DOG OBEDIENCE TIP FOR GREAT PYRENEES
We have a Great Pyrenees dog obedience tip that might help you with your relationship with your Pyr. Of course, we are not professional dog trainers. You need to look for a good dog obedience training school in your area to fully train your dog.
First of all, the words obedient dog may not seem to apply to a Great Pyr, but it does. The only problem is a Pyr picks and chooses what he will obey and when he will respond to your command (usually as slowly as possible). This is because your Pyr is an independent thinker and decides if your request suits him at the time you ask him to do something.
Having a dog that is an independent thinker is great for guarding your alpacas. He will take it upon himself to spring into action when needed. This is perfect behavior for doing his assigned job when on duty.
There comes a time when you really need your Pyr to do what you are asking. The problem is Pyrs don’t pay much attention to you. Our dog obedience tip is to get your Pyrs attention.
You need to get the dog to make eye contact with you. You need him to focus on YOU. A Pyr is tuned into the environment and what is going on around him so that he can perform his job. Being focused on you is not his priority.
Our dog obedience tip is one we were taught in a dog obedience training class that we took when our Pyr was a puppy.
With your dog on a leash, quickly walk backwards, facing the dog and call the dogs name. When he gives you eye contact, praise him. Continue walking backwards in this manner. If he looks away or looses eye contact, call his name again and get him to focus back on you.
It may seem awkward to walk backwards, but this one exercise has served us well for getting our Pyr to pay attention to us.
Stationary exercises do not work as well as moving exercises for getting your dogs attention to stay focused on you. Movement gets the dog to look at you and make eye contact. With you directly in front of him calling his name, he learns to focus on you and that when you say his name it means for him to pay attention to you.
For us, this dog obedience tip makes sense. A Pyr is constantly looking for movement to spot predators. Movement is what gets his attention so he knows when to protect his herd. So when you call your dogs name to get him to come, make some kind of movement, also.
Another dog obedience tip is to never use your dogs name when he is doing something wrong. Just say “no” without the name. If he learns that he will be in trouble when you call his name, then you have just lost your power for getting and keeping his attention.
When our Pyr needs a reminder to pay attention to us, we bring this exercise back and he still remembers it and falls right back into paying attention. He took the class six years ago and we only resort to going back to this exercise once a year.
Recently, we had a website visitor ask a question about their Pyr puppy killing a chicken and what they could do to stop the behavior. We actually do have a little experience with this and have another dog obedience tip for this problem.
We never allowed our Pyr to chase the chickens. We walked him by the chickens on a lead and told him “no” when he showed any interest in them. We did this in short sessions until he showed no interest in the chickens.
We took him off the lead and were with him outside with the chickens until we were sure that he was not going to harm them. He would walk right by them without even looking at them.
So, our Pyr didn't mind the chickens that were here before he arrived, but when those chickens got old and we purchased new ones, he decided they didn't belong here and chased them.
This is when we realized that a Pyr needs to know what is part of his territory. If your Pyr doesn’t think the newcomer is part of what he needs to protect, then he will kill it. Our Pyr killed and ate a pheasant because he decided it didn't belong in his alpaca field. If he thinks something does not belong, a Pyrs independent thinking will cause him to take action.
We caught our Pyr with one of the new chickens in his mouth and took it off of him. We told him "NO!" and he never put one in his mouth again. We were lucky that we caught him in the process and the chicken was not harmed just scared. The chicken survived. Also, he had already accepted other chickens, so I think it was easier for him to get the picture when we scolded him.
Once your Pyr accepts chickens as part of what he's supposed to protect, then the pyr will not harm what's on his property. He just has to learn that chickens are also part of his territory.
We learned that we can’t take it for granted that our Pyr will understand that each new animal we bring onto the farm is ok to be here. We must take the time to let him know that it’s ok for that newcomer to be on the property. Once he understands that, he never bothers them.
So here is another dog obedience tip: Desensitize your Pyr to all newcomers to your farm. Don’t believe that just because you know it’s ok for the new animal to be on the farm that the Pyr understands it’s ok, too.
Walk your dog on a lead by the new animal and correct the dog anytime he shows interest in the animal. Never allow your Pyr to chase any other farm animals.
One thing you can do for training around chickens is to put a chicken in a cage and walk the dog with a choke collar and on a leash by the cage. When your Pyr shows any interest in the chicken, give him a correction with the leash and say "no!" When the dog looks at you when you correct him, give him the command to sit. When he does, praise him lavishly.
The dog will learn that interest in the chicken gets him in trouble, but obeying your sit command gets him praise. Do this for 5 minutes 2-3 times a day until the dog shows no interest in the chicken. Eventually, the dog will ignore the chickens even when they are both running free.
Does your Pyr know basic commands? A Pyr will generally sit on command, but have patience for him to process the command and to sit that large body down. They will do it, just slowly. The commands come and lay down are a little harder to get a Pyr to obey. We have found that sit works just fine and don’t bother with lay down.
We want a Pyr that behaves, not one that is show trained. We want him to do his job on our alpaca farm and pay attention to what we tell him. We want him to accept people and other animals that we tell him are ok. We do not want a dog that harms our other animals or knocks people down.
With training, we have come to understand our Pyr and he understands and respects our requests. We love his independent thinking.
We hope our dog obedience tip for your Pyr helps you to work better with this amazing breed. If you haven’t owned a Pyr before, then both of you will need dog obedience training. Learn to get and keep your Pyrs attention and you will have a much better working relationship with your Pyr.
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