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  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)

    Prospective Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Mar 2018
    Location
    Virginia
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    2

    Default New GP Owner/Introduction

    Well, I finally bit the bullet and adopted a 2 year old GP from a fellow teacher that had to give him away because he was be transferred to Boston, aka going back to school to become a lawyer. They did not feel like the GP would be good dog for the city and leaving in a dorm/apartment building. So after a "discussion" with my wife we/I decided to go ahead and adopt him. I was a bit nervous at first because I have never owned a GP. It was hard picking him up and watching the look on both his face and his previous owner's face as he jumped into the backseat of my truck. I went and got him a crate/aka dog condo.......it might be bigger than my first house I bought. The previous owners said he was extremely shy. It took about two days for him to "relax" at his new home. It worked out perfectly because my wife and I were on Spring Break and were able to spend lots of time "with" him, more like let him build the confidence to be around us. It also helped that the kids, two teenagers (13 and 15) were at their dads. Here are some things I've learned:
    1. He loves being around me all the time, he is definitely "my" dog.....he likes my wife but not as much as me haha
    2. He adores his new brother who is a 4 year old mutt........the two of them are like mutt and jeff (no pun intended)
    3. He adores our cat, who for the most part stays away from both dogs but every now and then she will come by and rub up against them, we have even caught her cuddling with Jefferson as both lay asleep on our bed
    4. Speaking of beds we have discovered his favorite place to be is on our bed. He loves coming in from his morning walk and running in our bedroom and jumping on my still asleep wife and "break dancing" next to her, flat on his back paws up in the air trying to get as close as possible to her (don't tell her it is my favorite part of my morning, makes me laugh to watch her get upset and then roll over and give him a big ole bear hug)
    5. Tried to leave him out over night, did not work. He roamed from room to room and did not stop all night. Haha, I'm smart and decided to try leaving him in our room with the door closed. He curled up behind the recliner next to me. I awoke to a big nose on my pillow staring at me as I sleep. He would sit on the floor and rest his head on my pillow; however about two in the morning he was patrolling from one side of our room to the other. So now he seems most at ease going downstairs and sleeping in his crate (plus downstairs is about ten degrees cooler than the rest of the house).
    6. Loves going for walks as long as there are no: kids playing basketball, no one makes eye contact with him, no one touches him, no garbage trucks or any other loud muffled vehicles and under no circumstances can there be kids on bikes or kids being pulled by their parents in wagons or strollers. We live in what I refer to as an "ET" neighborhood, if you can remember the scene on Halloween night all the kids were walking around the neighborhood, that's what our neighborhood is like everyone is outside enjoying the outdoors.
    7. He loves to bury his snout in my armpit, my wife's crotch and sometimes if you stop petting him he hugs you and makes you pet him.......the funniest thing is if my wife or myself goes to pet the other dog Jefferson will know your hand down with a his GP paw (he gets so jealous haha)
    8. He has no interest in toys/bones unless his bff has one......then he is only interested in that bone rather than the one we spent money buying for him
    9. He does not bark unless he says neighbors Golden or if his bff barks. He will also bark at my step son, of course it scares my step son but it is usually one bark if he walks out of his bedroom after waking up (he has a tendency to walk like Frankenstein in the mornings.)
    10. I've seen Jefferson do two incredible things on our walks. Once when the neighbor's Golden puppy came over and started to jump on me to get me to pet him, Jefferson went into straight protect mode and inserted himself between me and the hyper Golden, it was the first time I've seen him act like that (scared me a little but scared Golden more, not aggressive but definitely assertive). Second time my stepson and I were walking both dogs and a random German Shepard without a leash or an owner started walking towards us. I instructed my step son to drop the leash of our mutt if the Shepard came towards us, my brother had his arm broken when he fell trying to save his dog on a leash who was being attacked by a random dog. Thank heavens nothing happened to my brother's dog. I was calm but I don't trust stray dogs. Jefferson did not even notice him. Then the Shepard started walking towards us. All of a sudden Jefferson saw him. He calmly stood in front of me, my step son and Pup........he stared directly at the Shepard and did not move. The Shepard stopped dead in his tracks, Jefferson never flinched. The Shepard turned and ran in the other direction and went behind a neighbors house. We casually continued our walk like nothing happened. I thought it was one of the coolest things I've ever seen, even my stepson was impressed.
    11. Ohhhh, out of the things in my house that Jefferson is scared of, the ceiling fans are the worse. I live in Virginia so ceiling fans are a must. Poor guy, it is kind of funny though to see him randomly get scared as the movement of the fan catches his attention.
    12. He has to be within eyesight of me at all times, not always next to me but needs to see me. His favorite thing to do lay under our kitchen table on the hardwood floors and watch us as we watch tv. Dinner is my favorite because it feels like I have a pair of cozy slippers on, he loves laying on my feet as we eat.

