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Lately I've been giving more thought as to how I approach obedience training at the start of a session.

I want to get the dog into drive so we can get a good solid enthusiastic session going. For me and my dog that often involves getting him moving one way or another. Sometimes it is using multiple touch pads, other times a long distance stay to the point that he is eager to be released will get him worked up. Other times its harder to get him into drive and the session suffers.

Most of the people in training groups I've seen or been part of use tugs or balls. My dog isn't quite at that point yet. The ball or tug will get him moving but his drive isn't quite high enough with distractions to get him to the level I want this way and he tends to get too playful not focused enough. His food drive is still a much greater motivation for now.

I am curious how other people start their obedience sessions and get their dogs into drive especially if you are doing it without a ball, tug, or toy.
 

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Oh boy... I could write a book on this! ;)

With Zefra, my little one all I have to do is look at her and she is ready to go... LMAO. She was born to work and is always waiting to do something. With her I use nothing, treats, ball, tug, etc... anything really that I have around with me. I sometimes use her leash if I do an impromptu training session as a tug.

Now, with Stark..... oh boy did he teach me a lot of things!

He wouldn't work for a tug, a ball, food, any toy that I purchased or made, etc... he wouldn't even work for me no matter HOW MUCH I tried.

What I ended up doing that worked for us was to back tie him and tease him with the tug or ball until he was super frustrated, then put him away. I did this for a good while before I let him "win" the reward.

Finally after a looooong time, when he saw that reward come out, he would go nuts for it! I finally started asking for little things (sits, downs, heeling, etc.) and then would reward with the reward I had frustrated him with for so long.

What I also do is play with him without anything on me. I push him back, let him jump on me, allow mouthing a bit, and I really, really push him around (he LOVES THAT!). He gets so excited to play rough like that with me that the behaviour is the reward in itself.

Also, using the tug to kinda play "smack the puppy" with. I would take the tug and kinda hit his bumm or side. Drag it over his face really fast without him being able to get it. I would do this for awhile before I worked with him and then would use that tug as the reward and if I felt like I was loosing him at all (drive/enthusiasm/etc) I would start over again and kinda smack him around with it... lol.

With Zefra, to get her REALLY ampt up (which I don't really do because with her I have to work on CAPPING that drive a bit, working through the drive instead of going nutso and not listening to anything) is take the ball (always on a string) and wind it around me, through my legs, etc., keeping it away from her. Then I bring it into me, ask for my command and then release her to get her reward. Really though, with her, I can't do too much drive building before any real training because otherwise she is just too over the top.
 

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Assume you're speaking of prey drive

With my female Katya... well, I wake her up... she is actually in high drive if she knows we are training. No additional encouragement required.

My male, just show him a ball, and he loads. If he's being lazy, a little movement gets the job done

If you're talking about defensive drive or specifically fight drive... my female will show if you give her a little presence and maybe put the sleeve behind your back. If not, a whip crack will get it done. And if still not enough, touch her with the whip and its over the top.

My male is in fight drive by default when he knows we are doing protection training
 

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i've never had to work at getting my dogs
in gear for training or doing anything. when
it's training time my dogs seems like they're
ready to train. i don't have to gear them up.
it seems like my dogs have an on and off
button. when it's time to do things they switch
on, when in the house, the car it's switch off.
when out walking they're on stand by.

are your dogs not showing drive or do you want them
to have more drive, snap or more excitement when it
comes to training or following commands??
 

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I have never thought about it. I just ask them to heel, ask for attention, do some maneuvers (left pivots, right pivots), sometimes pop out a toy or give them a treat or just praise and go. In a trial I will usually play just a bit before going on the field. My dogs come into drive the minute I ask for obedience.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
are your dogs not showing drive or do you want them
to have more drive, snap or more excitement when it
comes to training or following commands??
I'm talking about obedience only (he gets wound up automatically for bitework). There are times when he works a little slower or less enthusiastically. Most of the time he is amazing. Sometimes its a matter of a starting off better or getting him into that drive using food. But I was thinking in terms of competing, getting him ready to go on the field for a trial ...eventually.
 

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Masi hasn't got alot of 'prey' drive, but she sure has alot of 'play' drive:) She loves loves loves obedience (silly dog:),,honestly all I have to do to get her revved up is say "masi wanna DO something?" and she is 'on'./ whether it's going thru an obed routine/killing her jolly ball/or going off to track..She's gonna kill me with her enthusiasm one day..
 

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Wait wait wait... I wanna redo. If you wanna know how I get him to drive, just look at my avatar
 

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does he have his seatbelt on?? I hope so!! LOL
 

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Chief is "on" as soon as he sees his vest in my hand :)
 

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does he have his seatbelt on?? I hope so!! LOL
He doesn't roll like that. He's a rebel... a loner... you don't wanna get mixed up with him. Its hard enough to just get him to keep his eyes on the stupid road... and 3 point turns? sheesh..

lol
 

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Great descriptions Elisabeth! Give me something to try with Jax!

Oh boy... I could write a book on this! ;)

With Zefra, my little one all I have to do is look at her and she is ready to go... LMAO. She was born to work and is always waiting to do something. With her I use nothing, treats, ball, tug, etc... anything really that I have around with me. I sometimes use her leash if I do an impromptu training session as a tug.

Now, with Stark..... oh boy did he teach me a lot of things!

He wouldn't work for a tug, a ball, food, any toy that I purchased or made, etc... he wouldn't even work for me no matter HOW MUCH I tried.

What I ended up doing that worked for us was to back tie him and tease him with the tug or ball until he was super frustrated, then put him away. I did this for a good while before I let him "win" the reward.

Finally after a looooong time, when he saw that reward come out, he would go nuts for it! I finally started asking for little things (sits, downs, heeling, etc.) and then would reward with the reward I had frustrated him with for so long.

What I also do is play with him without anything on me. I push him back, let him jump on me, allow mouthing a bit, and I really, really push him around (he LOVES THAT!). He gets so excited to play rough like that with me that the behaviour is the reward in itself.

Also, using the tug to kinda play "smack the puppy" with. I would take the tug and kinda hit his bumm or side. Drag it over his face really fast without him being able to get it. I would do this for awhile before I worked with him and then would use that tug as the reward and if I felt like I was loosing him at all (drive/enthusiasm/etc) I would start over again and kinda smack him around with it... lol.

With Zefra, to get her REALLY ampt up (which I don't really do because with her I have to work on CAPPING that drive a bit, working through the drive instead of going nutso and not listening to anything) is take the ball (always on a string) and wind it around me, through my legs, etc., keeping it away from her. Then I bring it into me, ask for my command and then release her to get her reward. Really though, with her, I can't do too much drive building before any real training because otherwise she is just too over the top.
 

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well, first you have to get him out of park but make sure you don't put him into reverse... sorry, it just had to be said:)
 

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i wanna know how to get him out of drive!
Put him in neutral. :D

When it's time for training at home or in public, all I need is to show her the reward (tug, ball-on-string, or treat) and let her know I have the clicker and she's ready to go. When it's time for bitework, her harness goes on and she knows.
 
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