High Drive Breeds?

Discussion in 'Dog Breeds' started by myraellen, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. myraellen Well-Known Member

    My friend thought that we would create this thread because she is interested in knowing which breeds are considered as "high drive dogs". My friend knows that GSDs and Malinoises are such but she thinks that there ought to be also others in addition to GSDs and Malinoises that are considered as "high drive dogs".

    She thinks that we could discuss about training of those dogs in a thread we're just about to create and about breeds in this thread. So, my friend has these questions:

    What do you actually mean by "drive"? What other breeds are concidered as "high drive dogs" in addition to GSDs and Malinoises? Have my friend understood right that "high drive dogs" are this kind of dogs?:

    They would be very smart and easy to be trained? They would be willing to work with you? My friend just read what someone had once written about her/his dog:
    She would concentrate so much on what she were doing that she didn't know how to stop in time. There were even two occasions where that dog didn't notice that she had injured herself.

    My friend has also read that those dogs have strong guarding/protection instinct.

    Are there also something else that would make a breed a "high drive"?

  2. running_dog Honored Member

    This is only a partial answer to start with!

    "High Drive" as a word applied to dogs just means a dog that is very mentally and physically active.

    Sometimes "high drive" is used in connection to particular behaviours, for instance "high prey drive". A dog with high prey drive might be very mentally and physically LAZY most of the time but when he sees a rabbit he will engage every atom of his energy and will to catch and kill that rabbit.

    The classic dog breed to be associated with high drive is the Border Collie. However high drive dogs can crop up in pretty much any breed and some dogs that are from breeds that are supposed to be high drive are not very clever and not very active. Some bloodlines are bred to be high drive while others are bred to be low drive - for instance show dogs are sometimes bred to be lower driver than working dogs.

    High drive does not necessarily mean that the dog is easy to train.

    If the dog thinks faster than the trainer then it becomes very difficult to train it. Also high drive dogs that are kept as pets often do not get enough exercise. Working border collies are bred to run 60+ miles a day so giving them enough exercise in a pet home can be hard. Dogs that don't get enough physical and mental exercise become very difficult to train and develop lots of unwanted behaviours as the try to keep themselves entertained, sometimes these become rather like obsessive compulsive behaviours in humans and it is very difficult to train the dog not to do these things.

    Also when "drive" is used in connection with specific behaviours such as "prey drive" the dog can be so focussed on doing the behaviour that he likes that he is not interested in anything else and that means it is very difficult to train him.

    However if you can engage the dogs natural drive in what you want him to do then it can be very easy to train a high drive dog.
  3. myraellen Well-Known Member

    Runnin_dog had already given some explanations of the things my friend wanted to ask about. So, she already knew that GSDs and Malinoises are "high drive dogs". She would like to know if someone could make a list of other breeds that are such.
  4. kassidybc Experienced Member

    It depends a lot on the individual dog. As R_Dog stated, border collies are pretty much known for high drive (and most herding breeds are high drive). But within other breeds (and also border collies) it depends on what they are bred for. For example, I've met labs who were super high drive, and labs that were huge couch potatoes. It depends a lot on the dog, not necessarily the breed (though some breeds are more likely to be high drive than others). Sorry, I don't really have a list for you right now...
    running_dog and southerngirl like this.

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