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Samsmom
06-29-2009, 05:45 AM
This is going to be a little long but..
Sam my un-nutered (that will soon be taken care of) 7 1/2 mo old male is having an issue that I hope some of you more experienced folks can help me with.
We have always worked with Sam to not be either food/toy aggressive and have never had any real prob. A couple of times he has tried to run when we went to take something from him but we always made him stop and then removed the item not a prob. That was until yesterday. First he got the bath mat and when I tried to get it from him he tried to run and when that didn't work he snapped at me. I made him sit and then took the thing from him, he grumbled..not growled but let me have it. Then last eve we were outside and he got some sort of a root and when my husband tried to pick it up he growled and snapped at him and would not down and when my husband got hold of his collar he just snapped, growling, biting and being really aggressive. To the point that my husband got either scratched or bitten. This is the first time he has ever acted like this and we have always, always been the Alpha and made him mind. He is not dog/people aggressive at all and we have spend alot of time socializing him. So I don't know the cause of the sudden aggression. To make it harder, Sam it totally deaf. This has been confirmed by our vet, so we work with hand signals with him. He is a normally sweet and loving dog and we love him very much. I intend to work more with him about the resource guarding but I am a little afraid that he will/might bite. I know I shouldn't work with him when I am afraid but I don't know how not to be. I have always had big dog and those dogs never growled or bitten at me. Those dogs in the past were also dogs that needed to know who was the Alpha..mostly Malamutes and Pits and like I said I have never had this issue. Is part of it due the deafness?? I am just at a loss about where to go..and we do not have any good trainers here locally so that is really not a great option. Well I hope you can help because we love him and want him and us to have a safe and happy life.
Thanks,
Chris

Kate53
06-29-2009, 07:06 AM
Wow, you've got a real dilemma here. Being such a large breed, a Pyr can be formidable on the growling/snapping end. Being deaf should not be an issue here if there has been communication with you and your husband all along but maybe there is a mis-communication that you are not aware of. Now let's add in the fact that GP's are very "sensitive" to peoples' energy, which would be your newly aquired fear in this case. I would definitely try to find an experienced trainer to sort this one out. You need to find a solution before it escalates. Please keep us posted....and best of luck to you and Sam.

Jewel
06-29-2009, 08:05 AM
Chris,

If Sam's agression came on all of a sudden, I think you probably want to make sure it is not a medical issue that is causing it. I had an akita growing up that suffered from hypothyroid condition which we didn't know about because at the time it was not common to test dogs for the condition. He had mood swings and would be fine one day and the next day all of a sudden become aggressive, and then he would mellow out again.

Sam is a little young for that condition, and hypothyroid usually has other symptons that go along with the sudden aggression, so it's probably unlikely that he has it. You may want to talk to your vet whether it is worth testing him for it and whether there maybe other medical causes for this sudden aggression.

At the same time, Sam's at an age that puppies start to test their boundaries. So, this may be a training issue. I have one thought - perhaps rather than forcing Sam to give up whatever he has, offer him something yummy to trade with - so that instead of him thinking he's losing something, he's gaining something yummy by trading. You can also make him work for that something yummy. It's a way of redirecting his attention from the item he has so that he's not fixated on "guarding" it at all costs. I know the theory that you want to make the dog give up the thing to you becuase you are supposed to be in charge, but it seems to me that if a dog such as a pyr chooses to challenge you with his size and teeth, it is more important to not let the aggression escalate. Just a thought.

Samsmom
06-29-2009, 04:48 PM
Thanks for all your input. Sam, has a Vet appt. next week to be neutered and will ask the Vet about the hypothyroidism. We had a much better day today. Played ball and not a prob with that and took a few things away from him (ie. a stick, a towel and my sock) and again not a prob. But we will cont. to work on the guarding behavior. I always handle his food and make him work for it and then I sometimes take it away and return it to him. Again not a problem. Again Thanks and I'll keep yall' posted.