    Now onto the questions I have about his shyness. I know he will never come in the garage with me, he tried once and his big butt snagged the rake hanging on the wall and it fell down. That was enough to convince him that the garage is full of all types of monsters (race car, compressor, air and power tools, all types of loud things). That being said he will lay in the doorway so he can see me, sometimes he go in his crate because it looks into the garage if I leave the inside door open. Plus, Pup comes in the garage with me and lays down and relaxes, I think Jefferson would like to also but it's just too scary, haha. However, he is still a little unsure with the kids. The girl is super excitable but she will lay down with him , sit on the floor so he can lay his head on her lap etc. My stepson on the other hand is a different story. He usually will go under the table or into his favorite corner if he sees him. Part of it is my stepson is a tall kid and I think he moves very stiffly and walks loudly. The other thing is that he usually has headphones on, either listing to youtube videos or wears them playing video games. Will Jefferson ever get over his skittishness around him? He will let him pet him and will lay down next to him on occasions but still gets nervous at other times (usually in morning or after our evening walk). Jefferson is also terrified of anyone who visits. He would not let my brothers or father in law pet him. This was even after four days of them staying with us. Now females he is a little more relaxed around but still won't let them pet him. Is there anything I can do to help him with that? It killed me to leave him at the kennel this week, I'm on vacation as we speak. Thank heavens his bff was with him or else I'm not sure he would have made it. I called yesterday and the vet/kennel said he was a little skittish, shook a little when they tried to take him for a walk etc. I would love to take him to school with me, I coach football so spend a lot of time at school, but don't want to overload him. Any other things that as an owner I can do?

    I can't imagine not adopting this dog, he is the best (of course I've said that about all of my dogs). I was a little nervous at first but he truly is a great dog. My wife laughed because I was so upset dropping him off so we could go on vacation and we are leaving the beach tomorrow morning at 4:00 am so we can make it back home in time to pick both dogs up in time before vet closes tomorrow. I know it's only been two to three months of owning Jefferson and he is still getting use to us I just want to see if there is anything else I can do to help him with is anxiety around other people (I definitely don't think it's a bad thing just want to see if there is a way I can help with the shyness). Thank you for letting me introduce my self and my new fest fury friend.

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

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Walla Walla Washington
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    Welcome Dan & Jefferson....and thank you for giving this guy a furever home....he looks like he's settling in nicely

    your concerns about his shyness...let him be would be my opinion

    if you think about it, these dogs were meant to be on their own, having one "team" leader that they trust & respect (that seems to be you)
    they are less comfortable around many people, as long as he is not aggressive nor assertive around people, I would just tell everyone to leave him alone...if he chooses to engage & be social, then let it be on his terms....no looking him in the eye, no reaching attempts at petting him...he is still young & settling in....as he becomes more secure he may become more social...or not.

    Our Holly was not very social...in fact she was full of anxiety & would shake & try to get away from anyone who came close to her. We let her choose whether or not she wanted to interact with people, and always told friends to ignore her. You giving Jefferson his "safe" spot with his crate is a very good thing...giving him a sense of peace & security

    If you haven't read up on LGD's...you might want to pick up the book "Livestock Protection Dogs" by Orysia Dawydiak & David Sims....it will give you some idea of the thought process of a Pyr, and why they are that way.

    Thanks for the photo of your boy...he looks like a bundle of fluffy love!

    (PS....I think your stepson should take a note from his sister...take off the headphones...sit down quietly and let Jefferson come to him & get to know him & trust him)

    also...the 2 "guarding" incidents...are not unusual.....normally a Pyr will only use as much force as is necessary to avoid a threat, and it sounds like Jeff did that exactly!

    Nancy & Rudy

  3. #3
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) mikelg84's Avatar

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Apr 2017
    Location
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
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    123

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    He is so handsome! It sounds like the whole re-homing process has gone very well! YAY! I can't wait to hear more stories!!

    Dogs can be scared of the most unique things. My dog, Pippa, has no problem with fans, but last week I discovered that she is VERY scared of watermelons! She loves watermelon chunks, but she can't be around a full watermelon HAHAHA! I'm trying to teach her that when you slice a watermelon it becomes something that she likes, but she refuses to come near the kitchen if there is a whole watermelon on the kitchen counter. Explain to me how does this make sense?! LOL

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

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Mar 2009
    Location
    Dallas, TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick's spirit View Post
    they are less comfortable around many people, as long as he is not aggressive nor assertive around people, I would just tell everyone to leave him alone...
    I am in total agreement with Nancy. Your boy is doing what he can to let you know that he doesn't like stranger attention. You need to respect that. Pushing him to socialize is likely going to push him into reacting the way you won't like at all.

    My beloved Bro, the one on the right in my avatar pic, was human shy. He did not like strangers giving him attention. He was fine being in the middle of a crowd so long as no one paid any attention to him. When he was about 2 yrs old, if strangers insisted on giving him attention, he would show teeth at them. That was when I knew I had real problems. I spent years working with him, making sure that he knew I would protect him from unwanted attention. With years of work and age, he mellowed out significantly over the years, to the point of no one who met him later in his life could image he was ever reactive.

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