How to build Drive and Focus in any Dog
Building drive and focus in a dog is essential if your dog
participates in canine sports or has a job. Drive is what
makes a dog push forward even when presented with obstacles.
It is the difference between your dog doing something
because you want him to and doing something because he wants
Many breeds were created to have a stronger than average
instinctive drive, such as hunting in the hunting and
terrier breeds or herding in shepherds. But even those
breeds can benefit from training, and the less naturally
driven breeds can learn to concentrate until a task is
Drive training is reward-based, and the most common rewards
used are foods. However, the reward must be something your
dog consistently and dramatically wants, so the reward
should not simply be his everyday regular treats. Try some
different foods out and see which ones makes your dog spring
across the room to get it. Once you have determined what are
your dogs "to die for" foods, make a list of them.
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and food for dogs.
Although food is usually the best reward for dogs, you can
also use rewards such as toys or special activities your dog
likes, such as playing fetch. Whatever is going to seriously
motivate your dog will be a good tool for its drive and
Once you have your rewards figured out, the next step is
beginning training. You should start small and keep the
exercises positive. To do this you start with short simple
games, asking the dog to complete simple tasks and rewarding
him for doing so. Keep up this basic training daily or
weekly and you will start to see the drive in your dog
Building the drive is not enough though, you also need to
know how to manipulate it. It is important to not only be
able to get the dog's drive and focus going but also to be
able to turn it off. A dog firing on all cylinders is great
when you need it, but no one needs that all the time, so you
need to develop a release. A release is an indicator to the
dog that the game is over and so are the rewards for now.
The release can be simple, even just a spoken command such
as "game over."
Drive is important because it ensures that your dog does not
become bored with its training. A bored dog will not work
for you but a motivated dog will do his "job" all day long.
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