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  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Default Puppy with stranger aggression

    Hello everyone... I just recently rescued a great Pyrenees/Aussie mix about 3 weeks ago.She is currently 12 weeks old. I just have a question regarding aggression towards strangers and visitors that come over. She growls and barks very aggressively for a puppy her age. People who have come over to meet the cute puppy are shocked at her behavior. I have a unusual situation because I run a dog sitting business and while she has been great with the dogs that come and go except for some resource guarding with food that I am working on I am concerned about this aggression when humans come over... Is this potentially a fear response? That she will overcome as she adjusts to our new home or could this be more of a breed issue since she is a livestock guarding dog and the Aussie part not really tampering that down at all? We had a great Pyrenees growing up and she was sweet as pie, never barked at people that came over. Just looking for some feedback and opinions.... Thanks 😊

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

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Welcome to the Forum!

    I am so sorry to hear that you are having this issue with your new girl. From what you describe, it does sound possible that her reaction to new people could possibly be fear-based. It does not seem to be a typical LGD guardian response, particularly given her age.

    The best advice I can give you is to have her evaluated by a professional. There is an Associate Certified Animal Behaviorist in Central Point that I think would be the best choice for you to start with. Her information can be found in this directory:
    http://www.animalbehaviorsociety.org...-directory.php

    I would also strongly advise you to check out https://www.patriciamcconnell.com There is a wealth of information there about dog behavior. Her books, The Other End of the Leash, and For the Love of a Dog, are also very helpful. They won’t necessarily address the problems you are having directly, but they will help you understand the behavior a bit better, as well as help you build communication and trust.

    Please keep us posted on your progress with her!
    Sebastian is on Facebook!
    www.facebook.com/SirSaintSebastian

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

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Quote Originally Posted by Newmommy35 View Post
    She is currently 12 weeks old. ...She growls and barks very aggressively for a puppy her age. ... Is this potentially a fear response? ... could this be more of a breed issue since she is a livestock guarding dog and the Aussie part not really tampering that down at all?
    That level of aggression is not normal, not for either side of her lineage. The thing is, however, reactivity issues in a LGDs/herding mix is not uncommon. I had one such mix. Sister Antonia had one such mix as well. With this mix, the guardian side seems to get "egged on" by the high intensity drivey instinct of herding dogs thus resulting in a dog that is quick to react. Having said that, it doesn't mean that you cannot work with your puppy to accept the normal activities of your world. I spent years working with my boy (he was the one on the right in my avatar pic) and by the time he was a senior, people who didn't know him as a young dog would not have believed he was ever reactive.

    The reactivity could very well be fear based as many of such cases are. You want to use desensitization methods and positive reinforcement to teach her that humans are not bad news (well, mostly...).

  4. #4
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) mikelg84's Avatar

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Hi newmommy, is there a way that you can introduce your new girl to a small number of people and study her behavior? Would you be able to have a few people over not just for 5 minutes? Have some people over for coffee or dinner, not just clients that come and go. I'm asking this because it seems to me that your dog's reaction might be as a result of fear. Sometimes, that reaction goes away when the person stays for a long period of time (dinner, coffee...) and the dog starts to trust him/her. If you can't or don't want to have your dog being evaluated by a professional, I would try to show my dog that it's normal to have people come to your house. Once she trusts you and your costumers, things might change. I haven't seen this behavior in GP, but I've seen other dogs acting the same way towards visitors as a result of fear. Does she show the same behavior towards loyal costumers? It wouldn't hurt to have some people come over and bring some delicious treats so she can associate visitors with something good. Also, praise as soon as that behavior stops towards any costumers.

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