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  1. #1
    Old Dawg (Senior Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Jun 2018
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    Default Mouthiness and getting out of the pool

    We are having two odd issues I don't know how to address.

    The first is that my 11 year old son, G, has really trained Max to see him as a fellow puppy. Max mostly has learned not to put his mouth on other people or to body check them...but he feels this is acceptable behavior with G. We have tried to have G ignore and walk away, disengage...but Max is very stubborn and very big and he just follows and intensifies the behavior, pressing harder with his mouth and bouncing around and hitting at G. There is no aggression or intent to harm here, it's more annoying. But eventually, G will yell and even hit out at Max to try to stop him. Which also doesn't work and isn't acceptable to us. Any ideas to help Max learn to be less mouthy and pushy? Any ideas to help G communicate effectively when he's not ready to play rough?

    The other issue is around the pool. Max won't get in the pool, though he likes to bite the water and hang out on the top step. But when G wants to get out of the pool, Max comes running and grabs his clothes, hair, mouths at his face and just generally makes it very difficult or impossible for G to get out. This is exacerbated by the fact that G is obviously below Max when this happens, I need to somehow get to a point where G can get out of the pool while Max is on the deck and nobody is restraining Max. Any ideas?

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

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    I think maybe you and your son can teach Max the "settle" command. It won't be instantaneous change but it might help. You would start by playing a game with him, then you end the game with the word "settle" and then offer him really high value treats so he anticipates those really special treats when he hears the word. You can ask him to lie down and stay quiet.

    Otherwise, would a spray bottle deter him? If plain water does not, you can put a bit of apple cider vinegar or lime since they usually don't like the scent; but if you do that, make sure you don't get his eyes.

  3. #3
    Old Dawg (Senior Member)

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    We have a squirt bottle with vinegar water...but Max has never once misbehaved when a human was within arm's reach of the bottle! We haven't even gotten to test it to see if it works to deter him, I don't know if it's coincidence or he's an evil genius!

    We hired a trainer who has come out once. She suggested my son do training with Max and take Max for walks daily to teach him not ALL interactions with son are wrestling matches. That seems to be helping. Max's face when son did the first training session seemed like "really? I have to listen to him, too?" But he adores an adventure, and son's new position as Keeper of the Leash has impressed Max. We are working on a more reliable stay because she suggested that similar to your settle suggestion...but so far Max will stay only if directed from someone standing by him when the person speaking has treats and is not near the distracting pool area, so it's a long road to son commanding stay from in the pool! Settle is hard for Max because he is actually obeying that command without being told to about 99.9% of the time...then the other .1% he is too excited to learn or listen.

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