is seeking, but only interaction with the ball?

Is this making any sense?
Do you mean you are trying to play with the ball but your dog is going after other things and you are using the "leave it" or corrections on these other distractions because your dog is not engaging with the ball. Or do you mean you are using correction when your dog goes after the ball when you hadn't given him the "ok" yet.


or are you talking about situations where you are not interested in working but your dog is trying to engage you and you are not sure if you want to discourage this behaviour?

Sorry just not sure what you meant.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
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Let me try to explain with out making it too lengthy.

My GSD has never torn up a toy. He just doesn't get that excited. When he plays tug, he plays as if he is playing with a child. He'll tug without using too much power, then gladly gives up. If you throw it, fine. If you don't, fine.

He has developed a new behavior that includes jumping up against a tree and biting the limbs he can reach. He does this when he is turned on and gets frustrated. So I see drive (energy) that needs to be released. We built a spring pole and I'm attempting to get him to use it, instead of the tree. He'll play with it, when I'm there. But not interested at all when it's in the tree. Nor does he use the same amount of drive while playing with it.

So, I experimented finding a toy that he really likes. My daughter bought him a plush toy that has a ball connected to it with a bungee cord. He loves it and will actually pull on the ball with much more power then any other toy. He likes the bungee effect.

I found a toy that is made of a more durable material and you hook your finger on the front of it, pull the tail and then release. It has a bungee center and it flys. I can get him nuts over it. He'll grab the front (like the lips of the fish, or beak of a bird) and pull on it hard. This is the first toy that he will attempt to rip to pieces.

So, now I'm putting the pieces of the puzzle together. If I attach a toy like this to the spring pole and get him to engage with the toy on his own, then he'll have an outlet for when the cats come snooping around or the horses come to the fence (this is what triggers the tree attacks).

BUT, I'm having difficulty getting him to attack the spring pole and not the tree. If I correct the tree attack - he ingores the spring pole (attached to the tree) and runs and finds something else to play with (ball, stick etc.) If I attempt to make the spring pole more interesting he'll play with it like it's made of china, therefore defeats the purpose.

Also - this isn't a matter of getting him more tired. He has a bad leg, and can only with stand a certain amount of exercise with out being totally lame afterwards for days. So I have to create things for him to do that help him not become frustrated.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
So in an effort to get him to engage back into gear, you'll use something that you know will bring him back into focus of the drive and not focus on the correction, right? But asking him to do something simple or solid to him (jumping for the food) and then rewarding that action with the treat, right? And then go back to the original exercise
Yes, the food/movement puts him back into drive after a verbal or collar correction...quick/and get to the point.
Sounds like he is redirecting his frustration to whatever he can reach.
I would get a two handle tug
Synthetic Tug 12"-Elite K-9 or have a ball on string Hallmark K9 - Premium Dog Training Equipment - BALLS to play with.
Tug with him and then out him, don't let him have it for a couple tugs worth. Don't throw it either, you want to have him know that you are the reason for the 'game' After your session is almost done, then a bit of fetch is fine. If you are 'teaching' something, crate him afterwards for a processing down time...may help his bum leg, too.

Jane~
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for the help, Jane!

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 08:36 PM
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I hope you get more perspectives on this...interesting discussion IMO!

Jane~
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