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  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Default Prospective Pyr owner - want to make right choice!

    Hello all! So glad to have found this forum! We have the opportunity to possibly adopt an 8 week old female pyr from a family who bought her and then realized they were in over their heads. We are getting the puppy tonight for a trial period to see how this little pup does in our home with my 3 kids (ages 11,8,6) and our 4 year old male goldendooodle. I have been doing a lot of reading about Pyrs since this opportunity came up and to be really honest, I am a little unsure about if it will work or not. I love all that I have read but have concerns about 1. Barking 2. Hard to train.
    Some barking is ok with me and I understand it is part of the dogs protective nature - and our dog now is a big loud barker- but I want a dog that will stop barking when it is told everything is ok. Is this unreasonable for this breed?
    If this adoption feels right we will of course do lots of training and socializing.

    Basically I would just really appreciate any tips/insights before we make this big important decision. Thanks in advance! Sarah

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

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    Welcome Sarah....and thank you for doing research before you commit to a lifetime with this girl...

    Yes, most Pyr's bark, at almost anything at first....however, as they mature and gain trust in you & your judgement, going out & "checking" on what she would be barking at & then telling her..."it's okay, thank you" she will most likely settle down...don't be surprised if she alerts again tho!

    I have had 4 Pyr's....they are usually out during the day, but in the house with us at night...for several reasons....stinky skunks & hurtful porcupines being some of the reasons! But this also helps keep the barking to a minimum, especially if you have close neighbors.

    Pyr's are not Goldendoodles....they shed, some drool & yes....they remain aloof (some call this hard of hearing) however, they have been bred for years to stay with their flock & make decisions of their own. As a pup, they will sit & give paw (oh...that's a natural for them, and must be taught to "paw" gently) they might even come as a pup...and then maturity kicks in...and all those words & commands you worked on...well..they now become requests...and you will swear that she will look at you like she doesn't know what you are talking about...but what she's really thinking is "does this action really need to be taken right now"?

    Also, I would read everything you can regarding Livestock Guarding Dogs, understand what they were bred to do, and know that you will be a team....built on respect, trust, understanding, patience & love


    Let us know how it works out for you & your family

    Nancy & Rudy

  3. #3
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Pjg8r's Avatar

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    She’s only 8 weeks old now and another family has already given up on her? How old was she when she was removed from her mother and litter mates? To answer your barking questions, my female was a perimeter barker. She walked around our yard and barked periodically to make sure no one had managed to get into her yard. My male stayed on the deck and barked at a distance. Both barked. A lot. Inside and outside. It was easier to get Tucker in since he was closer to the door. Athena would be in the far reaches of the yard and it was more difficult. If barking is an issue with neighbors, etc this may not be the breed for you.

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

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    The barking can be controlled to an extent - it depends on whether you would be around to address it, and your neighbors' tolerance level.

    We live smack in the middle of town, in a residential area where houses are pretty close to each other. Ren is our 4th pyr. Ren is a barker, as were his predecessors. But our neighborhood is pretty tolerant and we also try to be respectful of the neighbors. Ren is out in the mornings before we leave for work and he can bark as we get ready for work. But he's kept inside for the workday. After we are home from work, he's free to be out and bark if he wants until 10 p.m. But if he's really screaming out there before 10 p.m., we would address it so the neighbors don't get upset. Sometimes Ren will listen if we pop our head out the backdoor and tell him to zip it. Other times, such as when another dog is barking, we have to bring him in because he feels he must talk back.

    We've had other members who post asking for help about barking because the neighbors have VERY little tolerance. Those are difficult situations to address if the neighbors are that difficult. If you are in one of those neighborhoods, a pyr is probably not a good choice.

    With respect to training, pyrs are difficult to train in terms of formal obedience training and immediate response to commands. On the other hand, they are not difficult to "train" if all you are asking for is for your pyr to respect the rules and boundaries of your home - so long as you are consistent in what the rules and boundaries are. They do not look to humans for directions, but if you show them how things are supposed to be, they will know to behave accordingly.

