Pyrenees Problems! Need help!

boykin2010

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I got a great Pyrenees puppy in December. He has done great, but lately he has been acting very hyper. He has gotten to be a pretty big size and is not as scared of my large sheep as he once was. He now feels like he can chase and harass some of the lambs. The sheep used to head-butt him but since he has gotten so large they don't try that anymore. One of my lambs, has just been weaned and this is his favorite lamb to play with for some reason. He is constantly chasing the lamb and grabs him by the scruff of his neck or bites on his tail. I cannot figure out how to stop this behavior. I separated the lamb (his tail is torn and bleeding) and now he is just chasing the other lambs. He does not seem to bother the younger lambs ( 1 week to a month old) but that is most likely because the mothers are so protective of them. With this lamb being weaned, his mother has not been keeping an eye on him. Koda ( my great pyrenees) has got to stop this. I know he is just playing, but it is really hurting the lambs. I have given him chew toys and this doesn't seem to help. I have put up with him barking all night long, and digging holes large enough to hide in but he can't hurt the lambs.

I really love Koda and couldn't imagine not having him here but I also can't have him chewing on the lambs either.


Do any of you have any suggestions on how to stop this behavior? I plan on getting him fixed, but I don't what the appropriate age is to do this. I assume that will calm him down a bit but I am not sure it will stop this completely.


Thanks in advance for any help
 

redtailgal

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Honestly, he is a puppy and is acting like a puppy right now. He is playing, and in his puppy stage doesnt realize that his playing is wrong.

Could you pen him up? Perhaps for now, giving him only supervised access to the lambs would be best. This way when he starts with the behavior you can correct him. He was able to learn not to mess with the younger ones with protective moms, so now YOU step in and be the protective mom over the other ones.

I dont think that getting him fixed will stop this. This is a behavior that will quickly progress to habit and a deadly one at that. He needs to be harshly corrected EVERYTIME he chases a lamb. He is a bit young for an "zap" collar, but a long check line would be helpful in this situation. When you see him start to chase, tell him "NO". Be loud, be harsh and be aggressive with your voice. Sound as big and fierce and mean as you can (think drill Sgt). Then, if he stops, praise him and give him a little treat if you want. If he does not stop, use your check line (make it about 12-15 feet long) to pull him away from the lamb he is chasing, again using the "NO" in that harsh harsh voice.

While you are teaching him what is not acceptable, also take time to teach him what IS acceptable. If he gives a friendly "slurp" to one of the lambs, give him a "GOOD boy!" If a lamb runs past him and he makes no move to chase "GOOD boy!"

And dont expect this to be a quick fix. It takes time.

Be consistent, be firm and lavish praise when appropriate.
 

Remuda1

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I experienced the same thing when my first GP girl started getting a little bit of growth on her. I felt awful for her and realized that she WAS doing what a puppy does. She just needed something ELSE to chew on besides the sheep. Nothing ever got bloodies here though because I went and got her sister.

Sophie had come from a busy farm with lots of different animals and her mom, dad and siblings. She came to a very quiet place and had nothing to keep her stimulated and busy. She and her sister Penny are a year and three months old now. They never rough house with the sheep but they have a ball together. Get your pup a friend, best if it is a female though.
 

Mzyla

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For older dogs people use shock collar.
But, dont even spend money on buying one.
LGD dogs are very pain resistant! They can take a lot of pain/shock!

Your pup is probably only 6 months old?
It is expected of that young pup looking for playmates.
He thinks lambs are his pack to play with.

Yes these dogs are guardians, but still need to play, chew and burn their energy.
Especially at 6 months of age!
Get him more natural/raw bones and enough room to run.

You only need to teach him one command STOP!
But, for that its gone take some willingness and time from you.
If you do have time sit with your lambs, while holding your pup on a long rope.
Observe what he do. If he chases and bites, jerk the rope, say Stop and maybe slap him a little. If hell be good all the time, reward him with treat and pet him.

Second, not so good solution:
If you dont have a time to do the above, then for now separate him from the lambs by some fences, but so he can touch noses with them.
And hope that he will wise out on his own. In most cases they do.

Im betting here that your dog will overcome this. He was good at the beginning, wasnt he?
 

TexasShepherdess

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I feel your pain! As the owner of an exhuberent, sweet, protective 6 month old pup, BOY do I feel your pain! and my older Pyr lets her "hang herself" by the proverbial rope (I joke the older pyr is hoping if the pup gets in enough trouble, Ill get rid of her and old lady will get her peace and quiet back!)

I think seperation of younger stock from him, at this time, is ideal..that is what I do with my pup, Halo. She stays with the ewes and the ram..who dont put up with her antics..I am constantly giving her bones to chew on..it doesnt seem to make a difference..she still sees fit to try and "play"..whereas a harsh NO sent her packing.
 

boykin2010

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I have separated the Pyrenees for right now. I just bought 5 more full grown ewes and some of them are around 6-7 years old. The last thing they need is a puppy trying to chase them. The puppy is not very happy right now but he seems to be settling. The lambs are much happier right now too. I am teaching him the command stop. It has not caught on yet but I just started a few days ago. I went and bought a lot more bones and am going to give him one every day or so to chew on. Maybe that will help too.

Yep he's 6 months old. Has been very good since the beginning but all of the sudden just started acting too playful.

Will keep everyone updated on how the training goes.
Thanks for all of your help!
 

peteyfoozer

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These dogs aren't really mature until they are 2. I have 2 Maremma brothers I raised. The good thing about having 2 is that they could take out their excess energy on one another. They still do, and they are 2 now. They are guarding goats, sheep, orphan calves and chickens. I supervised them through 2 lambing seasons and now they are great with new mothers and lambs as well. It just takes time and a little help.
 
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