In order to train Schutzhund, we need to know
more than just training theory and behaviors.
Some behaviors look very similar but can be
caused by quite different motivations in the
dog. I have read several different ideas about
drives, modes and motivations. I find the simplest
way to describe most of the behaviors we see
in dogs is to classify them as resulting from
three drives. These could also be considered
as the three primary motivations for survival.
The desire to chase, eat.
The desire to protect oneself.
The desire to be with other
social creatures, sex, relationships and social hierarchy.
The primary drive we use in training dogs, is
the Social Drive. This can easily be seen in
obedience, the dog works in order to gain approval
from his handler, this includes praise and playing
with a tug or ball. In protection, dominant
or aggressive Social Drive can be seen in dogs
who enjoy fighting and trying to over-power
the helper. Social Drive is not just about dominance
or submissiveness, but includes the whole range
of behavior a social animal can display towards
others of its own and other species.
In protection training, we strive to maintain
a balance between the drives. Promoting strong
prey drive develops fast and calm gripping behavior.
Defense drive is tapped to bring an appropriate
level of aggression. The dog is encouraged to
use this aggression and channel it into social
aggression by the helper showing weakness. There
is a real art to training protection and keeping
all the drives correctly balanced for the individual
dog. A perceptive helper who can react quickly
is worth his/her weight in gold!
Here is a good link to explore this topic further: