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We worked hard to get from V Belt Supply

Automotive V Belts who adopt a cute, calm puppy can sometimes be shocked in a weeks time with an energetic tornado dog that doesn't have an "off" switch. Sadly, most of these dogs end up in shelters. What can you do if you acquire one of these puppies?

High drive dogs are different than say a "couch potato" dog. They need lots of physical exercise as well as mental stimulation. I always suggest that higher drive dogs need jobs. Search and Rescue, dock diving, obedience, rally-o, agility, tracking, Shutzhund, nose work, etc. These are all good examples of outlets that are healthy for your dog. If a high drive dog doesn't have enough exercise or mental stimulation, they usually turn destructive. Torn up furniture, pillows destroyed, walls chewed and cords severed are all signs of a bored dog. Often owners mistake mentally starved dogs with obsessive disorders. They throw all kinds of remedies at the poor dog, thinking it will quench the spasticity. It's important that these dogs are mentally stimulated from a young age so their brain is properly programmed. The high drive dog needs a job so bad, that he will often "latch" on to one thing and make it his sole duty in life. This is seen in dogs that seem to obsess over a lazer light, chase their tail, pace in circles or other odd behaviors. Once they latch on to these behaviors, it's often hard to get them to stop without major therapy.

Below is a personal account of our high drive dog, a German Shepherd puppy, purchased not only as a family dog, but a search and rescue dog as well.

After the puppy was fully vaccinated, we took our puppy everywhere with us. We couldn't leave her home alone, and used the crate at home sometimes when we went on short trips where dogs weren't allowed. We also used a crate to contain her in our vehicle. I'm fortunate because I work from home and could watch her most of the day. In the house, she was always on leash. Because of this she was potty trained fairly quickly in a couple of weeks. She was never left unattended. She took puppy socialization classes, obedience classes and of course her Search and rescue training. She was a busy dog. When we weren't training formally, I'd take her to my parent's 30 acres to play in the pond (as she loved water) and chase her ball.

I was consistent in her training and became her pack leader. She was crate trained, which is a valuable tool for any dog. I started her puppy training as soon as we brought her home at 8 weeks old. She responded well to food lures to learn obedience cues, and as most high drive dogs are, she was a fast learner. I also taught her to play fetch as a tool to use in her toy reward system. At that time, she learned to drop the ball on the "out" command and if she refused, the fun game was over. It wasn't long before she was fetching like a pro, and had a clean "out". After a few minutes of obedience cues, we played fetch. This became her favorite reward. Another reward I used was a tug reward. I realized she loved to tug as she was constantly latched on to the hem of my jeans. Instead of squelching this puppy enthusiasm, I molded it to my benefit. I began to only allow her to tug on her tug toys by giving her a tug toy instead of my pant leg and she learned that these toys were a lot more fun by my verbal response. Now I had two rewards in my tool belt. I incorporated the rewards in her daily training and saw a world of difference. By about 7 months old, she'd prefer the toy reward over a food reward. I found that she worked harder for the toy rewards and from then on only used the toys as rewards. I wanted a well rounded dog, so not only did we work on obedience, but agility and utility work as well. By 8 months old, she could do send aways and I could send her directionally to go and sit or down on different touch pads in the yard by pointing at them.

Although she had plenty of activity, she still managed to tear things up in the yard. She totally destroyed my patio swing in a mere few days. This was partly because of age and partly because of boredom.

As she approached a year, she was proficient in her training and she was not as destructive. Now that she is 16 months, she is pretty well trained, but we worked hard to get from V Belt Supply!

Created: Dec 14 '16 · Admin: Linda Li



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