Defense drive or Prey drive - Page 1

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by watsongsd on 02 July 2007 - 23:07

Does anyone have vids of dogs working in defense drive, or prey drive while on the sleeve. I heard that there are differences in the way the dog works and acts while in different drives, but since I do not live near a club, I don't get to see dogs work other than in your vids. So could you show me videos of a dog doing protection work in defense or prey drive and tell me which is which please.

by Get A Real Dog on 03 July 2007 - 01:07

My pups are too young to work in defense for long enough to really see the difference on a video. I will see if I can find you some of some other dogs.

It is hard to explain the difference in writing. It's even hard to explain from a video. You kind of have to be there and have someone explain it while the dogs are being worked. The easiest way to identify the different drive is in the dog's bark. Prey drive you get a high pitched park. Defense you get the lower bark. This is just a general statement to explain it in black and white. Each dog has a different bark and a different outward expression of their individual drives.

On a side note, someone told me your like 15 years old. Is that true? If so good for you tyring to learn. The young people are the future of sport dog competition. If they had boards like this when I was 15, I would have been on them 24/7.

If there are any clubs in your area, go visit them. If you show a commitment I am sure they will teach you how to catch dogs. That is the best way to learn. There can never be enough decoys in the world. If you start now, you will be way ahead of the game.

Take care.


by AgarPhranicniStraze1 on 03 July 2007 - 03:07

It was finally explained to me just the other day to the point now I know when I am watching a dog I can pretty much tell what is really going on.  Get a real dog was right to say it's hard to explain and harder to show on a video but if you physically see it and have someone there explaining to you what you are watching you will quickly be able to decifer the differences.  I don't have any video clips of my dog in defense; there may be one or two that show some but the majority is prey.  So if you want to see a dog working in prey drive you can see his video on Eurosport K9's website under sold dogs, click on Agar and you'll see his protection videos where he's working in prey drive primarily.  Also you can see a couple clips of him when I first got him on  I'm pretty new to the breed but I have learned a lot by visiting different clubs and talking to different people.  I think the hardest part is figuring out who knows what they're talking about and who is full of sh--.  I heard more BS in the past 9 months than my poor ears can stand, but in the course of the few nutt jobs I have found some people that have a lot of knowledge who aren't afraid to share it and have the patience to explain and teach.  The way Get a real dog explained knowing the difference in prey drive or defense with the bark is probably the easiest way to explain it without a visual.  Also to add to that is when you see the dog bounce side to side a lot; that's prey drive.  If the dog is right out front barking without backing up or bouncing around side to side; that's defense.  When the dog is in defense drive you can clearly tell he means business and the fight is on.  When the dogs in prey drive he's workin' for the toy.  So much to learn but it's a start.  Good Luck!


by DesertRangers on 03 July 2007 - 21:07

It's actually quite easy by the dogs demeaner...

If his ears are up and his is just "keyed" he is in prey mode. he will be very excited and aggressive and no sign of nerves at all.

Defense shows up when the deameanor of the dog shows emotions of ears laid back, hackles raised, baring canines, then they have more of a unstable look in their eyes.


by watsongsd on 03 July 2007 - 22:07

Thanks for all the info. Yes I am 15, and yes I am on this site 24/7. There are no clubs around me, but I want to try to work as a helper with a local trainer. Maybe when i go to university I will do helper work at a club. You guys have helped me and my dogs a lot so far, Thanks a bunch.

by gsdlvr2 on 03 July 2007 - 23:07

watsongsd, you're 15? for real? that's great that you are learning and contributing so much. You are the future. Keep up the good work! Desert Rangers gave you a good answer to your question ,{ not to say the others have not.} and has given good input, IMO. I could not have said it better.They do have a certain demeanor that you recognize easily after you are used to seeing it. Keep in mind not to train in defense before they are mature enough, often around 2 years of age ..give or take, depends on the dog. Wish I had videos that I could post. I have some nice videos of the work being done but I'm old, and can't seem to figure out how to transfer it to the computer. In prey drive-it is still a fun game to the dog. In defense the dog understands "it's him or me"

by marci on 04 July 2007 - 00:07

Thank you very much for this topic Work Masters.. and may I ask also gsdlvr2 for his input on... to start only defense only when the dog is mature enough... will it hurt his confidence if  all defence... as if he is always being bullied upon and has to fight back humans...??? I'm sticking to the "Aus" first but I'm not  taking for granted that you have to boost the pups confidence by letting him win while in the prey mode... am I doing it correctly...???

thanks again for this helpful topic... Marci

by gsdlvr2 on 04 July 2007 - 01:07

Marci- If I understand you correctly- yes, defense at too young of an age will ruin the dog's confidence and likely ruin the dog for any serious work. If it is done at too young an age or by a handler who doesn't have enough skills the dog is done. Not sure what you mean by bullied upon by humans. Do you mean cowering the dog? or pushing it to fight back where it bites out of fear with it's front teeth? Aus is the last thing I teach but some have different opinions on that. Defense is something taught with some savy. Easy to do it wrong.You need to start slowly and with an experienced helper/decoy/agitator. Yes ,they have to win in prey mode it builds confidence. If you work a dog in defense at too young an age the dog thinks "all guys are bad guys" ,might include you or your family. If it is taught at the right age for the particular dog, the dog thinks, ok, you guys are good,but I am really going to keep an eye on the surroundings and other people more than I would have before because a real bad guy might be out there and he might get you And me. Pups always win.

by Preston on 04 July 2007 - 01:07

It's like this: defense drive is expressed as a pronounced defensive type reaction when the GSD or his master is seriously threatened (any significant aggressive moves made towrd either). Prey drive is a general drive expressed by the GSD's compulsive interestin bones, toys, sleeves and any moving prey that he "locks onto" mentally (this is a instinct related to basic food acquisition, and is easily seen in cats when one swings an object on a string in front of the cat). Prey drive expressions can be almost hynotic and result in good tracking and grabbing of the prey (as if to eat).  A pronounced defensive reaction is a much more severe expression of drive and is what a sound GSD will do when seriously aggressed.

by marci on 04 July 2007 - 02:07

Quote.."the dog thinks, ok, you guys are good, but I am really going to keep an eye on the surroundings and other people more than I would have before because a real bad guy might be out there and he might get you And me."  That's good gsdlvr2...  so you're saying for the meantime build up your your pups CONFIDENCE and TRUST in you until  he matures... dont let STRANGERS pet your pup, let others do the decoying... I'm the one doing decoy for prey mode and he considers this a challenge that he wants to overcome... He wants to win( and you make him win)... Does it affect my being the Alpha...??? I am waiting for the day of adolesence when they say a MALE pup may challenge the Alpha for position (When dogs are cocking their it true) I'm having a hard time getting my pup to OBEY , when you're letting him win... but I make sure I take back the TUG and deprive him attention when he is not responding...Am I doing it correctly...???


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