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    Puppy (New Member)

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    Hello, I have a skiddish pyr who is about 1 and a half years old. She is very weary of certain things, sometimes even treats in our hands. She hates baths and grooming of any kind but we have to do it. If she even hears bath water she runs upstairs and has to be carried down. She will not come when told to most times she will just keep backing up and go elsewhere than where I said. I'm not sure if this is normal Pyr behavior. She does bark and growl when people come into our yard like a normal pyr. She is very sweet and VERY VERY babied. I'm not sure if that has a lot to do with it? Sometimes she won't let me pet her and she'll just keep backing up the more I try and eventually she barks at me and wants to play or she will run upstairs. She does not get punished unless she tears something up (very rare) and even in that instance she just gets told she was being a bad girl and will make me stop saying it by putting her paw on me. I would like her to stop being so scared of everything (certain noises and grooming) but i'm not sure how. any help?

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

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    It's hard to say. The behaviors you describe could be normal Pyr behavior. I know Sebastian hates being groomed, can sometimes be aloof when I want to pet him, doesn't always come to me when I ask him to, and sometimes even refuses treats. He is also a pretty normal, confident boy. It's also possible that he would behave in all of those ways if he had anxiety issues.

    I think a good place to start would be your vet. If you can get some video of her behaving in the ways you describe, that would be very helpful. I think your vet can help you determine if you have a problem, and if you do, he or she can hopefully refer you to someone who might be able to help you address them.

    I'm sorry I can't be more helpful. Without seeing her behavior, it's hard to know if she has a true anxiety issue, or if she is behaving like a fairly typical, uncooperative, adolescent Pyr.

    Please let us know what your vet says!
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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    It sounds like your girl may be a bit high strung. With dogs like that, the more you ask her to do anything the worse she will react. Anytime you look at her in the eye and demand that she comply with whatever you ask it is a challenge that creates stress in her. What you describe about her backing up when you're trying to pet her and then she barks at you and wants to play seems like her trying her best to make peace with you because she felt pressured and stressed by you. But I could be completely wrong because there is a difference between a dog who really wants to play and trying to redirect your attention to play, and a dog who is trying to diffuse what it feels is a stressful situation. I've seen the latter because my old boy who passed last July was a high strung dog and had issues with unfamiliar humans. Even with me, for a number of years he would growl at me if I hovered over him with my body to try to give him a hug while he was laying down. I was never scared of his growl because I knew he was just trying to convey he wasn't comfortable with what I was doing and I knew how far I could push.

    If your girl is high strung, you need to build the relationship upon rewarding and encouraging. You have to find out what things she likes and what motivates her. Is she food motivated, what activities does she like best? You have to use the things she enjoys to build the bond and trust with her.

    If the reason she's not coming to you when called is because you often call her to do things to her she doesn't like, then one option is to teach her a command for coming for a hug that she understands you will never abuse. My first pyr had a lot of health issues, starting with really severe allergies. She was always having an ear infect or a a staph infection on her body. So I had to do a lot of things to her that she didn't like. No wonder she developed a wariness/suspiciousness when I asked her to come to me. What I did was I taught her the command "come for a hug." When I said that to her, it was ALWAYS just for a hug. I never ever ever ever lied to her when I gave her that command. So she learned the difference of "come for a hug" as opposed to a simple "come." When I asked her to "come" I would always let her know what I had in store for her so that she never felt betrayed. I let her know what I wanted and then I would bring her to me on leash if she didn't come of her own accord. But at least she knew what I wanted before I made her comply on leash.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jewel View Post
    It sounds like your girl may be a bit high strung. With dogs like that, the more you ask her to do anything the worse she will react. Anytime you look at her in the eye and demand that she comply with whatever you ask it is a challenge that creates stress in her. What you describe about her backing up when you're trying to pet her and then she barks at you and wants to play seems like her trying her best to make peace with you because she felt pressured and stressed by you. But I could be completely wrong because there is a difference between a dog who really wants to play and trying to redirect your attention to play, and a dog who is trying to diffuse what it feels is a stressful situation. I've seen the latter because my old boy who passed last July was a high strung dog and had issues with unfamiliar humans. Even with me, for a number of years he would growl at me if I hovered over him with my body to try to give him a hug while he was laying down. I was never scared of his growl because I knew he was just trying to convey he wasn't comfortable with what I was doing and I knew how far I could push.

    If your girl is high strung, you need to build the relationship upon rewarding and encouraging. You have to find out what things she likes and what motivates her. Is she food motivated, what activities does she like best? You have to use the things she enjoys to build the bond and trust with her.

