Controlling drive

Drive, some have it, some don't.  When you talk about drive in dogs there is a huge difference from dog to dog.  All the dogs I've had have had drive, some definitely more than others.  Tilley was probably my highest drive with Elsa coming in at a close second.  Mandy my Airedale probably had the least and Jessie my little Jack Russell had very high drive but a different type.  Being a terrier she was movement trigger happy, pretty much anything that moved was fair game.  But for all the others it has been the desire to chase and retrieve often going too far.

Yesterday we were at the park where a guy was flying his plane, a toy plane.  There was a couple sitting off to the side with their two dogs.  One of the dogs was going off on the plane, it was shaking, whining and barking with drive.  It wanted so badly to chase that little plane.  Knowing full well that Elsa would probably love to chase the plane as well I kept a close eye on what she was doing.  We walked by the dog that was going crazy and she stopped to take it in.  I told her to never mind and we kept going, calmly.

As we made our way around the park the plane came close and then overhead, Elsa watched it and then looked at Luke.  Luke didn't give two hoots about the plane.  He use to, when he was younger he too wanted to chase it.  But now it was so mundane to him that he didn't bat an eye.  This was good because after looking at Luke, Elsa ignored the plane.  She gave it a couple of glances over the shoulder and then checked in with Luke again, repeatedly she saw him not caring so she didn't care about it.

Drive can quickly go from fun to trouble.  I have often told people to stop flashlight use, laser, or reflection after seeing how awful a game can turn.  I watch for shadow chasers having had one of the worst case shadow chasers.  Car chasing can be nipped in the bud if you see it growing, but sadly many people don't notice it until it is a full fledged 'issue.'  You can stop drive issues but you have to get in before it is in full force.  Trying to stop a dog from chasing something once they are in the thick of it is nearly impossible.  But, if you catch it at the pupil dilation stage you can.

Drive is something to keep an eye on.  Like I said, it can be great fun for retrieving and other canine sports but it can go bad quickly.  You must address overdrive issues before they go wrong.