Deciding How You Want Buddy to

Before you can use the results of the profile, you need to look at what you want Buddy to do or — and this is often more important — stop doing. For example, when you walk Buddy on leash and want him to pay attention to you, he has to be in pack drive. Buddy, on the other hand, wants to sniff, maybe follow a trail, or chase the neighbor's cat; he is in prey drive.

For most of what you want Buddy to do, such as the following, he needs to be in pack drive:

1 Come 1 Down 1 Sit 1 Stay

1 Walk on a loose leash

For most of what Buddy wants to do, such as the following, he's going to be in prey drive:

* Follow the trail of a rabbit

* Retrieve a ball or stick

* Sniff the grass

You can readily see that those times when you want him to behave, you have to convince Buddy to forget about being in prey drive. Dogs high in prey drive usually require quite a bit of training. The dog with high pack and low prey drive rarely needs extensive training, if any at all.

Such a dog doesn't do the following:


Chase bicycles, cars, children, or joggers


Chase cats or other animals


Chew your possessions


Pull on the leash


Roam from home


Steal food

In other words, he's a perfect pet.

Theoretically, Buddy doesn't need defense drive (fight) behaviors for what you want him to learn, but the absence of these behaviors has important ramifications. A very low defense drive determines how Buddy has to be trained. For example, our first Labrador, Bean, was low in defense drive. If we, or anyone else, would lean over him, he would collapse on the floor and act as though he had been beaten. Katharina, our German Shepherd, on the other hand, who was high in fight drive, would just look at you if you leaned over her, as though to say, "Okay, what do you want?"

Training each dog required a different approach. With Bean, a check on his leash caused him to literally collapse — he didn't have enough fight behaviors to cope with the check. A slight tug on the leash or a quietly spoken command was sufficient to get him to ignore chasing our proverbial rabbit. Katharina required a firm check to convince her to forget about the rabbit. The only difference between the two dogs was their score in fight drive on their Personality Profile. (Refer to the following sections for the different profiles and how to deal with them.)

The beauty of the drives theory is that, if used correctly, it gives you the necessary insight to overcome areas where you and your dog are at odds with each other as to appropriate behavior. A soft command may be enough for one dog to change the undesired behavior, whereas a check is required for another.

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