When is the quality of the handler nor critical?
Here I'm using the term "handler"
as it's used in LE (law enforcement) to mean 'one who handles the dog.' That person is separate from the "trainer," the person charged with most of the training with the dog, but does not work him on the street. While handlers do some training, it's mostly maintenance and then, mostly OB or repeating movements that have been taught by the trainer. There's little problem solving, and virtually no original work. With some handlers, there may be some overlap into the duties of trainer, but they generally lack the skill or the knowledge that a trainer of these dogs must have. In this system the quality of the handler is "not critical."
In fact, for example in the detection work, the handler can purposefully try to pull the dog away from a find or get him to false alert. But the alerts are so obvious that, as the saying goes, "a blind man can see them."
In the system that I use, devised by Donn Yarnall** and named after him, the DYDTS (Donn Yarnall Drive Training System), the dog's drives are used with little input from the handler. Many, if not most, systems use a handler supplied reward supplied using the theories of OC (Operant Conditioning). Such a system is inherently flawed for my purposes, and I use it very little for training either LE or SAR (Search And Rescue) dogs. I’m not talking about teaching a dog to do what I call "tricks" (no diminishment intended) which many people use for OB, or for various forms of competition. There, substituting behaviors for drives can achieve great success.
And marking training is a method of teaching behaviors.
Yes it is. I find that there is little use, beyond teaching OB (and even there I use it little) when training these dogs for these vocations.
Invoking drives is managing the state of mind and underlying motivation of the dog. Not only are they not mutually exclusive but quite complementary. All training is invoking drives anyway
MOST training uses drives, but only at a superficial level. And they are allowed to be satisfied only occasionally.
**For those not familiar with Donn Yarnall – He founded and headed the LAPD K−9 Narcotics Detection Unit that still works at the LA Airport. He went on to found the LAPD K−9 Patrol unit and was its head trainer for the next 20, or so, years, until his retirement. He started to develop this system while still on the LAPD, and perfected it over the next couple of years. He had no secrets for sale. He shared what he knew with anyone who asked and was interested.