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  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Default New Pyr puppy - finding instinctive play

    Hello everyone! Thank you for being such wonderful resources. I have found lots of helpful information on this site and learned a lot.

    We got our now almost 11 week old Pyr puppy Artemis from a very nice family. I now realize these were backyard breeders, well intentioned Iím sure but perhaps suboptimal. In any case, we love our girl. We live in a single family home in a suburb, DH is a stay at home and we have a 9 year old daughter who adores Arti. We have had a lot of successes - crate training is going well, house training in a great direction, she is doing great with commands and leash training is really coming along! She is going through her shark phase for sure, but we are working on stopping play with her when she is bitey/withdrawing play to give her a break without yelling and this has been the best strategy by far. Our vet is a great resource, we are now seeing her monthly just for check ups as part of our vet plan since getting her 10 week shots. We are also in a puppy 1 class, mainly for socialization and she is a star pupil!

    Oh, as FYI we do plan on moving to the country in a year or so, more room/land which will be good for Arti as sheís a bit older. For now we are always outside with her on a leash when outdoors which she does well with as long as itís not -20 haha.

    Question for you guys, in addition to any general tips which are most welcome, is regarding play ideas. When she is really riled up, rather than try to yell at her to stop biting (like yelling at a toddler to stop toddling), I immediately offer her a chew toy. We work on mental stimulation (training) for 5-10 min bursts which is going great, and of course frequent potty breaks with short walks so as to avoid running our growing girl. However I can tell at times she is getting the crazies and just needs to run a bit. Question - Iíve always only had Goldenís growing up. For this breed obviously fetch is not instinctive. Our vet suggested a jolly ball which she is only semi-into, but does anyone have ideas for herding type games? She gets in ankle biting mode when sheís like this which vet says is herding behavior. What sort of toys or activities can we do for playtime when sheís like this that will help get her energy out while keeping our clothes and skin intact? I also have a dog appropriate soft ďboomerangĒ and a soft dog appropriate frisbee on the way which trainer suggested we roll to let her herd. Thanks in advance for any help!!

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  2. #2
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Sorry, follow up question on biting!

    As mentioned we are working on this, understanding itís inevitable to a degree. She is good about just mouthing with me for the most part, but still chomps on DH, nibbles on our 9 yo daughter. We are using Binaca spray if extreme which works well, and vet recommended holding her cheek and collar together until she calms, but this just seems to rile her up (the spray does calm her down actually quickly). Any problems with this? I donít buy into the ďalphaĒ theory, particularly with this breed. I donít need to be her alpha, but rather a leader partner she can trust. Are we on the right path with the biting? Is this any indication of how she will be when older? Trying to train a ďgentle giantĒ who will enjoy being a family pet with a bit of land to enjoy. Overall Iím pretty reassured this is just a phase, but read a couple of very sad stories on here. She only growls when sheís really excited with her rope toy, no other circumstances. She is FEARLESS, which means a very low anxiety dog that is not resource protective right now and really doesnít get seem to get aggressive at all, just loves to play, and I think this is what motivates the nipping. Sheís never met a snowbank sheís unwilling to dive into headfirst (leashed of course), loves to play with other dogs in puppy class and really never whines with the play, sniffs appropriately with other dogs in neighborhood whom we know while on walks, and seems curious but not anxious at all with loud noises (even the Vitamix and the snowblower!) overall very calm in terms of temperament but energetic when in play mode. She is also very friendly with people she meets.

    Is this all liable to change every couple of months until sheís 2 yo? I am loving her personality and doggy I think sheíll grow into, but Iím afraid for dramatic turnarounds or changes over the next couple of years!

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

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    Welcome Arti's Mom & family....thanks for sharing photos...she's adorable!!!

    Sounds like you are on the right track with trying to tire her out, and remembering that she is a puppy & needs positive direction will work to help her learn.

    We currently have a 5 month old Aussie, along with 2 other Aussies & a 6 yo male Pyr (Rudy)....so llittle Vixen gets lots of playtime & exercise as well as being put in her place when she gets the crazies!

    When she would nip, I did as you are doing, offer her a toy...another thing you might want to try, since she's teething is an ice cube to chew on...down side to this is more potty breaks! You can also try a dish towel, strip of cotton flannel....wet it, freeze it & let her play with it to help numb her teeth

    One thing that's difficult with these giant breeds is to remember that they are mere puppies, even tho they look full grown! Patience, calmness, patience, a sense of humor, patience, consistency, patience, love...and more patience...and she will be the girl you want her to be.