    These guys need calm, confident, consistent handling. If they believe that humans know what they are doing, they will happily cooperate with you as partners. They need a lot of socialization because that is how they learn what is normal in your life and what isn't. They take cues from you as to what is expected in your normal everyday situation. The most important thing one has to teach a pyr is to exercise good judgment- these are big powerful dogs with strong guarding instinct. Never encourage a pyr to be reactive - doing that would be asking for a over-reactive pyr - essentially a very dangerous animal with more than enough power to do great damage. You need them to be able to assess situations correctly and handle it appropriately and not resort to teeth first. You do that by exposing them to as wide a range of things that you normally encounter as you can when they are young.

  5. #5
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) mikelg84's Avatar

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    Hello,

    You really remind me of myself before I got my dog. I had the same "fears" and almost a year later I can say that it was one of the best decision I have made in my life. The happiness that my dog has brought to my life is unmeasurable and pays off for the not so good moments that I encountered and still encounter while we both grow as a family: Her as a guardian, and me as her trainer. Training a dog, especially a Pyr, is a never ending process. A life changing experience.

    I agree with what everyone said, but I would like to add one thing that is important. How long is this "testing the waters" going to take? How much time were you thinking before making the big decision? I am asking this because my dog was "mute" for a couple of months. At least a couple months passed before I heard her first barks. I am not trying to scare you though. I am warning you that she might not bark until she's several months old. And every dog is different. But yes, Pyr tend to bark.

    I have not been able to manage my dog barking issue completely, but it's far from being out of control. In my case I don't think it's an issue because my neighbors have never complained. They either don't hear her or they don't care. Ask yourself these questions as well: am I going to tolerate possible barking at night? Some people don't mind it. Am I going to be okay if I have to wake up in the middle of the night to calm her down and teach show her that everything is okay and you and your family are safe? Can this cause friction in my family?

    Honestly, the "worst" thing - and I don't think it's a terrible thing - that these dogs do are generally excessive barking. My dog was socialized since day 1 so she's very good at being around other dogs and strangers. She has never showed aggressive tendencies, but maybe it's because she has never felt threatened. They shed a lot, but you probably know that. And they take a lot of room. If you let her sleep in your bed, she might push you to the edge of the bed lol

    Overall I would say that yes, they tend to bark a lot, but with time and patience they also tend to trust your judgement and believe when you say there is no real danger and they calm down.

    Mikel

  6. #6
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikelg84 View Post
    Hello,

    You really remind me of myself before I got my dog. I had the same "fears" and almost a year later I can say that it was one of the best decision I have made in my life. The happiness that my dog has brought to my life is unmeasurable and pays off for the not so good moments that I encountered and still encounter while we both grow as a family: Her as a guardian, and me as her trainer. Training a dog, especially a Pyr, is a never ending process. A life changing experience.

    I agree with what everyone said, but I would like to add one thing that is important. How long is this "testing the waters" going to take? How much time were you thinking before making the big decision? I am asking this because my dog was "mute" for a couple of months. At least a couple months passed before I heard her first barks. I am not trying to scare you though. I am warning you that she might not bark until she's several months old. And every dog is different. But yes, Pyr tend to bark.

    I have not been able to manage my dog barking issue completely, but it's far from being out of control. In my case I don't think it's an issue because my neighbors have never complained. They either don't hear her or they don't care. Ask yourself these questions as well: am I going to tolerate possible barking at night? Some people don't mind it. Am I going to be okay if I have to wake up in the middle of the night to calm her down and teach show her that everything is okay and you and your family are safe? Can this cause friction in my family?

    Honestly, the "worst" thing - and I don't think it's a terrible thing - that these dogs do are generally excessive barking. My dog was socialized since day 1 so she's very good at being around other dogs and strangers. She has never showed aggressive tendencies, but maybe it's because she has never felt threatened. They shed a lot, but you probably know that. And they take a lot of room. If you let her sleep in your bed, she might push you to the edge of the bed lol

    Overall I would say that yes, they tend to bark a lot, but with time and patience they also tend to trust your judgement and believe when you say there is no real danger and they calm down.

    Mikel


    I really appreciate everyone who read and took the time to reply!!! Yesterday was very fun and eventful meeting the little pyr pup! She was a sweet little lovey and we fell in love with her, but it turns out my husband is allergic to her so that ended our trial real quick. We were sad to take her back to her owners, who are back to looking for a new home for her. I learned a lot about this great breed through all this and am a little sad that we won’t be able to own one someday, but I will surely admire them from afar
    Thx again to those who shared experiences, you are all very nice people. Best wishes all!

