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  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Default 2 Year Old Great Pyr Afraid Of Almost Everything

    Hi, I've lurked on this site for a while but never posted. I have a 2 year old Great Pyr named Faye who is afraid of:

    -Any new large objects (they don't necessarily have to be larger than her). I switched her to a standing water and food bowl and it took her a day or two to even approach the thing.

    -New people or people she hasn't seen in a while. My husband and I are not the most social people so this is probably the reason and it usually isn't an issue. She will eventually acclimate to a new person but she will bark for a while as well as slowly approach the new person and then dart away, run into a different room and bark from there. We have the new person sit still and not approach her and she still reacts the same way.

    These are not really issues, so much as I'm saying she's an anxious dog who tends to be scared of things. The big issue is:

    -Being outside during daylight. She is terrified of being outside while it's light out. If it's dark outside, she will run around and play and sniff like a normal dog. She rarely even wants to come inside! If it's light out, she will stick to the door and with coaxing, will run out into the grass long enough to do her business and then run straight back to the door. We obviously take her out several times a day so this is something she has been consistently scared of since she was 4 months old. Nothing traumatic has happened to her that I know of and if the conditions are perfect (no people outside anywhere, completely silent) she is a little better about walking around outside. We lived in a house with a large backyard up until about 4 months ago, when we moved into an apartment for a temporary move (husband is in Navy). We are moving to another house with a backyard in a few weeks so she will have a place to run around and play but I really want to take her on walks. She walks well on a leash (at night) due to us living in an apartment and her having to be on one. However, if she hears one thing that freaks her out (could be anything), she will tear off towards the front door and she is 80 lbs and I am a 130 lb weak lady. I have a really hard time controlling her because she's so strong and my husband is not always around to help out with her. I really just want to be able to take her on walks everyday because she gets very playful and restless and we have cats who do not appreciate this behavior. Even when we have a backyard again, she just won't go out and play when it's light out (and I forgot to mention, we are standing outside with her too. She won't do anything outside unless we're with her). I've tried giving her calming aid pills which seem to chill her out when she's on constant patrol (she's a big barker and the neighbors don't appreciate it) but she's still just terrified to be outside.

    When we tried to walk her a few times at our old house, she ended up just choking herself the entire time being freaked out. I have since bought her a harness but have discovered that she can easily slip out of it if she wants to. I'm planning on buying her a new harness and just trying to walk her again when we get to our new house. Has anyone else had this issue of being afraid of being outside during daylight? Any suggestions or tips or advice? I feel like all I can do is make her go outside and try to use treats as motivation and be patient with her, which is fine and I'm willing to do that. I just want to know if anyone has any other helpful advice about this issue (products that help with anxiety, ideas, etc).

    Sorry for the wall of text and lack of organization. We had a lot of issues with her as a puppy and she's gotten so much better as she's gotten older but we're just not there yet with a few things. This is my first dog as an adult and it's definitely been more challenging than I had imagined lol. Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Loki's Mom's Avatar

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    Hi gurodesu! I know the prong collar (there are several threads about this if you do a search above) has been a godsend with walking our powerful pup who even at 4 months would pull daughter and I around the blocks. We even tried the training - stop, turn around, etc. every time he pulled - but he just had too much energy and pulled and coughed. I worried about him hurting his throat. Funny anecdote - once when we were walking him, he had decided to sniff a flower and we had walked ahead to discourage the sniffing, so the leash was not slack and apparently it appeared that WE were "dragging HIM around" according to a lady who just at that moment walked out her door and then chided us for hurting our dog. WTH!? Anyway, I am sure the quite knowledgeable and helpful, more experienced pyr owners here will chime in with helpful behavior advice. Good luck with Faye! And if I don't say it, they will - pictures please!

  3. #3
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) nick's spirit's Avatar

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    Welcome gurodesu & your Pyr....she sounds a lot like our Holly was when we got her. Holly is now 9 y/o & still does not like to go outside for longer than it takes to do her business & comes right back in...she really doesn't even like the evenings like your pup!
    You can try the prong collar, but I would suggest trying to walk her when things are the quietest...like very early morning, and if she only likes to walk in the evenings, well, I don't think there is anything wrong with that. Something that I have been told by an author of a book regarding Livestock Guarding Dogs. is that some of them don't make good companion animals. They should have been the ones to stay out in the fields with their flocks....doesn't help those of us who have this type of Pyr! Sounds like your girl is not agressive or a fear biter, so that is good. Asking your guest to ignore her is great, let her approach at her own comfort level, and it might help if they have a very tempting treat (although if she's like our Holly, there is no treat that can help her overcome her resistence to approach a person, and yes, Holly barks from a very "safe" distance) If the calming pills helped her, then I would consider keeping her on them, ask a vet what they think. Holly has been on meds since she was a year old, didn't change her much and is not harmful to her. She eventually came to trust us more & wouldn't mind going for early morning walks, tho at this age a walk consist of walking around the house. She barks a bit less at visitors now & will approach for a taste of cheese!
    After living with Holly for these past 9 years, I have come to understand this is her personality. She is very loving to us, not an agressive bone in her body, and if being in the house makes her comfortable...well that's not so bad, she stays clean that way!

  4. #4
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Romanji's Avatar

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    Big welcome to you and your Pyr.

    This is actually observed by hubby...
    And since it rang true to me, I am sharing his view.

    Hubby says why Pyrs are great LGDs is because they are so skeptical, wary and careful of their surroundings.
    And many dog people think that translates to "fear" and it is not "fear" actually.

    Roman is always skittish in doubtful situations... he will hide behind hubby during these occasions.
    Like when he sees a bear cutouts, or sees that halloween decor on someone's yard etc.
    He will defer all decisions to hubby but he is not trembling nor have *the tail tucked* or anything.

    Hubby often jokes... Roman is so smart that he will basically let hubby be the "frontline" sacrifice should things go wrong.

    But is Roman really that fearful or have reasons to ever be fearful of anything???
    The answer is nope.
    He lives in a very zen like home environment with barely ever even a car down our very residential and very unpopulated streets.
    His humans and the animals he knows gave him no cause to ever be insecure.
    He sometimes even bark (we called it lazi bark) laying down.
    He sleeps totally ungentlemanly like in the most relaxed positions ever.

    That manytimes we think like evryone else here too...
    If Roman will truely come into that LGD "state".

    But don't worry, Pyrs are a "guardian breed" by trait and they grow up only too soon!

  5. #5
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Romanji's Avatar

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    OP, just a tip.
    As a new owner, set down rules so she (your Pyr) knows is the basics for her to live with you.
    Make our Pyr heavy bottom doggies "sit" for everything (even permission to enter a door, get the walks, take that toy to play etc.).
    That is the first thing DD taught Roman and he sits for everything.

    Also another thing... walks.
    All pyrs probably go through that bucking / pulling walk state.
    Roman is no exception.

    BUT...
    Before exposing any dog to outside, I believe the ground works is set from within the family, home environment out first.
    Means get your dog to think no matter what, its den, its home environment is secured.
    When ever he/she is home base, its "home sweet home".
    I think every animal even humans... love to have that safe space to be able to get away from it all before even exploring out.
    Like going to a new city... you need to secure that "shelter" first and foremost.
    Then surround yourselves with trusted people.

    After that home securing and getting your dog to trust you...
    Then explore slowly "going out".
    I don't do any dogparks BTW especially when Roman is a puppy.
    Because I am a staunch believer of "protect your new dog/puppy" at all cost so as not to give it cause for distrust.

    I don't do prong either and will never needs it to walk Roman like a show dog.
    Even my 80lb DD can walk Roman no problem.

