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Information on German Shepherd Puppy Behavior:

  • PLAY DRIVE:
    • This is the desire to have physical contact with the handler, family, or even other dogs. This behavior is mostly seen is younger dogs but can follow a dog through life. If a dog is properly socialized as a puppy it will retain this quality well into adulthood. . You can usually tell when two dogs are about to play by a specific signal that they use. It’s called Beckhov’s bow. Once a dog bows and the other accepts, the rank order is put aside and this allows for aggressive play that is understood by both parties to be just play. This drive can be used for motivating many forms of training.
  • PREY DRIVE (PUPPY):
    • prey drive is shown when dogs stalk and then pounce on imaginary prey such as twigs and rocks. They will pick things up and shake them, then carry them around so proudly. Other examples are “I’ll chase you then you chase me” and tug o’ war, often used to motivate obedience.
  • FIGHT DRIVE (PUPPY):
    • To the untrained eye rough play can sometimes be viewed as aggression when it is really just Puppy fight drive. Dogs prepare themselves for potential future battles by wrestling around as pups. They learn to dodge and spin and jump and roll. And all the while they are learning to inhibit their bites and control their aggression.
  • GUARD DRIVE (PUPPY):
    • In Puppy guard drive a dog will get a prey object and tease another dog with it in order to get a game going and then make a great big deal out of ferociously guarding said object. All of these mock-drives prepare a dog for adulthood by allowing the pup to try these behaviors out.
  • RANK DRIVE:
    • This is the desire in the dog to raise his stature within the pack. A dog that has a high rank drive will try to work his way into the alpha position. The term alpha is a relative term. In any group of dogs one of them will be the alpha. That is the dog within that group with the highest rank drive combined with the most physical ability. This is the desire in the dog to raise his stature within the pack. A dog that has a high rank drive will try to work his way into the alpha position. The term alpha is a relative term. In any group of dogs one of them will be the alpha. That is the dog within that group with the highest rank drive combined with the most physical prowess. You could take that dog and put him in a group with dog’s that have yet even higher rank drive and he would not be alpha. Dogs with high rank drive are prone to trying to dominate every dog they come in contact with.They will have a tendency to fight for this dominance. A rank dog will in some instance also challenge the authority of the handler. This will most likely occur during corrections or when the dog feels it is being forced to do something against its will, especially the down command. The behavior will manifest itself as growling, snapping and even biting the handler when the handler presses these issues. The strange thing is that a dog can have fairly high levels of both a rank and subordinate drive.These dogs are driven to lead but willing to follow if a stronger leader is available.
  • SUBORDINATE:
    • This is the desire to accept the authority and will of the pack leader. This dog willingly obeys and is most comfortable when someone else is in charge. A dog with a high drive to subordinate could become an omega dog. The higher this drive the more submissive the dog will act. Extremely high levels could lead to submissive urination. This dog may seem to have been abused.
  • PACK DRIVE:
    • This is the desire to have social contact with the pack members. It is the mental aspect of the social drives. The dog seeks the company of others. This dog wants to hang out with anybody, other dogs, other people, and especially its handler. In higher levels this dog would follow you everywhere, be underfoot constantly, even waiting outside the bathroom door.

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