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  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Default Puppy lays down when we are walking or won't rise if sleepy

    So, it was time to leave for the vet today, but Lily didn't want to wake up from her nap. I hooked on the leash and urged her to rise, but she just laid there. Lily is getting too big to lift, so we need to get in charge of this. Having a sense of urgency, my husband took charge, but his intensity scared Lily and from then on it was downhill. She tucked her tail and just shut down. (He wasn't mean to her, just intense. She's not used to him taking charge of her that way, as I am the care giver and the one who interacts with her throughout the day.) I practice a lot of patience with her; and husband thinks I need to be more assertive with her. So, my question is what would you do? She is just about 16 weeks old and doing very well 95% of the time. She crates (not her favorite thing, but she doesn't object), seems to be completely potty trained, knows sit, come and stay, but can be inconsistent when she is distracted.

    The other behavior that has become frequent is that when I am walking Lily on a long leash, she practices her herd behavior by laying down when she wants to check things out, such as when another dog approaches, children playing, golfers crossing the road, and other walkers, birds, squirrels, just anything that she wants to check out. My solution has been to gently pull on the leash and call "let's go" or cluck to her, so she eventually rises and we continue on, but not until she is satisfied. A 42 pound puppy is hard to pull off the ground when they don't want to cooperate, and I am reluctant to put too much pressure on her neck. We are just now starting to walk on a short leash in a heel position, and she hasn't tried laying down yet. Is that the only solution, or is there something else I can be doing to cut her off before she flops down? She wears a flat collar. Is a prong collar the right solution for a puppy?

    I should add, our morning walk is about 2 miles, and takes about an hour. Our afternoon walk is a mile and takes about 30 minutes. When she is on long leash, most of it is on grass. When she walks on heel, we are on sidewalk. And I alternate the long leash/short leash. So, my third question is are we doing too much walking?

    Hoping for your feedback.

  2. #2
    Young Dawg (Member) Meatball Murphy's Avatar

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    Hi,
    I would say it is too much walking for a 16 week old puppy. I'm not an expert but I would slow down on the walks and try letting her decide pace and a shortened distance.
    As for the laying down, I went through the exact same thing and he simply out grew it. It seems a bit busy the way you described it. Maybe it's too much for her at that age. I know both mine shut down if I bring them somewhere it's busy, however they're not used to town as we're on a farm. So again, my Murphy outgrew it.
    Collar wise... I started to use a prong collar on Murphy when he hit 6 months. He is a bad puller powerhouse and chokes himself with a flat collar on and does way better on the prong but it's not for everyone.
    Keep your soul clean
    And
    Your boots dirty.

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

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    My Ren is nearly 2 years old, so it hasn't been that long since tiny puppyhood. Ren is our 4th pyr so we've had a bit of experience with the breed.

    I would agree with Meatball that 3 miles of regimented walk a day is a bit much for a 4 month old. Ren was exactly like your Lily that at the same age, he would lie down often on walks because he wanted to wait for people to come out of their houses, or for someone to show up on the sidewalk so he could play with them. He simply did not understand the whole concept of keep on walking for the sake of walking.

    So, don't take this wrong, but you are sounding a teeny bit like a "tiger mom". You are focused on what YOU want to do. Think about it from the puppy's point of view. At 4 months they are just getting to an age where they have a bit more energy and longer legs to get to places. It is a time to explore the world and figure things out. They are also babies and lack the mental focus to be marching in line on what we call "walks".

    You might want to relax a bit. It's not about getting those 2 miles, or making sure you get that 3rd mile in right now. She wants to explore the world, give her the chance to do that and talk to her and build your bond while you are walking her. Take a toy with you if that'll help you get her up when she wants to lie down. With Ren I tried to make it fun when he decided to lie down (which was quite often). Don't get me wrong, I am human and I wasn't always able to hold my frustration back when I was on a schedule. But I tried. I would roll him around and pretend I was biting him to get him up on his own. I didn't want him to associate punishment with his walks.

    As for the didn't want to wake up and get moving thing... She wasn't waking up not because she was being defiant. She's a young puppy and she was very sleepy. Being stern with her in that situation would only serve to confuse and upset her. Try making it positive, use a happy voice and make waking up fun and worthwhile to her. She sounds like a very good puppy as is. Seems like you are asking for your version of perfection without taking into consideration how young she still is. She may seem big at 42 lbs, but she's only 4 months old.

  4. #4
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Thanks for your help. I suspected we were asking too much of Lily. I will chill out and not expect so much. Lily is very good, and, from what little I know of this breed so far, very typical. We had a German Shepherd and a Golden Retriever previous to Lily, which were action oriented dogs. Even so, they got their chance to grow before we expected too much, and Lily needs that also. Also, I think our Lily is motivated differently.

  5. #5
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Thank you for your reply. I related yours and Ren's feedback to my husband, and we agree we are expecting too much at this time. So, we'll relax and enjoy her puppy time. There is so much "information" out there about being the pack leader, I think we expect too much of ourselves, also.

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

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    Keep in mind that Lily is the absolute opposite of a GSD or a Golden Retriever. Both GSDs and Goldens were selectively bred to work WITH their Human handlers, while Pyrs have been bred for thousands (literally thousands) of years to work independently from humans. They think for themselves, and make decisions based not on what they think will make their humans happy, but instead what will keep everyone safe.
    Yes, leadership is important, but it is crucial for both you and your husband to keep in mind that Pyrs aren’t really pack animals. Yes, they are social creatures who need companionship in order to be mentally and emotionally healthy, but they don’t really do the whole Alpha thing. They do partners. With many Livestock Guardian Breeds, Pyrs included, Partner status is the highest honor a human can expect to achieve, and it has to be earned not through brute force, but through being calm, consistent, and showing that you have good judgement. The NILIF (Nothing In Life Is Free) Protocall is a wonderful way to help establish yourselves as worthy of partner status. I had to learn to pick my battles with Sebastian, and let him decide sometimes which route we were going to take on our walks, etc. He was a very difficult puppy and adolescent, but now, at 6 years old, living with him is often like having a second adult in the home. Most of the time, he is truly a joy to be around.

    Another important thing to consider is the approximate development rate of Extra Large to Giant Breed puppies. They mature more slowly than many other breeds, both physically and mentally.
    For roughly the first two years, every month of Lily’s age is the rough equivalent of a year in human age. At 16 weeks, Lily’s closest developmental human equivalent would be a 3 1/2 year old toddler. At 6 months, she will be the rough equivalent of a first grader. At one year of age, she will be the equivalent of a twelve-year-old.

    As she develops, she will likely go through a number of behavioral phases. The best advice that I can give you is to take a deep breath and relax. The normal puppy stuff, (jumping, mouthing, destroying everything in sight), is all stuff that she is very likely to outgrow by the time she is three.

    As for the whole “taking breaks” during walks, or not wanting to get up, well, that is something that you may have to get used to. Sebastian can sometimes be lured into cooperation with a favorite high-value treat, and sometimes not. That’s one of the types of battles that I decided not to pick.

    Also, we love puppy pictures on the forum (hint hint)!
    Sebastian is on Facebook!
    www.facebook.com/SirSaintSebastian

  7. #7
    Puppy (New Member)

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    I understand that independence is a valuable asset to the breed. Lily is teaching us how that characteristic manifests itself into her nature and behavior. We are delighted with her. I am glad I sought advice. Thank you.

    I tried posting a picture into my profile previously, but it posted on its side so I deleted it. I'll give it another try. Thank you, again.

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