    If the reason she's not coming to you when called is because you often call her to do things to her she doesn't like, then one option is to teach her a command for coming for a hug that she understands you will never abuse. My first pyr had a lot of health issues, starting with really severe allergies. She was always having an ear infect or a a staph infection on her body. So I had to do a lot of things to her that she didn't like. No wonder she developed a wariness/suspiciousness when I asked her to come to me. What I did was I taught her the command "come for a hug." When I said that to her, it was ALWAYS just for a hug. I never ever ever ever lied to her when I gave her that command. So she learned the difference of "come for a hug" as opposed to a simple "come." When I asked her to "come" I would always let her know what I had in store for her so that she never felt betrayed. I let her know what I wanted and then I would bring her to me on leash if she didn't come of her own accord. But at least she knew what I wanted before I made her comply on leash.
    This is a great idea! this makes complete sense. Since they need to have a job to do it's only natural they want to know what the job is when you tell them to "come here" if it's always something different they probably will be hesitant until you say key words that they associate with good. Thank you so much! I'm so sorry to hear about your baby passing! they always remain a part of our family.

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    Puppy (New Member)

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    Quote Originally Posted by SebastiansMom View Post
    It's hard to say. The behaviors you describe could be normal Pyr behavior. I know Sebastian hates being groomed, can sometimes be aloof when I want to pet him, doesn't always come to me when I ask him to, and sometimes even refuses treats. He is also a pretty normal, confident boy. It's also possible that he would behave in all of those ways if he had anxiety issues.

    I think a good place to start would be your vet. If you can get some video of her behaving in the ways you describe, that would be very helpful. I think your vet can help you determine if you have a problem, and if you do, he or she can hopefully refer you to someone who might be able to help you address them.

    I'm sorry I can't be more helpful. Without seeing her behavior, it's hard to know if she has a true anxiety issue, or if she is behaving like a fairly typical, uncooperative, adolescent Pyr.

    Please let us know what your vet says!
    He sounds exactly like my little baby! I think I will change some of my behaviors when I ask her to come. I will let her know why from now on so she doesn't guess. I expect most of the time she will still sit there because that's what she's always done. I love that they have a "if I don't want to i'm not going to" personality but it can be frustrating at times. I still wouldn't trade her for anything in the whole world!

  6. #6
    Road Dawg

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    I have similar problems with my 2 year old, Lacey. I got her from a breeder at 4 months of age. Her main fear is of people. I can do pretty much anything to her, like cut her nails, clean her ears, etc. She may run away, but she knows when something has to be done and tolerates me. I then make it fun after I'm done and initiate play.

    Her fear of people has always been distressing to me, but as others on the site had advised me, accept her for what she is love her to death - which I do. I really adore her! She is not aggressive, she just goes as far away as possible from people. She has lived in the same house since I got her with the same people. Yet, she still acts fearful of my brother. But, if he has food or is willing to give her a neck scratch before bed, she is all in. She is also scared of some objects that are new in her environment, like a plastic bag that may have blown into the yard.

    I do have her on medication - Clomicalm. It does seem to take the edge off for her. But, she is still a nervous Nellie. I do socialization walks home visits with a friend who had a very calm old Lab. Lacey is more confident when she is with another dog that seems to say, "there's nothing to worry about". Ever since I got her, we went out to parks, etc. She even did obedience school (or should I say Pyr reality show to see how much she could embarrass me). I still consider getting another dog for her, but I'm just so worried that it may go the other way and make her worse. Pyrs can be so complicated.

    Christine

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) nick's spirit's Avatar

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    christinecvs....it's nice to read that you & Lacey have come to a point in your relationship that you accept & trust each other...

    now, as far a companion for her....our anxious girl, Holly, came into the house when we had Nick the Pyr...since he was very social, she didn't really befriend him nor try to follow his example...and neither did Nick try to adopt her personality...they played, but Nick was not her "comfort" dog....then we got Angel the Aussie....I swear, Angel came into our house took one look at Holly & our other Aussie, Dancer...and said..."heck these dogs need me, I'm confident, outgoing & fun"....and she & Holly were inseparable since day one...
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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Shaggys Mom's Avatar

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    I really can't offer any advice. Sir Moose is as laid back as they come. If he seems someone out front, even walking on sidewalk, he barks. But if someone knocks or rings door bell, he doesn't bark, but goes to the door, tail waggint, to greet them---like all my golden retrievers had done. He loves to be petted on, loves people, gravitates towards kids, enjoys being brushed and raked--but if he even THINKS I am going toward the water hose, he runs inside. We have had him 2 1/2 years (he is about 9 1/2) and we have never given him a bath, but he stays so clean.

    He is actually really good about coming when called, tho once in a while something outside has his attention and he "doesn't hear us" calling him. Good luck and hopefully your girl will eventually get more laid back and confident.
    Jerry and Moose

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