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Old May 20th, 2011, 03:11 PM
Harper41 Harper41 is offline
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Question Aggressive Acting 2 year old Male Great Pyrenees

We have a Great Pyrenees that has shown some aggression with bones in the past. My wife and I also have a Golden and Yellow Lab that are both 10 years old and our 2 year old Male fixed Pyrenees is the pup of the group. The bone aggression we totally understood because when he was a little guy the other dogs would take them from him and it developed into an issue. Now that he towers over them (not an issue anymore). Everyone in our household (3 children) knows not to approach him or any of the dogs when they have raw hides or bones.

That said, we are starting to see another side to him that is concerning us. He wants to be outside all of the time and for the most part that is ok. We have a good sized yard and the invisible fence has for the most part been effective. Currently we are putting in a large fence (but really not the issue). Going to work with my wife is not a problem which he does 3 days a week and just hangs out in the office being a rock star for everyone to pet. When we want him back in the house it becomes a major problem and when we need to go someplace and have to bring him in and not take him with us he will growl and occasionally show his teeth basically telling us that he isn't in the mood to go inside. He has decided that a patch of bushes in the front of our yard are his (and I mean his). That just doesn't work obviously so we push the issue and it becomes a game as he goes in and out of the bushes making it very hard to get a hold of him. We have resorted to treats and food and that worked for a while but now he is on to us and won't even go for that. It is mainly with my wife but she is the one who takes him to work with her and I take the other dogs with me. This growling and snapping is really beginning to concern us and think we are at the point that we are going to need to be in touch with a Dog Trainer/ Behavior Specialist.

Is there anything I am overlooking that might help us out before taking that next step. And no we are not giving up on him, just trying to become informed how to help him with this.

Any ideas or constructive criticism welcomed.
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Old May 20th, 2011, 03:52 PM
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Melinda Melinda is offline
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a trainer is the obvious choise, but as a suggestion, hook a 6 foot leash on him, let it drag, its a lot easier to pick up the leash when you want him in than it is to grab his collar.
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Old May 20th, 2011, 06:30 PM
SamIam SamIam is offline
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Well... for your constructive criticism part, you should not have let him get away with the bone aggression when he was a pup. Letting him and your other two dogs work things out among them perfectly fine, but the people in your family (at the very least adults and older children, but preferably everyone) should be able to take things away from your dogs. Imagine if they took something important of yours and destroyed it, or had something that could injure or poison them. You need that privilege, the trainer/behaviourist can help you earn it. The respect that your dogs will learn for you and your family will be expressed in their all-around behaviour.

Some of the things you are seeing are just typical characteristics of the breed: poor aptitude for obedience, low food drive, enjoyment of the outdoors - which at his age are becoming more obvious than when he was a pup. Very different from your retrievers, who tend to excel in obedience and work well for food. His desire for outdoors is partly physical (large size and thick coat prefer a cooler atmosphere) and partly behavioural (bred for centuries to be happiest in the middle of nowhere with the company of a shepherd and a flock of sheep).

Letting him outside with a leash can help break the running out of reach habit. You can buy long lines up to ~40 feet if you find the 6 foot isn't enough. Especially use it on your wife's work days, as her anxiety and hurry to get to work on time will cause him to behave worse. You could use it any time, to practice.
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Old May 20th, 2011, 07:12 PM
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luckypenny luckypenny is offline
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Is there any way you can block his access to that particular bush until you get some help? If he's growling and baring his teeth at you and your wife, he's giving you a very real and serious warning. For safety's sake, please do not force a confrontation and get the advice of an experienced behaviorist asap.

Here's a website that will help you find one in your area. Please, please read the article "How To Choose A Trainer" (and all the links) before deciding on one. Once done and armed with important info, in the left-hand column, click on "Dog Trainer Search." Don't be shy to ask for and verify references.

http://www.apdt.com/petowners/choose/default.aspx

Good luck .
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