Who knew a dog could pout and sulk so much?

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

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Barked: Thu Jan 7, '10 7:38pm PST 
We adopted a great pyrenees, Abbey, a few yrs ago and love her dearly. In some ways she is the perfect dog but in others she is a major pain in the butt!
Let me start from the beginning, Abbey has always been skittish, very reserved, and even antisocial. She was always friendly with us but when new people came over, she ran and hid. Many people comment that they never knew we had a dog much less a 100lb one. If she decides to come out with visitors around, she usually warms to them after a few minutes of being cautious and lays her head in their lap to be petted. If there is a loud noise, she is off to hide again. At first if I changed something in the house, she would refuse to even come near it. I had new flooring stored in the livingroom for a while and she would not use the doorway near it for over a month. Aggravating! However, she really has improved. She pretty much ignores any "home changes" even when we had an addition built. If she is a little cautious it only last a small amount of time. She still prefers to hang out under my kids beds if there is a lot of visitors but will venture out if it quites down. She is just as friendly to us as ever and still sits near me when I am on the computer or watching tv. The only time she has nipped or snapped at anyone is when my daughter startled her running her hand up her back once while eating and another time just walking up behind her. Neither time broke the skin or left a mark. Hmmm...she has always been aloof when we have been around other animals. Recently we boarded her and she was with three dogs. She instantly acted aloof even when one of the dogs was very dominant. Never biting but growling/snapping at Abbey. The caregiver said she did great, especially at first, but by the end of the week she was tired of the other dog and would stand her ground
barking/snapping/growling back. She did say she was much more playful than at the beginning though. Abbey has never been very playful even when we tried to play with her. We were able to teach down and sit easily but anything else was a bust. The caregiver said Abbey was becomming more playful with all the dogs, not as much with the dominant one, and even her.

We had considered getting another dog and thought this was a positive sign. We hoped that having another would bring out her playfulness. If not, we would have one that is calm and one that was playful which would be okay too. After much thought and research, we decided on a beagle/pit mix puppy. Lola is absolutely beautiful. I introduced Lola to Abbey outside our home on a short walk. Abbey seemed fine but aloof which I thought was a plus but it obviously wasn't. I am not sure what I am doing wrong or what to do now. Abbey hasn't tried to really hurt Lola, I don't think. We don't leave them alone together. She either acts like she isn't there or growls/snaps at Lola. I can walk them together and as long as Lola doesn't get in front, she ignores her. I tried to hold Lola up butt first to Abbey while outside and she turns her head or tries to leave. Usually I don't let Lola near me while in the office since Abbey loves to lay beside my chair there but today I placed Lola on a leash within a foot of me while making a fuss over Abbey. I would make sure to pet her more than normal and she would still growl at Lola, not everytime she sniffed her but alot. Tonight while Abbey was asleep in the bedroom, we played with Lola in the livingroom floor, rolling the ball etc. Then I walked her and put her in the kennel. I went and woke Abs and tried to get her to come to the livingroom. She refused for me and the kids, even with treats. I did make her come in sit where she usually lays, petted her, and talked so nicely yet she acted like she was terrified. As soon as I let go of her collar, she charged back to the bedroom. UGGGH!

As for Lola, we don't let her near Abbey too much and only when we are close. We walk them seperately most of the time but do include at least two short walks together. Lola is also not allowed to roam the house. She is on leash at all times unless we are directly playing with her or she is in her kennel. (When not in kennel or playing, she is still on leash but it is hung on a nearby doorknob so she can't roam to help with housebreaking.) Lola's kennel is in the washroom, which is another part of the house from Abbeys. (Abbey is allowed to roam as much as she wants and doesn't have to sleep in kennel.) I also make sure Abbey gets to eat before Lola in a different area. Lola is leashed within seeing-distance so Abbey knows she is the one eating. While Lola eats, Abbey is usually being walked by the kids. Hmmm.....pretty much that is it.

Do you have any suggestions? What am I doing wrong? Right? Is Abs just being a B? LOL. Seriously though, she is pouting/sulking worse than any of my 5 kids ever did. I just don't know what to do. Will it get better like some of her fears did? I will do whatever to help Abs short of getting rid of Lola. I know that seems mean but as much as I love Abs, we really want a more playful/interracting pet. If Abs can't be that, then we are glad that Lola can and want them to get along.

