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  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Dinwiddie, VA

    Default Pyr agression with other dogs in household

    Howdy All,
    I'm the proud Herd Mom of 6 dogs (all rescues). Almost 2 years ago now, Denali , my Great Pyr joined the herd coming from a house where she was loved but didn't have the space for her. Initially, she was a good fit into the herd. But as she grew so has her expectation to become pack leader. The other dogs didn't seem to mind until she started humping them. Recently, she started attacking another female dog that is half her size for apparently no reason. Where as her attacks are mostly "mouthing" she has broken the skin a couple of times. Up until this, the herd has been a very stable environment with every dog having their own space and everyone respectful of each other's bowls.

    She has never shown signs of aggression towards me. She willingly (at least as willingly as a Pyr gets) sits on command, even after I break up a fight. So, I'm not worried about the relationship between her and I. I'm concerned about her relationship with the other, smaller female.

    The vet recommended Fluoxetine at least until we can overcome this behavior.

    I would love some advice from folks who may have experience with a multi-dog/pyr household or given a dog fluoxetine. Any advice on how to find a valid trainer to help me work with them all through this issue? Out where I live, folks like to advertise that they are dog trainers, but I'm not sure if they've done anything more than watched a few episodes of Ceasar Milan.

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

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Dallas, TX


    Welcome to the forum!

    I am so sorry that you are having problems keeping peace at home.

    Iím not a vet, but I have doubts about prescribing Fluoxetine (Prozac) to a dog who is likely neither depressed nor anxious. The situation you describe sounds an awful lot like same-gender aggression, which is common in Pyrs, and somewhat difficult to treat, especially in females.

    Fluoxetine is a powerful antidepressant which can cause very unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. It is not meant for short-term use. It typically takes about 4 four weeks before you start to notice a change in behavior. If the drug is not the right one, the dog will show either no change in behavior, or the unwanted behavior can become worse.

    My non-Pyr, Chester, has been seeing a vet who specializes in behavior for about 2 1/2 years, now. He is currently on four different meds for his anxiety and somewhat unpredictable fear-based dog aggression. We started him on Sertraline (Zoloft), which made him even more fearful, and aggressive toward dogs he had once considered to be friends. It took us over a year to find the right combination of meds to help him, and then months of exercises prescribed by a different Behaviorist. He will be medicated and performing these exercises for life.

    Thatís the other thing about meds that not all vets understand. Medication is not magic. Even if your Pyrís dog aggression is based in fear, which it does not sound like it is, medication is meant to be a supplemental tool in an o real behavioral treatment plan.

    I would advise contacting someone on either of these two lists:

    If there is no one close to you, some of them do offer remote consultations. The dACVB in Austin, Texas was amongst them the last time I checked.

    For the time being, I would practice careful management. Keep them separated, especially during situations that might lead to an attack. I would feed them separately and pick up any toys or chews that they might fight over.

    Please keep us updated on your progress with her!
    Sebastian is on Facebook!

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

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Walla Walla Washington


    Welcome Herd Mom & rescues!! Thank you for giving these companions a place to call a furever home.

    Yes, I have used Flouxetine with 2 Pyrs...and they were both females...and as SebastiansMom stated, it does take awhile for the med to work

    our first girl, Spirit, had an aggressive episode with her Aussie sister after 8 years of peaceful living....the vet put her on the flouxetine & she remained on it for the duration of her 10 1/2 years....the only side effect with her was that she had a "chattering" of her teeth as her body became accustomed to the drug. She remained her protective self with me (I was her person) but never challenged her Aussie sister again.

    Holly was extremely anxious, to the point of not being able to focus on us when we tried to calm her down....she started the drug when she was almost 1...and continued on it her remaining 10+ years, and she never had the reaction to the drug that Spirit did. It helped Holly immensely...tho she remained aloof with strangers, at least she could eventually get comfortable & take a treat from visitors to our home.

    the other question the smaller female giving off any sort of signal you can detect that is pushing your Pyr's buttons?

    you mention "each others bowls" is the aggression over food?

    do any of your herd get rawhide or other chews that your Pyr might be resource guarding?

    keep us informed on your progress with her

    Nancy & Rudy

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