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

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    Please consider very carefully the amount of time, energy and patience you and your family have available and are willing to devote to an eight week old pyr puppy. I did my research on the breed before adopting Phoebe at 8.5 weeks and believed I was prepared for all that was to come. However, I underestimated the needs of a puppy generally and the barking aspect of the breed in particular and for many months felt that I was in over my head.

    Phoebe did not bark to excess as a young puppy, but she has made up for it in her adult life. I have not been as successful as others here in finding ways to control her barking. Phoebe will be eight in May, and there are still days when she gets on a tear barking and it is maddening! Even on days when I am able to convince her that all is well and she can stop barking, she always has to have the last chuff/grunt/growl/bark.

    As for training, I devoted an extraordinary amount of time (think full time job amount of time) to training and socializing Phoebe from day one. I've had dogs most of my life, but never a dog like Phoebe who only responds to requests posed in nice words and pleasant tones. I kid you not. Corrections made in harsh words and tones actually worsened her behavior so I had to modify my approach to get what I needed from her. I am fortunate because Phoebe is very food motivated so treat bribes always gave me a much needed advantage.

    Another issue I had with Phoebe as a puppy was biting. There was a period of time that I had a frenzied land shark living in my home and it was treacherous. There have been many suggestions offered here by others to curb the biting, and I tried every single one of them without success. Ultimately I had to resort to putting Phoebe in her crate, which is generally frowned upon as a "punishment" but I considered it necessary for survival for both of us. Time has dulled that bad memory to a large extent, but for a few months it was pretty bad.

    I adore Phoebe and consider myself extremely fortunate to have her in my life.

    Please make absolutely sure you and your family are willing and able to make a lifetime commitment to a pyr puppy before you adopt her. Generally, it is easier to find a home for a cute fluffy puppy then it is an older dog who has developed issues often as a result of a lack of socialization and training as a youngster.

  8. #8
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) mikelg84's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Louisabee View Post
    I really appreciate everyone who read and took the time to reply!!! Yesterday was very fun and eventful meeting the little pyr pup! She was a sweet little lovey and we fell in love with her, but it turns out my husband is allergic to her so that ended our trial real quick. We were sad to take her back to her owners, who are back to looking for a new home for her. I learned a lot about this great breed through all this and am a little sad that we won’t be able to own one someday, but I will surely admire them from afar
    Thx again to those who shared experiences, you are all very nice people. Best wishes all!
    I'm sad to hear that you can't keep her. You should go the hypoallergenic route.

    Also, your husband must have severe allergies to dogs, because I've had friends with bad allergies over my house, and they were able to tolerate being close to my dog. Also, some allergies, the mild ones, go away after a while without the need of taking medications. Again, I am talking about the mild ones and if there is nothing wrong with your immune system. My spouse showed some allergy symptoms during the first couple of weeks after bringing home Pippa, and in around a month his body developed enough antibodies against the allergens and he's totally fine now.

  9. #9
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Zech's Mom's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikelg84 View Post
    I agree with what everyone said , but I would like to add one thing that is important. How long is this "testing the waters" going to take? How much time were you thinking before making the big decision? I am asking this because my dog was "mute" for a couple of months. At least a couple months passed before I heard her first barks. I am not trying to scare you though. I am warning you that she might not bark until she's several months old. And every dog is different. But yes, Pyr tend to bark.

    Overall I would say that yes, they tend to bark a lot, but with time and patience they also tend to trust your judgement and believe when you say there is no real danger and they calm down.

    Mikel
    Louisabee , Well better late than never LOL I am so sorry for the allergy issues, I hope the right pup appears in your world at the right time.
    Mikelg84 had some good suggestions and observations though! My Zech did not find his voice until he was 4-5 months... His baritone voice is like rolling thunder. As Mikel said He does also listen to us when we acknowledge his alarm and stands down as it were.. LOL
    Some days they can be on a calm ignore things time; and then they can be on those hyper bark at everything days .. had one of those yesterday LOL but our relationship is what we have and he calms when we say it's OK.
    It's give and take and well I don't think I'll ever settle for less with my family dogs after having this boy in my life...

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