Great Pyrenees puppy is aloof and anxious :(

Got a new, young, furry love in your life? This is the place for you to ask all of your questions-big or small! Just remember that you are receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a vet or behaviorist! Most important is to remember to have fun with your new fur baby.

(Page 1 of 2: Viewing entries 1 to 10)  
Page Links: 1  2  
Ramona- "Mona"

Barked: Mon Feb 20, '12 11:10am PST 
Hi there! I am so glad I found this website as so far I have seen some intelligent feedback on the forum!

Let me preface my post by noting that I have only had Mona for three days, so I know that alot of what i am concerned about may disappear as she becomes acclimated. But, here's the story.

I have always wanted a Great Pyrenees. I have always wanted a giant, cuddly, calm, gentle giant--and I am sure that that is what I WILL have. My boyfriend surprised me with said "dream puppy" Friday, whom he found at an AKC breeder. He chose her because she was the most interested in him and stayed near him as he checked out the farm and the other puppies. From the moment she left her home however she has been...stressed.

She "nervous drooled" and whimpered the whole way home and on every subsequent car trip, and has been relatively aloof since she came to our house. She is cuddly and sweet, but you have to ask her to be. If I approach her she barely musters a tail wag, and prefers to spend 18 hours of the day in the kitchen, sprawled out on the floor, while we are in the other room. Our first walk was not a dream come true; she balked and fought the leash the whole time, whimpering and whining quite stubbornly. It didn't matter that she thinks we are "OK" and the "OK" people were walking with her--she really wanted none of it. I have never quite seen anything like this. She also has something of a deaf ear to her name, and does not come to you if you call her throughout the house--no matter how much enthusiasm you muster.

I think a couple things could be happening here, but I want to here what others think, epecially those who have Pyr experience! I think that she is a) missing her family. She is 12 weeks and had been living in a PASTURE with her mother, her sisters, a goat and a pig until Friday; I'm sure at least part of this is her confusion over suddenly being a "house dog". I also think that b)she is just not too familiar with people in general, let alone her new human roommates. What scares me most however is the fear that c) perhaps she IS just that independent and aloof. I know that Pyr's can be fiercely independent, but that this can be conditioned out of pet (non-working) Pyr's. I guess I am afraid that I might have picked a true flock-guardian Pyr, who will never want to be my shadow and companion. frown I know it's too soon to tell, I know it is, but it's just very..different. I have never had a puppy who wanted so little to do with human beings. Does anyone have experience with a stressed or aloof puppy, or, better yet, a Pyr?


Barked: Mon Feb 20, '12 11:55am PST 
Great Pyrenees ARE aloof digs; if she us happy to share affection when you encourage it, you're good to go.

It's been only a few days and she's had a lot of change in her life. Concentrate on making each new experience positive, and don't overwhelm her.

Leash walking is a skill a dog needs to learn, not something every puppy does naturally. You start by letting the puppy drag the leash around a bit inside, and letting the puppy lead you (in a safe area) outside, and gradually start using the leash to guide the pup, using treats and praise.

Good luck! With patience and time, you'll be fine.

it's a big, big- world out there!
Barked: Mon Feb 20, '12 12:50pm PST 
I agree with Dora - it may be just too soon. And the walk isn't a good judgement because like Dora said - this is a learned behavior, not natural. Dogs in the wild don't have leashes attached LOL

But hopefully some people with this breed can lend some advice smile

Is she food motivated? Could you try playing some fun games? When she does have some energy and is attentive try playing name games with her with you and your boyfriend. Sit at opposite sides of the room and one of you call her, give her a treat or toy, then the other one call her give her a treat. Repeat. Make it fun.

Remember she will have a short, short attention span.

Pups do sleep a lot and spend a lot of time in their beds (or kitchen). Grace sleeps about 20 hours total - up for short bursts. I know as she gets older this sleep time will get less.

And since Great Pyr's are normally "working dogs" she might end up being bored and wanting a job. This could be simple stuff she can help you with around the house.

But I'm not experienced with that breed... hopefully someone who is will chime in smile


I love sitting- in laps
Barked: Mon Feb 20, '12 8:49pm PST 
I've got no experience with a Pyrenees, but I do have current experience with bringing a 13 week old puppy home.

For the first 2 weeks I thought maybe Moose was deaf, because no matter how much I worked on name recognition, he just wouldn't acknowledge "Moose".
He finally caught on to it, but it took time and patience. He is a puppy whose world got turned upside down and acknowledging the word "Moose" was not high on his list of things that interested him.

I've had Moose 1 month and 1 week. It took up until last week to get somewhat of a consistent walk out of him.
He didn't mind the leash, he just didn't want to walk. Which was frustrating as all get out for me. But, time and patience is paying off and we're getting around the neighborhood pretty quickly now.

Your puppy's world has been turned upside down and I'm not surprised your pup is acting the way he is.
Give it time. Puppies don't automatically love their new people. They have to get to know them, trust them and understand a daily routine.
Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
Barked: Tue Feb 21, '12 4:27am PST 
I agree with Moose on this, BUT... I also would like to point out that aloof with people is part of the Pyr, and is even written in their breed standard.
They are not and never were bred to be social butterflies and couch potatoes, they are bred to protect the flock out in the fields on their own. When we start interferring with these basic genetic temperament traits it is NOT the dog's fault when it doesn't turn out as expected.

Barked: Tue Feb 21, '12 5:13am PST 
"They are not and never were bred to be social butterflies and couch potatoes, they are bred to protect the flock out in the fields on their own. When we start interferring with these basic genetic temperament traits it is NOT the dog's fault when it doesn't turn out as expected."

