Author Topic: Are we too late?  (Read 14115 times)

Offline cincbcat

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Are we too late?
« on: September 08, 2005, 06:30:16 am »
First time poster here!  We have a Pyr named Sadie, she's 5 1/2 months old, and honestly she is hard to handle for both my husband and I.  We brought her home at 8 weeks from the breeder, and I think we were expecting her to be different than she is.  I take full responsibility for not knowing everything about how to raise any dog, let alone a Pyr.  But that doesn't mean I haven't tried!  She is constantly underfoot, sticking her face in every part of our bodies, digging in every trash can in the house, trying to eat our cat, chewing up her blankets, and every time we let her out in the backyard, she immediately finds wood to chew on.  And she doesn't just chew on it, she actually eats it if we're not watching her every move.  Ok, I honestly do love this dog, she is absolutely beautiful and sweet, but she doesn't seem to learn anything!  She knows sit, shake and lay down, without having any obedience training (which I regret now).  Is it too late to do something about this behavior, or is this...normal?  She reacts equally to both my husband and I.  We share the responsibiliti es of feeding, watering, potty time and walking.  My husband has only ever owned Labs, and he's super frustrated!  I keep telling him, "she's not a lab"...but I think he's more frustrated just with the fact that he doesn't think she even acts like a dog (i.e., she practices "selective deafness", does whatever she wants).  I really want to make this work, and if anyone out there wants to reprimand me for having done something wrong, I'll take it!  I just want her to be a part of our family, without all the frustration that we feel right now.  Thanks for any advice!
Rachel

Offline SwissysRock

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Re: Are we too late?
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2005, 06:39:42 am »
It's totally NOT too late for training.  We didn't take Riley until he was 4 months old.  I haven't owned any Pyrs, but if they are like most other dogs, Sadie is just being a puppy.   All the big dogs are always "in the way"  meaning under your every move just cause they are soooo big.  I definitely recommend taking her to an obedience training class and use lots of treats for praise.  She will definitely learn!  Not sure what to say about the wood chewing.  Riley will try to chew on anything he finds outside, you just have to keep your eyes on them.  He even tries to eat rocks!  Don't give up!!!  :)
Tina
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GYPSY JAZMINE

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Re: Are we too late?
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2005, 07:15:28 am »
Pyrs are dogs that have been bred to think independently. ..They are livestock gaurdians & needed to make descisions on their own when the shepard was away sometimes for 2 or 3 days...As you are finding out, Pyrs are not obedience based dogs...They know what you want them to do but they actually think about the command 1st & decide it there is a reason for it...If there's not they will no comply...Have no doubt they are extremely intelligent dogs!....I strongly reccomend obedience classes!...It is not too late!...Samson didn't take his 1st classes until he was exactly your dogs age & Pippin won't start until the 2nd of this month...He will be 7 months old then....Are you using treats as a reward for her complying with your commands?...If not start it...Immediatl y upon doing what you ask offer the treat...Eventu ally you can phase this out....Also, praise lavishly when a command is obeyed...Neith er of my dogs are 100% compliant...no t even close but I expect that from the breed & I enjoy their independant nature...As far as the garbage cans go, simply put them where the dog can't get at them...My kitchen garbage sits right in my front entry way across the baby gate boundery from the kitchen...Prob lem solved...Chewi ng on her blanket?...Remove the blanket...Prob lem solved...Pyr carry their own bedding...It's that big beautiful coat they have...No need for blankets...Wit h cat chasing try to keep a squirt bottle handy & when you see the dog is even thinking bout chasing the cat give a good squirt between the eyes & scold harsly...Consi stancy will pay off there...I promise...I have 8 house cats with little problems...The wood chewing...Try the squirt gun here too & try to keep branches & what not picked up to discourage this...Samson ate wood too...I did what I could but he still ate some & we never had any problems...Las t but NOT AT ALL least...PLEASE remember that, even though she is big, she is just a puppy still...Some of this she will grow out of....Giant Breed dogs don't mature fully mentally or physically until the age of 3...Samson turned 1 in July & is already becoming the picture of grace & serenity that can be expected from the breed as adults...I too remember thinking "I can't imagine him ever being like that" & now he is well on his way & I miss his puppy ways SO badly already!...Hang in there...It WILL get better!...B.t.w., tell your hubby that she' not a dog..She's a Pyr! ;D Anyone know of any good Pyr reading for this frustrated Pyr mommy?...I am drawing a blank right now. :-\ Lastly, no need to worry about being reprimanded... Yesterday can't be undone...We can only learn from our mistakes & move ahead. :)

