Many of our clients have dogs that genetically possess high levels of certain drives. Drives that would be suitable in a working environment such as police or military dogs.
The problem that lies with dogs that have these drives is they need to outlet them and that normally means, in a backyard environment, destruction, barking, uncontrolled behaviour and absolute frustration for the owner.
So what should be done with a high drive dog who, for example, has unfortunately ended up spending its life in a backyard while the owners go to work for 12 hours a day.
Well from our experience this is all about management. You must manage the following things if you are to have any chance at all of having a normal life with your high drive hound.
1. Energy – the release of energy is extremely important. A tired dog is not a destructive dog.
2. Mental Engagement – it is very important that your dog has a “job” to do in your lifestyle. It could be that your dog is suitable for family protection training or it might be really good at using its nose to find things (most dog are by the way, but not all dogs have high drive to back it)
3. Physical controls – cages, runs, crates etc are necessary so your dog can learn to relax. It is not cruel to house your dog in a run all day while you are at work provided the run is shaded, appropriately sized, has clean water continuously and is escape proof. Your dog will learn to turn off to the stimulus that would normally make it bark and run the fenceline all day.
4. Food – make sure you are feeding your dog the right food. “Right Food” is food that does not provide an oversupply of fuel for your dog’s energy. Read about and research what is ideal for your dog and its level of energy.
5. Formal obedience – ensure you are working with your trainer to build a solid level of obedience and control, house manners etc into your dog. Mandatory.