Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1

    Default Preventing pyr agression

    Hello! We adopted a male great pyr not knowing at the time he was a pyr (we thought he was a lab mix). I'll try to make a long story short about how we came to have our pyr (Hank). We foster for a beagle rescue and in Aug fostered a mom beagle with 2 beagle puppies who were pulled from a shelter in Kentucky. The shelter had a random white puppy turn up alone who was only a few days old (eyes still closed) and stuck him in with the beagle mom as she had started to nurse him. So we have had Hank (the white puppy who turned out to be 75% pyr 25% husky) since he was tiny. He was raised with a beagle mom and two beagle siblings (who have since been adopted out) and has never been around other pyrs. Anyhow, the reason for the post is that obviously nothing about his behavior turned out to be "lab like". He has done ok with basic training but definitely is stubborn. It's like he just doesn't care at all what I want him to do and he has no drive to please unless I have particularly tasty treats. He knows what I'm asking, but just looks at me like "eh not now". While taking him to puppy socialization and training class it was suggested he may be a pyrenees, which we confirmed with a DNA test. Now having found this out, and reading more about the breed, his personality makes more sense. I have accepted that our Hank will be nothing like our beloved lab mix Booga (who passed away the previous summer), and I definitely love Hank to pieces. I can deal with him smacking me in the face with his paw and being stubborn (having beagles independent/ornery dogs are nothing new). What I worry about is him being aggressive, especially with how big he is already. On my pyr research it seems that this breed can be very dog aggressive and even reactive with unknown people. His puppy training class is over and he did fine with the other puppies there, though he did seem less playful than most of them. We walk him but being the winter months there aren't a ton of people out. What is the best way to prevent aggression? We've tried to ramp up his socialization and he has done well with everyone he's met other than some puppy mouthyness. Is it typically only with other large dogs that male pyrs are aggressive and dominant? Or other large dogs? We have a 9 y/o female beagle and a cat and I worry if Hank ever did become aggressive with them they'd have no chance. At 15 weeks he's already 15-20 lbs heavier than our beagle Lila. So far they have played fine and they have bones ect. without any food or resource guarding but based on what I've read it's when pyrs are 1-2 years old they start having issues. Do any experienced Pyr owners have any suggestions on how to prevent a pyr from being protective/aggressive? Or any signs to watch out for with him? Thanks in advance for any help!

  2. #2
    Young Dawg (Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by llilly View Post
    Hello! We adopted a male great pyr not knowing at the time he was a pyr (we thought he was a lab mix). I'll try to make a long story short about how we came to have our pyr (Hank). We foster for a beagle rescue and in Aug fostered a mom beagle with 2 beagle puppies who were pulled from a shelter in Kentucky. The shelter had a random white puppy turn up alone who was only a few days old (eyes still closed) and stuck him in with the beagle mom as she had started to nurse him. So we have had Hank (the white puppy who turned out to be 75% pyr 25% husky) since he was tiny. He was raised with a beagle mom and two beagle siblings (who have since been adopted out) and has never been around other pyrs. Anyhow, the reason for the post is that obviously nothing about his behavior turned out to be "lab like". He has done ok with basic training but definitely is stubborn. It's like he just doesn't care at all what I want him to do and he has no drive to please unless I have particularly tasty treats. He knows what I'm asking, but just looks at me like "eh not now". While taking him to puppy socialization and training class it was suggested he may be a pyrenees, which we confirmed with a DNA test. Now having found this out, and reading more about the breed, his personality makes more sense. I have accepted that our Hank will be nothing like our beloved lab mix Booga (who passed away the previous summer), and I definitely love Hank to pieces. I can deal with him smacking me in the face with his paw and being stubborn (having beagles independent/ornery dogs are nothing new). What I worry about is him being aggressive, especially with how big he is already. On my pyr research it seems that this breed can be very dog aggressive and even reactive with unknown people. His puppy training class is over and he did fine with the other puppies there, though he did seem less playful than most of them. We walk him but being the winter months there aren't a ton of people out. What is the best way to prevent aggression? We've tried to ramp up his socialization and he has done well with everyone he's met other than some puppy mouthyness. Is it typically only with other large dogs that male pyrs are aggressive and dominant? Or other large dogs? We have a 9 y/o female beagle and a cat and I worry if Hank ever did become aggressive with them they'd have no chance. At 15 weeks he's already 15-20 lbs heavier than our beagle Lila. So far they have played fine and they have bones ect. without any food or resource guarding but based on what I've read it's when pyrs are 1-2 years old they start having issues. Do any experienced Pyr owners have any suggestions on how to prevent a pyr from being protective/aggressive? Or any signs to watch out for with him? Thanks in advance for any help!
    Funny, the same thing happened to my sister! Rescued a “lab mix” that turned out to be 50% Pyr, 30% Anatolian shepherd, and the rest Aussie. We recognized right away that she had Pyr-ness, very similar to our Artemis, and she’s had similar adventures as you.

