Developing Drives (prey/ball) - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-07-2018, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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Developing Drives (prey/ball)

I have a 20month male WL. he went thru basic obedience training and did very well.

he also did bite work. Initially, he has very high prey drive but it has seemed to have waned a lot. Is there a proper way to sort of "re-develop" it?

he also used to be very confident of himself. unfortunately, he's been very suspicious lately and shy away from confrontations. But as soon as we bring out the bite sleeve, its like a switch turns on and he gets excited and want to start biting.

Whenever we show him a tennis ball, he seems disinterested. But once we throw it, he'd go after it but won't bring it back. I'd have to walk to him. he'd let go of the ball readily and let me throw it again.

Hope you can share some insight in maybe helping him get more confident

Last edited by menglim97; 11-07-2018 at 09:43 AM.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-07-2018, 12:27 PM
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When Finn was evaluated for a basic obedience class, the trainer saw that he lacked ball drive. He said that I’d have to work with Finn to develop the drive to chase a ball because it’s extremely important for the building of skills necessary for more advanced training and even helpful for the very basics of obedience.
He showed me how to motivate Finn by using a ball.

First off as a handler you need to show a ton of enthusiasm. Be excited, have fun and be goofy. Your dog will be more interested if youre 100% in the game.
Use two balls. When your dog willingly gives you the ball, immediately toss him the 2nd ball...run away from him, when he chases you, stop take the ball he has in his mouth and immediately toss him the ball you have in your hand.
He’ll love that game.

When he gets the hang of that game instead of tossing the 2nd ball to him, throw it a short distance away, when he retrieves it and brings it back to you take it (praise him like crazy) and immediately throw the 2nd ball to him.
Do some running away from him. Let him chase you. You’ll see that he’s having fun.

Finn’s trainer was right.
All the basic skills can be taught by using a ball.
Sit.
Down.
Stay.
Drop it.
Leave it.
Soon as he follows a command toss him the ball.

Obviously if your dog likes biting a sleeve he already has the drive to work or play.

Play is the foundation for Learning and bonding.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-07-2018, 12:32 PM
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Ps. Finn liked the Kong balls that squeaked.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-07-2018, 06:57 PM
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those Kong squeeky balls have a nice hole in the middle to add a good solid string through. I like the larger size for my dogs.

Here is a little sample of swapping balls between two. The fun is that coming back means the game goes on. Not bringing a ball back means no more game together.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-07-2018, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Findlay View Post
When Finn was evaluated for a basic obedience class, the trainer saw that he lacked ball drive. He said that I’d have to work with Finn to develop the drive to chase a ball because it’s extremely important for the building of skills necessary for more advanced training and even helpful for the very basics of obedience.
He showed me how to motivate Finn by using a ball......
Thanks very much for this info. would definitely try to be more goofy I must admit, I'm too serious around our dogs
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-08-2018, 10:03 AM
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Thanks very much for this info. would definitely try to be more goofy I must admit, I'm too serious around our dogs
that can happen when we are tired after a day of work. Training becomes too routine and lacks spirit. When your dog runs off it is an invitation to play chase. My dogs must think I am mentally inferior. I never seem to get the hint. Eventually they come back to me in pity, since I am just not bright enough to figure out that I am supposed to chase them

Often I put on some snappy music, It helps time the workout and gives me a little zest. Of course watching my videos, I can still up my game a bit. That is the main reason for videos, to see ourselves training and what can be improved.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-08-2018, 10:56 AM
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Whats he doing before y’all try and play?

Chilling around the house, crated, kenneled, etc

"German Shepherds are cool dogs... You're welcome" - Memoirs of Cpt Stephanitz 1933

You see, a Malinois’ love is very different from that of a square - Prof. Adolph Reul

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-09-2018, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by menglim97 View Post
I have a 20month male WL. he went thru basic obedience training and did very well.

he also did bite work. Initially, he has very high prey drive but it has seemed to have waned a lot. Is there a proper way to sort of "re-develop" it?

he also used to be very confident of himself. unfortunately, he's been very suspicious lately and shy away from confrontations. But as soon as we bring out the bite sleeve, its like a switch turns on and he gets excited and want to start biting.

Whenever we show him a tennis ball, he seems disinterested. But once we throw it, he'd go after it but won't bring it back. I'd have to walk to him. he'd let go of the ball readily and let me throw it again.

Hope you can share some insight in maybe helping him get more confident
In your thread starter You asked how you can develop drives and
You then mention in the post that your dog has had a change in temperament, “Suspicious”and “Shy away from confrontations.”
But when you bring out the sleeve he gets excited.

That change in his temperment could be boredom and lack of excersise, he could be looking for you to engage him in an activity.
If as you say, he has a high prey drive, he needs to work, he needs to be made tired through excersise and mental stimulation.
High prey drive dogs crave activity.

If he loves to bite the sleeve, he’d love to play tugging games with you. You can find tug games for dogs on google.
You can also include some tugging while playing fetch.
Car2ners video shows some tugging while playing fetch.

You wrote he did well in basic obedience.
Run him thru his basic commands everyday and reward him with a lot of praise, with the ball or a game of tug. By doing things like that you are engaging your dog.
He wants to please you so think of ways to engage him.

Last edited by Findlay; 11-09-2018 at 11:48 AM.
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