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What is Drive Training?

Drive Training

What does it mean to work with your dog's drive? First, you want to find the thing that most motivates your dog. Think of arousal as the thing that piques your dog's interest, and persistence as the annoying way they obsess over that thing! 

Some dogs will have more prey drive, some have more play drive. Dogs with high prey drive will even have a preference for different types of prey, this might be a squirrel, chipmunk, or fluttering of birds. Other dogs are more closely attuned to larger prey like skunks, cats, deer, or even horses! 

Many dogs are persistent about play. If your dog finds play most rewarding, then you must be the playful in the environment. If your dog find prey most rewarding, be the prey! The great thing to note is that these two things are very closely related. Play is denoted by chasing and being chased, and so is hunting! Running away from your dog is one of the things I have to constantly coach people to do with their dogs. Most people want to move towards their dog, which puts social pressure on the dog, and makes the dog the "prey." 

Work on being soft, feeling loose, running away, and attracting your dog's drive. Always have a toy on hand for play and prey-making. 

Do you think you have a high-drive or low-drive dog? How do you know how strong your dog's play or prey drive is? How they display their arousal and persistence?

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