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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Who here knows the difference? I see the words "high drive" thrown around a lot on this forum lately, but I wonder how many of you actually know the difference between drive and energy?
 

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Hm... Well when i think of drive, I think of high interest and the want to pursue.

So for example, I said Lucy has high prey drive because when walking in the woods she sees any animal of any kind- goose, bird, frog, she is on full alert and tries her damnest to get to it. Like yesterday she saw a goose and was almost completely submersed in the water (as far as the lead would allow) and was trying to get to it.

But I am interested in hearing what it really means.
 

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when i think of the two the deffinition I have in mind is...

High drive - relentlessly trying to get something - whether its a toy, game, or work. When I think High drive, I think working dog, or dogs that need to be mentally stimulated with hide and seek, doggy mental board games etc.

High energy - Rambunctious, zoomies, never rest (typically I think of puppies as high energy).
 

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A high drive dog will risk anything to get what they want (food/prey/toy/praise), they will race through the bushes instead of around. Amount of drive is how relentlessly a dog will pursue something.

High energy is not related to drive, dogs can be high drive and low energy, although its nice to pair the two depending if you are involved with work or not. When I think high energy I think of the dog who chases his tail, there is no goal or purpose its just to drain energy.
 

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A high drive dog will risk anything to get what they want (food/prey/toy/praise), they will race through the bushes instead of around. Amount of drive is how relentlessly a dog will pursue something.

High energy is not related to drive, dogs can be high drive and low energy, although its nice to pair the two depending if you are involved with work or not. When I think high energy I think of the dog who chases his tail, there is no goal or purpose its just to drain energy.
Does drive depend on how desirable the "something" is? I can tell Lucy has more drive than Murphy for sure, but she also will give up on something if it's not that interesting. Like my springpole. Murphy doesn't even care about it, but Lucy will go at it for awhile. But eventually give up. If it's a cat or another dog or bird or something, it's hard to get her focus again until te thing is out of her field of vision. Even after, I have to keep coaxing her.

It's a shame she's so poorly put together, she probably could do some type of work. And she has a good temperament.
 

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A high drive dog will risk anything to get what they want (food/prey/toy/praise), they will race through the bushes instead of around. Amount of drive is how relentlessly a dog will pursue something.

High energy is not related to drive, dogs can be high drive and low energy, although its nice to pair the two depending if you are involved with work or not. When I think high energy I think of the dog who chases his tail, there is no goal or purpose its just to drain energy.
This is what I think of when I think of the two as well. Haus is a lazy dog for the most part, until you pull out a toy. Then, he will do anything and everything in his power to get said toy. I don't consider him to have high drive because eventually he will give up if he can't get it, but it does take him an hour or two before he'll stop trying. I consider that to be more motivation than drive. But, I'm far from an expert on this topic. I'm interested in knowing what the difference is between the two as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You can diminish a dogs drive if you don't allow them to be successful or "win" so to speak. It's ok to let them work for it, but be sure to let them win as well.

Good input so far.
 

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To me, drive has a purpose. The drive to chase and catch prey, the drive to defend oneself, etc. Energy, while it can be channeled, can also be without direction - a great example is a dog with the zoomies, the only point of the exercise is to release the energy.

You can have drive with mediocre determination - these are the dogs that lose interest or give up. What you see at this point is a drop in drive because the dog has not had success. On the other hand, there are dogs that are more determined in general; dogs that will push harder, try harder, and try longer with no reward in an effort to obtain that reward. For these dogs, a session with no reward can be beneficial.
 

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Does drive depend on how desirable the "something" is? I can tell Lucy has more drive than Murphy for sure, but she also will give up on something if it's not that interesting. Like my springpole. Murphy doesn't even care about it, but Lucy will go at it for awhile. But eventually give up. If it's a cat or another dog or bird or something, it's hard to get her focus again until te thing is out of her field of vision. Even after, I have to keep coaxing her.

It's a shame she's so poorly put together, she probably could do some type of work. And she has a good temperament.
Yes and this is why you refer to a high food drive as a dog who will do anything for a small piece of food, or prey drive as a dog who will do anything to catch an animal or chase a moving object.

The drive though vs the energy is the goal, high energy dogs will do something just to burn energy, there is no goal, high drive dogs have a goal, a driving force.