Last but not least, Lola hasn't been the typical hyper puppy around Abbey. She has been really shy and calm seeming to know Abs doesn't like her.

Dog About- Rosedale

Barked: Fri Jan 8, '10 5:26am PST 
First off you have a breed that is not bred to be social, to people or to other animals (except maybe whatever they are guarding) so it is natural for her to be reserved and prefer solitude. This is not to say they CAN'T be social, just that it is not their default behaviour. She is also fearful and reacts to stress in the environment.
Then you add a puppy.
I'm not surprised she is reacting stressfully to the puppy, even though it sounds like you are doing a good job not allowing puppy Lola to harass Abby. Integrating a new dog to even a socially adept dog can take time, and even more so with a puppy. Puppies are PITAS.
To be honest, I am concerned about the fact they are both female and would be vigilant about behaviour when the pup comes to sexual maturity. This may not be a problem but I just thought I'd mention it and to agree that it is important that the dogs relationships be pretty solid by then.

My recommendation is to get in a a good trainer (someone well versed in body language and dog communication) and who uses positive methods (which is my preference) to help you assess what Abby's behaviour truly is saying and to assist in setting up a program to help the integration go along well and troubleshoot if issues come up later.
Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
Barked: Fri Jan 8, '10 5:53am PST 
Sanka acted a little bit the same when I brought home my puppy. He wanted nothing to do with the pup and would run away when the puppy would come near. One time, I was giving Sanka a treat and the puppy just walked by. Sanka spat the treat out of his mouth and quickly walked away. Sanka is very food motivated, but would not take any food from me when the pup was around...and since the puppy was, well, a puppy, he stuck next to my side a majority of the time, so Sanka stayed his distance from me too.cry

But I never forced him to do anything. If he wanted to walk away, I let him. If he wanted to run, I let him. I never dragged him over to meet the pup. I never brought the pup over to him. I just let him go at his own pace. Eventually he warmed up to the pup and realized he wasn't so bad. I just woke up one morning to find them asleep laying right next to each other. It was such an awesome feeling.

Sanka still had a dislike to the pup, but was ok with him being near him. So, I started taking them on walks together, and that really helped. Sanka didn't even care that the pup was near him, he just kept walking like a good boy.

It's now been 8-9 months since I brought the pup home, and the dogs will actually sleep together all bundled up sometimes. Sanka doesn't love the pup. He could care less about the pup being there. But he has warmed up to him. Sanka is also not a playful dog. But sometimes the puppy will tease him and actually get Sanka to playfully chase him...he chases him for a whopping 5 seconds and then quits, but it's still something that I've never been able to get him to do. So I say give it time.


is it dinner- time yet?
Barked: Fri Jan 8, '10 6:51am PST 
I'm almost positive Lucy is part Great Pyr and she difintely has her Pyr moments. Somethings you mentioned can be attributed to breed, like the solitude part. Lucy definitely loves attention, but if she's not getting it, she'd rather be off in another room by herself watching out he window.
Pyrs are family dogs. They love familys , just not being the center of attention.
Pyrs are also known for being debbie-downers, especially if kept inside. Many pyrs would prefer to sit in the back yard and watch the day go by than be cooped up inside. Maybe she needs more outside time?
My neighbor has a Kuvasz (hungarian Pyr) and they actually keep it in a kennel outside during the day, during the summer. She's quite content, as i can tell by the big smile on her face as she's watching all the wildlife.
lastly, your dog is a rescue, so who knows what really happened in her previous life. Getting that second dog so hastely may not have helped, but you can use it as a positive. Keep doing the walks together and don't force them to love eachother. the respect wil come gradually.

Barked: Fri Jan 8, '10 7:47am PST 
For some reason I can see my original post and it says it has 4 responses but I can't see them. Uggh!!!!

