Building Drive, Excitement and Speed into Your Dog Training
This is What I Want to See When I Call My Dog to Come! Thanks farm4 for the photo
I am all about building speed and drive to learn to control my pets and my working dogs!
Although this takes some time and work and effort and quick movements and a little wildness in the beginning I believe in channeling that excitement to build vigor for obedience or doggy obedience and other sports.
Plus it is good exercise!
So I make my dogs a little crazy in the beginning , especially when they are puppies. For more on that and how it can occasionally bite you in the butt if you are not good; click here.
And although I do not recommend this for EVERYDOG as every dog doesn’t need it; especially to the extreme I take it to; I do believe that in the end it makes your obedience better and if you have a dog that likes to run away and not listen or even a dog that already seems a little crazy you can learn to harness that to your advantage.
The key is to build the most excitement I can into his toys, by playing games like keep away and chase and making the toys seem unachievable.
Has anyone ever told you, you CAN’T have something or you don’t DESERVE something… for most of us it builds our drive and desire for what we were told we can’t have and you do all you can to prove that person wrong and reach your achievements.
The younger I was the more drive I had if someone told me I couldn’t do or have something. I think with maturity you grow out of that a little, but if you use this same psychology on your dog it builds his excitement and drive for the toy!
If toys are abundant and you play with your dog often there is no reason to get excited about toys and games.
So if you want to go down this road; make sure you play some keep away, make your dog work for the item and then keep the item put away until it is time to play again. Your dog should not be the one who is in charge of what he plays with and when he plays. I keep my dog’s favorite toys for training and let him play with mundane things.
Excitement builds speed!
And, it may sound like you don’t want speed but let me tell you why it is important!
Why Speed is Important Even to Pet Owners and Dogs
Excitement is fun and as I mentioned excitement builds speed.
We get excited when we come home from work, and our dogs get excited when we take them for walks but rarely do we build appropriate excitement and speed for when we need it. Speed means your dog doesn’t even have a thought about not listening to your command, it is his default to do what you ask, and quickly!
Often our obedience is lack luster and our dogs rarely if ever respond with excitement and speed to our commands.
This is terrible for competition dogs (since speed and excitement is considered crucial)
But speed and excitement brings our dogs back to us and helps them listen.
It also helps them to ignore other things in their environment.
Your dog accidentally gets off leash, but your obedience is lack luster at best and your dog is bored by the rigors of obedience. Some dogs actually HATE obedience!
Other dogs ignore obedience commands because you have never enforced them so they mean NOTHING.
What are the chances this dog is coming back to you when you call him?
WHY??? Why would he leave the exciting thing he is doing to come back to you (especially if you sound stressed or mad)?
Now Imagine the Same Scenario Where You Have Built His Drive
He gets off leash, but he is so used to playing with you and his toys that when you call him; by default his reaction is to come back to you and play, after all you have his favorite toy right?
You become THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN HIS LIFE because you control what he wants most!
He would do anything to be with you and play with you; and this is what keeps him listening.
It Takes Time!!!
You can’t just take a toy out and squeak it and have results.
Building drive and fun for toys and playing some keep away takes time and effort.
It’s not easy.
If it were easy you would see people all over the country in “building drive classes” but it’s not.
It also takes timing and lots of reward and playing before you ever get on to obedience. My puppy is insane right now, but I am spending time building his drive for his toys, the obedience will come later.
As a matter of fact I have a couple of crazies that bit me while I was playing (not on purpose of course but in an attempt to grab the toy) and I even have a few scars from each of my dogs.
Now, my dogs are above average in the crazy psycho drive department, but it is a risk you take when you are flinging toys around chompers that you might get bitten.
If this is not something you are willing to risk, then you can play a little less fast and reward a little more quickly. Not everyone needs battle scars to brag to their friends.
If You Are Having Problems Getting Your Dog to Listen you Have to Find a Way
You have to find a way to be more exciting and build that drive and excitement to play with you!
For more on the basics of that and teasing read this article.
You also have to work on obedience.
If you never play with your dog, if you never train your dog or if you do neither together as an activity; you are going to have a hard time getting your dog to listen to you, that is pretty simple to understand if you think about it!
Once you have built his drive you need to learn how to drive your dog, and for that click here.
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.