Can drive be trained?

I understand that as your dog becomes more confident as as we become better handlers, that the dog’s speed will often increase. But aside from that, or in addition to that, can speed and drive be trained/encouraged? Thanks for your help! An Agility Student

Dear Agility Student,
Yes, speed and drive can be trained and encouraged! Reward the fastest performances highly, and give lesser rewards for not-so-quick but still-good work. Your dog will catch on, unless they are VERY ‘soft’. Another trick is to speed up yourself! If you’re running, suddenly agility is WAY more fun. Be careful not to outrun your dog too far when they’re not ready for it- I’ve done that with mine and it makes him bail off the side of an A-frame – SO dangerous.

You can also try varying your rewards – maybe different kinds of snacks, or new toys mixed in sometimes will get your dog revved!