Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. #1
    Old Dawg (Senior Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    RHINEBECK
    Posts
    51

    Default Missing communication

    Well it's been three months since I got my Maremma/GP mix Moo. He was 4 months at the time and totally unsocialized from people. Since then I've been getting him used to other people and dogs. He was initially very intimated by other dogs, especially larger ones but has since become a great, playful dog. Even when larger dogs become aggressive he seems to know how to handle it without it becoming a fight...so proud! He is very selective about people but no longer gets upset with the unintended head pat. He'll move away but not get disjointed. Once he gets to know someone(sometimes in a manner of minutes) he'll be licking their hand or head. Sometimes he just warms up to certain people right away.

    However he still is leery about new situations. He wants to come in the same door and go to the same places(uless it's a nature trail). He doesn't feel comfortable with anything new. I know he trusts me but he will be resistant regarding doing anything different. Recently he got nervous going inside through his dog door. Going outside is fine but going in was difficult. I would use chicken to lure him in and it would work but he is hesitant. It's like after all this time andwork he regresses. Recently he's been nervous to eat unless I fiddle with the food in his dish with my hand and reassure him it's ok. At my dads house he was on the couch and didn't want to come on the leash. I had to pick him up like an 80 pound suitcase to get him to leave. He was fine after that.

    On the plus side he doesn't show any signs of aggression. I totally trust him. I constantly grab him and always(always) give him a hug and kisses when I do this. But there's a miscommunication where he doesn't trust me to introduce him to new things(at times). I only use positive techniques. I'm missing something he's trying to say. I want him to be ok eating in his spot and following my lead. When we hike he's great off leash and always follows my lead. But in social situations it's different. I'm missing something he's telling me. I hired a very well know behaviorist who has trained LGD and has a popular podcast to help me. I hope it gives me some good guidance. Moo is such a good dog and I sense he's very logical and not all that neurotic so it's got to be something I'm not getting right. We have great trust in each other but something is missing. I hope the trainer can pinpoint it. I'll keep you all posted.

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

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    4,976
      Jewel`s Photos

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
    I'm missing something he's trying to say. I want him to be ok eating in his spot and following my lead. When we hike he's great off leash and always follows my lead. But in social situations it's different. I'm missing something he's telling me.
    The thought that popped up is that maybe what you are missing is not respecting him needing to take in new things at his pace. His anxieties are not rational and so it's not something he can control. You are trying to make him deal with it in a logical way. He doesn't have the ability to logically and rationally turn that anxiety off just because you know it's not anything to worry about, regardless of how positive you are trying to be. Actually, when he's showing anxiety, the more you try to convince him it's okay, you are very likely actually putting more pressure on him in his already anxious state.

    Just a thought.

  3. #3
    Old Dawg (Senior Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    RHINEBECK
    Posts
    51

    Default

    That makes a whole lot of sense. Thanks for your assessment. It's when something that seemed ok for a while and suddenly seems uncomfortable that gets me. I'm sure my "hey comon it's no big deal" reaction may be making things worse. It may feed in to exactly what your referring to. I guess I'll need to examine my reactions to these situation in order to better keep him confident. funny how you can't see things until someone else points them out. Again he seems like a pretty logical dog who isn't really being weird but just not jiving with me during these situations.

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

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    4,976
      Jewel`s Photos

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
    in order to better keep him confident. funny how you can't see things until someone else points them out. Again he seems like a pretty logical dog who isn't really being weird but just not jiving with me during these situations.
    Keeping him confident is really about giving him good positive feedback when he's BEING confident. When his not showing confidence, you can't make him confident. It is more effective to cultivate the behavior you want rather than trying correct the undesired behavior. You want to encourage and reward him when he's behaving the way you like so that he tries to figure out what it is that he can get you to encourage and reward him.

    Every individual dog has its own little idiosyncrasies. My Bijou was a very confident assertive dog. She knew exactly how to assess situations with dogs. But she was TERRIFIED of the fish section at Petsmart. No fish ever jumped out of one of those tanks to bite her. She never slipped on a wet spot and bumped into a tank. She was fine walking through that section when she was a pup but one day she wasn't anymore.

    My current one, Ren, is laid back and calm... most of the time... and we take him everywhere all over town and he's handled being crowded around by people, new places and new situations without any problems. Except... he has separation anxiety and storm anxiety.

    I couldn't convince Bijou that Petsmart fish wasn't scary. I'm still working on convincing Ren that storms won't hurt him if he's inside the house...

  5. #5
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    2,439

    Default

    Yes to everything Jewel has said. Because I started this response before seeing hers, here are a few additional thoughts:

    Have we introduced you to the wonderful world of Patricia McConnell, yet? If not, there are two books I would recommend that you read while you wait for your appointment with the behaviorist: For the Love of a Dog, and The Other End of the Leash. The first one focuses more on dogs’ emotional lives, and they way they express their emotions through body language. The second focuses on communication and how it can be used to build and strengthen the human/animal bond. Given everything you have posted about Moo, I think you will find both books interesting and informative.