Chris

Samsmom
07-22-2009, 09:37 AM
Thanks for all your input. Sam, has a Vet appt. next week to be neutered and will ask the Vet about the hypothyroidism. We had a much better day today. Played ball and not a prob with that and took a few things away from him (ie. a stick, a towel and my sock) and again not a prob. But we will cont. to work on the guarding behavior. I always handle his food and make him work for it and then I sometimes take it away and return it to him. Again not a problem. Again Thanks and I'll keep yall' posted.

Chris


Hey Yall',
I just thought I give you an update on Sam. We did indeed have him neutered last week and he is recovering nicely from that. Also have not had any more aggression incidents. I have implemented the Nothing In Life Is Free, type training. He is quick and learning his signals quickly and for the most part is being really good. I also have to remember that he is deaf...sounds simple..it is not. So if he does not see me, he most likely doesn't know I'm there so as not to "sneak up" on him. Hard to remember sometimes. Also I still talk to him like he can hear, figuring he gets the body language from that. And mostly he seems to..although I find myself sometimes fussing at my "deaf dog" vocally and I have to kindof laugh at me. Thanks for all your input and I love all the valuable resources you all give. So we are enjoying Sam and love him very much.
Chris

Kate53
07-22-2009, 10:08 AM
That's great to hear the update on Sam. I hope this alleviates the aggression problem. You are being so patient with him where most people would have dumped him for that. I congratulate your dedication....good job as far as I'm concerned.

Samsmom
07-22-2009, 10:14 AM
That's great to hear the update on Sam. I hope this alleviates the aggression problem. You are being so patient with him where most people would have dumped him for that. I congratulate your dedication....good job as far as I'm concerned.

Thanks so much. He is just the best dog. And he really gives back all the love and devotion that we give him. He is so totally amazing.

Chris

Bunchie
07-22-2009, 10:15 AM
Bless you guys for raising a deaf dog of any kind... what a challenge - did you get him as a pup? He looks like what our Sam will look like when he is older - they are a dog that you completely fall in love with. Our Sam has the sweetest eyes... as far as agression goes, I think all dogs are capable of it. Our really old golden growled at me this morning when I tried to take Sams pigs ear away from her. We are teaching our grandkids, 2 and 4, to take Sams treats from him and his food when he is eating, and them making him sit before they give it back. It is working well, and I hope this will stave off future agressiveness... we do this several times a day, but he still scares the heck out of them when he chases and nips. Just normal puppy but with a puppy that big, it hurts!

Samsmom
07-22-2009, 12:06 PM
Bless you guys for raising a deaf dog of any kind... what a challenge - did you get him as a pup? He looks like what our Sam will look like when he is older - they are a dog that you completely fall in love with. Our Sam has the sweetest eyes... as far as agression goes, I think all dogs are capable of it. Our really old golden growled at me this morning when I tried to take Sams pigs ear away from her. We are teaching our grandkids, 2 and 4, to take Sams treats from him and his food when he is eating, and them making him sit before they give it back. It is working well, and I hope this will stave off future agressiveness... we do this several times a day, but he still scares the heck out of them when he chases and nips. Just normal puppy but with a puppy that big, it hurts!


Yes, we got Sam as a baby. And your Sam does look a little like our Sam did as a baby. He has never been food/people/or animal aggressive. And we socialized him alot. He is a big old sweetie. But we will keep up with the training and other than remembering little things. It is not so hard with him being deaf. After all he does not know he can't hear. He is quick though, if he doesn't want to do what we sign, he will just not look at us. So we have to touch the top of his head or side to get him to look at us.
Sounds like you are doing all the right things with you Sam. On the Sam thing, I had never had or heard another dog named Sam until we got and named our baby Sam. Now it seems a very popular name. We have 3 other dogs in the neighborhood named Sam. :) But since he doesn't hear his name it is not such a big issue, and on the positive. While he is very alert, he doesn't bark much at night. But when he does there is something visible out there.

ragingbull83
07-23-2009, 06:25 PM
And I thought training a healthy pyr was hard couldnt imagine sorry to hear that.

Samsmom
07-24-2009, 07:08 AM
And I thought training a healthy pyr was hard couldnt imagine sorry to hear that.

Yep, Sams a treat and truthfully as for the hearing it took about 2 months to figure out he was deaf not just being a Pry ;) He is really smart and "listens" pretty well. He is a great dog and friend

Chris