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So You Think You Want a High Drive Puppy

Posted: 01-01-2008 • Length: 3 Minutes, 58 Seconds
Categories: Basic Obedience, Eds Picks, Management, Puppies, Working/Sport Dog Training
Have a look at this video of Ed & Cindy's Puppy, Endy, at 9.5 Weeks

I can't tell you how often I have heard people say they would like their next puppy to be a high drive dog.

My comment is usually "Be careful what you wish for because it may come true."

Many people don't know how much work it is to raise a high drive dog. The fact is most people are simply not equipped from a skill level to be able to raise a high drive dog.

Take a good hard look at Endy being Endy here. Very few people could handle a puppy like this.

In the beginning, like the first 15 minutes, it's easy to say "ISN'T THAT CUTE."

But what about 2 hours from now? Or what about a week of this when the puppy is still demanding 4 times the work of raising a 2 year old human?

Puppies like this require management 100% of their time. They not only need to have their physical needs met, just as importantly they require their mental needs met.

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5/5 stars | 18 ratings

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1/5 stars

High drive really. My 4.5 yo smooth collie is a barely reformed sheep killer. This Mal isnt even close. He makes some working Border Collies look like lazy big old coach potatoes. A Mal is herding dog. They need to work sheep. My smoothie finally is growing up and listening. My collies start their herding lessons at 8wo. My brother has two Mals from one of the top breeders in the US and both my collies have higher prey drive.

5/5 stars

I got a high drive 7 month old that had been kenneled the major part of her life. If it where not for the video's and training tips here I would have thumped her. Now 4 months latter we are doing well. followed the Michael Ellis system, as well as the free video's on basic dog stuff.She is now a happy worker and pushes me to work her. Thanks

5/5 stars

Brilliant example I love it and hope you don't mind if I share the video. So many people go out and buy pups with high drive or breeds with energy to burn and then provide no stimulation what so ever nor do they have any form of management in place such as pens or grates. You are so correct in the biggest reason that dogs end up in refuges - they are ruined but the very first person who purchased them. Thank you for making such a great recording.

5/5 stars

This is an excellent visualization of high drive. I have had rotties for 30 years so felt comfortable asking for the most energetic puppy from a top breeder--even though I am older (70) I figured I knew the breed. She is now 16 months and sometimes I am amazed that she hasn't eaten anything that will kill her. She would eat those cardboard boxes. She crumbles any hard rubber toys, eats kleenex, socks, her new cargo pad in the back of the car, etc. But we are now ready to trial in agility and when I see her run I think yes...this is why I wanted this dog. She is amazing!! Management every minute and lots of exercise with steady training are key. The dominant dog collar has given me the control I didn't have before. Thanks for all the information.

5/5 stars

This made me laugh and shake my head. It also made me get a little misty. My first GSD was a very high drive puppy and I was COMPLETELY CLUELESS about what I had gotten myself into. THANK GOD I FOUND LEERBURG and so I learned to manage him better... but only after he was a year old. Now, several years later and several low drive dogs later, I have recently gotten a new pup who is high drive German working line and I am so grateful to be able to appreciate him and understand him. I love this video and wish everyone who thinks they want a pup with high drive really understood what this video shows. The analogy to giving a 16 year old a Porsche is pretty apt -- because both choices can lead to injury and/or tragedy. In anticipation of this new pup I contacted Cindy and am so grateful for the continued support of the training videos, Q&A and articles - and suggestions. Like getting a Porsche later in life when you have the experience to value it, I am happy to now really appreciate the incredible mind and talents of my new pup. Thank you Ed & Cindy and everyone at Leerburg for all you do!

5/5 stars

Excellent visual of what these puppies are like with fair warning of the time and commitment it takes to raise them. I especially appreciate the comment about how these high-energy dogs often end up in shelters or worse. We foster Belgian Malinois puppies for the military, and it is a full-time job that requires patience and support from the trained foster coordinators at Lackland. Our puppies are never left off leash in the house or yard unless they are in their crates. They are also visually supervised at all times out of the crate. We can let the leash drag but want it handy to prevent the puppy from harming itself in some way. They want to eat EVERYTHING!