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  1. #11
    Road Dawg lattelove's Avatar

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    Hi! I am pretty new to this breed, and she is not a pure-bred pyr, but I will respond with my experience. Latte is a Great Pyr/Rottweiler mix we adopted from a local rescue group last year when she was 4-5 months old. She was found abandoned with 2 of her litter mates. I am the same age as you, and I live with my husband, our 2 teenagers, and 6 year-old (no other pets at this time).

    I would say that Latte is about as close to the perfect companion dog as you can get, and I have owned several dogs of different breeds over the years. She loves being outdoors, and will stay outside forever until I call her back inside, but she is also happy being inside with her family. I definitely see the LGD guarding instinct in her. We live on a corner lot, and her favorite thing to do is to park herself in a spot in the backyard where she can see what's up on the other side of the fence on 2 sides of the yard, and just "guard" the backyard.

    I do have to crate her when no one is home, as she will chew destructively if left alone for too long (I had to replace a set of expensive blinds a few months ago). Now that she is about 1-1/2 years old, she is getting much better with the chewing of forbidden objects, but I still don't trust her to have the run of the house yet when she is alone.

    She does accompany us on long walks or runs, but I would not trust her off-leash. Then again, we have never had a dog that we could trust off-leash, so maybe the problem is the trainers (us) rather than our dogs Having said this, our backyard gate was left open recently when the latch did not catch, and I found her sitting inside the gate, just guarding the backyard. I was so thankful she did not run off!

    I have to say that I was a little apprehensive when we found out her breed mix (mostly because of the Rottweiler part) through a DNA test a few months after we adopted her since we have a 6 year-old, and I was concerned about possible aggression and how large she would get. But she is probably the most gentle and loving dog I have ever had. We involved our youngest son heavily in her training so that she would see him as an authority figure. She just loves her family, and she gets along wonderfully with other people and dogs who come to visit (as long as she can see that we are welcoming them into the house). Last month, the cable guy entered our backyard without me knowing he had to go back there, and he definitely got the "stranger" bark from Latte!

    I would not hesitate to adopt another Pyr or Pyr mix for our family if we decide to bring another dog to live with our family. Judging from my experience, I would say the adorable dog you posted about above would meet your requirements with the possible exception of the off-leash part. The pictures you posted look so much like my dog as a puppy, with the exception of the color!

  2. #12
    Road Dawg

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    I got a similar puppy in June, a pyr whose parents work a quail ranch, but he was and is pretty people-focused for a pyr and better suited as a companion dog. The day he came inside for the first time, he marveled at AC and tile floors, and he was hooked.

    We have done lots of socialization and several training classes. The socialization has worked very well, Max ADORES kids and adults and rides in the car, and eating on restaurant patios, and every pet toy ever made (he walks around with cat toys in his mouth sometimes, which is hilarious). He naturally ignores the cats, and he is pretty reliable to wander free in the house untended (unless there is bacon grease on the stove, he TURNED ON our gas stove yesterday while my husband was napping ).

    The training has been valuable, but only moderately successful. Max generally knows what we are asking of him, and is sometimes willing to oblige. He takes all commands under advisement. He cannot be off leash because he will hang with us in general, but if he sees something way off that interests him, he will go there to check it out. He doesn't try to bolt, I can answer the door and he will stand nearby wagging and sniffing. He responds to "leave it" reasonably well. And when he snuck out of the neighbors yard and got lost while my son and his buddies were supposedly watching him on Sunday, he allowed a tiny 8 year old to put a yorkie's leash on him and walk him to her house so her mother could call me to come get him. So I am glad we invested in training, but he's certainly not a candidate for obedience competitions (or agility, he is the clumsiest goofball, ever).

    We were lucky during potty training, as work and school schedules overlap in such a way that he never had to be alone more than 2 hours...could you get a sitter in to let puppy out for potty breaks the first few months?

    Our pyr is not a good candidate for jogging partner, as he is pretty lazy. After 15 minutes of romping outside or a trip to the pet store or a short walk, he really feels that a long nap is needed to recover. My husband works nights, and Max considers his daily role as nap assistant very important.

    Max is not a constant barker. He does bark loudly, mostly at people in our yard or unrecognized sounds. But this morning he barked at the breakfast table randomly, and he told our Christmas tree off once. We don't leave him untended outside because he adores mud a lot, and he'd rather be with us, anyway.

    I have had aussies and a standard poodle before. My husband and kids and I all agree that this pyr is the best pet we have ever had. He has taken to suburban pet living like he was born to it.

