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Thread: New Pyr owners

  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Default New Pyr owners

    Hey all,
    Just wanted to drop a note since i'm new to the forums and new to Pyr's. We just purchased a Pyr puppy from a gentleman that owns a farm with livestock and uses the pups mom and dad as working dogs. We are getting this dog with the intent of training him as a service dog for my 18 year old son who has Autism spectrum disorder. This will be his pup and when he has started college and eventually moves out of the house will go with him. I will certainly be visiting these boards frequently looking for advice, although just reading through the information section has been a great deal of help already. We have owned several different breeds of dogs from labs/golden retrievers to greyhounds. Everything I have read on the Pyr has clued me in to the fact these are an altogether different type of dog. Any early advice would be helpful. Thanks in advance,
    Aaron, Tina and Jerrod

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

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    Start socializing that puppy as soon as possible while Pyrs can make great service animals they are harder to train to make work for a service animal. Starting young and staying on top of it will be the only way to make a Pyr work as a service dog. I have had a friend have to wash one out as her service animal because, it didn't pick up on what was needed and never wanted to really do the work. While Missy will escort me away from a crowded area while I am having an anxiety attack...so it's going to take a lot of work and making work fun for that dog in order to work out for what you want it to do.

    Also welcome to the boards.

  3. #3
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Default Thanks

    Thanks for the advice. I tend to be a pretty consistent person when it comes to training dogs and am always happy to re-enforce training provided by a professional trainer. I'm a firm believer in the earlier you begin training and socialization, the better. The good news is that we have a rescue yellow lab and the neighborhood is filled with people and other animals that are constantly in our house and yard, so socialization won't be too much of an issue.

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

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    We are on our 4th pyr now. Ren is 7 months old. In my experience, training a pyr is a very different thing than training biddable breeds like retrievers. Whatever you've learned about training be prepared to make adjustments for training a pyr. Pyrs work more on trust and respect than blind obedience. You may find yourself explaining things to a pyr more so than you have ever done with other breeds. It is kinda hard to explain on paper; it is a hard concept to comprehend for people who's never worked with this breed. Having said all that, of course each individual dog is different and some pyrs are going to be more compliant than others. Just keep in mind when you work your pup that if training prove to be different from your prior experience, the pup isn't being difficult or stubborn, it is more likely that he doesn't understand why you are asking him to do whatever it is you want. That type of training obstacle is quite common with pyrs. Pyrs generally require a much longer time to be convinced that doing what you ask, when you ask it, is the "right" thing to do. You have to keep an open mind and be flexible.

  5. #5
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) rx4bills's Avatar

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    We love dogs, have had 4 golden retrievers, a german shepherd, and now a Pyrenees /shep mix. I firmly believe all dogs are capable of being trained, can be sociable, wonderful companions. That said, each breed has its special characteristics as you no doubt have read already. I am not very confident that your pyr puppy will be the type of companion for your son, as you might expect/require. There is a common selection of breeds that seem to excel at being service or therapy dogs, and as much as I feel my Kali is a wonderful companion dog, don't think "service dog" is in her personality. I would suggest reviewing your choice. I have difficulty picturing a pyr going off to college, living in a dorm or small apartment, calm and attentive. A retriever, shepherd, maybe.
    Sorry for the negatives, wish you the best.

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by rx4bills View Post
    I have difficulty picturing a pyr going off to college, living in a dorm or small apartment, calm and attentive.
    Missy lived in a studio apartment with me as a puppy and we had no problem. Living in small spaces won't be the issue with a Pyr being a service animal. They can be a very intuitive breed Missy can guide me out of an uncomfortable situation and she does that without me training her to do so. Now that being said that doesn't mean every Pyr is going to be good at doing things like that. Missy is also a Pyr mix which goes in her favor when it comes to being biddable. I have seen Pyrs who excel at service work, but it takes a different training approach and you need to be looking for certain qualities in the dog.

    Now that being said to the original poster I do hope you have an outside opinion on whether or not your Pyr will have those qualities. I know no one wants to put in all of that time and effort to train a dog to be a service animal to find out that it needs to be washed out of the training because, it doesn't fit the bill needed.

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

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    Hello and welcome. We use to have a lady come to our church that had a Pry service dog. I never asked her just what the dog was for. And she never said. I met a man in Target with a golden retriever that would alert the man when he (the man) had a seizure coming on and the man would get down on the floor or ground. Met another with a golden who used the dog for balance. I wish I had asked the lady at church about her Pyr.
    Jerry and Moose

  8. #8
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Tessy's Avatar

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    My advice, love that dog. I agree with the others that if you want your dog to be a service dog then definitely socialize. Our dogs are just pets, so we didn't really need to do that much socializing with them.

  9. #9
    Young Dawg (Member)

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    I've had my first pyr almost a month now, a one year old from a local animal shelter. I also have an older golden that has my heart but this pyr is the most intuitive dog I've ever seen which is the key to service animals. In addition to this forum, I've joined facebook pages of pyr owners and learn from their experiences as well as several youtube and websites. FB page of Livestock Guardian dogs and positive training methods has a Files section in addition to answering questions from owners and trainers. Websites smartdoguniversity.com and dogtrainingbyk9-1.com are great. Check out Pet Experts Dog Training and Laurie Luck on youtube.
    Good luck to your family.

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