Shy Pyr


Mosley - guarding from- the leather- couch
Barked: Sun Oct 7, '07 8:24am PST 
Hello everyone! We are new, both to the website and as pyr owners. Mosley is 9 months old and a wonderful dog. He is EXTREMELY shy around new people, especially at our house. He is okay at the vet and dog park and on walks, but if someone tries to touch him, he panics. He completed beginner obedience school a month ago and would let the instructor touch him (that took 3 weeks). I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions to help him. The basic problem is he was 4 months old when we got him and was in a barn with 300 goats. He was outgoing there and let us pet him (so there was no indication he was shy), but when we got him home he was terrified of everything. Poor baby. I will wrap this up now, but I was just wondering if anyone had any advice? Thanks wink
Jack, CGC

It's hot out- here, can we go- inside?
Barked: Fri Oct 12, '07 9:19am PST 
I previously posted the info below regarding a dog who had a fear of men. You could use the same technique for any strangers or anyone who Mosley is shy around. The basic idea is about posturing and appearing non-threatening to the dog.

One of my in-laws' great danes was afraid of men and we worked on her issue with my husband and made great progress by using the following technique. First you just have the person offer treats from a distance without talking to, or making eye contact with the dog at all. Just have them walk by the dog (a few feet away) and gently toss the treat in the dogs direction. Once the dog starts accepting the treats you can lessen the distance. Then when the dog seems comfortable with that, you have the person sit on the floor with their back to the dog and you place a treat on the floor behind the person and encourage the dog to come get the treat. (Being on the dogs level and with your back toward them is a very non-threatening posture in the dog world.) The next step is to have the person offer the treat in their hand (still behind his back while sitting on the floor). This one might take some patience and an irresistable smelling treat, but it's worth the wait! After the dog is comfortable with that step, you can have them slowly start turning around (turn a little - offer treat - turn more - another treat, etc) until they are facing the dog (still sitting, no eye contact or talking to the dog). Then they can slowly start to get up, first on their knees, then squatting, then bending, etc. until the dog is ok with taking treats from them in a standing position.

This sounds like a lot of work and depending on the dog's level of anxiety, this process could take an hour or a month. With the dane we worked with, who always avoided men and would cower or growl when they came near, it amazingly only took about an hour to get from total fear to her willingly taking treats from my husband. The rest of the afternoon she even approached my husband a few times and allowed him to pet her. Now when we see her she is fine with him, and is much better with men in general, even though, obviously, every man she encounters doesn't go through this whole process.

Also, in general, with skittish or timid dogs it's best to bend down when paying attention to them, and to pet them under the chin or on the chest rather than reaching over their heads to pet the top of their head or scratch their ears. Approaching from the bottom rather than over the top of them is much less threatening. Also whenever you see her tail between her legs gently pull it out. For many dogs the tail is like a "switch" and changing it's position can help to accomplish the behavioral/mental goal you're trying to attain.

I hope this is helpful!

Mosley - guarding from- the leather- couch
Barked: Mon Oct 15, '07 4:18pm PST 
Thanks for the suggestions -- we will try it as soon as we have company over!!


A pyr off leash- is a dyspyr
Barked: Fri Nov 16, '07 8:17pm PST 
Mosely is a gorgeous pup. I emailed you with the names of 2 sites where you may be able to get additional help. Pyrs can be naturally aloof anyway and since it sounds like Mosely didn't get much socialization early on he will just need a lot of patience and encouragement with new situations.

These are great dogs and I wish you the best. Sam & pippins mom Chelle will be popping in and she is great with training pyrs.
Savannah Joy- -CGC

I can't wait for- Snow!
Barked: Sun Dec 2, '07 8:29pm PST 
Awww....Mosely and Hopkins are beautiful! Good suggestions so far from everybody.....I would also take more obedience classes and just take him anywhere and everywhere you can. Keep treats with you to hand to people to give him. I am a dog groomer and have never encountered a shy Pyr , so hearing about shy Pyr's is a shock to me. I do know alot about Berner's so i'm assuming she is the typical happy go - lucky type? Maybe that will help him by seeing she is not afraid of people?
Good Luck!