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In another thread it was brought up that we can/can't create drive by depriving our dogs. Deprive them from what? Anything the dog really wants. Some people don't let there dogs have toys except the ones they use for training. Some keep there dogs kenneled/crated except for when they are training. Some will make the dog skip a meal or two to increase the desire for food and so on. So what are your thoughts?
 

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Good question. Both trainers I have worked with believe withholding food/toys improves training.

I do it on a limited basis, no breakfast on training day and such, not too many different toys around.

It makes sense, intuitively, but that doesn't mean it's always the best way....(??)
 

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I don't do this but it kind of happens naturally being that my Schutzhund club is 2.5 hours away and my dogs are kept crated in my vehicle when it's not their turn. So there are always periods of them being separated from me and only having access to water before they are worked and then again afterward. At home, I do not purposely do this. We have dog toys littering the house and yard. I use food to train some things but it is not in place of meals. I just feel like there are some things my dogs have to earn but there are some things they just get and don't have to work for. Meals and water are things dogs just get. Some of my training toys are not left out but it's more because they will get destroyed quickly, not because I need to deprive the dog of them in order for it to have value. My current SchH/IPO dog is not crated at home unless we have company. He is always crated in the vehicle for safety and since we train in several venues, he's actually crated almost every day plus we travel every weekend for SchH training and/or tournaments and other events.

I like having dogs around and that's why I own them. Now if I had a kennel I'd probably use it at times, but not for "creating" drive, more because sometimes I need to do things without dogs in the way, or dogs are stinky and I just want them out for a while. I don't know if you can create drive through deprivation or not, it's just not a strategy I've tried.
 

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I wouldn't do this. Deprivation training's not my style at all. I think there are better and kinder ways of motivating a dog.

I went to my first Schutzhund trial today and it was pretty eye-opening. I only saw five dogs doing their level 2 obedience routines, no protection or tracking work (would have liked to stay longer, but I had to get back to do something else this afternoon). All the dogs I saw scored between 70 and 74, so I don't know how representative that is, but as a group they didn't appear to be particularly into their work.

So yeah I think I'll stick with my current motivational methods for the time being.
 

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I have been around many people in several venues that believe you can build drive/desire to work though deprivation. The dog is only out, given attention to, fed, etc when they work. They don't want to work food, attention, toys are withheld. It is a form of negative punishment and often used by those who do not believe in positive punishment. It is also used by those who treat dogs like training equipment. No different than a baseball glove. :(

I hated this mindset when I first heard of it 30 years ago and my opinion has not changed.
 

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They don't want to work food, attention, toys are withheld. It is a form of negative punishment and often used by those who do not believe in positive punishment.
Now that I actually do use, although not in the sense of kenneling the dog except when it's being worked or depriving of it water, meals, etc.

The version I use is more like Denise Fenzi's "Fred": Meet Fred | Denise Fenzi

...except since I actually have two dogs, I'll switch off and work Crookytail for a few minutes with LOTS! OF! ENTHUSIASM! if Pongu is flagging. Meanwhile Pongu just gets ignored.

It never lasts for more than about five or six minutes because Crooky is, alas, dumb as a box of rocks and I can only take so much pretending to be excited by his enthusiastic but inept efforts. But it sure gets Pongu back in the game. And meanwhile Crooky gets some attention and cookies and maybe a couple of inches closer to whatever project he's currently been assigned, so it's win-win for Dog Mob.
 

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I have also seen this used a lot by people who don't believe in, or want to use corrections for crappy performance. Personally I would much rather use fair corrections over deprivation. It's not just bite sport people who do this, a lot of performance sport people seem to use it because they believe that correcting dogs is evil! (But not letting them enjoy life is fine lol)
 

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My trainer has sent me in this direction in that I'm to remove all toys and basically crate kaiser before nd after training. Its hard for me because he's a pet first and my natural inclination is to love on him and spend all my time with him. I understand the difference between a true pet and. True working dog, and I realize that not every dog within those categories requires the same type of training. I will say however that Kaiser is more engaged now, than he was before. Will he be a top sport dog in any venue? No. But that's ok. I DO want a flawless bh routine and I DO want kick a** focus during whatever spoet we do pursue though. If this gets me there, when nothing else did, then ill give it a go.

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I have also seen this used a lot by people who don't believe in, or want to use corrections for crappy performance. Personally I would much rather use fair corrections over deprivation. It's not just bite sport people who do this, a lot of performance sport people seem to use it because they believe that correcting dogs is evil! (But not letting them enjoy life is fine lol)
Yeah. It is hypocritical and a contradiction in itself.

I do not like doing it either...however, skipping a meal to use it during training is something I do.

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I cut tennis balls out for awhile when we first started training. We were working on grip and not chewing. The tennis ball had started a habit of chewing and wanting to hold everything in the front of his mouth (where the tennis ball comfortably goes). His grip is great now, nice and deep, and no chewing on the puppy sleeve. I could probably get the tennis balls back out, just haven't thought to.

I haven't done it for food. I haven't had any need to, but if the dog's food drive wasn't there I would consider skipping the morning meal the day of, or the night before and then just feed it on the track or during obedience.

Dogs in general are driven by the survival instincts, food, play/prey, sex, etc...it makes sense that the surefire way to up the drive for any of these things is to deprive them of it. No food=increased their want/drive for food (or to perform for it, ie hunting), locked in a crate, isolated=increased desire(drive) for play/pack interaction, don't let them breed a female in heat==well, you can imagine that picture lol. That's what makes all these things happen in nature.

Burt Bellon talks about this. He uses an eagle or hawk as an example. Bird wakes up, get hunger pains, the hunger pains up it's hunting drive, bird starts looking around and hunts---gets the reward of eating. If they didn't have the hunger pains, wouldn't have the drive to hunt, wouldn't eat, and would die.

It's all up to the handler, what they think their dog needs, and what type of dog it is (what it brings to the table genetically) and what it's history is.
 

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I have also seen this used a lot by people who don't believe in, or want to use corrections for crappy performance. Personally I would much rather use fair corrections over deprivation. It's not just bite sport people who do this, a lot of performance sport people seem to use it because they believe that correcting dogs is evil! (But not letting them enjoy life is fine lol)
:thumbup:
 

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I think a good question to piggy back off of the OP question is, what is a proper amount of deprivation to create drive?

Obviously deprivation creates drive (it's what makes the world go round in nature). But too much deprivation leads to death, decreased mental state, starvation, etc....so where is the line drawn? When is it okay and not okay?

I believe of course it depends on the dog and what the dog is bringing to the table. Is it stable, balanced nerves, what types of drives does it have without deprivation? You can't take a neurotic dog, leave it in a kennel for a day or two, and then bring it out expecting it to be a stellar obedience specimen. It'll probably be a mental mess.

This topic makes me wonder if we are having to breed higher than "natural" drives into dogs than would occur in nature. Because we aren't like nature, because we don't force our dogs to get hunger pains---hunt--reward of food, we are breeding dogs that have that prey/hunt drive without requiring a hunger pain to induce it.

In turn, maybe that's why natural selection has dulled down such drives in modern pets. Because there is nothing to force the reproduction of prey-drives, house animals never have to hunt, they don't go hungry without drives(because we feed them) so natural selection isn't weeding out those with low survival drives....hmmm...just thinking out loud, sorry if I don't make any sense lol. Any thoughts? Am I thinking about this wrong?
 
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I recommend a <little> food deprivation for people coming out to train. As in don't feed dinner at 4 for a 5:30 class. Generally, just skip the previous meal and feed during training.
They don't have to do this at home, but often the dogs are a little nervous and unfocused when in a strange environment, so being a bit hungry helps to make the training session doable and fun.

For my own dogs.... shoot.... I generally have to feed a small meal first or they are so food driven they can't think straight:).
They always have toys, access to me, and the other dogs.
They are crated on the way to training.

I would never, ever withhold water as a form of deprivation training. What a horrible idea.
 

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Well, in the other thread I said I was doing something different with Recon than I had done with Mina. For me it seems to really be working. He does spend most of his time in a run or crate. when I let him out, he must engage with me either with a ball on rope or tug. Point being when he comes out it means it's "work" time. If he doesn't want to engage he gets put up for a few minutes and I try it again. This actually happened at training today. He was more interested in what the other dogs were doing than me. I put him up for 5 minutes, brought him back out and he was engaged. He does get puppy explore time when he gets zero commands (other than the engagement when I let him out) and can just be free. I don't with hold meals per se but I do make him work for them. Or like this morning, I fed him half at breakfast time then the rest during obedience. I will say I have never had a puppy so engaged. Every second he is out he just wants to be near me. Not the usual puppy near me. This is so much more. Oh! Toys, he doesn't get stuffed toys. Mostly because he tries to eat them. He does however get kongs and things like that. I also let him play with the indestructible ball. Mostly kongs eggs, teething type bones and what not. Nothing that resembles a toy I would use for training(except the ball). So yeah, it's really working for me with this puppy.
 

