What is a High Drive Dog?

When people hear "high drive dog", most think of border collies or similar active breeds. But a high-drive dog can be of any breed or mix. A high-drive dog is highly active both mentally and physically, and requires plenty of exercise as well as mental stimulation just to be able to relax at home.

Following are typical traits of a good, high-drive sports dog:

  • Stamina – a high level of physical energy with plenty of endurance
  • Mentally active – the dog need not be a genius, but will quickly learn new things when trained using positive training methods
  • Human oriented – a good sports dog should seek human interaction and typically prefers it over interaction with other dogs
  • Motivated – while many sports train with motivational toys, a dog that is highly food motivated can also be a good sports prospect
  • Focus – when on-task, a good sports dog that knows his or her "job" will remain focused on the task at hand, even in the presence of distractions


Interested in such a dog?

While these dogs are, indeed, among the most competitive dogs in many sports, they are not for everyone. Along with their high energy levels, their mental activity can cause problems in most pet homes. Without consistent and dedicated training, these dogs may become destructive and/or reactive, barking or aggressing at a variety of triggers including moving bicycles, scooters, children, other dogs and animals, and even passing cars.

Then again, for those with the time to commit to daily work with these dogs, the relationships with them can be tremendously rewarding. These are dogs who love to work, and will happily do whatever you ask of them once you give them the opportunity. Many of them have sensitive temperaments, which make them fantastic companions when trained using modern, positive methods.

If this is the kind of dog you want to live with, peruse our listings, and then contact the listed foster home or shelter for a personal meeting. Your next "soul dog" and/or sports champion might be among these pages.

And if you have such a dog, but realize that your home is not quite the right fit for him or her, please consider listing your dog on our listing page. Our viewers are among the top competitors in their sports, so listing here may increase the likelihood that he or she may find a fulfilling career in an exciting dog sport.