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  1. #11
    Young Dawg (Member)

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    Thank you for this information. I know you have so much more experience with this breed. Does having them neutered having any effect on future behavior? I've read that it is best to wait until they are at least two years old but I am getting him from an animal shelter and all dogs are altered before going home. The vet estimated that he is 8-12 months. I'm prepared and excited to introduce him to our animal family, continue his training slowly as he gains trust, and welcome him into my home and heart but this is weighing heavy on my mind.

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

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    I adopted Sebastian from a rescue, so he was neutered when he was three months old. He was such a handful that I'm not sure I could have waited until his second birthday if I'd had that option. Granted, he is a mix of Saint Bernard, Great Pyrenees, and Anatolian Shepherd, so he was much more boisterous than a typical Pyr.

    Since you are doing your homework and reading as much as you can before bringing him home, I'd like to recommend reading The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell. It was recommended to me by a dear friend on the forum, and it was life-changing. For the Love of a Dog, also by Patricia McConnell, is also a great read.
    Sebastian is on Facebook!
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  3. #13
    Young Dawg (Member)

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    I just got The Other End of the Leash in the mail this week. I've also found facebook pages: Livestock Guardian Dogs Positive Training, and Pyrenees Proud; YouTube: Pet Experts Dog Training, Laurie Luck and Dog Training by K9-1; websites: smartdoguniversity.com and itsdogornothing. The facebook pages share issues others are having with owners and trainers offering suggestions much like this forum.
    Let me know if there are others I should check out, it helps to learn from others in a positive light without the drama.

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

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    Now as I said its not every Pyr that developes that temperament. My dog is from working stock and they are bred to be more guarded. So it may never be a concern, one thing I have found that works with Apollo when say out of town family visits, I tell them to have his favorite treat with them. His happens to be salmon jerky. My Mom came for a visit and came in with a bag of that and everytime he got near her she was giving him little pieces of it. It took about 24 hours for him to stop barking at her everytime she stood up. I kept him leashed for several hours when she first got here, Now my boy is extreme. I have a secondary issue with my other dog being a neurotic mess and full of anxiety which feeds his over protectiveness. It is just something to watch for as you are not aware of history and to be very diligent with good social settings and meeting new people.

  5. #15
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Rena450's Avatar

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    Christi:

    I've been keeping up with this thread and I am wondering if there is anything that I should watch out for (and take serious) in regards to temperament as Lyrics matures since she is only 1 1/2 yrs old and has been spayed.

    I got Lyric from a breeder who owns a working farm and has been breeding Pyrs as working stock and family companions for quite a while. I did some research and heard from (and met) people who had got their Pyrs from her. ... all had been very happy with their choices. I talked to the breeder at great length about my concerns and, based on my family situation with my 26 year old daughter (who is mentally challenged), she said that Lyric would be a perfect fit/match for us. And, so far she really has been .... and, of course, I hope it stays that way. .... but, you never know.

    Do you, or anyone else for that matter, have any advice and/or suggestions that I could look out for as she matures? Anything that you may have missed or,now, when you look back on, realized that it could be a problem later on?

  6. #16
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christi View Post
    Now as I said its not every Pyr that developes that temperament.
    Like Christie said, not all mature into that type of personality. There are plenty that do just fine. My two girls maintained the same personality into their maturity. I have a 6 month old male pup right now. He's very good with people and dogs alike so far. I will just continue to socialize him as I've been doing and hope that he'll develop like his aunt, my beloved Bijou whom I lost in 2015.

    So just relax and don't overthink things. You don't want to inadvertently include a negative thought while you are building a bond. Just focus on teaching your pyr partner everything about your world so that he learns what is normal and what to expect. You being in control of your emotions and being confident in handling things will help him to learn how to exercise good judgment.

  7. #17
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

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    I agree with Jewel 100%.

    Aggression is very individual and complicated, with a number of different causes, underlying emotions, and manifestations. When there are warning signs of problematic behavior to come, they can be quite obvious, or they can be far more subtle and easy to miss.

