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  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Default New Pyr, normal behavior?

    Hello everyone! We just adopted a sweet four year old rescue. She's a former breeding dog whose owner retired and had been at the rescue a quite a while before we adopted her.
    She's very much an inside dog and hasn't been misused or maltreated as far as I'm aware and is supposed to be good with children.
    When we first brought her home she was timid but calm, she would lay at our feet and stay in the living room where she could see us. She wanted lots of pets and was generally very sweet.
    After a couple of days she started retreating to her crate and not really wanting to come out. She will come out to eat, sometimes with a lot of coaxing, sometimes voluntarily.
    It's been about a week and she still rarely comes out of her area (her crate/our room), she might peek around the corner and then run back inside but that's about it.
    She's now getting to the point where she doesn't want to go outside to pee, she'll just completely put the brakes on and not go any further.
    When she DOES go out, as soon as she comes in the door she runs as fast as she can to her crate.
    She stays in there, not interested in toys or anything.
    We want to give her space and not push her to do anything's she's not comfortable with.
    She seems like she might be depressed/missing being with her friends at the rescue.
    We realize that this wonderful breed sometimes takes a while to warm up to people and new homes, and we want to give her all the space she needs.
    I was wanting to make sure the seeming regression was normal and wondering if there's anything we should/shouldn't be doing?
    We have two small children and we are training them to be quiet and gentle when she is around, and they generally are- but noise in the house happens and I'm not sure how much that's making her transition more difficult.
    Any help would be appreciated! Thank you!

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

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Welcome Edelweiss & new girl (her name?)

    can you contact the rescue that you got her from? They should be able to tell you how long it took her to acclimate when she came into rescue, and maybe what they did to help her out of her shell.

    when you sit & relax at night, try sitting on the floor....maybe tempting her with a very high value treat (mine love dried liver) just little bits, don't touch her, don't look at her & when she's taking the treats tell her what a good girl she is...

    can you think of anything that might have spooked her....noise, scent movement?

    exactly how long has she been with you?

    when she does go outside, do you go with her....give her a sense of being protected, maybe even see if she'll play "chase" with you, even for a couple of seconds....it's all little steps, along with lots of patience & love

    keep us informed on her progress

    Nancy & Rudy

  3. #3
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Welcome, Edelweiss, and thank you for giving this girl the loving home every dog deserves!

    Your girl and her story remind me a lot of my sister’s Goldendoodle, Abby. My sister “rescued” her from a breeder who retired her from the breeding program when she was just three years old. The breederwas giving Abby away for free.

    Up until that point, Abby had spent her entire life in a barn, cranking out puppies. She had some difficulty transitioning to family life. She spent the first several months refusing to leave my sister’s bedroom.

    My sister didn’t force things, and allowed Abby to have the time and space she needed to adjust. Progress was incremental, but it happened. If you were to meet Abby now, you would never imagine that at one point in her life, she had ever been so depressed and timid.

    For the time being, I would continue to do what you’re doing with her. If, after some time passes, you feel that she is not making any progress on her own, or if she gets worse/develops any other behavioral issues, I would recommend consulting a board-certified Veterinary Behaviorist for help.

    http://www.dacvb.org/about/member-directory/

    Please keep us posted on your progress with her!
    Sebastian is on Facebook!
    www.facebook.com/SirSaintSebastian

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

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    The regression is not something that's common but they are all different. I would say just leave her be. Let her progress on her own terms. Go on with your family life as if she's not there. Let her be the observer of your family, at her own pace. When a dog is showing this much avoidance, any attempt to coax her to do something puts stress on her. When she's ready, she'll come out on her own.

    One of the things you can try is to use dog calming signals with her. Say she's hiding in her crate, you can take her a very high value treat, approach her crate but with your body turned sideways so you are not approaching head on. Crouch down as you get within 5 feet of her crate and approach crouched and with your head bowed, don't look at her directly. When you get next to her crate door, make sure your head is sideways to her, then make an exaggerated yawn, put the treat down and turn and leave. Do not look at her straight on in this whole process. The body turned sideways is to let her know you have no intentions of challenging her. The yawn is a calming signal dogs use with each other to show "peace". Leaving a high value treat is to associate you with good things. In this process you are having a conversation with her, by using body language instead of words. I've used the yawn with different dogs and it works.