GR8DAME

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Re: Are we too late?
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2005, 07:17:40 am »
I don't have a pyr but...IMHO It's never too late for training, but pyrs are a different breed, and react differently because they were bred for independent thinking. We have alot of pyr parents here that can give you more info than I could.
We have a 9 month old dane/wolfhound mix that LOVES sticks...He can spend hours outside gnawing on wood, and I'm sure he has ingested some at some point. We just take it away if he is getting too intense.
Our garbage is a galvanized steel container with a lock-tight lid because he and my dane will garbage raid, and that has taken care of that problem. All three of my dogs had/have destructive tendencies, especially when young. Take the object that she is not supposed to chew out of her mouth and replace it with one of her toys that she can chew. If she is eating her blankets at night when you are asleep, provide her with a kong filled with peanut butter or CheeseWhiz (My pup's favorite) that is frozen. When they have something that good to work over they concintrate on it and not their bedding for the most part. Most of us here can understand the under-foot thing, as big paws seem to have been genetically composed of velcro. They are soooo afraid that they are going to miss something if they are not attached to your hip. Once you have some obedience training under her belt you may be able to give her the down/stay command and keep her there for a bit while you can be free, but in my house it's a fleeting thing. I just got used to getting things done with furry appendages. Good luck, and I hope some of this was helpful for you.
Stella

« Last Edit: September 08, 2005, 07:21:03 am by GR8DAME »

GR8DAME

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Re: Are we too late?
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2005, 07:20:14 am »
We must have been posting at the same time, Gyps. As usual you are so awesome.
Stella

Offline DixieSugarBear

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Re: Are we too late?
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2005, 07:24:37 am »
She is constantly underfoot, sticking her face in every part of our bodies, digging in every trash can in the house, trying to eat our cat, chewing up her blankets, and every time we let her out in the backyard, she immediately finds wood to chew on.  And she doesn't just chew on it, she actually eats it if we're not watching her every move.  


  I keep telling him, "she's not a lab"...but I think he's more frustrated just with the fact that he doesn't think she even acts like a dog (i.e., she practices "selective deafness", does whatever she wants).  Rachel

Hi Rachel,  welcome to the world of Pyrs.  Great Pyrenees are very special which is why most of us can not ever have just one. She will never act like a lot of other dogs, she is a Great Pyrenees.  If you are able to love what is special about a Great Pyrenees, her soul will touch you in a way that will change your life.  I have been bless to love three Pyrs.  I will never have a house with out a Pry for me that would not be a home. 

She is still a baby at 5 1/2 months.  She is learning from everyting you do and don't do that is why trainning is so important.  Have you read alpha boot camp?  I will try to find the link.  It is best to read everything you can find on Great Pyrenees.

As for a few  of the things she is doing:

"constantly underfoot" - she loves you and is a baby that wants to be with Mommy and Daddy.  I take my two to work with me and have to make sure I do not roll my chair the wrong way or I will roll over them.  Just remember she is still just a baby.

"sticking her face in every part of our bodies" - again she loves you and this is one of her ways to be close.  After all she and her litter mates spent a lot of time smelling of each others parts.  When you tell he 'NO" make sure you have a toy to give her close so that you can tell he r"good girl" when she is doing the things you want her to do.

"digging in every trash can in the house" Petsmart has a mousetrap looking thing that can be used to stop them from going in the trash.  Once you teach her "leave it" you can use that when she goes into the trash. 

"finds wood to chew on"  ok I am going to get sappy here.... Rosie the Pyr I lost last year loved to chew on wood.  Everytime my husband would build something she would wait for a scraps of wood to be her treasures. We even made her grave marker out of wood since she loved it.  We added her treasures to he grave which included some of her wood, toys, treats, and blankets.  As far as how to stop this as you can see after 9 1/2 year we did not. I am so so happy when I find something she chewed on.  But this sappy crying I am doing is not helping you, sorry.   :'(   Is she chewing on the deck?  If she does not eat it you could give her a block of wood as her toay.  If she does eat it spray a little bitter apple or hot pepper sauce on the area she chews.  The leave it command is great if you are around when she is doing it.  It may help to make sure she has toys outside to play with.

"chewing up her blankets" Sugar Bear (14 months) had one blanket that lasted him 8 months before we got Dixie (8 months).  Dixie has chewed up so many that I purchased a chewproof dog bed cover. Then I filled it with stuffing and the old blankets. 

