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Discussion Starter #1
Mods please move if in the wrong spot..

Based on my understanding there is a distinct difference between prey AND play drive... prey drive being that a dog chases prey, catches it and possibly takes it in his mouth, shakes it...
Play drive being that a dog chases a ball -for example- brings it back for more PLAY...!??!
BUT isn't that also PREY drive when the dog chases a ball? If the dog had NO prey drive, he would not wanna chase the ball, because moving objects would not interest him, right?
My Cody -I consider him to be- is low to medium prey drive dog... he will STALK and CHASE any and every squirrel, bunny, cat in his sight and he will even guard the tree for a long period of time, where the squirrel ran up to... so in that sense I guess he has considerable amount of PREY drive...
He will NOT chase a tennis ball for extended periods of time, sometimes he will run after it, see what it is and ignore it. Sometimes I can engage him to play for 10 minutes... He will in all circumtances chase his soccer ball though, until he drops or I DROP from exhaustion
He is VERY food motivated and will take food anywhere and in any situation and is always willing to eat (regardless if he already ate or not)... BUT if I put food down on the ground next to his soccer ball, he will choose his soccer ball...

Now is that HIGH play drive (with his soccer ball) or what?!?!?
 

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I am still under the impression that there is no "play drive". I feel that people that use the term play drive have heard prey drive mentioned but misunderstood it to be play. Maybe I'm wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
REally? I know a couple of people, my friends who are in the sport say that too... but then again a couple of OTHER people say that there is a difference???
John, have you read teh book "Schhutzhund obedience in drive" or something like that by Sheila Booth... that specifically makes a difference between prey AND play drives??
 

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A drive is an instinctive response to a stimuli. Prey is a drive.

I do not see play as a drive. It is a social behavior. Yes, some dogs are more interested in playing that others, or tend to play for longer periods of time or more intently than others, so I guess one could say one is "higher play drive" than another. But I do not think using the term drive to refer to playing is really correct.

The execution of prey drive (chasing, grabbing) is fun for a dog. Play is fun for a dog. So they do share that component. And much of our own play interactions with our dogs utilize the dog's prey drive in play (tug, fetch, etc...)

But fundamentally, they are two different things and IMO one is a drive, and one is not.

A dog chasing a rabbit and the same dog playing fetch with his owner will exhibit different sets of behavior, body language, intensity, between the two situations. But that's not because he's in 2 different drives. It's because in the play with the owner situation he is also exhibiting learned social behaviors alongside his drive. There are 2 things going on at once, and his behavior and attitude are the result of the expression of his drive also being heavily influenced by environment. Namely, his previous learning and what he has been taught are considered acceptable and unacceptable behaviors and expressions of his drive in a play environment.

That doesn't change the fact that he chases the ball for the same reason he chases the rabbit... prey drive. And chasing both is fun.
 

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I have not read that book. Honestly I have not read really any Schutzhund books on purpose so that I could form opinions and methods from what I SEE as opposed to what I read"


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Interesting concept.


Niecy
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So Chris you are saying that a dog with high prey might not have high play drive, because of how he was treated before?
 

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Originally Posted By: SuperpupSo Chris you are saying that a dog with high prey might not have high play drive, because of how he was treated before?
As I said, I don't consider play to be a drive. It is a social behavior, rooted partly in genetics and very strongly influenced by environment.

But yes, a dog who was treated poorly, never played with, discouraged from showing natural play behaviors may not show much desire to play, or the ability to know how to play appropriately. He might chase a rabbit, but not a ball... his PREY drive tells him to chase both. But in the social, play environment of chasing the ball, that natural prey drive to chase may be overridden by inhibitions that have been placed on him through prior learning and experiences.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Okay... well how would you explain a dog -like my Cody- chasing his soccer ball but not a tennis ball? If it is prey drive why is it so much stronger for the one and not the other?
I guess it could have something to do with the past like you said.. my DH and his sister's kids played soccer with him when he was a puppy, and the first thing he basically saw was a soccer ball.
 

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A dog with truly high prey drive will chase anything. It's not going to be specific and just chase a soccer ball but not a tennis ball. Of course, through environment and training they can learn that certain objects are more acceptable for chasing (balls) and others are not (the family cat), but the base instinct to chase is always there. It's just whether or not the dog has learned to inhibit the drive or fully express the drive regarding specific objects. But a dog who will chase a soccer ball, but not a tennis ball.... provided he has never been taught that chasing tennis balls is bad.... is not a dog with a high level of prey drive.

That said, dogs do not need to have prey drive in order to play. There are many different behaviors associated with playing, and chasing and grabbing is only one of many. Additionally, they can also learn that specific situations and objects (such as a soccer ball) are great toys, and will show greater "drive" for those objects because lots of past experience has shown them that these objects and situations are tremendously fun. Most often this comes in the form of lots of fun playing and social interaction with other people or dogs involving that object, so the object itself is associated with fun and enjoyable social behavior (play) which makes the dog's desire for that object higher... everyone likes things that mean fun.

Dogs with lower levels of prey drive may show lots of "drive" for a specific object, because the environment and their previous learning is such that when that object comes into play, whatever drive level they are capable of expressing is maximized toward that specific object. And this can seem like quite a lot of drive, especially in dogs who aren't typically drivey. But a dog who doesn't globalize his drive and won't chase most everything that moves or that the handler throws, it is not truly a high drive dog... no matter how high drive he may appear toward one particular object.
 

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Originally Posted By: Chris WildAdditionally, they can also learn that specific situations and objects (such as a soccer ball) are great toys, and will show greater "drive" for those objects because lots of past experience has shown them that these objects and situations are tremendously fun. Most often this comes in the form of lots of fun playing and social interaction with other people or dogs involving that object, so the object itself is associated with fun and enjoyable social behavior (play) which makes the dog's desire for that object higher... everyone likes things that mean fun.

Dogs with lower levels of prey drive may show lots of "drive" for a specific object, because the environment and their previous learning is such that when that object comes into play, whatever drive level they are capable of expressing is maximized toward that specific object. And this can seem like quite a lot of drive, especially in dogs who aren't typically drivey. But a dog who doesn't globalize his drive and won't chase most everything that moves or that the handler throws, it is not truly a high drive dog... no matter how high drive he may appear toward one particular object.
That's the exact difference between my two dogs. Dena is not a high drive dog, but is very intense when it comes to chasing tennis balls. She'll also chase the cats if given the opportunity, but that's about it. Not interested in soccer balls or frisbees, just tennis and other similar sized balls, which she will also play with on her own.

Keefer will chase pretty much anything unless trained not to, and is very alert to fast movement.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
That was a very interesting post Chris. Makes total sense. Cody -indeed- is not a high prey drive dog, probably medium, he will chase a tennis ball but not as eagerly as the soccer ball.
My Brandie will chase anything that moves... she definetly is a high prey drive dog.
 
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