Instinctive Drives

Every dog is an individual. This fact should be taken into consideration during its training. An excellent way to understand each individual dog and what motivates it, is to understand the different instinctive drives that greatly influences how it reacts to its environment. Understanding these drives will also allow a better understanding of different and more complex behaviors than simple postures. The four drives outlined by Jack and Wendy Valhard are the prey, pack, fight, and flight drives.

Prey Drive

The Prey Drive is responsible for the behaviors used for hunting and foraging. These behaviors include stalking, chasing, pouncing, chewing up toys, bones and sticks, and following scents. Dogs with a high prey drive will display these behaviors often and are motivated easily with a throw toy. Physical corrections may be used and are often necessary in the beginning stages of training for such a dog.

Pack Drive

The Pack Drive is responsible for many Doberman owners' favorite Doberman behaviors. These behaviors include its affinity for our attention and companionship, and that of other animals. This drive is what makes our Dobermans so loving and makes them never tire of our affection. Dogs with a very high Pack Drive do not like being alone and tend to stay right next to their owners throughout the day. These dogs are easily motivated with enthusiastic praise and usually require very little physical correction.

Fight Drive

The Fight Drive is responsible for the behaviors involved in defending the pack and it's resources. Dogs with a high Fight Drive are very confident, protective, and able to stand their ground under pressure. This type of dog is not usually very sensitive to physical correction or especially motivated through toys or praise and can often be a challenge to train. Once trained, however, they are very obedient.

Flight Drive

The Flight Drive is responsible for the offensive behaviors such as the Defensive Threat Posture and defensive biting. Dogs with a high Flight Drive are usually not very confident and tend to be very fearful and submissive. This type of dog should not be administered physical corrections. The use of preys, food treats, and a plain collar are in order along with a great deal of socialization.