Building & Maintaining Drive

Building Drive

Drive is essential to having a dog continually willing to work for you. for young puppies, it is easy to keep them motivated if they already have a strong desire for high value treats. However, this pliability will not remain as they get older. The stronger you can build your relationship with your dog, the more reliable all the behaviors you want to teach them will be.  Guidelines

  • Determine what high value treat your dog has the most drive for. We recommend Red Barn Soft Food Rolls 
  • Keep the puppy hungry and train for/right before meals
  • Don't make access to the food too easy, make them dig for the treat
  • Make them get up and come to the food → Keeping the puppy physically active creates a feedback loop that increases their drive and excitement during the reward event
    • Can roll food on the ground and then call them backFood drive

Building and maintaining drive consists of training three steps: 

  1. Food Drive
  2. Ball Drive
  3. Engagement
Food Drive

GOAL: Dog will maul your hand for food if your hand is in front of him.  Biggest thing to look for is intensity. We want as high intensity as we think the dog is genetically capable of, for a sustained period of time (about 2 minutes of active work)

Toy Drive

GOAL: Make barking for the ball

  • Either reward on the bark (in the beginning) or make the ball move again, ask for more barking
  • Steadily increase the number of barks the dog needs to give before getting rewarded (if intensity ever lessens, make more frustration and drive by moving the ball again)
    • Ask the dog: “Are you ready? Ready?”
    • Kick ball on the ground, really frustrate the dog in prey
    • When the dog is focused/lunging/in drive, let the ball for “dead” by letting it lie, wait for a bark
    • Start picking the ball up, using less and less movement from the ball, let the dog bring it himself more and more (but don’t be afraid to back up)

GOAL: dog barks with the ball out of sight on the prompt of “Ready?”

  • Hide ball behind your back/in your pocket
  • Ask the dog: "Are you ready" 
    • If you  
    • Keep it fun, upbeat, quick, deliberate

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