    Why?
    Roman has no reasons to distrust what we want from him because we built his mindset that...
    what is good for us his family, its even better (or great) for him!
    = Never any pain.
    Always a positive that he loves that positive actions he makes creates more opportunities for even more positives.

    Roman's independent trait of yes, he did know better.
    Especially when he lays his trust in his folks!

  6. #6
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    This may sound a bit on a limb, but have you had Faye's eyes checked thoroughly by a vet? With unusual phobias, I think it's usually a good idea to rule out medical issues as the cause. Faye's reactions are so dramatically different between night and daylight that it occurred to me maybe there is an issue with eye sight.

  7. #7
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) robinandoso's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jewel View Post
    This may sound a bit on a limb, but have you had Faye's eyes checked thoroughly by a vet? With unusual phobias, I think it's usually a good idea to rule out medical issues as the cause. Faye's reactions are so dramatically different between night and daylight that it occurred to me maybe there is an issue with eye sight.
    Yes! This!


    And also:
    http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIP...onAdultDog.php

    Please don't treat this as a training problem. Even NILIF (which is awesome, don't get me wrong, it truly is) won't fix this. Because it's not like the dog doesn't respect you.... he's scared.

    It's either medical or socialization related. Socialization and socializing aren't the same. Socialization is a behaviorism term for learning about the world around us and learning to distinguish true threats versus simply novel experiences. Your dog must be carefully and lovingly socialized to everything from the ceiling fans to people to dogs to grass to different times of day to different food bowls to sounds to .... well... everything in all the world.

    Here are some more articles on socializing geared towards puppies, but it's the same basic process. Just go a lot slower and watch for signs that the dog is getting stressed. If the dog is over threshold, you're making it worse, not better. So, dragging a scared dog around on a prong collar is going to totally make it way, way, way, way worse. Because it doesn't fix the underlying fear, it only reinforces it and shows him that the situation should indeed be feared because now he has no hope of escape, and when he tries to escape, he's ends up in pain, too. (Not that I haven't made that mistake-- I have. And it turned into a disaster. Please allow yourself to learn from that mistake.)

    http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtua...ing-your-puppy

    http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/pet...ize-your-puppy

    http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/pet...hy-and-nervous

    http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/pet...-scary-turtles

    Best of luck!

  8. #8
    Puppy (New Member)

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    My Great Pyrenees is almost 2 and he is still afraid of any changes to the yard/food bowl. In fact we gave up trying to change his water bowl (it is the bird bath). One thing you did not mention is whether or not you have livestock. I think if your dog does not have a "job" guarding livestock she maybe hopelessly confused as to what her job is and that may explain some of her anxiety. LGB's are programmed to guard livestock. I see you live in TX. The blazing sun may bother her tremendously. My dog gets overheated quickly.

  9. #9
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Oh, one more thing. My dog is totally nocturnal. He prefers to sleep all day and roam the yard "guarding" the livestock all night long.

  10. #10
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Romanji's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by karen_stl View Post
    My Great Pyrenees is almost 2 and he is still afraid of any changes to the yard/food bowl. In fact we gave up trying to change his water bowl (it is the bird bath). One thing you did not mention is whether or not you have livestock. I think if your dog does not have a "job" guarding livestock she maybe hopelessly confused as to what her job is and that may explain some of her anxiety. LGB's are programmed to guard livestock. I see you live in TX. The blazing sun may bother her tremendously. My dog gets overheated quickly.
    Just a question.
    Does your pyr has access to other water source besides this one???

    I am a gungho water bowls (Roman has three water source and in the summer, he will also lap up water from his baby pool especially if I just fill it, so I know Toman likes fresh filled water...) changer especially winter here... Changing it up to 5-6 times if weather is chilly enough to turn water to ice... Less in the house bowl. Whether Roman likes it or not.

    And he is also a creature of habit...
    Has to have a certain routine.
    Roman says... "I'm too Se><xy for my... so Se><xy it hurts... Cause I'm a model YKWIM?"

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