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  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)

    Prospective Great Pyrenees Owner

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    Default Adopting an adult (updated with pic)

    I have a chance to adopt an approximately 2 year old female Pyr. I had been planning to get a puppy so that I can be sure she is properly socialized and trained, but I hate seeing dogs in shelters and would take everyone if I could.

    Anyway, I know Pyrs will bond with their family. I'm wondering if the same is true of an adult? Will they be more distant or less social (than normal) when adopted as an adult? I know 2 isn't fully an adult yet, but close enough and the age is a guess by the shelter anyway.

    Anyone giving up a Pyr is probably doing so because of issues. Could be excessive barking, poorly socialized or just too big for the house. Assuming it's due to "bad" behavior, how likely or difficult will it be to retrain an adult?

    I adopted an adult Aussie that was surrendered due to being a handful (barked a lot, jumped, overly hyper, etc.) and he got better over the years, but never as good as one we got as a puppy. I'm assuming a Pyr will be somewhat harder to retrain given their independent nature.

    Suggestions? Advice?

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    Last edited by Dogs4Ever; 09-13-2020 at 06:46 AM.

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

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    Pyrs take time to bond and build trust, but many rescues make the best friends given time and love. Many pyrs that are given up due to "bad" behavior often end up that way because the humans didn't take the time of day to educate themselves or the dog.

    After you bring her home, give her time. It can take up to a year for a rescue pyr to bond with the new human(s). In the first months, observe her figure out what she likes and what motivates her. Training a pyr is going to be different than training an aussie, but pyrs are definitely trainable. They aren't wired to blindly obey commands. They usually want to know why they are asked to do something. You want to convince them it is worth their time to do as you ask. That's why it's important to figure out their likes and motivations. Pyrs respond best when they respect the human. That is a concept that is not easy to understand for first time owners. Treat her as if she's your partner instead of your are the master. Calm confidence is what they trust.

  3. #3
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Thanks for the feedback. We'll have to decide to keep her or not in a week or so.

    We brought her home yesterday as a temp foster. Not 100% sure the breed but probably Pyr or Pyr mix and around 2 years old (they claim). She seems kind of small - about 24" at the withers. She is super sweet. Comes to us for attention and so far hardly barks at all. Her bark is also not overly loud. She seems overly sensitive to sounds. The TV seems to scare her as well as doors opening/closing, dropping or banging things, even some motions. As a rescue, some of this could just be adjusting to a home. However, a LGD should be confident and fearless and while I'm not planning to use her for livestock, I do still want a confident dog that would alert and/or drive off threats when out camping/hiking. Based on what the shelter has said, she may have been a working dog and I'm wondering if she was surrendered because she wasn't good at her job. Her coat must have been a mess. They shaved her legs and around her rear.

    She hasn't been interested in food or treats. Maybe just due to the stress of coming out of the shelter. We'll have to see how things go over the next few days as she starts to decompress.

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogs4Ever View Post
    She seems overly sensitive to sounds. The TV seems to scare her as well as doors opening/closing, dropping or banging things, even some motions. As a rescue, some of this could just be adjusting to a home. However, a LGD should be confident and fearless and while I'm not planning to use her for livestock, I do still want a confident dog that would alert and/or drive off threats when out camping/hiking.
    It isn't uncommon for pyrs to be noise sensitive. They are livestock guardians, protecting flighty prey animals. Sudden loud noises can spook the herd so it seems instinctively pyrs do not like loud noises. On the other hand, it may be that this dog had been used as a LGD and so she's not familiar with all the sounds inside a house.

    Being a guardian breed, she would have the protection instinct bred into her. The last thing you would want to do is to encourage her to get into guarding mode. Rather, teach her the world you live in, show her what is normal and ok, gain her confidence. In time she will know when something is not normal and her instinct will take over. As I said in my prior post, it can take a pyr a good while to bond with a new family. Patience is of utmost importance. Hopefully she will work out for you.

  5. #5
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Thanks for the info. I know time is the main thing she'll need, but not sure what to do in the meantime. I'm pretty sure she was an outdoor dog. Everything in the house seems new and somewhat frightening to her. She wouldn't go up stairs, was spooked by the TV, doors, toilet, etc. I did finally get her to go up the stairs and now she seems okay with that. The TV doesn't bug her anymore and she is less sensitive to other noises so I think she is making good progress.

    However, we have two main issues still. First, she still isn't eating. She won't touch a bite of food and I've tried wet dog food and Primal raw patties (broken up). She did eat a bit of peanut butter and a small piece of ham and we have one treat that she seems to like but not enough to coax her anywhere. She wasn't interested in a kong with PB. This is day 4 without eating. She does drink water and urinates frequently enough.

    The other issue is we can't get her to go into a crate. With a lot of time and gentle coaxing we can get her in at night but I'm worried we could make her mad or something. So far she has been really sweet and loves attention, but I don't want her to get angry and snap at anyone. I've thought about leaving her out at night but I'd feel better if she was crated. She is doing okay with the other dogs but they sometimes growl at her if she is too close and I don't want them bumping into one another at night unsupervised. Also not sure she is house broken and 6-7 hours unsupervised in another room also seems potentially problematic. Every dog I've fostered before was food motivated enough to crate train them. Not this girl. I bet she'd follow me into the crate, but it's not big enough for both of us.

    Any tips or suggestions would be great. I am working on getting her in to the vet but probably not for a couple more days. The shelter vet checked her out too and no issues were noted other than being a few pounds overweight. She is/was 93 lbs and they said the ideal weight would be 85 lbs.

  6. #6
    Road Dawg

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    Your dog sounds so incredibly sweet - please donít give up on her!!

    The transition she has made is incredibly difficult. Most Pyrs are not highly food motivated (our Artemis is an exception - treat obsessed!) But the move to a new home and family is incredibly stressful and I wouldnít be surprised if it takes her 1-2 weeks to start to eat. Make sure she had plenty of water and food available, she will come around. Of course I assume youíve taken her for a vet check already to make sure there are no concerns.

    New rules in your home such as crate training are of course totally new, especially if sheís an outdoor dog. It actually sounds like sheís adjusting incredibly well. Based on the very sweet personality you describe, I wouldnít be surprised if she was surrendered due to not being a great guardian (ie perhaps too social and not driven enough to drive away predators). Embrace her sweetness, provide a loving and stable home and I think you will have an amazing dog.

  7. #7
    Puppy (New Member)

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    She is making good progress. We've had her a week now and she has eaten a little bit here and there. Probably doesn't help we keep changing things but she won't eat one thing so we try something else. She loves boiled chicken. Almost takes my hand with it. Last night I made pizza and she almost stole it off the table. I gave her a bite and she ate it. I'm wondering if she was mostly fed table scraps or something. Might be why she was overweight. Today she was eyeing our other dogs' food and my wife fed her the same stuff out of her hand and she at 1 1/2 cups so that's huge progress.

    She is still scared, or at least wary, of many things. She used to go into the yard without issue but lately has decided she doesn't like it out there. I took her for a walk and when we came back I took her into the yard and we stayed out there for about an hour and finally relaxed but still not fully willing to go out. She finally came up the stairs this morning a few times too.

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