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  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    Victor, Idaho
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    Default Is my 3 year old female Pyr's behavior toward an 8 week old puppy ok?

    On December 23, I brought home a 8 week old puppy rescued from the reservation so lord only knows what kind of mix he is. This little nugget had a meet and greet for a few minutes on December 20 to makes sure my 3 year old female pyr (Sylvie) and my male pyr/border collie mix (Fredo) were initially ok. Both wagged their tales and sniffed him. I got all the info I was going to at that time. Things seemed initially ok.
    I brought home the pup. Outside the two big dogs bounded down the driveway and the little guy followed. They all hung out around each other and my pyr, Sylvie, gave the pup a few growls when he got too close. My mix, Fredo, loved the pup immediately.
    Later that evening they were inside together and Fredo and the pup were playing while Sylvie and I watched. I know I was wrong in having so much going on in Sylvie's space. When he bounded over to her she snapped at him. None of this behavior toward the puppy has been surprising or of concern to me. He needs to learn etiquette and Sylvie can teach him that.
    Here's where I'm concerned.
    First, Sylvie became increasingly depressed over the next couple days. Today (after 3 days with the pup) she is acting a little more normal outside (where she loves to hang in the snow) - even when she's just laying around - so I think she might be coming around on that front.

    Here are the behaviors I've seen from her that concern me...
    1) When she comes in to the house to look for him, she has her nose down and goes to all the places he might be. The vibe I feel is different from Fredo's. Fredo is coming in checking to see if he's awake so they can play. Sylvie is coming in and giving me the sense she is looking for prey or at least to see if he is still around.
    2) When Sylvie is in while the pup is up and about, she salivates a lot. I know she is stressed by it. When he's asleep, she can lay dow but she rarely fully relaxes to sleep.
    3) On one occasion, I had the pup asleep in his bed, literally belly up passed out. Fredo walked over to check on him, Sylvie slightly shifted in her behavior like she was going to lunge after him. Because I saw this slight shift fast enough, I grabbed her collar and put the big dogs outside and nothing happened (The pup stayed passed out and didn't know any of it.)

    Since these incidents, the puppy has been floating around while the big dogs work on their "skills" (sitting, laying down). The pup is intermingled with the big dogs and all are focused on the treats and doing what they are asked. There is no hostility and everyone acts normally.

    Sylvie has also walked by the pup in the house and just ignored him.

    In the end....I am pretty much planning to bring the pup back to the adoption agency so he can proceed to his forever home but I want to make sure I'm not over reacting and allowing Sylvie to be the alpha of the household - and not just the alpha of the dogs.

    And there's a second part.....My other concern is Sylvie's own health. She has had biopsies on her intestines and has inflammation. She was part of a rescue of puppies ditched by sheep herders (so she also comes from working lines) and they all had a really traumatic beginning to life. She has finally gotten her weight up to 90 pounds (lowest was 77!) and is feeling better. Even if the pup would work out with her in a month or so, is it worth the stress on her own health?

    I feel terrible. I thought the pup would give Sylvie a break from having Fredo hanging on her face and playing but I think it has upset her and made her feel left out. (Yes...me totally putting human feelings on a dog!) I look at Fredo and the puppy playing and what an amazing foster brother he is and wish the puppy could stay. Then....I look at Sylvie feeling left out and possibly moving toward unpredictable behavior toward the puppy - which I cannot risk - and my heart breaks for her too. In the end, I know I am a good dog mom and going to make the right decision for everyone.

    I would love any input or thoughts. At the moment, I am talking the same things through with a few of my dog folks but, in the end, I don't think I can risk this puppy's safety and need to return him.
    Thanks for any help!

  2. #2
    Puppy (New Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    Victor, Idaho
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      JeninVictor`s Photos

    Default

    Sylvie update....
    Literally since this last post, Sylvie, for the first time went on the "potty walk" with Fredo, the puppy and I. When the pup walked over to her, her tail curled up a little (which means she's happy) and wagged a few times. She sniffed him and then went on with her head up (in her patrol mode.)
    She may just need more time to adjust....which I expected anyway.
    I will look forward to any input and will be consulting a few people in my "dog world".
    Thank you!

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

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Mar 2009
    Location
    Dallas, TX
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    Default

    It's only been 3 days, I think you might be reading too much into things. The update is a good sign. I think that because the puppy seems to work very well with Fredo, which in turn will give Sylvie a break from having to be his playmate at the time, this could be a good arrangement. The pup is male so there is much less risk of him not getting along with Sylvie when he matures. Fredo is a pyr mix, so that also reduces the risk of same gender aggression that is not uncommon with purebred pyrs.

    My suggestion would be encourage Fredo to play with the puppy while you give Sylvie more of your attention. Let Sylvie tell you how much interaction she wants with the puppy. When I brought my prior female into our home at 8 weeks, my then 3.5 yo pyr mix was a bit intimidated by her. She was pretty assertive even at 8 weeks and insisted on following the big brother around whether he liked it or not. He cuffed her 3 times right on her head for being too assertive. He didn't hurt her and she wasn't fazed at all. They became best friends and the PERFECT pair for us. We lost the two of them 2015-2016 within a 15 month period.

  4. #4
    Puppy (New Member)

    Current Great Pyrenees Owner

    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    Victor, Idaho
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      JeninVictor`s Photos

    Default Thank you!

    You were right! (and there was a bit more to it.)
    I took Sylvie for her weekly weigh in at the vet. Upside, she gained weight and is up to 93 pounds. Downside (but great info) she had been running a fever the last few days - which was lethargy, not depression - from a small healing cut she has. (The prednisone she's on suppresses her immune system) SO....she has some antibiotics and has gotten a vitamin B shot to treat her vitamin B deficiency and has made a huge turnaround. She wasn't upset with the puppy....she felt like crap.
    She is doing just what you thought....establishing how much time she wants to interact with the puppy. When outside and the puppy and Fredo are playing, she just walks away if it's too much. She and Fredo played outside for a short bit yesterday while the pup watched with me. She's allowed him to come up to her and rub his face on her face and given him a gentle growl when she's done. We've also had time while Sylvie and I sit and she gets extra love while Fredo and the puppy play. She is far more relaxed.
    Thank you for your response, it has given me support in my thought that having the third will be a good addition - and it's starting to look like my thoughts were right! Thank you, again!

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