Building Drives In A 1 Year Old Dog - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-22-2018, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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Building Drives In A 1 Year Old Dog

So, I need some practical advice. I'm wanting to get my 11 month old girl into Schutzhund in the near future. In the meantime, I'm working with her almost exclusively on obedience. I would also like to build her drives (play and prey) over the near future in preparation for Schutzhund. In my estimation, she has very high drive over short spurts, medium drive the majority of the time, and a healthy "off" when we're done. I'd like to get her to into that high drive mode more frequently and increase the purposeful duration of those spurts. Right now, we play tug a lot. We chase burlap on a string tied to an old fishing pole so I can move it around. We also bounce a tennis-sized rubber ball that has angulations (not particularly round so that it bounces funny directions) so she can track/anticipate its movements and snatch it. Oh, and fetch.

What kinds of things have worked for you to increase drives and keep the motor humming for longer periods of time at this age? All advice welcome!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-22-2018, 11:58 AM
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Do you train obedience in drive?
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-22-2018, 12:14 PM
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Go to Leerburg.com and watch the free videos and articles they have and then consider buying some of the training videos. They are really great with working dogs

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-22-2018, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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Do you train obedience in drive?
Not generally. I tend to train obedience through the food drive, but at times I have trained obedience under play/prey for the simple reason that even if she is highly "excited", I still want her to listen. I'm new at this, so I'm learning. Is that bad?
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-22-2018, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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Go to Leerburg.com and watch the free videos and articles they have and then consider buying some of the training videos. They are really great with working dogs
I will do that. Thanks!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-22-2018, 02:14 PM
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I am new to the dog world, just a pet person not ready for sports yet. I do love to play with my pup tho. Couple things I have learned shaping, teaching, rewarding with food or with play is awesome. Do you and the dog have fun? Are you and the dog learning? Does the dog want to do what you are doing? If you answered yes to all of those than how could it be bad?

I say to my pup "Apex you ready?" The light in eyes change and he is ready to go! The more excited I get the more pumped he gets. I have recently discovered that the more excited I am about "Sit" the faster he sits (also holding out rewards for better/quicker). He really feeds off my energy. If I want a relaxed game I get a relaxed game if I wanna be crazy he gets crazy to. Hope that helps a little.

I have also heard about building drive with frustration. I don't know much about that, a forum search could give you some ideas.

Here is one thread with some ideas.

https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...nto-drive.html
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-22-2018, 02:18 PM
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Use food to teach new stuff if she has food drive. Your dog will learn better and achieve greater precision if she is in a calmer state of mind. Then mix it up with working her in drive with a ball or tug. You can stretch the obedience practice and keep her focused and in drive for gradually longer and longer period. Frustrate her with the toy, getting her amped up, by delaying the reward - this builds drive too.

Though your dog sounds fine, looks like she has plenty of drive. Building drive is not about getting your dog to go all out 100% for extended amounts of time, it is about building up the intensity of the drive by creating frustration (like tying back and teasing with a toy, and timing the reward to when she is at maximum frustration). Building drive for obedience is getting her excited for a reward (as you are doing), and extending the amount of time she stays in drive, focused, and doing obedience before the reward comes.

At this age, don't make the reward come so late that she falls out of drive. If that is a reward every 30 sec to 1 min to start, then start with that. Don't try to push her to over a few minutes right now, You'll get more drive building with short, intense training sessions.

If you are thinking of doing SchH/IPO, any clubs you can join now? They can coach you and help you avoid developing bad habits that will make things more difficult for later.

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