I think horse is high/moderate drive and moderate energy level, my mastiff his moderate drive with a moderate energy level, my pug is low drive and low energy level. All dogs will have some level of drive (bloodhounds for example, their drive is to track) and depending on what drives your dog and what the genetic temperament is like is really what governs what sports they will do well in. But a sport like agility most dogs can do, even a dog with a low drive, they might not excel in it but they can still do it, where as a sport like SchH the dog needs a high drive and a correct temperament.

I have been doing lots of reading (probably to much) about drive lately lol.
 

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Without reading the responses here is my take on each... High Drive is when a dog will work for anything and not give up. If there is something going on, he is on it. High Energy is when a dog has energy to burn and not necessarily for any particular purpose, he just has it.

I will read the responses now and see how I did haha.
 

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OK so I understood fine haha.

I always considered Hudson High Drive because he is always laid back, calm etc... but lets say a ball rolls by, or something moves quickly? He is on it in less than a second, even from a dead sleep. He is always very aware of whats going on, and wants in. He can sleep all day and do fine, but just the same he has chased a ball all day without hesitation to stop. If his ball goes under the couch, he will dig at it until someone gets it for him. He even tore the material off and started removing wood/stuffing to get in there. Sometimes he will try and squeeze behind the wall. He has that determination, ambition. He will stop at nothing to reach his goal. I don't consider him high energy because he is so laid back and calm most of the time. If he asks me to play and its not time, he won't run around and get destructive, but play by himself or just whine until I say quiet again.

I thought Hudson had a high food drive until I met LittleFoot. That bitch is crazy. I would still say Hudson has a high food drive, but hers is insane. Her prey drive is not as high as Hudson's. We had troubles with Hudson chasing the cat, and still do at times. It honestly only got better when LittleFoot came into the picture. LittleFoot will try to play with the cat, but not chase her anytime she runs. If Ivory is still, Hudson will be too, but he always has his eye on her. She so much as takes a step quicker than a slow walk and he is there. Luckily we have trained him to know she is not prey, so when he does get to her, he just likes to stand over her, or punch her, or face smash her haha.
 

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I think that one's understanding of "high drive" also has to do with experience. The spectrum against which we can actually place our own dogs. I know my thoughts on my dogs drive levels, Dylan in particular, have changed dramatically since I have seen a ton more dogs in the last year or so. I used to think D was high drive :lol: but really he's nothing special, just a pet who happens to have enough drive that it allows him to do the work at a low to mediocre level.
 

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lol colby is goofy, total high energy, but so friggin flighty, i couldnt even begin to say he is high drive.

He is very driven by food, but not much else :)

He turned one, and JUST this month started to notice birds/squirrels.
 

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I'll agree with FP in the variety of "high drive". It seems like a general term but really, when seriously considered there are a whole other set of levels and variables.

When I refer to the term I say it pretty generally. I wouldn't no where to begin in saying exactly how it applies to my dog/dogs, just the basic qualities.
 

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Colby sounds funny. Hudson will put it on something high and knock it down to get the treats out if they are stuck, or throw it out of his mouth onto a wall lol. He can be so dumb in other ways though, trust me.
 

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High drive - the dog will stop at nothing to get what it wants.. whether it be a toy/food/decoy.. etc.... it won't give up.. it will go through objects if it has to .. to get what it wants.

High Energy.. is just that.. high amount of energy a dog needs to burn off.. the zoomies.. a great example.

With my dogs.. both my chis have low energy.. and no drive..easy to live with dogs really

Bauer - I say his drive is moderate.. when we play ball he won't stop.. until I do.. his energy is low to moderate.. he gets the zoomies from time to time.. but for the most part .. he can be pretty laid back.. which I like

Havoc.. well his drive is high... but it has to be if we want to continue with the sport... his energy level I find is high as well.. the dog does NOT like resting.. the only time he rests.. is when he is in his kennel.. when he is forced to rest.. he could go for hours playing.. having zoomies.. driving me nuts!

I think I have the definitions right.. or a right understand of them anyways..
 

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I agree Alison.. when I would read about "high drive" .. I looked at Bauer and was like.. oh yeah.. this dog has drive! He was crazy for his ball (or so I thought).. he is going to be great in sport work.. well.. get him on to the field with a bunch of high driven crazy shepherds.. and I realized.. wow.. he has got no drive.. no want for the sack.. sure he would bark.. but then the pulling on his neck would make him choke and he would stop..

Havoc would pull until he turned blue and passed out.. it doesn't even phase him...
 
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