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Discussion Starter #1
i have a question for everyone. i'm training for competition obedience and my trainer wants me to build my dogs drive. she's an older dog (2). i think it has been going okay. if you have done the same thing how did you do it? how long did it talk ?
 

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No, I believe the OP means drive as in intensity & desire (to work).

I do a lot of tug games with my guys, but it varies. Mal doesn't find tug very reinforcing, but he LOVES chasing a thrown toy (He won't always bring it back, but the point is to do what he likes, so we're shaping that into a real play retrieve); Kaylee tugs and retrieves. Rittie chases a toy but won't pick one up and won't tug at all with people YET. Lizzie is a mad tug thing and LOVES her flirt pole.

You can condition many (not any, but dogs ARE somewhat flexible) behaviors to be inherently reinforcing and use them to revv a dog up between exercises or outside the ring. I've seen people use jumping up in the air (or on the handler!) and hand touches. It's all about what the dog likes.
 

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Your trainer has no suggestions for this?

Without more information, I would suggest keeping the dog crated for at least 2 hours before a training session, and at least 1 hour after. Take the dog right out of confinement, let her air for a few minutes and start the session. No horseplay or monkey business; she just relieves herself and then you get to work. When the session is over, you let her relax off-leash (or dragging the checkcord) for a few minutes, then back in the crate. Among other things, this makes training an opportunity to get out and do something interesting vs. getting dragged away from something interesting to go drill.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
yes my trainer showed me what to do, we play tug, i have the toy on a long rope and she will chase it. it just hard to see if there is progress. i was just wondering if anyone had some other suggestions or could tell me how they build drive in there dog. i haven't tried confining her yet since she isn't crate trained but i will give her less space when i block off an area when i'm going out.
thanx
 

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You crate your dog for 2 hours. How mean! You should learn other positive ways to do this.

Your trainer has no suggestions for this?

Without more information, I would suggest keeping the dog crated for at least 2 hours before a training session, and at least 1 hour after. Take the dog right out of confinement, let her air for a few minutes and start the session. No horseplay or monkey business; she just relieves herself and then you get to work. When the session is over, you let her relax off-leash (or dragging the checkcord) for a few minutes, then back in the crate. Among other things, this makes training an opportunity to get out and do something interesting vs. getting dragged away from something interesting to go drill.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
my trainer only suggested 20-30 mins in confinement. why would you suggest so long. and as for crating for long periods if you use a crate for potty training do you think that is mean, they stay in the crate all day with being let out for a bathroom break and play breaks its the same idea. just your reinforcing that everything comes from you and the play is what builds the drive so your dog is always lock on you wondering when they are going to get there toy. if im wrong on that one let me know
 

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my trainer only suggested 20-30 mins in confinement. why would you suggest so long.
I suggest that because that's the way I learned it. If your trainer says 30 minutes, then go with that. If you don't see a significant improvement in attitude WRT training, try longer.

I continued that way because it works with my schedule. I'd get home from work and the dog had been crated overnight. I'd take him out and train. I take a nap from late morning into the afternoon and the pup had been crated for another 3 or more hours. I'd take him out and train again. The pup would have been crated during those times, regardless of whether we were training or not.

PS: by the time we completed formal OB, I found no huge advantage to crating. My dog had already associated training time as a positive activity. Now, training is not the same mind-numbing drudgery that basic OB was.
 

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Are you talking about drive as in what dogs do to sheep?
When trainers refer to "drive" they generally mean the ability to work very hard through fatigue and distractions, and focus totally on the job at hand. Not to mention a close bond with the handler. Dogs with that ability can do really well in competion obedience as well as in SAR, K9, service work, field trials, and other activites that require that type of dog personality.

somnio said:
yes my trainer showed me what to do, we play tug, i have the toy on a long rope and she will chase it. it just hard to see if there is progress. i was just wondering if anyone had some other suggestions or could tell me how they build drive in there dog.
All -and any- focus training will develop drive. So those routines will certainly help. But I would also introduce other focusing routines as well.

Some trainers do emphasize competitive training for various events and do not worry much about basic pet training. But IMHO you should do basic pet training also - or even do it first. After all, you dog is going to be a pet most of the time. And a lot of basic pet training is focus-oriented.

By the way, although you can develop her drive based on her capability, you can't really "build" in more drive than what she is capable of. Not every dog has the working capability to get a top obedience title - or to be a SAR dog or a service dog - no matter what the training used.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
cool thanks
i know that we aren't going to win any titles, but it is a start and i know i have my work cut out for me. i have a 2 yr old huskey/boarder collie cross. but i'm up for the challenge, she's solid on the basic training it just a matter of building and refining.
thanks for all your input, and suggestions it has helped
 

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cool thanks
i know that we aren't going to win any titles, but it is a start and i know i have my work cut out for me. i have a 2 yr old huskey/boarder collie cross. but i'm up for the challenge, she's solid on the basic training it just a matter of building and refining.
thanks for all your input, and suggestions it has helped
Why not? You can do UKC obedience with mixes, as well as C-WAGS, APDT, St Hubert, & ASCA. :)
 

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oh i know. just i didn't think that i would become champion or anything. compared to a shepard or a breed already predispositioned to the competition. i guess i don't want to set to high of goals right now. but i guess anything is possible and if i work hard enough it will happen. thanks again for setting me straight.
 

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oh i know. just i didn't think that i would become champion or anything. compared to a shepard or a breed already predispositioned to the competition. i guess i don't want to set to high of goals right now. but i guess anything is possible and if i work hard enough it will happen. thanks again for setting me straight.
Having an obedience breed *IS* an advantage in that some things will come more naturally, and instructors will often be better equipped to help you (frankly, most competition instructors DO have much more experience with the traditional obedience breeds and can be at a loss for what to do with dogs who aren't typical) BUT 99% of it is how hard YOU are willing to work.

In my current CU class, we have a bluetick coonhound, a cairn terrier, and a little wirey terrier mix of no particular breed, in addition to the regular BCs and Aussies. The little terrier is AMAZING- he's distractable, but he's SO smart, and he's SO flashy when he's working- his mom's challange is convincing him that this obedience game is fun, in contrast to the BCs, who will do it 'just because'. There's no reason he won't do just as well in obedience as any of the BCs- because she's willing to work at it.

Keep a positive attitude. Do NOT accept anything as being impossible just because of his breed, because it's really not. :)

PS: There's lots of BCs, Goldens and GSDs who aren't 'predisposed' to become OTCHs either. That's all on the handler. I don't know ANY dog who wakes up and thinks "Today, I'm going to do signal exercises and scent articles FOR FUN." out of the blue, no matter HOW many OTCH and UDXs are in that pedigree. :p
 

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The Agility class I am in with Susie (My Bernese cross) the dogs are Border Collies or Australian Shepherds. Compared to them Susie would probably be considered to not have much drive but I do not expect her to act like the others do. She suits me perfectly because I am a "little aged" so her and I match up pretty good and as we both enjoy it, I am not concerned with more "drive". Actually Remmy, my Shih Tzu/Maltese makes me run faster.
 
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