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  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Default 5.5 month old pyr puppy resource guarding, shy, and territorial

    I recently adopted a 5 month old Pyrenees puppy from a family who “didn’t have enough space for her.” She has some resource guarding problems and was very undersocialized when I got her. She was their first dog and they missed the critical socialization period as she rarely left the house as a puppy. We have worked with her food aggression towards us by tossing treats into her bowl as she’s eating and hand feeding, but she still shows aggression towards our other dog if he comes near her bowl. other than that she has much improved. Ironically she doesn’t like any food that much and I have an incredibly difficult time getting her to eat a full meal, no matter what it is, ground beef or anything. Are Pyrenees typically picky eaters?
    I knew what to expect as far as barking, and she has barked a ton since I first got her at 4 months old. We live on 5 acres and she roams 1 fenced acre. I am a little surprised by how territorial she is at such a young age. She charges our fence line with hackles up and sounds pretty ferocious if she she’s anyone or anything pass by. Is this typical at such a young age?
    We are working on socializing her and she does very well at the dog park, but is still very shy of people and won’t let them touch her without a long introduction. Any recommendations or experience with getting over her fear of strangers, I want to be able to have visitors over and take her out into society.

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daisymae210 View Post
    she has barked a ton since I first got her at 4 months old. She charges our fence line with hackles up and sounds pretty ferocious if she she’s anyone or anything pass by. Is this typical at such a young age?
    Typically pups don't find their voices until 6 months and after. Some pups will bark earlier but it isn't typical for pups as young as 4-5 months old to be territorial. I suspect your girl's reactivity stems partly from personality and then greatly exacerbated by lack of socialization.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daisymae210 View Post
    is still very shy of people and won’t let them touch her without a long introduction. Any recommendations or experience with getting over her fear of strangers, I want to be able to have visitors over and take her out into society.
    I would not push her to meet strangers if she's not willing. It is typically recommended to let a shy dog be and not force the interaction. As she grows to trust you and learns that you will protecter from unwanted attention, then you can cultivate her to trust your judgment about people she's not met before. Forcing a shy dog to greet can lead the dog to resort to fear bite. My prior male was human shy too. Forcing him to greet only caused more stress. People using baby talk voice to him only freaked him out. I asked people who came to our home not to look at him, talk to him and not to try to pet him.

    You girl might come of her shell or she might not. If she doesn't have the social butterfly personality, you shouldn't push her beyond what she is comfortable with. If she doesn't like to be touched, then just take her around humans who would follow your instruction to not give her attention.

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

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    Welcome Daisymae & family....

    1) food...can you feed your dogs in separate areas...so they can't see each other...maybe even inside a crate...it may make her more secure knowing that no one or in this case, no other dog will challenge her for her food....you can keep on hand feeding her, but I would still recommend you keeping the dogs out of sight of each other...

    2)yes, some Pyr's are very picky eaters...and weather also makes a difference....it's been in the triple digits here in Walla Walla, and Rudy absolutely refuses to even take a treat before 11....guess he's a brunch kind of guy...sigh...

    3)how many times a day do you feed her? 3-4 smaller meals might work better for her...if your time schedule allows

    4)I think Jewel addressed the barking issue quite well....if you have more concerns, talk with your vet & find out if there is a behaviorist in your area that could come & assess how she is reacting & can help you & her with the behavior

    5)please don't forget what Pyr's were bred for....their independence, their ability to assess situation and to be watchful wary guardians....

    6) not knowing what her first family did or didn't do, she is still young & with your patience, humor & kindness she can become the best girl possible....quite honestly, some of my Pyr's have been socialites...and some would rather not ever see a person...or especially touched by one...not aggressive...but just their preference

    keep us informed on how your life together progresses!

    Nancy & Rudy

  4. #4
    Puppy (New Member)

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    I have had some more issues with aggression with this puppy. She has charged and bit and lunged at the cats several times now when food isn’t even around. I think it is related to her resource guarding, but this happened when the cats were just walking around not near her food. She has charged at one when he was walking into the kitchen before and luckily she had a leash on so I was able to stop her, I don’t know what she would have done. She has also gotten very protective of the area around her crate. She has attacked our old dog several time for walking in that direction. I now have to keep her on a leash and well supervised in the house so she doesn’t hurt the cats or the other dog and I think because of her being restricted by the leash she has gotten worse. If the other dog approaches where she is resting she will get up and lunge at him and attack. She clearly doesn’t feel safe but it’s a vicious cycle because I can’t let her loose around the cats in particular. She seems to not like any unpredictability and attacks the other animals if she feels they get something of hers. She also has a high prey drive for a Pyrenees and wants to chase all birds, rats, rabbits, moving cars, and sometimes cats. I had her out yesterday at a park by the lake because she loves to swim and a female Rottweiler approached, after a couple seconds of greeting daisy snapped at growled and it at her. I feel like the leash exacerbated this and me being extra attentive while holding the lies sh probably didn’t help, but I pulled her away when I saw her lips curling and it escalated from there. I feel terrible that her behavior has escalated like this. I’ve worked with two trainers on her food aggression mostly towards humans which we have greatly improved on but the trainers say that management with her around the cats will be a lifelong thing. I’m heartbroken at the thought of giving her up but at this point none of us have a good quality of life. I am very sad that she needs to be leashed nearly all the time and her new aggression towards dogs in public makes it more difficult to continue the socialization I was doing.
    There was another incident where she was barking, snarling, and lunging at one of the neighbors when he came to the property. I had her on a leash, but she wouldn’t calm down and he quickly left. I feel like us and the trainers are at a loss. I can’t trust her around my sweet old dog or the cats. The way she has gone after them is very dangerous. As much as it breaks my heart I am leaning towards finding her a cat free home with a calm large dog so she can have a better quality of life. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

