Training high drive dogs

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#1
First of all, the topics of this thread don't relate to Lotta in anyway. (She's not the kind of dog my friend would like to ask about) My friend would like to ask/discuss about following things: She has heard that one could train high drive dogs with only positive methods. She is talking about GSDs and Malinois' etc.. She has seen this video:
[YOUTUBE]vwA1O1mApWQ[/YOUTUBE]

She also knows about this trainer: https://www.youtube.com/user/tab289

However, many people seem to think that one should train high drive dogs with harsh methods. So do you others know if it really is possible train that kind of dogs with only positive methods? My friend means that one would train them so that s/he wouldn't use any kind of physical punishments with them. How would you be training those kind of dogs with or without a clicker if you were using only positive methods? My friend is now talking about basic obedience training.

What would you do in the following situation: The dog would be very wild and s/he wouldn't listen/obey you and you couldn't get her/him calm down? My friend knows that many people would restrain that kind of dog physically. Someone might even roll him/her over onto his/her back. So, what would you be doing here if you were using only positive methods?

So, my friend would be interested in discussing about these topics although she doesn't have a high drive dog herself. She thought that those that do have one could tell about their dog's training.
 

Dekka

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#2
Dekka is a high drive dog. I have used predominately positive methods. They work very well. IME most people resort to harsh methods because of a few reasons. They feel the need to punish and like training that way, or they aren't very good at it and can't think of how to apply things in a positive way (which often takes more effort for the trainer)

When Dekka gets over the top I just leave. Or we leave if its on the agility course. There are activities like crate games etc which teach the dog self control.
 

Doberluv

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#3
In that situation you describe, I'd try to become more interesting than whatever the dog is presently interested in. I'd be interesting because I'd find out what motivates my dog. Often it's some scrumptious food treat or a squeaky toy. I'd get his attention and then teach him something like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipT5k1gaXhc

When a dog is rewarded for behaviors you like, he's apt to repeat them again and again. Then I'd teach him some other things....If you Google Kiko Pup, you can find all kinds of things to teach in a progressive/positive way without the use of physical punishment, pain, intimidation etc. I do not believe in training that way and I've had some high drive dogs. One of my Poodles is very drivey. I've had GSDs and a Doberman...all very energetic and crazy when they were young and distractible. PR methods work very nicely with these kinds of dogs. It keeps them offering new behaviors to try to see if they can get rewarded. It doesn't cause them to shut down, slow down or loose that wonderful spirit as does punishment often.

Here's another article I love: http://www.clickertraining.com/node/1721

When a dog learns a lot of obedience skills or tricks, learns how to learn, has fun learning, his behavior is apt to get very nice because he's got lots of outlets for that energy that are constructive instead of behaviors you don't like. Training should be a game, rewarding and fun for both dog and owner.
 
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#4
A friend of mine owns an aggressive, high-drive Great Pyrenees/Shepherd mix.

When I have her, I typically start our walks with a 'watch me' training session to make sure I have her attention. If I ever lose her attention, we stop walking. If she see's an object/person/whatever that she begins to focus on to bark at or lunge at - I do restrain her to a point - she is on a harness with a handle on the back. I will typically hold the handle and using my free hand, I will get a treat (liver or something equally amazing) and redirect her to my hand by putting it in front of her nose to get her attention again.

This of course doesn't always work, and when it doesn't we walk away from the trigger and I have her sit while we wait for the trigger to pass.

I refuse to train using dominance theory and 'alpha' methods.
 

Laurelin

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#5
I feel like this question can't be answered.

What kind of dog? What kind of drive? What kind of task are we training?

All dogs have drive to some extent. High drive dogs are just dogs. And 'high drive' depends on who is doing the labeling and what their background is. A great agility dog is not necessarily going to have the drive for protection work for example.

Personally I've found Hank easiest to teach of my dog. He will work for anything. All I have is a pinecone? Ok! He's super stoked about working for that pinecone. :p
 

Dekka

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#6
Personally I've found Hank easiest to teach of my dog. He will work for anything. All I have is a pinecone? Ok! He's super stoked about working for that pinecone. :p
OMG that is awesome! Dekka is pretty easy to motivate but not that easy lol.
 
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#7
I feel like this question can't be answered.

What kind of dog? What kind of drive? What kind of task are we training?

All dogs have drive to some extent. High drive dogs are just dogs. And 'high drive' depends on who is doing the labeling and what their background is. A great agility dog is not necessarily going to have the drive for protection work for example.

