Killing Your Dog’s Drive Through Obedience Training

At our dog training facility in Northern Virginia, I always ensure I warn people about killing their dog’s drive through obedience training.

When many people come through our dog obedience training program in Virginia, they are so excited to have their new, listening, well-behaved, and good mannered dog.   With our training sessions, we tell people to practice about 30-40 minutes per day in the week in-between sessions and slowly phase in distractions as the dog and they  (the owner) become better at the concepts.

One mistake that we see people unknowingly make is that they will start killing their dog’s drive by working their dog on obedience while using something the dog is highly motivated by as the distraction.  In my opinion, this is a horrible thing to do.

Let me explain the situation so you can see exactly what I mean.  Let’s say you have a German Shepherd who is highly ball motivated, okay?  So, since you know that the ball is a huge distraction for your German Shepherd (because he LOVES it), you try to make him sit, down, or place as you throw his ball.  Of course, he is going to jump up to go chase it, so doing what you think is right, you correct him back into the sit, down, or place.  This is very bad to do.

Probably within a matter of 10 minutes or less, you will undoubtedly succeed at being able to leave your dog in a command, you throw the ball, and he will not leave that command.  So, you think you have done a great job, right?  You are getting obedience out of him with the presence and excitement of one of his biggest distractions.

However, what this can do is kill your dog’s drive.   At our dog training facility in Northern Virginia, I will NEVER use an object that the dog is highly motivated by (ball, tug, etc) as a distraction.  You will see numerous videos on our YouTube Channel where I throw things over their heads, bang on stuff, run around, etc; however, you will never see me using a ball or tug as the distraction.

By doing this drill, you are simply teaching your dog, “Anytime you go after this toy you love, you will get corrected for it.”  So, what does your dog very quickly learn?  “Stop chasing after that toy.”

So, anytime you are working your dog with distractions, never use something as a distraction that your dog is highly motivated for, this is a great way to start killing their drive for this object.

I will always incorporate that object as a REWARD for the obedience, never a DISTRACTION for the obedience. 

For example, I will put them in a sit, down, place (etc), run around, make some noises, and throw stuff around.   After they hold that position, I will release them (we use the word “break”) and then I will throw that tug or ball as their reward for the good obedience.  Doing this helps BUILD their drive for the object, which is what you want.


About Off Leash K9 Training

My name is Nick White, I am the owner of Off-Leash K9 Training. I am a former US Marine Iraq War Veteran, and former US Secret Service, also, I currently have 12 locations in the United States. We specialize in basic obedience, advanced obedience, personal protection, and drug detection. About us: As you will see, our client list includes: NBA Star John Wall, UFC World Champion Jon "Bones" Jones, World Champion Boxer Roy Jones Jr, UFC Announcer Bruce Buffer, film star Ron Jeremy, 3x UFC Champion Rich "Ace" Franklin, WWF World Champion Iron Sheik, Kane Hodder ("Jason" from the Friday the 13th movies), the staff from the hit show "Operation Repo," and Elliot's dog from Elliot in the Morning on DC 101! See them in our highlight video here: We also had yahoo do a special on us, as well! As you will see on our website, we are getting a lot of publicity and it's continually growing! We've had American Legion, US Military Veterans, NoVa Dog Magazine, Military Times Magazine, Smart CEO Magazine, and The Virginia and Maryland Dog Magazine do stories on us (just to name a few). You can see all of these articles if you go to our "About Us" page of website and scroll to the bottom. We are also the official trainers for ABC's "The Pet Show with Dr. Katy Nelson." Recently, we were named one of the top trainers in the world by the Dogington Post! There are over 400 videos of dogs we have trained on YouTube so you can see the amazing results we get verse us just tell you about it, so we would highly encourage you to check out our Youtube Channel and was some of the stuff we do! Thank you for your interest in our amazing training. -Nick

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