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  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member) Grizz's Avatar

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Jun 2018
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    London, ON
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    Default Starting a New Life with Grizz! Help please!

    Hello All!
    I have a few questions for you all now that we have adopted our very own Grizz, a 2 year old Pyr/mix.

    Did anyone else adopt a Pyr mix and not hear him bark? We have had Grizz now for almost 2 full weeks and I have yet to hear him bark. We walk passed dogs constantly that growl and bark and jump all over their fence at him aggressively and the only thing it does is make him back away a bit. At the dog park he gets barked at by the little dogs (little dog syndrome) and he just stares at them like they are insane. I am sure he will bark and when he does it will scare the bejesus out of me as we haven’t heard it yet.

    Does anyone’s Pyr actually play with other dogs? We have had him playing with our friends Golden Retriever/****er Spaniel mix when it was just the two of them in our backyard but when at the dog park he has yet to play with anyone. He will only run if I start running and then it looks like he might play when a dog approaches but he just stares at me like why aren’t we running? He does enjoy sniffing all the new doggos but is more apt to just keep wandering.

    Do any of your dog’s play with toys? Grizz is spoiled by all of our friends and family. When they first saw photos of him they fell completely in love (I mean who doesn’t?) and all brought him a welcome home gift. He has squeaky toys (which the squeaker scares him), bones both real and rubber, and he opts for the water bottle or cardboard box. I am debating getting him a Kong as he does enjoy chewing on random things (dresser drawer knobs, water bottles, etc.) to keep it as a safer alternative. But was wondering if you had found anything your Pyr thought was fun besides cardboard boxes?! If I run around he will chase me, or he will slightly wrestle but I was reading about how you shouldn’t wrestle with them because then they can’t differentiate between when it’s acceptable and when not.

    Stairs… do your Pyr’s go down and/or up stairs? We have 2 steps to get into the house and he’s fine with them, and we have 2 steps to get out to the backyard from the kitchen, he’s also ok with those. However he will not go down the 8 steps into the basement (to be fair they are slightly steep). But the basement would be so much cozier for all of us to hang out. Because he always wants to be near us we have just been hanging out upstairs or outside since we got him. But our main living room is in the basement, I would much prefer to be able to get him to hang out with us there.

    Even though we have these quirks we are still completely smitten with this guy! He is super friendly with other dogs, kids, people, and cats (although our cat hissed at him the first day he came home so he’s still a little afraid of the cat but getting better). He walks well on a leash (not a retractable one at all but just a regular old leash is perfect). He has been having some stomach issues due to the stress of being picked up as a stray, going to the pound, then to a foster home, then the vet, then back to foster care while he healed from getting fixed, then in an SUV to make his travel from Kentucky to us in London, Ontario. Plus the switch of diets constantly is affecting him. I assume as a stray it wasn’t a great diet, then unsure what they fed him in the pound or foster home, and now we have put him on a kibble. But thanks to some awesome help on these forums we have given him some pumpkin puree with his meal and he’s getting on the right track now. And we are now learning how to crate train! The first 3 days with us he just slept while we were at work and overnight, no accidents, nothing. But then he started peeing and pooping in the house daily, plus started moving our stuff around the house. He never destroyed anything, just moved shoes into the bathroom, or socks into the office, etc. So we opted to use the crate. Besides the times when he had upset tummy issues, there have been no more inside the house incidents.

    Sorry for the life story! We start training with a positive reinforcement trainer on July 4th. I am really excited for that as I feel I can physically exhaust him but nothing is mentally draining him at all. He needs that! But attempting to figure out what he would like to be his happiest self is mentally draining me!

  2. #2
    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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    Hi Grizz,

    1) My GP mix did not bark until she was 7-8 months old. I remember I used to joke around and tell my friends that I had a mute dog. I miss those days now. Pippa is a barker, but it's manageable.

    2) When Pippa was a puppy she would only play with certain dogs. Every dog is different. Some are more playful, some are more shy. I wouldn't worry too much about the fact that your dog stares at other dogs. Things might change when he grows and understands what walks are, the smells, the noises...

    3) Again, every dog is different. Some prefer squeaky tops, some don't. My dog has a thing for stick and branches, and bottles of water. I would not let my dog play with cupboard or paper unless you want to come home one day and see a shoe box or letters torn apart.