  5. #5
    Puppy (New Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Thank you all so much for your encouraging and helpful responses!
    Our girl's name is Sadi and I know that pyr's are a breed worth waiting on. We just want to make sure nothing's the matter so we appreciate your great advice!
    Nick's spirit- The rescue didn't send any of the food that she had been on so we had to make an abrupt change which caused her to have some diarrhea for a few days- I'd wondered if maybe that had been part of the issue?
    Maybe the new environment and not feeling good created a more fearful reaction.
    The only thing with sounds and movement would be our kids who tend to dart around, though I've tried to make sure they are gentle and calm with her sometimes they get really excited.
    She's been with us for about ten days total and seems to actually be less inclined to come out then she did at the beginning.
    We did go outside with her initially but stopped doing so after she seemed fine, but maybe we should try that again.

    SebastiansMom - thank you for the encouraging words. We really do hope this is just a phase and she realizes she's in a safe and happy place! It's a bit confusing because she was an indoor dog where she came from so I'm not sure where the insecurity is coming from.

    Jewel - thank you so much! We will definitely try this.

  6. #6
    Puppy (New Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    I just did a little experiment with Sadi and some turkey. I got her to come out of her crate pretty easily, so I tried to get her to follow me using the treats. She came fairly readily but I noticed that the closer we got to the back door, the more hesitant/scared she seemed.
    When I opened the door, I got her to come to the doorway but her expression was very wide eyed/fearful and she wouldn't go a step further, started drooling and acting afraid so I gave her a treat on the doorstep and reassured her before letting her go back to her crate with me.
    It seems that it's going outside that's scaring her.
    I'm wondering if that's why she's afraid to come out of her crate/our room, because she's afraid we'll take her outside?
    I'm not sure what it is about our backyard (it's fenced in and quiet, the rescue was a farm) but I think we have a better sense of what we need to reassure her on.
    When I first started letting her go out by herself I noticed she ran back and forth the entire time (not playing, but kind of worriedly searching), I thought it was a bit odd but chalked it up to every dog being a bit different.
    Do you guys think just going with her, giving her treats, and reassuring her would help her overcome her fear of the yard?

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

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    Sebastian was afraid to go outside when I first brought him home. His first trip outside, there was a loud, scary noise that spooked him to the point that he ran and hid from me in a holly bush. My neighbor had to help me get him out. Luckily for me, he was still small enough to be carried at that point. It took a few weeks, but he eventually got to the point where he loved going outside so much, that he would refuse to come back inside. Welcome to being owned by a Pyr...

    Sebastian also had a hard time the first time we moved. We went from an apartment in a small complex (12 units), to an apartment in a large complex, and I think that the scents of so many other dogs was intimidating to him at first. He did much better when we moved to our current house.

    I think that getting her to associate going outside with getting yummy treats is a great idea. I would also recommend going outside with her, so that she feels protected. If she was in a foster home with other dogs, she is likely not used to being outside all by herself. I would imagine that the same would hold true in a home with a breeding program.

    Sebastian responded well to Adaptil, which is formerly known as Dog Appeasing Pheromone. It is a pheromone that is released by nursing mother dogs, which has a calming effect on the puppies. I have found that it works well in some situations, but not at all in others. Luckily, it’s not terribly expensive to try. With Sebastian, I saturated a bandana with the Adaptil spray, and had him wear the bandana until he was more confident in our new surroundings. They also make a collar, which uses the dog’s body heat to release a low dose of pheromones over 30 days. The collar can’t get wet, though.

    I think you have good instincts, and are on the right track with Sadi!
    Sebastian is on Facebook!
    www.facebook.com/SirSaintSebastian

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