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  1. #11
    Puppy (New Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Nov 2016
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    North East
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    Hello All,

    Thank you for all your ideas and I wanted to give an update.

    After 6 months Gracie has really gotten used to her new home. She seems to know that this is her forever home, has been trained on the Invisible Fence, and still loves everybody - people and dogs. She now goes to daycare each day when we are working and gets along very well to the point that the daycare owner uses her as a greeter for new dogs. Gracie also has gotten over her restless behavior at night. Occasionally, she will patrol a bit but any whining can be stopped with a quick request for her to lay down. She does fine with run of the house when we are home. Gracie could use a few more pounds but she is not a strong eater.

    Gracie is fitting into the pack with Moose and our neighbors two dogs. The smaller one (70lbs) is a Swiss Mountain Dog / Pitty mix and loves to play. Moose and her go way back and chase each other around. Gracie will join in and chases the Pitty along with Moose, but Moose is a bit fearful of playing alone with Gracie even though it is obvious that Gracie is just trying to play. Walks with the two of them are no issue at all. Moose is coming along and I do believe they will be fast friends as time goes by. We originally got Gracie as a companion to Moose and this seems to be working. Even without playing Moose is a much happier camper with her around.

    Now that the weather is improving we are taking her out for dinner with us. She is well behaved and loves the attention from people passing by. As we go back to places repeatedly, she is getting more relaxed and settling down quickly. We went out a few weeks ago and another dog came to the table next to us. Everybody was calm and collected. It seemed like the two of them were just sitting down to have a conversation over a drink of water and a biscuit. When they start to order the wine and steaks I may have to step in as the limit on her credit card is too low!

    Gracie's personality is absolutely fantastic. This is our 1st Great Pyr and I now understand what everyone was saying when they say that Pyrs are very different. She is extremely loving, calm and thoughtful. Gracie is very slow moving except when she is playing. She is just going on 3 years old but is an old sole with both her movements and the thoughtfulness you can see when she stares into your eyes. I have never been a believer in reincarnation, but the look in her eyes communicates that she has loads of experience in this world.

    The advise I read on this board regarding training styles worked well with her. Gaining her respect rather than trying to be the alpha allows her to learns things very quickly and will trust a new situation if she believes we are OK with it. There are no problems in the house when we are there except for the occasional trash can dive when we leave it out and turn our backs.

    One issue has been exhibited and is continuing. Gracie has separation anxiety. She is fine at daycare but if we leave the house for an extended period of time (more than 1/2 hour) she gets upset. This does not change even if she is very tired. The main behavior is trying to get out of the house by chewing at the windows and doors. I would imagine she is trying to find us.

    First we started her an Xanax which worked somewhat but she was still upset when we left. Secondly we tried to crate her but this is making her even more excited and she literally drools puddles. We are trying a new medicine our vet recommended that is specifically for separation anxiety (not sure of the name right now) and I will let you know how that goes.

    We have had several Saints in our home and loved every minute with the big goofballs, but I know understand how a Pyr can be very different. Gracie has a special way about her and has climbed into our hearts.

  2. #12
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Dallas, TX
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    1,818

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karen1122 View Post
    One issue has been exhibited and is continuing. Gracie has separation anxiety. She is fine at daycare but if we leave the house for an extended period of time (more than 1/2 hour) she gets upset. This does not change even if she is very tired. The main behavior is trying to get out of the house by chewing at the windows and doors. I would imagine she is trying to find us.
    Oh, I am so sorry. Chester, my non-Pyr, has been battling SA for quite some time. We have been able to make quite a bit of progress, but there have been plenty of challenging, frustrating, and downright heartbreaking days along the way.

    Chester's treatment required both medication and a behavior modification plan that was formulated for him by a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist. My only regret is that I didn't seek the help of our CAAB sooner. Here is a link to the CAAB directory:
    http://www.animalbehaviorsociety.org...-directory.php

    If there is not a CAAB in your area, there are some who offer remote sessions.
    Sebastian is on Facebook!
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  3. #13
    Puppy (New Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    North East
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    7

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    Quote Originally Posted by SebastiansMom View Post
    Oh, I am so sorry. Chester, my non-Pyr, has been battling SA for quite some time. We have been able to make quite a bit of progress, but there have been plenty of challenging, frustrating, and downright heartbreaking days along the way.

    Chester's treatment required both medication and a behavior modification plan that was formulated for him by a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist. My only regret is that I didn't seek the help of our CAAB sooner. Here is a link to the CAAB directory:
    http://www.animalbehaviorsociety.org...-directory.php

    If there is not a CAAB in your area, there are some who offer remote sessions.
    Thanks for your response. There is no need to be sorry, this is just something we will have to work through. Gracie is such a sweet girl that there is no question we will get the best help we can to get over the anxiety. She continues to accomplish her mission of being a steadying force for Moose and a wonderful friend to our family.

    I am, however, a big believer of learning from others. Thank you for the link to the CAAB. We do have one on the list within 1/2 hour of us. Our vet had also said this was an option but we really do not know much about this avenue and the available research really does not provide a full picture. We have assumed that this was similar to a human psychologist and with weekly visits at $300+ it would really stretch our budget. Any details of the good experience you had would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you for all you do to share your experiences with the good people on this board.

  4. #14
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    We had three sessions with our CAAB. The sessions were about 60-90 minutes each, and were spaced about a month apart. We were charged a $300 flat rate, which included all three sessions, her travel time (the sessions were held at our house), and phone/email support. Her rates were comparable to or less than the rates charged by less qualified (and less effective) Behaviorists we had worked with in the past. I would guess that rates would vary from person to person in the CAAB community, but I would expect them to be somewhat comparable to the rates charged by other types of behaviorists in your area. I will say that every Behaviorist I have worked with has been very upfront about his or her rates.

    The biggest difference between our CAAB and the other behaviorists that we have worked with is that while the other behaviorists have followed a bit of a one-size-fits-all approach to behavior modification, complete with handouts printed from the internet, our CAAB really seemed to understand that every dog is different, and responds differently to different techniques. For example, with many dogs, desensitizing the departure cues is an effective element in treating SA. With Chester, it made him far more nervous, so we tried other things.

    Our CAAB also understood that for us, the idea that Chester could never ever "go over threshold" during his treatment was simply not possible. She was able to formulate an effective treatment plan that helped him learn to be comfortable with me leaving the house without me having to stay home for the duration of his treatment. He was used to being crated while I was gone, so a big part of our treatment plan was teaching him to place a stronger association between his crate and good things happening than his association he had between his crate and me leaving (if that makes any sense). It worked well for him, but wouldn't necessarily be a good solution for a Dog like Sebastian, whose fear of confinement prevented me from successfully crate training him.

    If you do decide to reach out to the CAAB in your area, I hope that he or she turns out to be as helpful and reasonably priced as ours has been.
    Sebastian is on Facebook!
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