    Further complicating things are the periods of abnormally fearful behavior that some of them can experience during puppyhood and adolescence. Again, these periods vary from dog to dog. Sebastian's were pretty pronounced, especially during his adolescence. They seemed to be tied to his growth periods.

    During Sebastian's fear periods, he absolutely barked and lunged at humans. In each case, there was something about these people that spooked him. The first time it happened, it was at a man with long hair. Then there was a woman with exceptionally poofy hair, a guy with a clipboard, a different guy with a large styrofoam soda cup, two guys who startled him by walking up behind us while he was already on alert, a guy who was waiting for someone to pick him up in a spot where people didn't normally stand around, the list goes on and on. What kept me from being concerned about his behavior during these periods was the amount of inanimate objects he also barked and lunged at - a car pulling into a garage, a different car parked on the wrong side of the street, a motorcycle parked on the sidewalk, mattresses being moved, plants that were covered in cold weather, a leather stuffed rhinoceros in the doorway of a home decor boutique, again, I could go on and on and on with this list.

    As an adult, he is absolutely, positively, 100% trustworthy with humans. If someone wants to pet him and he's not feeling it, he walks away.

    Like Jewel and Christi said, not every Pyr develops aggression issues. It should also be noted that adult-onset aggression can develop in any breed. Our Veterinary Behaviorist once told me that she sees a disproportionate number of Goldendoodles. The most problematic dog I have ever met was a French Bulldog. A Standard Poodle in one of Sebastian's obedience classes comes in a close second.

    So while I think it is important to keep in the back of your mind that aggression issues are possible later on, I also agree with Jewel about not overthinking it. My two have taught me time and time again that my emotions feed into their emotions. When I was frustrated with Sebastian during a training class, it only served to make him act up more - out of his own frustration. When we were still living in the apartment complex and I was constantly worried about running into neighbors' off-leash dogs, it stressed them out to no end. I have noticed a huge change for the better in all three of us since we moved.

    And for what it's worth, Sebastian's dog-aggression is likely rooted mostly in frustration. After reading up on frustration aggression, I realized that the biggest warning sign that I missed was him being overly excited to meet new doggie friends. That was the very section of the Canine Good Citizen test that we did not pass. At no point did I ever think to call in the Behaviorist because my dog was too friendly. I'm pretty sure that if I had called a Behaviorist for that, they would have told me I was crazy.
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  8. #18
    Young Dawg (Member)

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    Thank you for your simple statement to 'just relax and don't overthink'. As with training horses, I've studied their body language to be able to communicate with them and being tense can get you hurt with a prey animal. I love the bonding and trust building stage so I'm ready for this excellent adventure. The plan now is to get Darcy Tuesday afternoon and keep in calm inside as he recovers from neuter surgery. Slow and steady we go for positive long term results.

  9. #19
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Rena450's Avatar

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    I do tend to 'over think things' sometimes ....... appreciate the feedback Jewels and SebastiansMom. I'll just keep on doing what I'm doing ... so far everything has been good.

    Sassy: I hope every thing goes well with Darcy ...... post some pics, if you get a chance!

  10. #20
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sassy View Post
    I love the bonding and trust building stage so I'm ready for this excellent adventure.
    One thing I'd like to mention, though I dare say you probably know this already, is that don't try to encourage the "protective" side of Mr. Darcy. The protective side of a pyr is bred into them. They don't have to learn it. To encourage that side can cause a dog to become more reactive than he needs to be; you don't want an 100+ lb dog doing that. If you've done a good job at teaching him what is normal and expected, he will know when things are not.

    My prior female was from generations of show dogs. She was bred to have bomb proof temperament around humans with a sparkly personality for the show ring. She had the show dog personality but not the correct structure to be a show dog. She was totally trustworthy around humans. But she was also the best guard dog of the 3 pyrs I've had at that point. I never encouraged her to be protective. She was sweet by all accounts. But she definitely had the protective side that came out on a few occasions. Each time she reacted exactly when she should have. I never taught her how to react in those situations. She simply assessed the situation and exercised sound judgment on her own.

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