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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
" You will often hear trainers talk about ball drive or toy drive, but that is actually prey drive."
~anonymous source
Seems I've hardly visited this board lately, but not alot of topics have snared my intrest. I've read this statement above, and others like it, and I'd like clarification. To me, prey drive is for the actual "chase" for the object, and not the possession of the "object", therefore should not be called "toy drive". I have the perfect example in a young adult whose prey drive is absolutely extreme from anything I've seen, would sacrifice "life and limb" to catch the prey while it's in motion, and would endlessly search for it if it was concealed from sight. But strangely, the actual "possessiveness" for the toy is virtually no issue, resulting in a nice retrieve, to push for continuance of the cycle and having total willingness to follow obedience commands. So, if the dog doesn't really care about the toy after it stops moving, doesn't want to chew it, or play "keep away" with it, should prey drive and toy drive really be considered synonomous? Are the acts of "retrieving" and "possessiveness" in opposition of each other? Do you think this type of behavior could lead to an "equipment focused" dog, or is that a concern more for the "possessive" acting behaviors?
 

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It's why I liked, and still use, the older definitions. You had prey drive, which was the chase, and kill, which was the catching and the manipulation. We referred to it as prey/kill. It's an old behavioral term, I realize that, but it's simple, which truly fits my philosophy of dog training. Often times, the terms used to describe behaviors etc get so muddled, depending on the region or organization or training methods, they just get confusing. I still have a hard time with "civil".

DFrost
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You're right, I shouldn't be trying to associate "possessiveness" with the toy descriptor. But, whereas if I were to be working with a tug and the dog has an obvious personal preference for one type of tug or toy over another, and it's done in a "fun" way for the dog, with alot of prey movements, but performed with a "possessive" goal, can that be toy drive? Because for example, another dog I worked needed to be started with a rope/ball combination, that was no problem at all for strong committed grips, and later transitioned to the tug, where I was initially having less commited grips. I was considering that to be a drive for the toy.

Whereas the forementioned dog above instantly goes to "retrieve" mode, and doesn't really care for the object itself once it has possession, and no reluctance to give it up. Anything at all could be used to initiate it's prey drive, it's clear to me that the chase in itself is 100% the motivator.

Another young dog I have is totally driven for "the chase" as well, and any object at all could be used, but her possessiveness for the item is undaunting, and she could work like the world's greatest running back to keep it from the handler (or other dogs, if present) and has no willingness to finish the retrieve. Always had hard, committed grips and could hang all day by her teeth.

So I guess it appears I'm trying to quantify the two in one description. But back to the other thing, would either have a bearing of what may become an "equipment focused" dog? Or is that a byproduct of the way training takes place?
 

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Starting to see why the retrieve shouldn't be a big deal in sports eh??? The points should be small for these exersizes, as they promote the weak sister.
yes, but then again, what sport strictly showcases a strong dog? not one i can think of. if there was a sport with: no outs, no call-offs, no obedience, no searches, no scent work, then i would buy your argument that this ONE exercise is out of place. getting a possessive dog to retrieve is no more difficult (and probably much less difficult) than getting a strong dog to out or call off...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If schutzhund were the focus of intent, there appears a need for balancing between the two. I'm actually just now (at 12 months old) starting to get good release of the toy from the one I had issues about (grips were incredible at 16 weeks!). I haven't really started tugwork with the "motion" driven one to build possessiveness, I feel I need to concentrate on getting calmer focus at the moment.
 

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I think that most of the problems with a strong dog and the out occur in training. If it is done properly, the dog outs immediatly. There are some very strong dogs out there that pop right off because it was done properly.

Your dog is from the KNPV system, so I really doubt that it was done right. LOL
of course it's about training. that's what we're talking about. a dog that is possessive of the toy can be taught through training to retrieve. just as a dog can be taught to out.

my dog is not a KNPV dog (i wish he was). he is an IPO 1 dog...
 

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On a lighter note, I had a girlfriend with toy drive once.......once. LOL[/QUOTE]

Now that's funny right there.

Using toy drive for what we do, the out from the toy can be a problem, if you allow it. We just don't allow it. Out means out, whether it's biting a person or a rubber ball.

DFrost
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·


This chart somewhat resembles a rough breakdown of the characteristics I'm seeing in the three mentioned dogs. Nothing concrete here, just quick and dirty. Because of the fact that some of the items in the breakdown are interrelated, it kind of helps illustrate where the imbalances are. Presumably some strengths may be used to develop an improvement in each dog's weakness. And depending on the goal, sometimes the use of a second dog to compete with, or lead by example can help the one lacking.

In the case of the first dog, the NERVE STRENGTH doesn't necessarily denote weak nerves in the form of fearfulness, but if pushed too hard, I believe there's a strong possibility of resulting so. She's somewhat submissive in bodylanguage to the handler, but very foreward/aggressive in "play", hasn't displayed aggression or defense in the couple occasions facing the decoy, and I've done nothing to build any artificial confidence. On the account of her showing fewer pronounced characteristics to find some way to channel through, I've decided to leave her be for now, and see if she comes around in some way at a later time, though as darling as she is, she's nearly two, I may have to sell her. She's my first DDR dog, so I don't really know.

In the second female, I've been reluctant to advance into tugwork because of the lack of focus to the handler (and away from the anticipated reward) from hyperactivity, but this is improving daily. She's learning patience for the reward of toy-chasing or food. It's proving easier (with my limited training talent) to diminish a natural drive by overriding it with another drive than it is to create a nonexistant drive from the ground up. She may or may not end up a real strong dog, but she's tons of fun to work with. Plus, she's very motivated to work with me at all times, and will go to great lengths to get where she thinks the action is. She's jumped through the window from outside the house to get inside to me, or jumped onto the dryer to leap out the window of the laundry room to get to where I am. I'll be fortunate if she doesn't end up with a case of environmentally caused HD. As a pup I worked alot with her and a couple of her littermates using a baby-kong on the end of a horsewhip and polarfleece for flair. She was always the one who excelled the best. She easily anticipates the snaps and pops for quick mid-air catches, and on ground-dragging arcs, heads the goal off at converging vectors with her herding instinct. Her possessiveness, though lacking with the toy, is really strong with food, I've witnessed some nasty fights with other dogs as she carefully guards her dish.

In the third female, the weakness has been the willingness to out, but this is also improving much lately. She's learning to perpetuate "the game" by directly retreiveing and outing. I have to say that, beforehand, this little quirk was quite annoying and despite all the great qualities I found, I was nearly prepared to rid myself of her because of this single fault.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just a quick note, more than likely you are teaching her not patience, but to drop out of drive. Easier to shape a behavior than to fix what you are currently doing.
So, is that a good thing? Should I try something else? You're talking about the second dog, right?

I don't understand the following post.

One of these days we need to talk/work together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I started tugwork with Piper the last couple sessions. Seems to be going all right. I don't want her to end up like this... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ofadTdHhXk

She would use her body alot on my puppy-prey-landshark-fishing-excercizes, and I would use the butt of the whip to tap her ribs and such to desensitize her back when she was 4 months old, so I'm hoping to rebuild that since her lapse in training. (I raised her for her first four months, but the person who owned her for the next four didn't do tugwork.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I've decided Piper is the one I enjoy working with the most. Do you think her type is good for ringsport? My club just relocated it's meeting place on the south side of Denver, doubling my drive time distance to about an hour & 45 min. I'll still go since I just paid the annual dues, but probably less frequently.

 
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