  3. #13
    Young Dawg (Member)

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    Thanks everyone. A young man where I work has a brother who manages a sheep farm and is familiar with these dogs. He knows I help take care of my elderly dad who has alzheimers and said this dog would most likely be docile around him and, if anything, try to be helpful and soothing. That really hit me in the heart. I'm going up there on Saturday morning and so long as I don't see any signs of aggression or issues, he'll be coming home. I'll keep you posted. And thanks again, your stories really helped me a lot with my decision.

  4. #14
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

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    MarkJ, welcome to the forum, and thank you for taking the time to do your research before bringing this adorable boy home! Livestock Guardian Dogs are wonderful, but they definitely arenít for everyone!

    When you go to meet this sweet boy Saturday, ask the breeder if you can also meet his sire and dam (provided that they are both on-site). If either parent seems overly fearful or aggressive, or if the breeder refuses to allow you to meet the parents, this is not the puppy for you.

    I say this because there is often a genetic component to fearful or aggressive behavior, which may not manifest until the dog reaches mental maturity. I adopted my Sebastian, a Saint/Pyr mix, when he was just shy of three months old, and loved nothing more than playing with doggie friends of all shapes and sizes. He was socialized with other dogs extensively, and went to dog parks, day care, play dates with his friends, as well as formal obedience classes. Despite my efforts, when he was somewhere around 2 1/2 years old, he became hit-or-miss when it came to meeting new dogs. He is still wonderful with humans and my other dog, but he will try to break down the back yard fence to try to get to certain neighbor dogs, if they get too close to his territory. We are working on that behavior, and have seen some improvement, but...

    Now, of course, there are plenty of LGDs that reach mental maturity and donít start hating other dogs the way Sebastian did. There are also dogs that reach mental maturity and develop behavioral issues that are far worse than Sebastianís. Thatís why itís so important to meet the parents if you can.

    I am excited to hear how it goes Saturday!
    Sebastian is on Facebook!
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  5. #15
    Young Dawg (Member)

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    Quote Originally Posted by SebastiansMom View Post
    MarkJ, welcome to the forum, and thank you for taking the time to do your research before bringing this adorable boy home! Livestock Guardian Dogs are wonderful, but they definitely arenít for everyone!

    When you go to meet this sweet boy Saturday, ask the breeder if you can also meet his sire and dam (provided that they are both on-site). If either parent seems overly fearful or aggressive, or if the breeder refuses to allow you to meet the parents, this is not the puppy for you.

    I say this because there is often a genetic component to fearful or aggressive behavior, which may not manifest until the dog reaches mental maturity. I adopted my Sebastian, a Saint/Pyr mix, when he was just shy of three months old, and loved nothing more than playing with doggie friends of all shapes and sizes. He was socialized with other dogs extensively, and went to dog parks, day care, play dates with his friends, as well as formal obedience classes. Despite my efforts, when he was somewhere around 2 1/2 years old, he became hit-or-miss when it came to meeting new dogs. He is still wonderful with humans and my other dog, but he will try to break down the back yard fence to try to get to certain neighbor dogs, if they get too close to his territory. We are working on that behavior, and have seen some improvement, but...

    Now, of course, there are plenty of LGDs that reach mental maturity and donít start hating other dogs the way Sebastian did. There are also dogs that reach mental maturity and develop behavioral issues that are far worse than Sebastianís. Thatís why itís so important to meet the parents if you can.

    I am excited to hear how it goes Saturday!
    Both parents are on site. Dad apparently is not allowed free roam because he'll chase the sheep. But if the sheep come in his area he'll lay down with them. I think mom is good and I will get to meet her. I've had the same thought because I know behavior can change with maturity. It's the one thing I really worry about. Thanks for the suggestion. Fortunately I'll be able to see his parents.

  6. #16
    Young Dawg (Member)

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    I texted the owners today about aggression issues with the parents this is the response:
    Ok. So mom is out with the sheep 24/7. But when she was in another pasture nearer to people, she was not socialized. She would bark and circle any esp. men who came in her territory. Never bit. Intimidated them. But every single one of the people we have sold pups to out of this litter have told us what sweet pets they are. EARLY SOCIALIZATION is very important.

  7. #17
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

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    As someone who has two dogs, each with their own set of behavioral issues, if I were in your situation, I would take the breederís description of the Momís behavior as a red flag. There is no way of knowing if the motherís reactivity toward humans is congenital, related to a lack of early socialization, or the product of a combination of those factors.

