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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can the drive be so intense that they are too difficult to train and-or unsuitable for practical work or sport?
 

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I would modify David's response a little bit, to give my own response...

Only if the DOG can't control it.

Meaning, all of the drive in the world is useless unless it can be channelled into the appropriate activity. You can guide and try to contain it as best you can, however it is ultimately the dog that must cap/contain/redirect the drive...not the human.
 

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Mike, I certainly couldn't disagree with anything you posted. I was just leaving a little leeway for the occasional handler that is outdogged. The dog may be capable of focusing that energy, the handler isn't.

DFrost
 

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David Frost said:
Mike, I certainly couldn't disagree with anything you posted. I was just leaving a little leeway for the occasional handler that is outdogged. The dog may be capable of focusing that energy, the handler isn't.

DFrost
Ditto with David.

A really drivey dog in the wrong hands can easily turn out very hectic.
In the right hands, it's power in motion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've seen a couple Mals that gave me the impression that there was so much sensory information hitting the dogs that they seemed, shall I say, "scatterbrained". I would look into their eyes and it seemed like there was nobody home. But I didn't get to see the dogs work so they might be terrific at what they do.
 

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Those types of dogs take a really special handler. Special as in Rides the short yellow bus. :wink: I keep waiting for those types of dogs to explode any second. :lol: There is a top winning, now retired Mal that fits that description, in this area. He's 12 now and happily living with non competative people. They play LOTS of retrieve games with him.
 

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i think a dog with that much drive is much more work....AT FIRST. once the dog knows the game you want them to play that is when the drive starts working for you. so more work at first, less work down the line...
 

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I agree Tim! Once a high drive dog developes the concept of learning, they practically beg you to teach them something.
 

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Patrick Murray said:
I've seen a couple Mals that gave me the impression that there was so much sensory information hitting the dogs that they seemed, shall I say, "scatterbrained". I would look into their eyes and it seemed like there was nobody home. But I didn't get to see the dogs work so they might be terrific at what they do.
I wanted to comment on this. There is a condition in humans called sensory integration dysfunction. It's when a brain perceives so much stimuli it can't sort it al out, resulting in some odd behaviors. My son has this problem. It manifests in emotional outburts, physical tics (his are jumping up and down, flapping his arms, flickign his ears, and when we weeded those out he started with vocal tics to compensate), a need to talk incessantly. My kid's always in hyper speed (even though we're teaching him to cope).

So it is conceivable to me that a dog with high drives could have the same issues: too much stimuli adn the brain can't sort it out, resulting in odd behavior and coping mechanisms. I know of one super high drive rescue GSD whose coping mechanism has been to chew his own tail when he's not 100% occupied by his owner or anotehr dog!

And I most assuredly think that there is such a thing as too much dog for one person.
 

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For my $.05, I agree with most that has been said. There is a balance between Mike and David's comments, IMO.
I believe that a high-drive dog should be placed with a handler that can handle the dog. A lower-drive dog, on the other hand, should be placed with someone that won't push the dog to do more than it is capable of. In the selection of a working dog, I believe someone needs to evaluate themself first, to see what they want out of a dog, and get their "equal" in a dog.
Just as a note kind of on the topic, I've seen far too many people get stuck on one breed, and get an unsuitable dog for themself just because they wanted THAT BREED and THAT SEX of dog. If I am looking for a working dog, I'd consider the breed, certainly, but more importantly is the dog himself/herself. If I had the choice of a medium-drive, pedigreed GSD, or a mal/dutchie cross with high-drive (in what I want), I'd of course say screw the pedigree and take the cross. I've seen some amazing cross-bred dogs perform wonderful in PPD, the most notable was a Mal/Dutchie/GSD mix(dad was a Mal/GSD, mom was a dutchie).
 

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I think that there are certainly dogs with too much drive. At some point, it becomes counterproductive to the work at hand. I am sure you guys have seen some mals that just quiver and shake and foot stomp and spin and whine and whatever other annoying thing they can find to release.
 
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Joe Jones said:
I think that there are certainly dogs with too much drive. At some point, it becomes counterproductive to the work at hand. I am sure you guys have seen some mals that just quiver and shake and foot stomp and spin and whine and whatever other annoying thing they can find to release.
Sure there is. These "drives" were further heightened in training to produce desired theatrical effects in sportwork, resulting in an imbalanced and unthinking animal. In a dog with too much of "drives", stabilization is a must, calmness and focus to its handler must be instilled for good communications to freely flow, before anyone can even begin any serious work with that dog.

Just my opinion...
 

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For what it's worth- I have had 4 dogs that fit the description. 1 mal, 1 GSD and 2 Border Collies.
The mal was pure and simple an idiot. Psycho drive and seemingly no ability to channel anything. In a kennel, she would spring off the roof of the kennel, doing backflips like a caged hamster. Friendly dog but you could teach her something and 2 minutes later it was like she had never heard it before. Crazy praise or super correction- forgotten immediately. IMO, she equated to an absolutely useless dog.

1 BC fixated on light refractions, frantically exploding at them. Disturbingly and dangerously so. Indoors or out, if there was a beam of light on a wall- you would return to no drywall in that spot- same applied to carpet or dirt or whatever. She would do the stare and pounce, slamming her nose into the floor with such force that she occasionally gushed blood and shredded her nose pad. If in the kitchen and say cutting veggies and the knife put a moving spot of light on the ceiling she'd climb onto the counters and leap at the ceiling. Unbelievable and she refused, despite months of attempts to re-focus and eventually we put her down.

The GSD and other BC simply HAD to be physically AND mentally challenged CONSTANTLY or would resort to neurotic behaviors. The GSD would spin in circles for hours in her crate, wearing all the hair off of one side. The BC would chew the hair off his tail and several weird things, but both were excellent working dogs and could be focused- they were just impossible to live with.
 

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Hey, it's all part of the territory!
I was "last resort" person for several rescue groups and particularly difficult dogs. Most challenging by far : Husky rescue.
Otherwise, some came around and some did'nt.
In a couple cases, it was definitly OCD, but then again, much of it still resulted in impossibly high drives. Many would see a couple of my mals and their ball drive and call that display OCD, and to SOME degree, I can see where they are coming from.
 

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My JRT has the OCD thing with lights. I have to hide all the flashlights when the grandkids come over cause they love to see the crazy little [email protected][email protected] run up the walls. :roll:
I can't turn on the bedside lamp when Cujo's around, because there'll be lil spots of light on the ceiling that he's not used to seeing so he'll sit on the floor staring upwards wagging his tail, n after a few minutes he'll bark at em. If I have something in my hand that reflects, like a cell phone or PDA, he'll jump up on the wall to get at it. He goes PSYCHO for laser pointers, n loves peoples watch reflections moving around. It annoys me so much, I avoid exposing him to that stuff as much as I can, but sometimes reflections happen. Weird dogs.
 
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