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Discussion Starter #1
I have a friend/trainer who is very familiar with schh and GSDs. I mentioned to her that I've had a really hard time teaching Brenna to fetch. She caught on right away that putting the ball in my hand equals yummy things, but when I toss/roll/bounce the ball, even short distances, she will rarely follow it.

So my friend got out a toy that's like a cat fishing toy but for dogs to see what kind of prey drive she has. The weird thing was that Brenna ignored it completely. To watch her you'd think the toy didn't exist. She wasn't scared of it, never flinched if it went near or on her, but refused to even acknowledge it. My friend said that even low drive dogs will usually at least look at the toy. ETA: My friend even took off running across the field dragging the toy behind her and Brenna didn't even move a muscle. I did the same thing and she took off running but she just wanted to follow me, not the toy.

In case it helps, here's a brief history: I got her at 9 months old from a former coworker who was part of a breeding/training program for k9s and they deemed her unsuitable to breed and basically useless to them so I got her for free. They had her for 3 or so months before I got her. I never went to the facility or saw how they trained dogs but from some of her other behaviors my friend believes they used an e-collar on her incorrectly and trained her very harshly despite her being an already soft/timid dog.

Anyone want to be an armchair dog psychologist? lol Or if anyone is familiar with behavior like this, feel free to give advice on how to bring out her drive...I know it's in there somewhere, she goes bonkers trying to chase squirrels or feral cats, it's like she has an on/off switch inside her head. lol
 

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Dog with no prey drive?

Wow, zero prey drive. That is strange.
 

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Re: Dog with no prey drive?

Kyra was like that - she was mostly DDR from police dog stock - no retrieve drive, not very high interest in a ball or toy...good food drive though. A couple of people said she would never get titled because of retrieves. I did the retrieves wtih a marker word, clicker and food reward. They were not fast and snappy, but she understood and performed them.

She did have fantastic prey drive - for REAL prey - small vermin/squirrels/quad tires - and good drive for herding. Prey drive has various components.

Are you trying to do AKC type obedience or schutzhund? If you are not doing protection work, then I would do clicker and marker word work to do the retrieves - which I would break down into very small elements of the exercises. There is a good video (Lisa Clark knows the "author") which I watched at AKC club and based doing Kyra's retrieves on.

Lee
 

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Quote: she goes bonkers trying to chase squirrels or feral cats
Sounds like there's plenty of prey, not enough "play"

They make a toy called "chase it" which looks like a squirrel on the end of a fishing line...sounds like she needs more play time.

Even a stuffed squirrel toy or such and tossing it in the house, praising when chased, praising when returned...it just sounds like some patience and time is needed.

If they had her for 3 mos, and you got her now 9, sounds like the first 6 months were not much fun...and she needs to learn how to play.

anyways, that' my guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Re: Dog with no prey drive?

Originally Posted By: Wolfstraum
Are you trying to do AKC type obedience or schutzhund?
I'm not trying to do either, I do obedience work with her just so she knows commands when I really need to use them. I was hoping to teach her fetch just to have an activity to do with her to burn her energy off. I'm thinking of getting her into herding if she'll do it, but I'm not sure if I can afford it, still waiting on a quote from someone I e-mailed.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Originally Posted By: dOg
Quote: she goes bonkers trying to chase squirrels or feral cats
Sounds like there's plenty of prey, not enough "play"

They make a toy called "chase it" which looks like a squirrel on the end of a fishing line...sounds like she needs more play time.

Even a stuffed squirrel toy or such and tossing it in the house, praising when chased, praising when returned...it just sounds like some patience and time is needed.

If they had her for 3 mos, and you got her now 9, sounds like the first 6 months were not much fun...and she needs to learn how to play.

anyways, that' my guess.
The chase it sounds kind of like what she had, a toy at the end of a big whip like you'd use for a horse.

I do try to toss toys around in the house for her, but she just has no interest. When she's especially hyper and in a good mood she'll chase things but only once or twice and I always praise her and make it fun and happy. She plays really well with dogs, I take her to work (doggie daycare) and she likes to play chase and will play with toys then, but rarely with me. When she plays with me it's usually more of a wrestling match than anything else. lol

Oh and I should clarify, I have had her a while, she just turned 2, I just wanted to add the history since I'm not sure what experiences she may have had with them trying to train her.
 

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You did not mention whether you took the dog as a SCH candidate or a companion, or the dog's current age.

Your comments about the toy are interesting, because I was worried when mine would not react to aggression in a SCH class. ditto regarding the comment about squirrels. And as aside the best GSd I ever had was free.

Treat the dog kindly, show leadership, and my hunch is as a companion your dog will be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I actually got her by chance but never intended for her to be a sch dog. My mom wanted a sable GSD so I acted as the middle man so to speak and Brenna bonded with me overnight while my parents were on their way to FL to pick her up, long story short-I obviously ended up with her. Its weird, she's a completely different dog around just me, but is coming around and loosening up around people she feels comfortable with.

She's my heart dog, no matter how much or little I paid for her...I would have gladly paid whatever the breeder wanted to have gotten her at 8 weeks old and been able to socialize her properly. If only I knew then what I know now!
 
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