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  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Ontario, Canada

    Exclamation Difference between playing and aggression?

    Hello, I'm a new Pyr owner and need some advice.
    I brought my Link home at 8 weeks, 3 weeks ago. We are crate training, and he is amazing in the crate.
    I also have a tiny 5 pound Chihuahua/Terrier mix who is not super dog friendly, but only in our home (she is definitely the dominant one, mistakes were made there) and 3 cats (Who literally dont give a poop about the new family member until he wants to chase them), and two kids ages 9 and 12, who are pretty helpful.
    So my issue is, obviously being a puppy, Link is playful. When we are out socializing with other dogs (or in his training class) he is fairly calm, he goes at the pace of the other dog and comes across to everyone as pretty patient and gentle.
    At home it is a different story, he gets super excitable, barking at us (me and kids) and REALLY bitey, he actually broke skin on my daughters arm today. While he is doing this, he also throws in happy tail wagging and puppy bowing so i *THINK* he is playing, but how can i tell the difference between a show of dominance and playing?
    Why is he so different at home with us than when he is playing with actual other dogs?
    Background; he is from a farm breeder, but they brought any pups coming home to be companion dogs inside their house as often as possible. His dad is trained as a livestock guardian, and when we met him she warned he would come off as aggressive (as that is his job) but not to worry. He did, and the second he was given a command he stopped and sat and was quiet during the entire visit. I have wanted a Pyr since I was a child, and spent my life reading and researching (also see: Obsessing) about them. I think I've actually read too much because now I've scared myself when it comes to training, with the whole "pyrs remember harshness and will hate you for it later and kill you" thing (i may have taken some liberties paraphrasing there). I try to be firm with him, but the "attacking" of myself and my kids (and the other animals if they dare get too close) does scare me. And then I panic because I know he knows we are scared lol its a pretty terrible cycle. Help!
    Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Puppy (New Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Sep 2019


    Hi - I don't have the answers for you but I wanted you to know that i could have written that exact post - right down to wanting a Pyr since I was a kid. Our Leroy will be 5 months old next week. And he has acted the way you're describing. I then proceeded to freak myself out by reading way too much on the internet. But with time he has improved and that's what we constantly have to focus on - it's a pattern of improvement, trending in a positive direction. He's made huge strides and his crazy bitey puppy moments go down each month.

    About the dog hating you - our breeder, who is well known in the Pyr world and has done it for 40 plus, told us they need love AND discipline. She said if we don't correct his behavior we'll have a tyrant on our hands, and a big one at that. So we do have to be firm with him (i.e., biting, jumping up on us, humping). But we lavish him with love and try to catch him doing good things as often as possible.

    Hang in there!

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