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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 to show aggression, please help!

    Hello everyone!
    So Grizz is still a wonderful dog, truly is. However lately we are noticing a large switch in his personality. I take him to work with me (donít want to leave him in the crate for that long). I have to put up a baby gate because he gets into everything. He has a puppy mentality it seems for a 2 year old. He will destroy anything if left alone, sometimes if I am not paying enough attention to him he starts pulling my paperwork off my desk, etc. Thatís not too big of an issue, I can handle that. However lately he has started growling and baring teeth towards a couple of the guys I work with. He is fine with when we are out on a leash or in the shop. But when heís behind the baby gate in my office, while I am in there, he has started showing aggression. He doesnít even do this at home. New people can walk in the backyard, house, etc and he doesnít care at all. I have asked some of the guys to come and give Grizz a treat at the baby gate so that he associates people coming to the gate as a good thing, but for some reason there is one guy (my bosses son) that he just doesnít want to get to know. Today he growled at one of the guys that I have had give him treats, that he has previously been fine with. I am unsure of what could be causing this. I thought perhaps territory guarding, but of all places why guard my office and not our house? I am only here for 34 hours a week, so the majority of his time is spent at home. Any suggestions to get him over this? I donít want to have to leave him at home during the day, with my drive time itís a solid 9.5 hours in the crate.
    He has also started to show some aggression to dogs. This I slightly understand. I took him to a friends house with a shitzu and the little dog kept trying to mount Grizz (heís 8 years old and not neutered, although I keep telling her to get him fixed). So since then he has been showing slight aggression towards dogs. Our trainer told us to have him play with a male dog for one on one time, however every dog we have brought him around for one on one time that doesnít normally show dominance has attempted to mount him. So now the aggression is just getting worse. Any suggestions for this?
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  2. #2
    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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    Default

    So hard to say why Grizz is suddenly getting aggressive/assertive...it may just be his personality finally coming out....

    I wonder why a trainer would tell you to have him play with a male dog....from what I know from my dogs, once they get to be of a mature age, having another large dog around is not tolerated

    you may have to investigate having someone come over to your home on the days you are at work & take him out a couple of times a day.....

    so hard to diagnose when one can't be there to see the what & why of things

    let us know how this issue works out

  3. #3
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) 2BIGWHITEDOGS's Avatar

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Feb 2015
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    Muskoka, Ontario Canada
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    Default

    He sounds a bit like my previous pyrenees. Are you female by chance? If so he may not want to share you with the guys at work. Kind of like he is resource guarding and you are his favourite resource. My boy was also not a big fan of other dogs. The best help for me was reading all of Patricia McConnell 's books on dog behavior.

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

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Dallas, TX
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    I hope this doesn’t come out wrong, but the advice that your trainer gave you for Grizz’s dog reactivity is exactly part of why I recommend that people not consult trainers for behavioral issues.

    If I had to guess, I would say that given Grizz’s known history and your previous posts about him, his reactivity issues towards dogs and now humans are likely rooted in fear. It is not uncommon for rescued dogs to go through an adjustment period where they tend to suppress their reactions to stressors. The fact that he is starting to react to your coworkers now could be an indicator that he is starting to feel comfortable enough with you to express himself. Please know that I am no expert, and am in now way qualified to diagnose any dog, and especially not one over the internet, sight unseen. There are a number of other underlying emotional states that could be causing Grizz’s behavior.

    I second the recommendation of the Patricia McConnell books. I would start with The Other End of the Leash. I would also strongly recommend that you become fluent in dog body language. The Patricia McConnell books will help. There is also an app that I highly recommend called Dog Decoder.

    The next recommendation that I am going to make is that you seek the guidance of someone adequately qualified to treat Grizz’s behavior. I do believe that your trainer had good intentions, but likely has a limited understanding of the scientific principles that form the foundation of modern behavior modification theory and practice. Trainers like to train. Behavior modification takes quite a bit more than training alone. The idea is to figure out what emotional state(s) are prompting the unwanted behaviors, and then helping the dog change the emotional state. While your trainer was likely trying to desensitize Grizz to other dogs, which kind of makes sense in theory, in practice, having him play with other male dogs taught him that male dogs=getting humped, which is no fun at all.

    My suggestion is that you reach out to a certified dACVB. They are veterinarians who go through a rigorous post-doctoral fellowship to become behavior specialists. I believe that there is a dACVB fairly close to you. If not, I know of one in Austin, TX that will do remote consultations.
    The search function can be found here:
    https://www.dacvb.org/search/custom.asp?id=4709

    In the meantime, I would keep a detailed journal of Grizz’s behavior, to see if any patterns emerge. I would also try to limit his exposure to potential triggers as much as possible (easier said than done, I know). The more times he has a bad reaction to someone, the more difficult it is likely to be to teach him that he doesn’t really need to react.

    Please keep us posted on your progress with him.
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