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Well, in the other thread I said I was doing something different with Recon than I had done with Mina. For me it seems to really be working. He does spend most of his time in a run or crate. when I let him out, he must engage with me either with a ball on rope or tug. Point being when he comes out it means it's "work" time. If he doesn't want to engage he gets put up for a few minutes and I try it again. This actually happened at training today. He was more interested in what the other dogs were doing than me. I put him up for 5 minutes, brought him back out and he was engaged. He does get puppy explore time when he gets zero commands (other than the engagement when I let him out) and can just be free. I don't with hold meals per se but I do make him work for them. Or like this morning, I fed him half at breakfast time then the rest during obedience. I will say I have never had a puppy so engaged. Every second he is out he just wants to be near me. Not the usual puppy near me. This is so much more. Oh! Toys, he doesn't get stuffed toys. Mostly because he tries to eat them. He does however get kongs and things like that. I also let him play with the indestructible ball. Mostly kongs eggs, teething type bones and what not. Nothing that resembles a toy I would use for training(except the ball). So yeah, it's really working for me with this puppy.
My question would be "why?"
If you are doing schutzhund as a breed test, why do you want to create some artificially inspired set of behaviors?
 

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My question would be "why?"
If you are doing schutzhund as a breed test, why do you want to create some artificially inspired set of behaviors?

I do other sports as well, I just don't treat schutzhund itself as a sport just a breed survey. Also I don't necessarily think you can artificially create drives, just enhance them. So if by doing this I enhance the qualities/drives I want in my dog then why not? Like I said it's working great for me. My dog loves me. It's evident. So...
 

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I usually won't feed a big meal before tracking, but I do feed a bit otherwise my dog gets the bile barf and his gut gets upset, so then he isn't motivated to eat. Searching for food on the track has never been high value to him anyway. Especially if there are ants on it! I use to use the meal as the reward, but even that wasn't high value to search for. My dog still wanted to track after the jackpot.
I use food rewards for obedience sometimes, but my dog would rather work for a toy than food. A couple weeks ago after tracking, he chose food, not a ball....just depends on his mood!

As far as crating after a training session, I'm all for that.
It gives the dog some processing time and no matter what phase you just did, the crate time is as important as the session, IMO. If I were to go on to something else after a really good learning session, what the dog just learned won't be retained as well. Though rewarding after tracking with a quick tug/fetch session, because the dog just found his ball or tug is fine. Tug on the way back to the vehicle and crate him.
The only time I crate my dog is when we are training...seldom if ever is he crated at home. I'd rather have my dogs loose in the home if we were broken into, than locked in a crate.

I do have certain toys only for training, and rotate them so they retain some value. My dogs get other toys w/freedom. I allow my dogs to interact with each other too.

I don't think breeding for higher drives is necessary, breeding for balance however, is very important! BUT I don't think breeding dogs with low drive is correct either.
A balanced high drive dog with work ethic/stamina is perfection, IMO.
 

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I understand the concepts behind this thinking.

If you have a wonderful dog with a nice amount if drive, but they expend that drive in the normal course of the day, ie, playing with dog housemates, playing with a favorite squeaky toy, chasing the cats, getting in the trash, running the farm, then they are more likely to not have the NEED to express those drives in work. So by eliminating the possibility if them getting " rewarded" or having fun from non useful expressions of the drive, a handler would be more easily able to use that drive directed in the way they want.

I get it, I just don't buy into it. I refuse to own an animal that must be kennels and isolated for long periods for it to work. I am perfectly capable if managing my dogs free time in a way that they are not expending drive all the time.

That said, I do use some if theory in moderation. My dogs do not have breakfast before training, if I am going to be using food. They do not come out and socialize with dogs and people when at the training field. Training is for work. They are put in their crates after each work session.

My new pup bonded very quickly to my Lab. So right now I am giving them limited time together. So a bit of rotating, until I am more important that other dogs.

But I refuse to not have regular living interaction with a dog in my house. That's just not how I want to live and train.

One more thing. Confining a dog to a crate and only bringing them out to train, may help build a bit if drive. But not that much. You are never going to turn a low drive dog into a high drive dog. You may harness the drives they are born with a bit better. But you can't MAKE drive.

All if my dogs live and interact with me and others all the time. In fact they are all sleeping at my feet right now. And they all have been perfectly capable of jumping right into work when asked.


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If you raise and train a puppy for a "purpose" and the puppy does not work out.... hips, EPI, whatever.... I think we owe it to the dogs to have prepared them for "normal" life.
 
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