Barked: Fri Jan 8, '10 8:03am PST 
Finally I see the responses. Thanks so much for the help. I know much of it can be from her being a Pyr and also a shelter dog. As for the shelter dog, they suspect she was someones pet since she walked easily on a leash, was easy to train to sit, and was completely housebroken. The vet suspects she is full blooded too. Oh and the shelter only had her the minimal amt of time that they allow for the original owners to find her. As for breed, I love her that I am more than okay with her aloofness as long as she is okay with us having a more playful dog so that we can have both. LOL. As I type this the big galoot is sitting next to me and happy with no interaction but just nearness. As for being outside enough, this is an issue. We do have a fenced in yard but she always escapes and it is so difficult to get her back. The only time we can let her off leash in the yard is when we have at least an hour to watch her closely, then spend lots of time to catch her, and finally bathe her because she always needs it afterwards. Right now it is too cold outside for us to do this. However we do have a long lanyard attached between two trees that gives her plenty of room to be outside safely. She seems to enjoy it but I worry that it is no better than chaining a dog outside. We usually put her on it at least once every other day for a few hours. I haven't really done it since the puppy because I thought she might think she is being punished to the yard while pups was inside. Should I go back to it? Btw, she gets plenty of short walks each day. Sometimes they are potty walks but we add in a few runs down the long drive and thru the front yard too. (moreso since pups is here.)

Oh and the pup is only 10 weeks old and very small so I am not yet worried about her hurting Abs but want them well socialized so that they won't hurt each other at any point.

I can't seem to find a trainer that works with issues beyond basics and typical "trick" training. I will keep looking though. We did sign up Lola for beginner training and I was hoping to sign Abbey up when her age class is available but she is considered beginner too.
Pippin CGC

King- Dingleberry!
Barked: Fri Jan 8, '10 10:51am PST 
You have a pretty typical Pyr...They are not social dogs & are too serious to play too much with other dogs...They can often be other dog aggressive especially towards the same sex so you'll want to keep an eye on that...Here is a link with a lot of good info. on it.
Great Pyrenees Library

Edited by author Fri Jan 8, '10 10:55am PST


is it dinner- time yet?
Barked: Sat Jan 9, '10 6:16am PST 
You know what they call a Pyr off-leash right? GONE! lol

They are known roamers, so having them tethered up is a must. Even in a fenced in yard. Apparently thats how Lucy ended up at the pound, she would jump fences and the city would end up picking her up. We even have a fenced in yard and I still keep her tethered. She has yet to jump the fence but she has forced the latch open once when I was in the garage.

I definitely would recommend some outside time. It may lift her spirits smile
Addy, CGC

Let's go for a- walk!
Barked: Sat Jan 9, '10 8:29am PST 
However we do have a long lanyard attached between two trees that gives her plenty of room to be outside safely. She seems to enjoy it but I worry that it is no better than chaining a dog outside. We usually put her on it at least once every other day for a few hours. I haven't really done it since the puppy because I thought she might think she is being punished to the yard while pups was inside. Should I go back to it?

I just want to point out two things about putting her out on the lanyard:

1. You say she seems to enjoy it.

2. You haven't done it since the puppy arrived.

She probably does think she's being punished, or at least, that the puppy has killed one of her pleasures.

Yes, definitely go back to it.

I and my sister both in the past have had dogs that loved to spend time in the yard whether there were people out there with them or not, and when they wanted to come in, they'd come knock on the door with their tails. Other dogs, no, they don't want to be outside on their own--both Addy and my sister's current dog have no desire to be outside alone.

Your Pyr is not very social, which is normal for Pyrs, and may really be missing that outside time.

Member Since
Barked: Sat Jan 9, '10 8:59am PST 
totally OT but this is a quote I found on the pry library one of the posters recomended: "As a correction exercise, when the dog has been bad, bring him to the scene of his crime, doesn't matter how long ago it was, point at the evidence, growl at him and slap him under his jaw, then put him on a long down in a place where you can silently glare at him occasionally. Release him without fanfare after he has served his time." this just confuses me shrug all the people I've ever spoken too and all the books I've read say that this is an old fashioned way of training , that it won't work , that the dog won't understand and that it will just make him fearful/agresive towards you. and now the webiste says to use it shrug from what ypu've said about prys , I have the impression that they are large dogs that while friendly are also independant and won't tolerate any type of abuse or punishment without reason. And I can't help thinking a pry or any mildly dominant/agresive dog would not take kindly to being slapped on his muzzle and growled at for no apparent reason the dog can see. In fact , I know 2 dogs (one of them a lab) that would probably bite their owners if they did this. I wonder if they should really recomend this on that website? or is this method of punishment used more often than I thought it was? for the record , I'm not a trainer , nor do I know very much about dog training other than the basics and I'm not trying toi make assumptions here. I'm honestly curious as to why they would recomend this outdated method of punishment.
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