Switching drives

Buddy can instantaneously switch himself from one drive to another. Picture this scene — Buddy is lying in front of the fireplace:

He's playing with his favorite toy.

The doorbell rings; he drops the toy, starts to bark, and goes to the door. You open the door; it's a neighbor, and Buddy goes to greet him. He returns to play with his toy.

Buddy has switched himself from prey into defense into pack and back into prey.

During training, your task is to keep Buddy in the right drive, and if necessary, switch him from one drive into another. For example, you're teaching Buddy to walk on a loose leash in the yard when a rabbit pops out of the hedge. He immediately spots it, runs to the end of the leash, straining and barking excitedly in a high-pitched voice. He's clearly in full-blown prey drive.

Now you have to get him back into pack, where he needs to be to walk at your side. The only way you can do that is by going through defense. You can't, for example, show him a cookie in an effort to divert his attention from the rabbit. The rabbit is going to win out.

The precise manner in which you get Buddy back into pack drive — you must go through defense — depends on the strength of his defense drive. If he has a large number of defense (fight) behaviors, you can give him a firm tug on the leash, which switches him out of prey into defense. To then get him into pack, touch him gently on the top of his head (don't pat), smile at him, and tell him how clever he is. Then continue to work on your walking on a loose leash.

If he's low in defense (fight) behaviors, a check may overpower him, and a voice communication, such as "Ah, ah" will be sufficient to get him out of prey into defense, after which you put him back into pack drive.



For the dog that has few fight behaviors and a large number of flight behaviors, a check on the leash is often counterproductive. Body postures, such as bending over the dog or even using a deep tone of voice, are usually enough to elicit defense drive. By his response to your training — cowering, rolling upside down, not wanting to come to you for the training session — your dog will show you when you overpower him, thereby making learning difficult, if not impossible.

Here are the basic rules for switching from one drive to another:

i From prey into pack: You must go through defense.

How you put your dog into defense depends on the number of defense (fight) behaviors he has. As a general rule, the more defense (fight) behaviors the dog has, the firmer the check needs to be. As the dog learns, a barely audible voice communication or a slight change in body posture will suffice to encourage your dog to go from prey through defense into pack drive.

i From defense into pack: Gently touch or smile at your dog. i From pack into prey: Use an object (such as food) or motion.

jSjWEff Applying the concept of drives, learning which drive Buddy has to be in and / how to get him there speeds up your training process enormously. As you

( ¡¡¡J| J become aware of the impact your body stance and motions have on the drive \UBy he's in, your messages will be perfectly clear to your dog. Your body language is congruent with what you're trying to teach. Because Buddy is an astute observer of body motions, which is how dogs communicate with each other, he'll understand exactly what you want.

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