By Scott Campbell
There are many dogs which are lost, put in the pound or killed because of the dog’s natural drives to run or chase.
All dogs were bred to do something and many of them were bred to chase or herd. These types of dogs would be your herding dogs e.g. Australian Shepherd, German Shepherd, Boarder Collie and so on.
Each of these dogs has very high drive and when not harnessed or channeled can be detrimental to the dog. Understanding drive The first thing one need to understand about herding dogs is their dog was bred to be a tool. Farmers and shepherds use these dogs as tool for their daily work to help herd their livestock. Now for a farmer to keep his tools working correctly he needs to keep them oiled, fueled and maintained. The same goes for the dog, it needs to be groomed, fed and exercised to work properly. I suppose you could even call the dogs crate a tool box.
I am by no means telling you to treat you pet as a tool but rather am telling you to understand your dogs drive. The natural dive which is either going to be prey drive or chase drive need to be channeled. Many people have seen dogs chasing cars, bikes, kids, cats, any other varmints or running up and down a fence line. This is un-channeled drive and is exactly what I am speaking of. You as the owner need to focus this drive on something like a ball, Frisbee, tug or retrieval work.
Toys: Getting a dog to chase a ball that has high drive is easy, it seems to be automatic. Sometimes getting them to come back is the bigger problem. This is why one should use this drive to coincide with their obedience training. That would be an entirely different article on how to use drive in obedience training. All I am saying is when you throw the ball the dog should retrieve it and bring it back.
If the dog does not you should be able to tell the dog to “come” or whatever you say and the dog should bring you the ball. When you decide what the dog likes or wants to chase make sure you buy something of quality and will not hurt the dog. Make sure after use the toys will not splinter, gain sharp edges or contains toxins which could harm the dog’s teeth or stomach. There are many routes one can take when picking the correct toy which complements the dog’s drives. There are retrieving balls, retrieving dumbbells, Frisbees, balls on ropes (my personal favorite), tugs and ropes. Now you are going to ask “How do I know what toy my dog likes best”?
The answer is quite simple, take the dog with you to pick out the toy. This is not a free for all where the dog can get anything but rather you pick out a few toys and see which one the dog likes. – Kyjen
Launch a Ball Dog Toy Launch-a-Ball is the ultimate dog toy for interactive play and exercise. Simply snap the 2 pieces together and you are ready for a fun and easy game of fetch with your dog. You no longer need to bend over or touch a wet, slobbery tennis ball. – Frisbee Dog Toys Super dog toys that fly, float, and glow-in-the dark. Try the Kevlar Frisbee, the toughest you can buy.
– The Classic Dog Training Dumbbell An essential tool for training your dog to retrieve on both land and water. o Obedience training dumbbell o Medium Sized o Great training aid o Durable and hardwearing o Great for fetch game
– Original Kongs Your dog doesn’t like to stay home alone? Give ’em a stuffed Kong! It’s the perfect toy to leave with your dog as you head off to work. Licking, chewing, throwing, and tossing become an art while your dog tries to get at the yummy treats stuffed inside. Stuff a few Kongs with anything your dog loves (daily food, peanut butter, cream cheese, treats) and freeze or refrigerate overnight. As you’re ready to leave for work, give one Kong to your dog, hide the others under the table or behind a favorite chair. Your dog will finish one and hunt for the others.
All that chewing satisfaction, then it’s time for a nap. Perfect for boring days without Mom and Dad! Perfect for keeping puppy busy in his crate, too! Dishwasher safe. – One handled and two handled tugs Made of the same material bite suits are made of — French Linen! Although slightly more expensive their longevity is a testament to their value. The padding material that goes into the tugs offers the highest resiliency, is lightweight and best of all it resists water. The high resiliency means your tug will maintain its shape where others have gone flat and lost their usefulness..
– Orbee Ball Rated Top Product of the Year by numerous magazines and called the “world’s best dog ball” by industry experts – this hyper-durable ball bounces, floats and has a peppermint scent that dogs find irresistible. It will become a playtime favorite. Guaranteed. – Orbee-Tuff, Non-toxic and recyclable. Rinses clean. Imported. 5 1/4″. Run a rope through the middle of one of these and you have an excellent fetching toy. – Canvas Training Dummies These dummies are great for training sporting dogs. Whether large or small, the realistic weight and feel will fulfill your training needs.
The central advantage to canvas dummies is the weight and feel, plus the canvas’ absorption strength. – You own the toys Many owners take the correct initiative to purchase the correct toy; they also give the dog a good amount of exercise but fail in the final step. You own the toys! You are the one who decides when you are going to play and you decide when you are going to stop. After you are finished playing the toys are to be put up. This will teach the dog that play time is when you say so and he should not be chasing things unless you say. The other thing which owning the toys will do is reinstating your dominance in the situation. Just remember all dogs need to play and all dogs have some sort of drive. Find what that drive is and nurture it, mold it, use it to make a happy dog.
It will make you life easier and happier and of course the dogs life longer and a sense of fulfillment. Scott Campbell can be contacted at: On Command Dog Obedience Training Director Duluth GA 30097 email: firstname.lastname@example.org cell: (404) 488-9499