Nailed it.

Additionally, I am somewhat concerned that you addressed the breeder in reference to AKC paperwork. I do hope. I do hope that wasn't the basis for choosing a breeder. Anyone can acquire AKC paperwork for dogs they breed. That is not a testament to quality. It doesn't ensure against generic health problems, instinct/abilities or temperament. The sickest bred pups with the most ill tempered unstable parents can have papers.

With an aloof/guardian type breed I do hope the parents are rock solid dogs.

And I do wish the breeder would have explained to you that this breed is not one thar appreciates living indoors. Not only has he lived his first four months of life outdoors living as he was intended to live, but just his coat in general is likely to make him too hot to enjoy 70+ degree indoor temps. I've never met a Pyr. that liked being in, even on the coldest of days. They are primarily outdoor working stock guardians who typically wont enjoy living the life of a house/neighborhood dog.

It's soooo important breeders educate and properly screen homes. Unfortunately this is NOT a breed that's just going to come around in a few weeks. Or at least it's not likely anyway.

I'm sorry I don't have better answers for you. I really don't think this breed of dog is going to be what you were hoping for frown

Basset Hound- with a Flatty- suit on
Barked: Tue Feb 21, '12 5:30am PST 
What everyone else said.

None of the Pyrs I've met have been shadow dogs.
And it really sounds like you need to cool down your dog. Kitchen floors are a popular spot for hot dogs!

Oh, and do mind what Trigger said about breeders. It's good info.
Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Tue Feb 21, '12 8:14am PST 
How many puppies were left when you took her? It may be not exactly what you want to hear, but if a good percentage of her litter had already been homed, that could be half your answer right there....the extroverts and more confident puppies are usually the first to go.

The advice you have gotten is good. It's early days yet. Don't push. Try your best to let her initiate and figure things out. She will come around.

In the ideal world, we have fenced yards and our puppies get to drag their leashes around for a little while, then we apply a very brief pressure contact while we call them excitedly to us...just a little tug so they feel the pressure for a second in a direction where they are headed anyway wink That's helps them learn what leash contact is about. It's a very normal response to pull back on what is pulling you forward. She doesn't know what a leash is yet, so be patient, and offer her slack in the lead as much as you can, let her lead when possible and follow etc. Remember that she doesn't understand what a leash IS, so "stubborn" may be simply showing a natural resistance rather than being uncooperative.

Yes, switching to a new home can be a stress to some puppies. Sometimes laying back a bit, though, is a right answer, just so they can settle in their own heads and figure everything out. Let her come to YOU and figure out what you are about. She will. A twelve week old puppy is ingratiating and wants to find allegiances.

One word you used was "cuddly," which does concern me, as that is off the mark. Pyrs are not notorious for being cuddly. Indeed, they are not even a very emotive dog. Seeming "ponderous" is often a breed trait. They can be silly, they can be naughty....they are still dogs wink....and of course are loyal to the core, but are an independent, responsible dog, bred to very much work on their own. Rather than cuddling on the bed, it is a fairly common Pyr instinct to sleep with their back against the door....that is guarding behavior, to be where there will be the first to know if danger enters the room. Something like a Newf is far more expressive and tactile. You need to get to know her as well as she get to know you. They are marvelous, highly intelligent, composed dogs with a lot of wisdom and insight. A fascination for sure, so getting to know the she who she is, rather than what you'd wish her to be, is a great place to start.

I highlly, HIGHY recommend getting a copy of "The New Complete Great Pyreness," written by breed authority Paul Strang, who has known the dogs in their homeland as well as in his livingroom and is a superb breed historian. It is a marvelous read and he does a great job at peering into the soul of the Pyr and imparting a lot of understanding into their characters. One my top five of greatest breed texts ever written....pick it up, and you will understand Pyr character and motivation better in no time, and likely fall in love what the dog that the Pyr truly is way to go

Member Since
Barked: Tue Feb 21, '12 11:40am PST 
I have a great pyr. Like everyone said. She is not, nor ever will be the most obediant of dogs. She is very well trained by me, and is a therapy dog. But it took a LOOOOOONG time to get her there.She was a rescue at 1yr. Had been neglected and abused, but wanted to please. She is lazy, barky, drooly, did I mention lazy? Oh and shed NONSTOP. Hope you like to groom your dog and use the vacuum. You will never again be with out white hair on your clothes, food, hair, face, furniture, etc.
But that said, she is the most amazing dog I have ever been so lucky to love. It took a LOOOOOONG time to teach her "Come". And they really should never be let off leash. They may not come back. But you MUST do training and as much socialization at this age and for the rest of her life as POSSIBLE. They are not something you want to think ITS the boss. 150lbs of uncontrolled dog is a danger to YOU and other people. So lots of training. But go slow. They don't like to be rushed or pushed. They can be very sensitive and need LOTS of positive reinforcement.


I have just met- you and I love- you
Barked: Tue Feb 21, '12 12:15pm PST 
I think it is pretty normal for her to be aloof for a few days. I have an Anatolian/Pyr/Akbash mix and she was a little bit similar to that when I first got her. Not super stressed but not super social either. Just wanted to sleep. wink Just give her time. Mine has turned into a very happy, social dog. Just give her time and offer her treats when she come close to you.

Pyrs are not the most social/obedient dogs either, so she should improve but there is no guarantee that she will be like a labrador or something.
  (Page 1 of 2: Viewing entries 1 to 10)  
Page Links: 1  2