Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Caldwell, ID
    Posts
    2

    Default Barks ONLY at the Man of the House

    We have a 10 month Great Pyr mix. She appears classic Pyr for the most part. Her small stature is the main thing that causes the vet to suspect a mix. She has well adjusted to our family of seven and is loved by all, including myself. She was a rescue and we were told that she came from an abusive farmer. I work full time but am home evenings and week-ends. I have tried so hard to make friends with her but she tolerates me at best. If I am out of the house alone I can get her to sit and let me pet her but she never volunteers that. If children are out with her the same time as me then she barks at me and circles the yard. She barks at NOONE else including strangers. She is cautious and watchful of strangers but rarely barks. She is an excellent leash walker and even socializes with other dogs/cats well. We have had her for 4 months now. The only corrective action we have tried other than coaxing and making her sit for me to pet her is to kennel her when the whole family is out. If she is in the kennel, she will not bark at me. However, this does not seem to be a punishment or a discouragement to this ongoing behavior in any way. We kennel only at night and she seems content with that, even prefers it at bedtime. Otherwise she has the run of our large backyard and gets lots of play time with the kids.

    Any suggestions? Only bit of advice I have received elsewhere is that she appears to be trying to assert dominance over me and that it should improve with time. Looking for more opinions.

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

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    4,527
      Jewel`s Photos

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rbork101 View Post
    I have tried so hard to make friends with her but she tolerates me at best.

    Only bit of advice I have received elsewhere is that she appears to be trying to assert dominance over me and that it should improve with time. Looking for more opinions.
    I think it's actually the contrary. I believe it is very likely her reactions toward you are fear based. I would suggest that you stop trying so hard at making friends with her. Your efforts to force her to let you pet her is not improving the situation. Rather, just generally ignore her completely. Your engaging her is actually putting a lot of pressure on her. If she's out with the children, walk out in the yard, but don't even look at her, even if she starts barking. Sit down so you make yourself smaller and turn your head away from her. Remain calm and relaxed. If she barks or circles around you, don't acknowledge it, don't look at her. Remain calm and still, with your head turned away from her, then yawn, exaggerate the yawn, a few times. Sitting down and yawning is dog language conveying "I don't want any trouble." I know, it sounds silly but I've used that technique with various dogs including convincing a stray to let me get close enough to put a leash on it.

    The single most important thing is don't force greet her. Give her room so she can learn that it's ok to relax around you that you are not interested in harming her.

  3. #3
    Puppy (New Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Caldwell, ID
    Posts
    2

    Default

    I have tried the ignore thing and sitting down/relaxing for sure. Funny as it sounds I'll try the yawn and ignore her a lot more. Never heard of that one before. I often would just get her to sit and let me pet her just so I could get peace and quiet. Kinda what back yards are for in my mind. It's worth a shot. I'm ready to try anything within reason. LOL

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

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    4,527
      Jewel`s Photos

    Default

    I know I sound like a broken record, but if you want to give the "yawn" thing a try, you must absolutely adhere to the key point of DO NOT LOOK AT HER or attempt to engage her in any way. Believe it or not, it's not as easy as it sounds. I had a very human shy pyr mix and you'd be surprised how people just can't adhere to the simple instruction of "please just ignore him."

    The other point is that, when she barks at you and you get frustrated and leave, you would be reinforcing her notion that her barking at you would get you to leave, exactly what she wanted, so she'll keep doing it. Dogs don't speak English and thus when working with dogs we can only use body language and attitude. If you attitude is conveying frustration/irritation, dogs pick up on that and you are then setting whole thing up for failure. Again, controlling one's attitude is more easily said than done. Just keep thinking that she's good with your family, she's happy with your family, and because of that, you CAN convince her that you are one and the same with your family. She's had some negative experience prior to coming to you, quite likely from a man, or men. You just want to convince her that you are not like those people and have no intentions of harming her. Look at it this way, so long as she is good to your family, she doesn't have to be your best friend - it's nothing personal, what you are facing is the consequence of what those other humans did to her before you got her.

    Patience is key to these ones who did not have the greatest start in life.

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

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Houston, TX,
    Posts
    156
      CaseysMom`s Photos

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jewel View Post
    Patience is key to these ones who did not have the greatest start in life.
    Welcome to the forum! I'll second what Jewel said about patience. My 3-year-old Pyr Casey was raised on a farm and spent the first eight months of his life living in a small, muddy pen and having his awful food thrown into the pen once a day by different farm hands. Sometimes I feel a small pang of jealousy when I hear other people describe how affectionate their Pyrs are; Casey is very aloof most of the time. I began training him when he was four months old, and that strengthened the bond between us; he came to associate me with freedom from the pen and the excitement of experiencing new things. However, he was always hand shy, and I know that people at this farm are not kind and loving with their dogs. Took him to an obedience class and he received his Canine Good Citizen certificate. I walk him and Jakie, my Mini Dachshund, every day without fail and take them to the dog park several times a week; nothing gives them more joy. And sometimes, even now, he is still hand-shy, even with me. It's fear-based behavior.

    Some Pyrs are more aloof and some are very affectionate. I adopted Casey and I chose to accept him as is. As soon as I did that, he started coming up to me wanting pets and giving doggie kisses, and I know he would give his life for me; these dogs are so loyal! And Jewel mentioned the issue of body language. We humans are so verbal, but around 95% of our communication is body language and facial expression. Both my dogs can tell when I'm sick or in a down mood, and they react accordingly. Both dogs are rescues and they have been one of the most valuable gifts I've ever received.
    The people on this forum will not steer you wrong; Casey was my first Pyr and I don't know what I would have done without them.

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

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    1,396
      Antonia`s Photos

    Default

    We adopted Lily from a rescue a few years ago. She was found wandering so nothing was known about her past. She was EXTREMELY wary of all men. She would bark incessantly at the two priests that live on the monastery property. It took almost a year before she stopped her alarm barking when either one would come in sight. One of them was able to ignore Lily and put no pressure on her to have anything to do with him. The other was offended that she barked at him all the time. He couldn't believe she was scared of him and felt he could convince her to accept him since he "loved dogs." The reality is that Lily now loves the one who ignored her and allowed her to approach when she felt comfortable and continues barking at the one who continued trying to make her accept him over the last three years... Lily is a very soft tempered dog and also some kind of mix. She would never hurt anyone but her trust with men had to be won and had to be done on the terms with which she felt safe.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •