View Full Version : aggression towards other animals

05-13-2009, 12:18 AM
Hello everyone, maybe you can all help me out a bit. Here's my story:

I own a 7 month old male (not neutered yet) pyrenees/anatolian shepherd mix. When he was puppy he had some food aggression towards both me and my room mate, and we worked through that and now the re is no problem at all with aggression towards people. I have a cat who I got just before Samson (thats the pyr) so they grew up together, as well as my father's lab that i care for often and has lived at my house since i got samson and now for the last month or so, he has been growling and snapping at both. He guards the hallway so the animals cant pass and if either come into the living room while i'm in there he growls and snaps at them there too- he's bullying them around pretty much. The strange thing is it only happens at night, during the day he cuddles with the cat and plays with the lab.

Also- the vet told me to not take him to the dog park any more because he attacked a pit once after it jumped on me playfully. He is extremely protective of me, but only towards other animals- like i said before, never any problems with people. I just want him to know the time and place to be protective. Also, when i take him to a park or even an out door cafe and am stationary for a while he establishes it as his territory and if any dogs walk by he begins to growl and gets into and "attack stance."

This is a problem and I know that, I just dont know how to fix it anymore. :o

05-13-2009, 02:08 PM
It sounds like Samson takes his job very seriously!! The guarding at night seems to be Samson doing the job he's bred to do - guarding his flock -- you. My pyrs are pets but I've heard from several people about working pyrs that can be friendly as anything during the day but don't even think about getting close to the pyr's pasture with the flock after dark.

Is Samson obedience trained or has he been to other type of training classes?It seems to me that if he continues to treat you as his "flock" the guarding behavior will continue. Especially as he is at the age where he is beginning to test his boundaries and establish himself. My suggestion is to enlist the help of a professional, trainer or behaviorist, to see about establishing yourself as the person in charge and that he needs to defer to and trust you about making decisions.

Also, unless you plan on breeding him, I would suggest having him neutered. The thing is that now that he's learned to show dominance/aggression toward other animals, neutering will not magically correct that behavior. But it should help reduce the intensity of his reactions.

These big dogs are great protectors, but they need a firm hand to teach them how to live by our human rules. there are a lot of others on the forum that have training experience and have working dogs and I am sure they'll be able to give you some really good advice!

05-13-2009, 07:20 PM
This situation can be troubling, I know as I had a female that was very aggressive and took her job seriously. Its unlikely you will be able to turn its protectiveness on or off, its either there or its not.

However you can with work teach the dog what is and what is not appropriate.

The dog is very young, so its instincts are just beginning to emerge and the dog is in a learning curve.

In terms of the other animals, it sounds like your position is established, however the pyr has placed itself in between your lab and cat and so when it figures its not appropriate for them to be in the same room as you, it growls to discourage them.

Try working on creating yourself, the lab and cat as a package, by having all of you in the same room at night before you allow the pyr in. In time, the dog will accept you all as a package and will allow them to pass freely as they choose.

When in areas with other animals, always make sure you have your dog leashed and you only go into areas where the other dogs are also leashed. Aggressive Pyrs will get into trouble in off leash areas as other dogs will run up and cause a fight to break out.

I got best results with a pinch collar and a thick 6 foot leash, so I could choke up and put the dog in a sit when another dog passed. This took some work, but we were able to get her to ignore most other dogs as they passed. Just make sure to take a few steps back, so the other dog is not within reach.

05-13-2009, 11:46 PM
Thank you! I really appreciate your answers and am so thankful this website exists! That sounds like a great suggestion risestar, I will do that. Thanks again:)