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Not sure this is the right place for this, but I'll give it a shot. My dog is Lab/Border Collie mix and very very driven and focused when given a 'job' to do. I want to look into training for flyball or agility or stuff like that, because I think he'd really like it. I've also started having him walk with a backpack (unweighted for now) which the trainer said will help when he's older. What sort of activities help your dogs feel like they have a job or that feed that strong drive to work?
 

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I have sight hounds, two very couch potatoey ones and one very highly driven one. For Cora we do a couple of things - we play with an extra long flirt pole (it's actually made out of a coach whip).

Also most mornings she has to chase down and work for her food. Her kibble goes into white plastic grocery store bags, the bags get tied up, then they get thrown as far as I can throw. She then chases them down and has to rip into the bags to get to the kibble.

Other than that her drive is typically fed by hunting gophers, lizards, birds, bunnies, and the occasional feral/stray cat.

We also do a whole lot of obedience training throughout the day - though that is with all of my dogs not just Coraline.
 

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I have a working line malinois, I just exist in time and space. :p


Seriously, for a dog who really loves to work almost any work will do. I do some organized activities but even simple tricks training engages him. If your dog likes to tug you can start working on "drop it/take it" which will come in handy later for agility both to build drive and to use as a reward.
 

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Pax is half Lab/Border Collie and is very job focused. In day to day life, I do everything with a hand signal as well as verbal command. For recall, I make it a game of touch rather then just a come. I can put my hand out and he will BOLT to hit the mark and get a treat. Training sessions and drilling tricks and commands he is laser focused.

I try and turn as much as we can into a game to achieve the desired behavior rather than just doing a command.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
@Pax I find it hilarious that we both have Lab/BCs named Pax!
 

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I do agility, nosework, lure coursing, barn hunt, and trick training mainly. Lots of tug games and games where he 'does things' for the toy.
 

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Delilah has a very high prey drive. I want to do UKC terrier racing with her- I think she would have a lot of fun with that. I also let her chase squirrels and birds when we're hiking. She's never caught anything but I think she would probably kill it if she did.

I don't know what other types of drives are called? Would one be called like a "working" drive or something? Is it a similar concept to "drive theory" (in motivation) or is there a different definition in dog training?

Delilah's pretty high energy and very intelligent and I think she'd love agility as well. We also do some obedience and trick training. She's very food and play motivated. I think she enjoys training but I also think that she isn't one of those dogs that needs a job. So maybe she doesn't have that "working" drive? She's super intense about playing, chasing, and "hunting" though. Definitely a high prey drive.
 

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Drive is a word that you just never get anyone to agree on. Basically if a dog is 'high drive' for something then it's something that they want really really bad. Usually people talk about food drive or toy drive mostly but a lot depends on which sports/work you're coming from.

But the lines between high/mid/low are varied and drives can be built up or squashed.
 

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I've always thought of drive in terms of level of focus on a certain task. I do agility with Riley, as well as random trick training here and there to keep his mind sharp. I guess the easiest way to feed his drive is with a game of fetch. He takes fetch very seriously (probably the herder in him) and gets that laser point focus when we play.
 
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