    I was also concerned with this breed being aggressive, and socialized the heck out of Arti with two rounds of puppy classes and trips to dog-friendly stores, when old enough dog park trips once per week at a members-only place where doggies are generally very well behaved and all the shots, etc... long story short our Arti is stubborn as HECK, to the point it drives my husband nuts... but she has never been aggressive. Growled once at a GSD while on a walk with my husband which is weird bc she loves other dogs, turns out that doggo was known to be aggressive and I think she was just being protective of DH.

    Our dog trainer said she has never heard of an aggressive Pyr... these are not inherently aggressive dogs. That being said, the right environment combined with the right temperament can lead to traits and behaviors that go against breed in any dog. I would not be concerned that your Pyr is inherently at risk for being more aggressive. Things that I have read include same-gender Pyrs not living well together, but otherwise as long as you have socialized her from an early age as you have I wouldn’t be fearful of problems. In general these dogs do pretty well with breeds smaller than they are, as they’re bred to work with herding type dogs that tend to be smaller and faster. Especially if she’s growing up with your cat and beagle, there’s no reason to think she will become aggressive with them. She may be protective of them against other dogs that come on your property or in your home - just be wary if you have a friend bring their fur baby over, and make sure your Pyr doesn’t go into guardian mode. Not inherent aggression, just assessing if a newbie is a threat or not. In general, these dogs are brilliant and do a good job of discerning threat from non-threat.

    You’re doing all the right things with appropriate socialization. Read Patricia McConnell’s books, people on this forum frequently recommend her and I found them to be very insightful. Don’t trust a bunch of advice you get on the internet (especially anything about these dogs being inherently meant to live on a farm - sure they’re bred for that, but many do very well as family pets).

    Last thing to mention - don’t be bullied into neutering too early!! If you have a male it’s tempting to neuter early to “prevent” aggression in males, but in reality neutering does not fix behavioral problems. My biggest regret was listening to our vet’s fear mongering about Arti getting to big for safe anesthesia and spaying her at 8 months. If you want to wait until bone maturity for your Pyr please make sure you find a vet who’s an ally with you in this, not one who will push you to neuter too early.

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

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    4,987
      Jewel`s Photos

    Default

    Goodness, so lucky for Hank that the beagle mom & pups were around so that he was able to nurse and be raised with the beagle pups.

    Pyrs typically get along with smaller dogs, like the medium sized herding breed dogs and smaller. Some pyrs are not good with the larger breeds.

    As a guardian breed, it isn't that uncommon for certain individuals of this breed to become more wary and reserved with other dogs as they mature. That personality shift does not occur in all pyrs. Many of them are gentle giants. We've had 5 pyrs. 3 of them never had the personality shift and got along with other dogs. One became reactive to certain dogs after he turned a year old. He was a 1/2 pyr mixed with retriever/aussie. He was of high strung / nervous type. Because of him I read many books, including those from Patricial McConnel. I worked with him for years and he totally mellowed out as he got older.

    Your best bet is socialization, socialization, and socialization. You also do not want to encourage the pyr to be "protective." The instinct to guard its family is bred into the pyrs. Many people mistakenly think that encouraging the dog to be "protective" is a good thing. That approach can backfire and instead create an over-reactive neurotic 100+ lb aggressive mess. Instead, the human's job is to teach the pyr what is normal in your environment so that the pyr knows when not to react. Thus the heavy socialization. When things are out of the norm the pyr would know and naturally its guardian instinct will kick in.

Posting Permissions

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