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That’s what I hear from people who have familiarized themselves with the security dog world and have learned the language or the K9 handler.
So you’ve heard a lot about the benefits of drive and it all sounds great right? But drive is one of the hardest things to control in your dog. Creating conflict is usually the result of a poor handler who is out of their league. Getting a dog with huge Drive and not knowing how to manage this beast is irresponsible and is like letting your niece or nephew take driving lessons in a drag car. They are going to hit the wall. I’m not even remotely exaggerating. A high drive dog looks and behaves uncontrollably. When it wants something it takes it. If your holding something it wants in your hand then you had better kiss your hand goodbye. So how do you manage an animal that appears borderline psychotic? Managing Drive is a huge topic that can’t be understood in a few hundred words. But what I want you to get out of this the understanding that if your dog sees that you have the power to give it what it wants and it can’t get it himself then you will become the most important being in your dog’s life. And that’s just where you need to be. Your dog must see you as being so essential to its very survival that losing you would be the equivalent to loosing its own life. Managing drive serves two purposes. The first is to keep your dog focused on you, your voice and your location. The second purpose is to indoctrinate a deep imprinting that your commands are like breadcrumbs that will lead to what it wants so badly. The object of its Drive – the result is obedience. Show your dog that drive alone is not going to get the prize. Show your dog that obedience will get the prize. So don’t beat the drive out of your dog by correcting what you see as being ‘bad behavior’, because it’s not bad at all. Your dog can have it’s cake and eat it too if you let your dog know that you play an integral part in the process. Show your dog that listening to you leads to reward.
In Summary – Huge Drive must be managed with the expectation of serving two purposes. 1. Focus 2. Obedience.
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