October 19, 2018
Question: What is “Drive” in a canine?
Answer: For the purposes of this article, a drive is defined as an innate impulse that prompts a
canine to action (e.g., retrieve, play). Canine literature is replete with numerous theories on what
behaviors or actions are outward manifestations of a drive and how many “drives” exist in a canine.
Nonetheless, there is agreement that canine drives are innate and are essential to a canine’s survival.
There is also agreement that there are differences to the quantity and quality of drives in and between
canines. That is, canines are not equal with regard to the amount of drive they have. For example, some canines
have a very pronounced “prey” drive while others do not. Canines with little or weak “prey” drive will not be
successful in the sporting and working fields (e.g., Schutzhund, police service, SAR); they may make excellent
family pets and companions, however.