Personally I've found Hank easiest to teach of my dog. He will work for anything. All I have is a pinecone? Ok! He's super stoked about working for that pinecone. :p
Yup! Another dog I spend time with has that sort of motivation too. I was teaching recall with snowballs the one day..
 
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#8
First of all, my friend thought that she would discuss about something else than Lotta this time. So, she is not asking for advice this time.

I feel like this question can't be answered.

What kind of dog? What kind of drive? What kind of task are we training?

All dogs have drive to some extent. High drive dogs are just dogs. And 'high drive' depends on who is doing the labeling and what their background is. A great agility dog is not necessarily going to have the drive for protection work for example.
So, you asked what kind of dogs my friend is talking about. She thought that she could tell more about it and what the topics of this thread are. We had linked a video in this thread from Kikopup and under it she writes:
"There is a myth going around that is not founded in science, but is mere opinion, that high drive dogs need to be physically and psychologically intimidated in order to be trained. By using Progressive Reinforcement Training which involves no forms of physical or psychological intimidation, you can train high drive dogs the right level of arousal as well as reliable behaviors, and how to be friendly and calm around other dogs and people."

She also writes:
"A type of animal training exists that involves no forms of intimidation, confrontation, violence, reprimands, or domination."

And:
"Progressive Reinforcement Training essentially means teaching animals by rewarding desired behaviors and excluding the intentional use of physical or psychological intimidation."


So, she's talking about GSDs and Malinoises etc. My friend knows that they are those kind of dogs but she thinks that there ought to be also other breeds in addition to those that fit into the descriptions put in this thread (we just put my friend's questions there): German Shepherds- curious


What Kikopup is talking about is that many people think that one should train high drive dogs with harsh methods.

We asked if you others knew if it really is possible to train that kind of dogs with only positive methods. My friend means that one would train them so that s/he wouldn't use any kind of physical punishments with them. How would you be training those kind of dogs with or without a clicker if you were using only positive methods?

We also told that my friend is now talking about basic obedience training.

We also asked what would you do in the following situation: The dog would be very wild and s/he wouldn't listen/obey you and you couldn't get her/him calm down? She meant that the dog would behave for example in the ways told in the last two messages we had quoted in the thread we had linked above. My friend knows that many people would restrain that kind of dog physically. Someone might even roll him/her over onto his/her back. So, what would you be doing here if you were using only positive methods?

I feel like this question can't be answered...../

/.......Personally I've found Hank easiest to teach of my dog. He will work for anything. All I have is a pinecone? Ok! He's super stoked about working for that pinecone. :p
By the way, what do you mean that the question couldn't be answered? My friend asked that you would tell something about your dog's training and you had already told something. So, could you tell more your personal experiences and give some examples? Could you for example link videos where you would be training high drive dogs with only positive methods?
 

FG167

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#9
I have a male GSD that does NOT do well without some kind of pressure. Actually my female is the same way. I have and do use a clicker with both. My husband and I have a policy of training with both positive and negative methods. We firmly believe that the combo is the best way to get a well rounded dog. I have seen MULTIPLE people try to use all positive methods for outing my male, they never work. He needs the balance of both. My female would walk ALL over someone without something to balance her out. I think extremists of either camp don't work well.
 

FG167

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#10
Personally I've found Hank easiest to teach of my dog. He will work for anything. All I have is a pinecone? Ok! He's super stoked about working for that pinecone. :p

I LOVE dogs like this. Kastle is this way. One time he was rewarded with a rock mid-hike and he carried it all the way back to the car.
 

Laurelin

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#11
Well I just mean that 'high drive' depends on who is doing the labeling and what tasks that they are familiar with. An agility person might consider a sport bred border collie high drive because their way to measure is agility. But that same dog would probably flunk out of IPO. On the flip side a lot of working GSD aren't as into agility as the border collie would be.

It's just all subjective.
 

Dogdragoness

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#13
Dekka is a high drive dog. I have used predominately positive methods. They work very well. IME most people resort to harsh methods because of a few reasons. They feel the need to punish and like training that way, or they aren't very good at it and can't think of how to apply things in a positive way (which often takes more effort for the trainer)

When Dekka gets over the top I just leave. Or we leave if its on the agility course. There are activities like crate games etc which teach the dog self control.
Well as they say "frustration begins where knowledge ends"

I LIKE high drive dogs, Josefina is VERY high toy and prey driven, its easy to get her to work for a tug on her leash, or a toy, but on the flip side, its just as easy to get Lincoln to work for a treat, too.Though i think its the interaction with me that he likes best.
 

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