    I experienced periods of regression with both Sebastian and Chester. Overall, Sebastian is a confident, happy dog, but as a puppy, he went through stages where he was fearful of random things, despite not being generally anxious. These periods would come and go, and seemed to be tied to his growth spurts. Chester was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, and anything could set him off.

    It is also important to note, that as a general rule, LGDs are averse to “different”. It’s part of how they do their job protecting the flocks. In our first apartment, parking was only allowed on one side of the street, and Sebastian completely lost it one night when he saw a car parked on the wrong side. Once he was done barking his head off at the illicit car, he had to spend 20 minutes investigating it to ensure that it wasn’t going to eat us. In that neighborhood, he also lost it the first time he saw a van pull into a garage. To him, vans did not belong inside houses, and he was going to do something about it.

    I spent a lot of Sebastian’s puppyhood having to hand feed him. I started mixing delicious things in with his kibble to entice him to eat, and that has helped, but still, some days, he requires that I sit right next to him while he eats.

    As far as not wanting to leave the couch at your dad’s, that could be age-related. At 7 months, he is at the beginning of his “bratty adolescent” stage, similar to what (most) humans go through. Some dogs have a brattier, more pronounced adolescence than others. Sebastian was diabolical. He challenged me left and right, and had stumped three trainers and a behaviorist before his second birthday. It was during his adolescence that I started giving him a treat every time he entered the apartment/house from outside. We still have that rule, otherwise, he would just look at me like, “hahahahahahahaha, lady, no.” Up until we moved to our current home in 2016, he would do this while he was still on leash.
    Sebastian is on Facebook!
    www.facebook.com/SirSaintSebastian

  6. #6
    Old Dawg (Senior Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    RHINEBECK
    Posts
    51

    Default

    Thanks guys. I'll purchase those books and have a really good(I'm told) behaviorist coming to help me out. Moo is actually doing really well and even though we are going through a quirky period our bond is very strong. Our morning starts with a mandatory(from me) big hug and I will do this throughout the day. He lets me clip is nails(sorta) and towel him off after being outside. He doesn't show any food or resource aggression but is still somewhat timid about the pantry where is food and dog door are. He's defiantly not as affectionate as other dogs but when he's feeling it he'll nuzzle against me or lick my face. As independent as he is he always has an eye on me and want's to be somewhere around where I am. When we hike I always change direction and he's keen to keep me in site so he can follow my lead. All in all I think I'm a lucky pry/maremma owner. I want to really make his first couple of years as good as possible so he can continue to make strides.

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

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    4,976
      Jewel`s Photos

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SebastiansMom View Post
    It is also important to note, that as a general rule, LGDs are averse to “different”. It’s part of how they do their job protecting the flocks.

    I got a story on that from today. Since Ren was about 5 months old, we started to take him to Whole Foods after our walk on weekends. He's now nearly 2 1/2. Today we were sitting at our usual spot, and Ren suddenly lasered in on something at this little pavilion a dozen feet from WF's patio. Then he started barking and making a huge fuss. He was barking at a can drink cooler thing on the ground. The thing was just there, not moving or anything - BUT there is usually nothing on the ground when no one's there. Ren didn't stop barking until my husband picked up the can cooler and brought it back to show to Ren.

    We take Ren out with us all the time and he takes going to different places in stride without issues. Once he's been to a place a few times, he will tell us, loudly, if things are different - and usually it's stuff that don't belong to at a place.

  8. #8
    Old Dawg (Senior Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    RHINEBECK
    Posts
    51

    Default

    Well dialing things back seems to be working. He waits for me not to pay attention and he'll go into the pantry to eat. I have cameras set up and he will come inside and lay on his dog bed when I'm at work. This makes me very happy as he can go out and play in the yard and come in and eat/drink and relax. I've learned that positive praise for this guy isn't always the best. When it's something that he'll eventually understand benefits him...I just need minimal praise and then give him space to figure it out. Of course the random squeezing and manhandling is something I can't help and he'll just have to get used to lol. I'm pretty sure he likes it though.

  9. #9
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    4,976
      Jewel`s Photos

    Default

    I think the "problem" here is that you love Moo so much (as if that is a real problem!). You want so much to make sure things go right and that he's set up for success. If Moo were a biddable breed of dog, he'd have lapped up all your attention & efforts. But he's a LGD. They are wired to be independent and to assess things on their own which makes them totally unlike other breeds.

    I am confident that Moo will grow into a very fine companion for you and be able to handle the human world that you live in.

    CAN WE HAVE MORE PICTURES OF HIM PLEEEEEEEEEESE!

  10. #10
    Old Dawg (Senior Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    RHINEBECK
    Posts
    51

    Default

    I guess I'm a helicopter dad lol. Well thank you guys for keeping me grounded. Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20190104_213149.jpg 
Views:	22 
Size:	49.2 KB 
ID:	10093Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20190202_131654.jpg 
Views:	22 
Size:	70.6 KB 
ID:	10094Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20190217_144113.jpg 
Views:	23 
Size:	81.1 KB 
ID:	10095Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20190223_193846.jpg 
Views:	23 
Size:	46.0 KB 
ID:	10096Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20190126_185437.jpg 
Views:	20 
Size:	36.8 KB 
ID:	10097

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •