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DVDs & CDs Protection Dog Training Building Drive and Focus
Building Drive and Focus
Based on 7 reviews

Building Drive and Focus

Based on 7 reviews
Building Drive and Focus Cover Art
  • 2 hours long
  • Released 1999
  • Instructor: Bernhard Flinks
  • Immediate streaming access when purchased with Leerburg account
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Leerburg dog training is available in 3 formats:
  1. DVDs
  2. Video on demand
  3. Online courses

Leerburg video on demand and online courses both have instant access that never expire. Video on demand has a "notes" feature that allows viewers to pause the video at any point and create a personal note. Whenever they come back to the video they can see their list of notes, and then can click on any note and the video will start from the point that note was created. Viewers can create an unlimited number of notes.


This DVD was produced in 1999 with Bernhard Flinks. Bernhard is a German Police K9 handler.

Since 1999 training concepts and methods have changed.

Marker training (read my free e-book on markers) has taken over the world of dog training, and this video does not involve markers. I continue to offer the DVD because it does have merit as a different form of dog training.

The majority of the work in this DVD uses a ball-on-string as a reward. A ball-on-a-string is not always an appropriate reward for young untrained dog.

Balls-on-string can be used as an effective reward but only when a dog can do the following:

  • The dog must tug with enthusiasm
  • It must OUT when told to OUT on the first command
  • It must willingly return the ball to the handler after the ball has been released

That work is covered in our 5 1/2 hour DVD with Michael Ellis, The Power of Playing Tug with Your Dog.

Bernhard is a German police officer and Schutzhund competitor.

While the training concepts in this DVD came from seminars with Bernhard, the content of this DVD, the script for this DVD and all of the video and editing for the DVD was done by Ed Frawley. Bernhard had nothing to do with the production or content of this training video.

Bernhard lives in Northern Germany and speaks perfect English. He has been in the German Bundesseigerprufung (BSP) six times. On three of those occasions he had the highest scoring protection dog in the competition on the 4th Bundessieger he had the second highest scoring dog in protection. He has had two SG scores (very good) with his current dog Itor. In 2002 Itor finished 13th in the competition.

Bernhard claims the video “Building Drive & Focus” is the foundation of his training program. Bernhard feels this work is the beginning of his competitive obedience training along with start of the foundation for his protection training program.

This video shows how Bernhard teaches people to bring their dog up to its genetic potential of drive (every dog has it’s own potential for drive). It’s through “drive training” that the relationship between the handler and dog is established.

Many people think that just because their dog comes from super bloodlines it should have super drive. These people are wrong. Dogs don’t suddenly wake up one morning and have a ton of drive. Building drive takes hard work and skill. Building drive is a learned exercise in dog training. If you don't work on building your dogs drive it will dissipate and go away.

Bernhard has broken this work down into small incremental training steps that everyone can understand. He has made drive building an art form. My video details the work to show you exactly how this training is done. I also spend a considerable amount of time showing the most common mistakes that new trainers make when they first try putting their dogs into drive.

Some people talk about how much drive their dogs have, but when we look closer many of these dogs have wild hectic drive. These are not easy dogs to train or live with. This video teaches you how to train a dog to control his drive. We teach dogs that if they display self control while in drive they will be rewarded for the proper behavior.

The second part of this video shows you how to use drive as a training tool. It shows how to train a dog to focus. When I talk about “focus training” I mean that a dog must learn to control it’s drive (CAP his drive) and his nerves to obtain it’s drive goal. (In our training this means it's prey item; a ball on a string or a tug).

Bernhard makes the point that a dog must learn to focus for 15 minutes if it is to do competition obedience, police service work, agility work or S&R work. He also points out that a dog must learn to control himself if he is ever to be a successful working dog. For those people who wish to protection train their dog its actually focus and self control work that a dog displays when he is asked to do a bark-and-hold or to stay Out when told to Out after a bite.

Focus training is really the foundation of Bernhard’s training program. If a dog has a solid foundation in focus training it is not a difficult job to carry that training over into every part of the dog’s work. Bernhard shows exactly how to do this in my video.

Through this training, dogs learn that heeling, the sit, the down, the recall, the retrieve and the stay are drive commands and not compulsion commands. Once a dog learns this he becomes a happy working dog. Dogs that work in compulsion training look like they hate the work or at best they look like they tolerate the work. Dogs that work in drive look like they love to work.

Skills you will learn from this video:

  • We will show you how to build a working relationship with your dog that is based on trust and understanding.
  • You will learn how to select the right prey item for the dog.
  • You will learn the right way to make drive with that prey item.
  • We will show you the most common mistakes new handlers make when they start drive training with their dogs.
  • We will show you how how to determine if your dog is ready for focus training.
  • You will learn the correct way to train your dog to focus while in drive.
  • We will teach you the correct way to reward the dog with a prey item while it is focusing.
  • We will teach you the first steps to building a firm grip.
  • We will show you how to train the dog to be comfortable when he is near his handler while gripping the prey item.
  • We will show you how to teach the very first part of the OUT exercise. We will show you how to teach a dog to be comfortable with the OUT command.
  • We will show how to teach the dog that heeling, sit, and down are drive exercises and not compulsion exercises.
Bought this product?