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

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    my only thought...is to try her on meds....seems you can't get her attention to control or redirect her, so maybe fluoxetine would help so that she could calm down and you could work on her...

    however, meds take time to take effect....rehoming her might just be the best solution for all

    thanks for keeping us up to date...sorry things haven't gotten better

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daisymae210 View Post
    She has also gotten very protective of the area around her crate. She has attacked our old dog several time for walking in that direction. I’m heartbroken at the thought of giving her up but at this point none of us have a good quality of life.
    I am so sorry to hear that things aren't working too well with the puppy. Given what you've described, I think it may be time to surrender her to a rescue and make it clear that she needs to be in a one dog household. Resource guarding is extremely difficult to modify. Even with success stories, it takes time to reach the success. But you have other 4-legged family members who you must protect and they shouldn't become the victims of this puppy's insecurities and issues.

    A couple of years ago we adopted a 3-legged pyr to be the companion to my old boy Bro. We got Bro at 8 weeks as a companion to our first pyr who was about 4 yrs old at the time. When our first pyr passed away at a young age of 8, we got Bro his own puppy to raise. Bijou was 8 weeks when she joined us and Bro raised her. Bijou tragically died young at 6 from cancer. Two months after Bijou died, Bro came down with bone cancer which we think was likely triggered by the shock and sadness of losing his companion. We brought in 3-legged Pi thinking Pi's handicap would prevent him from rough housing with Bro and so it should work out. We kept Pi for 3 months. We found out pretty quickly that Pi had emotional issues. His issues are a combination of core personality exacerbated by lack of socializing, having lived on a chain for long periods, and general neglect that he had gone through in this young life. I spent considerable effort working with Pi and wanted so badly to give him a forever home. I was foolish. Pi was returned to the rescue the morning after I came home from work to find Bro with a bloody open gash on his head. I felt horrible. Both for having to return Pi but also for making the last months of Bro's life a miserable one. But I feel way more horrible for putting Bro through the stress of Pi's aggression.

    So I comprehend what you are feeling. With my experience with Pi, I think you would be doing the right thing for the rest of your household if you were to surrender this pup now. By giving up the pup, you give her the chance to find a home that works for her. One of our members on the forums, Snow, adopted a maremma that was given up to rescue because of temperament issues. But with Snow that dog found a perfect home and lived a great life with Snow. You would not be failing this pup by giving her up. Not every home is the right fit. Giving her up may be hard, but it may be the right decision for everyone involved.

  7. #7
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Thank you both for your support and for sharing your story. I have contacted Pyrenees rescues and am hoping they can help find a great home for her. I love her so much and am heartbroken to have to say goodbye, but I know it’s best for everyone.

  8. #8
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Because we didn’t get daisy from a rescue, none of them agreed to help rehome her because of her resource guarding and how territorial she is. We ended up rehoming Daisy with someone who we vetted extensively. He has no other animals and has had aggressive dogs before that he has helped rehabilitate and he has had a Pyrenees before. He has two fenced acres and no other indoor animals. He knows all about her behavior and was eager to read the homework we received from her trainers and to work with her. I didn’t expect to feel so horrible about my decision. Despite all of her behavior, we bonded incredibly fast and she helped me get over the loss of my childhood dog a couple months earlier. Much of the time she was incredibly sweet and loved to wrestle with our dog, just in the right neutral setting, and cuddle with us on the couch. I miss her so much and feel terrible for essentially abandoning her. Her new owner updated us that she started hoarding her toys in the yard and I can’t help but feel sad that she’s feeling insecure, she’s truly a lovely dog. Ever since giving her up I have had to fight myself not to ask for her back. I know her new home is a good fit for her, but i miss her more than I could ever have known. I don’t know how to deal with the pain and sadness and I want her back, but still don’t know if that would be right.

  9. #9
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) nick's spirit's Avatar

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    stay strong....let her get settled and comfortable in her new space....it takes time...for everything to come together

    this may very well be the best place for her.....and to bring her back into what may have been a very stressful situation for her, will not help her or you & your family

    I once had to re home a dog because of aggression...at the time I was living in a very small community & I saw her almost every day, I swore she looked at me as if I tossed her away...but time did help...she loved her new home & human companions...and later in her life when we would meet, she was happy to see me....but she never left her "Dad's" side...she was very happy...and so was I

  10. #10
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Christi's Avatar

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    Not to long ago my dog had to be put to sleep because of severe aggression. It is better for her to let her go. Pyrs take time to trust and she will improve in the situation she is now in. I know it is hard, and my heart goes out to you, but it really does sound like an ideal place for her.

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