    4) Most dogs don't like going in the basement because the way the stairs are designed. Dogs want to see the ground at all times every time they step their cute paws. And I don't blame them. I don't know how to properly explain this in English, but I hope I'm making sense. If a dog sees the typical "floating stairs" that most people have in the basement, the dog won't move. My dog refuses to walk on something that doesn't seem solid (basement stairs, wood bridges..).

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

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Mar 2009
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    Walla Walla Washington
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    1)...Grizz has only been with you for a couple of weeks...I usually give a new canine member about a month to adjust to the new surroundings....let us know what he's like in another 2-4 weeks

    2)since he's a mix it's hard to say what kind of personality he has....most Pyr's don't play when there are multiple dogs around...our Pyr, Rudy, only likes to play with his best friend & big sister...Angel the Aussie...and even that play is in short bursts

    3)toys....Rudy is going to be 6 in October...he stopped playing with toys when he was about 2- 21/2....he will occasionally pick up his old ball & bounce it when he wants the attention of company

    4)playing tug with him would be fine...just don't get him too excited or worked up...and I would use a toy...not you wrestling with him directly

    5)steps...as Mike said....some basement steps are very steep & open...there may even be a scent that you are not aware of that makes him hesitate...give him time...he may decide that the basement is a great place to hang out if special treats are to be given out down there...high value...he only gets them when he goes down there...but give him a bit more time...if he was on the streets as a stray, he probably didn't do alot of steps

    6) read up on LGD's....Livestock Guarding Dogs, their temperament & traits...what their jobs were (and still are)..and the best way to gain their trust...the group is probably tired of me recommending this book, but I have found it an excellent resource into the background of LGD's.....Livestock Protection Dogs by Orysia Diwydiak & David Sims

    And....the fact that you are looking into draining his excess energy both physically & mentally is great!

  4. #4
    Road Dawg a601mom's Avatar

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Feb 2017
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    Redding, CA
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    Sounds like pretty normal behavior for a Pyr, especially for a new rescue. Although Ike, age 2,barks a fair amount at home, when out on a leash he only barks if he really senses danger which is not often. Ike is curious but somewhat reserved around other dogs if on leash but at the dog park he usually wants to play with the larger dogs.(he's recovering from CLL surgery so he doesn't get to wrestle and jump around yet). I do not let Ike wrestle with humans, he is too big (135 lbs) and I can't handle being jumped on. Ike is not big into toys, mainly just fresh marrow bones.

  5. #5
    Puppy (New Member) Grizz's Avatar

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Jun 2018
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    London, ON
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    I love that I wrote this yesterday and then last night Grizz finally decided to bark! He had a bit of a rough day. We had to go to the vet to help cure his tummy issues. He was great but made the funniest face when the thermometer went in. Still had nothing but kisses to give the vet though.
    Then we went to the dog park and he was attacked by a dog. First time I saw him show his teeth and growl.
    And then when we got home he went in the backyard and there was a rabbit in the yard. The rabbit took off instantly, this set off the neighbours dogs. Then finally Grizz barked! And kept barking for a solid 10 minutes. I think he forgot what it sounded like. But then he settled down. Wasn't nearly as loud as I had imagined it to be!

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

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Sep 2014
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    Ingleside, Texas, United States of America
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    Hello and welcome from me and Sir Moose on the Texas coast. He wasd 7 when we adopted him 4 years ago and he never played with toys, etc. But he has always liked to bark, especially at night. He sees, hears or smells all kinds of "monsters" in our yard at night. We live in a small town and sometimes coyotes and a stray fox, coonsm, possums, feral cats come into yards and we suspect it is one of them he is barking at.

    OUr first Pyr was 7 when we adopted him. He had been blind his entire life and we only had him 3 weeks and 3 days before hemangiosarcoma took his life. But during that time he learned to navigate our back yard and house, and he would go to the back fence where the dogs behind us would come and bark and carry on and Shaggy would just stand and wag his tail. He didn't bark back at them. However, one day he was in the house and he let out 2 WOOF's. That was it in the entire 3 1/2 weeks we had him.
    Jerry and Moose

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