This video may seem a bit outdated and I first saw it in 2003, and I have re-watched it 2018, and the world of marker training has taken over dog training. But in watching it again, the video is still very solid information of how to build prey drive for a tug or a ball on a string and how to then make behaviors based on a toy reward versus food reward. The newer Michael Ellis tapes on "Power of playing tug with your dog" is a replacement I think, but not completely. Although targeting is better explained in the Michael Ellis tape and gripping, and how to build the out-command and so forth is all given its place in the newer tape, it doesn't mean the old tape is not as valid today as it was in the 2003-2005 era. The basic idea of putting a ball under your arm pit and switching focus to the prey object reward and playing with the handler and the toy as a form of reward is still the fundamentally same concept. Personally, I prefer the ball on a string over a tug and I feel this video is an excellent method on this particular toy reward alone. I trained 2 of my dogs in this method, (14 years apart in time) and it's still an effective method to build drive, and focus. The idea relies upon having a high prey drive dog, which our working dogs tend to be. The section of how to switch from building drive for the ball, to then using the ball for shaping heeling is still fundentally the same approach today. It's not marker training, but it's still a very solid way of teaching behavior for a toy based/prey based reward system and it is successful in accomplishing this goal

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The video is a little outdated and the editing is a little out of order, but the contact is fantastic. I've been worried about my Mali's low drive. After watching this video 2x on Saturday, I implemented a couple of the tips suggested to build drive, and wow what a difference. It's not really the dog. It's the handler and/or owner and what you do to create drive. Thank you Ed for keeping this video up and thank you for introducing Mr. Flinks to me. I've taken it a step farther and I intend to travel back to Germany in the fall with the hope of meeting and training with him.

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Just one word for this video "WOW"!!!! As you say at the end of this training tape, its' the kind of video you have to watch over and over and apply the techniques exactly as shown. My dog (Pete) has a lot of prey drive but the focus was a bit off and also, I'm guilty of using yank and crank techniques at the beginning of my obedience training... I'm lucky and happy that I didn't completely kill the drive out of my dog. I'm happy to report that since last Saturday, I've been able to maintain a 20 second focus on the ball and prey drive has gone up... I wish I could show you! Many thanks from Me and Pete!

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Thank you for the swift delivery of B.F.'s video, "Training for Drive, Grip and Focus". As soon as it was dropped through the door, the DVD player was on and I was hooked for the first hour (there was so much information that needed to be absorbed I had to stop it and replay it a few times before I could tackle the second hour). This evening, I went out and tried out getting my dog in drive with his ball on a string (thank goodness I picked that up at a Schutzhund trial this spring) and boy, is it harder than it looks. Getting my guy in drive is not a problem, it's me! I couldn't do the pivoting and ball handling, I just ended up spinning around in a circle. It got a little easier with practice, however, so I'm fairly confident it can be done. I also tried the "In My Arms" and that was awesome. He did mouth the ball as I stroked and praised him, and just as B. demonstrated in the video, I just softly put my hand on top of his nose and he immediately calmed down. I tried to start the game again before he started chewing, and sometimes I was slow of the mark, but again, I think we can rise above that with more practice.

All in all, I have loved learning from the DVD: it was clear, direct, easy to follow and it was good to watch the handler's errors. My only complaint (and it is a small one) is that the DVD occasionally skips. It still manages to impart it's message, and it's not damaged enough to warrant returning, I just wanted to let you know.

Thanks again for producing an awesome video, I look forward to watching the second hour! (And to purchasing more Leerburg training DVDs in the future!)

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I have just finished watching the Flinks video "Training drive, focus and grip" for about the tenth time. I would like to commend you, and Bernhard, for a great teaching tool. I have a young male Rottweiler full of drive, but certainly lacking in the focus and calmness department. Since I watched the video for the first time about a month and half ago, I have been using Bernhard's technique regularly at the field and at home. I am starting to see great improvements in all three areas that Bernhard addresses. Thanks again for putting out some great products and having such a nice, resource filled web site.

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As I'm sure you get this all the time, just add this one to the list. Bernhard Flinks is, to my experience at this point, the most cognitive and technically correct trainer I have ever seen. His theory, applied to the right dog, is flawless. However, despite the incomparable expertise of Herr Flinks, the video is organized in a fluid and progressive manner which is all the difference; one could simply video tape any seminar and call it finished. The way you edited and narrated, slowed the film down and reiterated key points without exacerbating the superfluous was stellar! This tape should be the gold standard for all training tapes. I will buy none other than Leerburg productions. I have STUDIED this tape 4+ times in the last two days. I will continue to do so for a few more days before trying to apply any of it to my Otis grandson. This tape has renewed my passion for the sport of Schutzhund. I look forward to purchasing the complements to the Flinks collection and hope to attend the Flinks seminar in March at Kevin's place in Albuquerque, time constraints and man power issues on I-40 are the two obstacles at this time. Thanks again for another SUPER production.

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WOW, the video you have done with Bernhard Flinks is to say, well, amazing would be an understatement. I have been involved in the sport of Schutzhund and Police training since 1989. The information contained in this video made me feel like a brand new handler who just got his first SchH dog. I was so excited I just could not wait to implement these great training ideas. I have spent thousands of dollars, attending dozens of seminars put on by some of the greatest SchH trainers in the world, accumulated hundreds of hours of training time on several different dogs. I have learned more on focus, grip and proper praising techniques in the first 45 minutes of your tape than I have in the last 11 years of training. Please keep me informed when you produce more tapes with Mr. Flinks or when other clubs will be hosting his seminars.

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