"cats" ?????????????? I sorry I don't have cats, so I don't know about this one.


 "selective deafness" This one is so a Pyr thing.  The Great Pyrenees is a very independent breed which is vital when they are working dogs.

There is some great information on this site.  http://www.sonic.net/~cdlcruz/GPCC/library.htm#behavior


Hope this has helped, good luck with your baby.
Lisa
Lisa, owned by the following:
Sugar Bear - Great Pyrenees 4.5 yr.
Dixie Darlin - Great Pyrenees 4 yr.
Penny Lane - Great Pyrenees 2.5 yr.
Beauman - Great Pyrenees 14 months
Izzy - Great Pyrenees 14 month
Rosie - Great Pyrenees (at the bridge)

GYPSY JAZMINE

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Re: Are we too late?
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2005, 07:24:47 am »
We must have been posting at the same time, Gyps. As usual you are so awesome.
Stella
Awesome is a very strong word :)...I just have a strong desire to keep my sanity around this zoo...lol...so I do alot of research & listen closely to those who know what the h*ll is really going on!! ;D

Offline Moni

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Re: Are we too late?
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2005, 07:34:24 am »
Nope it is definitely not too late to start training.  I'm glad that more people are starting with puppy classes for the little ones, but that wasn't always the norm.  Before the late 90's almost everyone didn't start their dog's obedience training until it was around 6 months old or older!

If you want to start working on Sadie before classes start, here's a good mantra that works for almost every "misbehaving" situation. 

Interupt, Redirect & Praise....

Dogs find it hard to learn in negatives.  Meaning, they don't really understand what you DON'T want them to do.  Teach them instead what you DO want them to do.  For example, you say that Sadie is trying to eat the cat.  When you see her going after the cat, interupt her with a sound.  I happen to say "AHT!", not yelling but sternly.  Try not to use "no" too often, because then we start to just use it for everything.  lol

After you've gotten Sadies attention, call her over to you and ask her to sit or laydown.  Once she does, you reward her for the sit or down.  The main thing is to focus on what you want her to do and reward that.  :)

I've never had a Pyr, but from what I've heard they can be a bit stubborn, so make sure that whatever you decide remains consistent.  Sadie will figure it out soon enough, just stick to it.  Remember, most dogs that are rehomed or gotten rid of are between 6 months and 2yrs old.  The adolescent stage is difficult, but its worth the work to have a loving companion at the end of it!  ;D  Best of luck to you, and let us know how her classes go!
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Offline Astrids mom

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Re: Are we too late?
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2005, 07:42:52 am »
Hi Cincbcat,

I am a new puppy owner myself I have a Newfoundland that will be 14 weeks this monday. She is a sweet baby girl but also exhibits selective hearing at times. I know how frustrating that can be but I have done some reading and from what I have read just like kids they go through a rebellion stage. I really dont think you are to late to start an obediance class you would both benefit from a basic obediance class and she sounds like she is pretty smart. Trust me I still think sometimes what did I get myself into and it seems there is no end in sight. I think a lot of it is that I have never had a puppy that I raised on my own and there are many ups and downs. Good thing the "ups" make it all worth it. From what you explain it sounds a lot like my house Astrid (thats my puppy) is into everything the second you look away she eats anything and everything so I have done my best to puppy proof but they are smart little buggers mine chewed the plastic bolt off of the toilet seat when I thought she was just having a nap in the bathroom (quiet as a mouse). Well I am certainly no expert but I just want you to know that her behavier can be corrected but it will take some time and patience. I also dont think anything she is doing is abnormal of any puppy they can really test your patience. When Astrid has me on my last thread I look at her and think aww she just wants my love even though she is acting like a "little" spaz! Im sure you will get tons of advise from people on this board I did. Just hang in there just as everyone told me it will get better. I hate to even admit it but at one point I thought maybe this is just way to much for me and I should return her as I went through my fare share of sleepless nights well needless to say I was thinking out of exhaustion and my baby is not going anywhere. Im sure you may of read some books but my puppy bible is called puppys for dummies and I have found it very informative it walks you through all the phases and gives you a good idea of what to expect and how to handle those really tough times. Good Luck!!