    I say congenital, as opposed to strictly genetic, because there is evidence to suggest that if a dam is under a significant amount of stress during her pregnancy, the exposure to heightened levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, leads to a greater instance of the resulting puppies growing up to have fear-based behavioral issues, regardless of genetics. Again, these issues may not be readily apparent in young puppies, as they tend to manifest as the dogs reach mental maturity. The breederís description of the motherís behavior leads me to suspect that there is a good chance that these puppies could have been exposed to higher-than-normal levels of Cortisol.

    Ugh, I feel like the worldís biggest party pooper right now. I promise it wasnít my goal when I chimed in on this thread.

    I do think that you would make an awesome Pyr Dad, and that any dog would be absolutely lucky to be able to share their life with you. My advice to you would be to consider either adopting an adult Pyr with a temperament that is well-suited to your lifestyle, or finding a puppy from show lines.
    Sebastian is on Facebook!
    www.facebook.com/SirSaintSebastian

  8. #18
    Young Dawg (Member)

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    Quote Originally Posted by SebastiansMom View Post

    Ugh, I feel like the world’s biggest party pooper right now. I promise it wasn’t my goal when I chimed in on this thread.
    Don't feel bad. That's why I came to you guys. I told them that my only real deal breaker is aggression issues. I can live with the barking, roaming, etc...as a matter of fact I've been thinking of ways to work around that.

    I had a friend who had a rescue mix who had a wonderful puppyhood and when he matured he had severe dog aggression and it was miserable for my friend. He had to restrict where be brought him and at some points talked about putting him down. He never did but it was a rough situation. As a guy with a 9-5 job and and elderly dad with dementia I worry about this very thing.

    The problem is while this breed seems so awesome in some ways I've done enough research to know that this happens. These people seem incredibly honest though. They said a lady that came took another pup from a different litter that had some food aggression issues. They were going to take the dog back but she ended up figuring it out. They didn't have to tell me that but they did. I guess it's a matter of whether I'm willing to gamble which is why I'm having such doubts. I've not met the dog yet....and that's part of the problem. I'm sure if I go there, there will be no turning back. I need to be all in or out. I plan on getting a dog very soon one way or another and have actually passed up on some nice rescues sort of hoping this would be such a great dog. hmmmmm.......

  9. #19
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) nick's spirit's Avatar

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    MarkJ....as I said before all dogs are different....my Nick came to me as mellow as could be...had to tip him out of his kennel when he arrived in Juneau from Seattle....he remained that way his whole life...he knew he was a "big" boy & never seemed to be threatened or disturbed by other dogs...a very confident guy....some of his background....he was sent to me neutuered at 8 weeks old....if anything did bother him, he used only as much force as was necessary to diffuse the situation....a snarl, a growl, teeth & then finally a snap..he never bit anyone or any other dog.

    Now, on to my other 3....2 were females....one had bad knees & multiple surgeries...by the time she was 2 other dogs were not allowed on her property...she was always on a leash on walks, as I could not trust other dogs that might run up to her & provoke her.
    The other female was afraid of everything, very anxious, shy & unsure of herself....she never was aggressive towards anyone or any other dog...matter of fact, I caught her playing with a 3 legged coyote once up in Alaska...guess she figured they were both misfits! And Rudy....current resident Pyr....guardian dog extraordinaire!! He takes his job seriously... I walk him on a leash for 2 reasons....he's a dis-a-Pyr...and he is aggressive towards other dogs....

    so, as you see....4 different Pyrs....4 different Pyrsonalities.....

    just asking...has this breeder/owner had other pups from other litters before?
    you might want to talk with someone who has a pup from them...a mature 2 or more year old & see what they might be able to tell you...

    as far as the Dam of this litter being protective....umm...that is exactly what she is supposed to do...intimidate...I'd say she is well grounded as a LGD...

    another thought....see how the pup reacts towards your Dad...I have a friend in Florida who currently has 3 males living together (she has always had males) and most of them become therapy dogs...lots of time & patience & working together...but can be done

  10. #20
    Young Dawg (Member)

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    Again good thoughts. My last guy was at the shelter with his sibling and both parents. The dad was very sweet but the mother had dog aggression issues to the point they were worried they might not be able to adopt her. He was a a super sweet dog his whole life and never had any aggression issues. He was very well socialized and went everywhere with me. I guess with a puppy you always role the dice a bit. Most shelter dogs you never see the parents.

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