    Keep us informed on your progress together

    Nancy & Rudy

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

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    Congrats on new puppy! She is very adorable!

    For puppy nipping, a number of member have tried the "peanut butter method" and found it to be useful - read down this thread to my post describing TexasKat's peanut butter method: http://www.greatpyr.com/forum/showth...+butter+method

    As for energy outlet, another member used the flirt pole to great success and others have found it to be helpful as well. Read down this thread to Tsunibear's second post with a link about flirt poles:http://www.greatpyr.com/forum/showth...ght=flirt+pole

    I have a 2 yr old male who we raised as an only child. We raised two other pyr pups before him also from 8 weeks but with each of those two, we had an adult pyr around to entertain the puppy. It was much harder to raise an only child pup since we the humans were his only entertainment. I made myself Ren's playmate and let him bite me. That was ok by me but I wouldn't recommend it to others.

  5. #5
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Thank you so much! Great advice.

  6. #6
    Old Dawg (Senior Member)

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    When my Max gets riled up, he really likes to play tug on a rope toy and it seems to calm him. We started it by offering a toy any time he got mouthy. His other favorite game is "run around like a lunatic," which he plays with my son. If you have a tween around, I highly recommend it as it calms BOTH of them! We also keep a ginormous nylabone-type bone for intense chewers (sounds like he's gnawing on concrete, says it's bacon-flavored) and that is his go-to toy that seems to give him enormous satisfaction. Max has zero herding instinct, but we used to have aussies and they loved to play frisbee with a soft frisbee for hours and hours, and fetch with a tennis ball.

    One other thing we did for biting was to yelp, a high pitched sad noise, not mad at all. Every puppy I have had has responded well to that, it's how puppies tell other puppies the play is too rough. Now Max understands gentle mouth, but he still gets mouthy when he's excited.

  7. #7
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Hey. A young pup is going to bite & chew on everything! Most especially you! It is just a baby & knows no better, knows no other way to play or love until you teach her/him. This behavior is no predictor of adult behavior. Patience, consistent gentle discipline, methodical small-step training, lots of praise for good behavior, and constructive distraction (e.g. access to things ok to bite & chew) are some important basic guidelines. Also very important is understanding the breed, esp as they mature. These are not "regular" dogs, and they have an internalized instinctive code of behavior, even a sort of sense for right and wrong. They are extremely protective of "their personal herd" - whether that's you & your family, your cows, your chickens, whatever. They are fiercely loyal to their hard and to their individual spot in the hierarchy, the pecking order: you must establish an alpha relationship for them to follow, else they will not follow; being very willful and intelligent, they will decide the rules for themselves. They must be given a job by you, else they will decide for themselves. And when they make up their mind, changing it will be pretty hard.

    I don't mean to sound harsh or regimented... we have had a half dozen of these fantastic dogs, some rescue and some raised from pups. They can be the a most fabulous friend and companion, or they can become a royal pain to deal with. In general, you get to choose! Treat them with love, discipline, and respect; allow them to have a distinct function and some personality quirks; and you will both be rewarded with a beautiful loving relationship.

  8. #8
    Puppy (New Member)

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    BTW, someone else mentioned having an adult Pyr around the pup. This is a tremendously helpful suggestion. The adult will be a fabulous educator & disciplinarian. Best for this adult to already be a member of your herd!

  9. #9
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Thank you, great suggestions! She is already starting to get better over the last few days - she is 12 weeks old tomorrow, so perhaps it really is just growing up! In fact, I imagine itís all the training WE are doing for ourselves that helps. That and... omg, billy sticks. Whenever she is really bitey we give her a bully stick to gnaw on after redirecting her (so she doesnít see it as a reward for biting), and when she gets in those chewy moods it is a godsend.

    This morning for the first time, when she wanted to play instead of trying to initiate by gnawing a body part she brought me her rope toy from the other room! IMMEDIATELY I rewarded her with a play session for a few minutes until she was tired. She is starting now to do the same with her frisbee we got her, etc. We will continue to work on playing with her through toys. ďToys not toes!!Ē (Or fingers... face... legs... sigh)

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