Offline AC

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Re: Are we too late?
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2005, 07:48:52 am »
As a first time big dog owner myself I can see where your fustration is coming from. I have a 4 mth old male newf, Angus, who is growing up in an extremely busy household, my 3 children ages 6, 4 and 4mths, my sister and her 2 year old daughter and a border who has a 1½ month old son!! Adding Angus to the family was not the easiest thing to do, and the stress was evident in our house. But we are managing to do it. The biggest stumbling block is realizing Angus is just a puppy (he is getting so big so fast it is easy to forget). Angus to has selective hearing and has quickly learned the basic commands but does not always comply, he is learning his place in our household slowly but surely. Persistance and patience are paying off for us (and lots of baby gates). He loves chewing wood too and I have a lot of scap wood so I let him chew that and he seems to know what wood he can and cannot chew now (though he likes to forget now and then). We provide him with lots of toys inside the house and always make sure they are avalable for him if he decides to chew up something else. We always have small treats in our pockets and reward him whenever he does something we want him to do. When he is inside he likes sitting and lying on everyones feet and tries to sneak in a lick to the face whenever he can. Most of the time he has a 6 foot leash on inside so we can quickly grab that and get his attention. Oh there is so much we had to learn and still have to learn and everyday we remind ourselves "he is just a puppy". With BPO always standing behind us we can get through any problems we have.

GYPSY JAZMINE

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Re: Are we too late?
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2005, 07:56:10 am »
Hi Cincbcat,
 Just hang in there just as everyone told me it will get better. I hate to even admit it but at one point I thought maybe this is just way to much for me and I should return her as I went through my fare share of sleepless nights well needless to say I was thinking out of exhaustion
I hear that!!!...Samson was my 1st dog...I can't count the number of times I sat in tears at the end of the day & told him "tomorrow you are going back to the breeder's"!!...Of coarse after a good nights sleep it was always, "we're gonna get through this together baby"! :)

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Re: Are we too late?
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2005, 08:11:44 am »
I have a six month old pyr. We are starting training classes this month, so it's not to late. Kiah does have selective hearing. She likes to chew on wood which I try to stop and give her toys to chew on outside. I have three cats that Kiah loves to chase. Two of my cats like to play with her. When it does get out of control then the squirt bottle works wonders. I feel blessed because Kiah hasn't gotten into the garbage or hasn't chewed on anything she wasn't suppose to except a mcdonalds happy meal toy. I think that was only because it smelled like a cheese burger. I love my pyr and would get another in a second. Pyrs are different then other breeds. They have been refered to "as cat like". That is so true. Very independent creatures. Is she crate trained? 

Offline PupDaddy

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Re: Are we too late?
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2005, 09:06:56 am »
Hi from PupDaddy, father to 5 pyrs, or pyr mixs:
Earl 3 years
Kendra 10 months
and fosters:
Fluffy 4 months
Deuce 3 months
Donut 2 months

I didn't read everything everyone posted here, but I'm sure it's all good advice, since I taught them all everything they know!


GYPSY JAZMINE

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Re: Are we too late?
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2005, 09:09:41 am »
Hi from PupDaddy, father to 5 pyrs, or pyr mixs:
Earl 3 years
Kendra 10 months
and fosters:
Fluffy 4 months
Deuce 3 months
Donut 2 months

I didn't read everything everyone posted here, but I'm sure it's all good advice, since I taught them all everything they know!


You are a riot! :P :D

Offline sobe

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Re: Are we too late?
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2005, 09:19:43 am »
Moose is a Newfie/Great Pyr cross so I have the best of both worlds, lol.  This morning I woke up to one of the pillows being totally destroyed and Moose sitting in the middle of the fluff grinning at me . Most of my quilts now have holes in them so once winter sets in I'll have to repair them .  While it's frustrating , I try and see it as 'puppy' phase and try to remove temptation as much as I can . One of the problems that is temporary is that we are fostering a momma cat with babies right now and they are in our bedroom so the door is closed all the time, which means Moose and Fwirly are out in the rest of the house by themselves ( well , our son the sleeping teen is out there too ) so Moose is having a field day. Each morning I check and see if the couch is still in one piece and count myself lucky when it is. In another month the fosters will be gone and life can get back to normal.
With all these little frustrations, the huge amount of love radiating from our Moose is worth every piece of fluff I find each morning.  He's unlike any other dog we've ever had and he makes me laugh, he's my best friend, my snuggle buddy, my baby , and also my serenity checker, lol.

btw, my garbage is up high so Moose can't reach it, even the cats are learning to play with their cat toys high up on their perches for if they reach the ground Moose eats it.