In honor of National Train Your Dog month, I wanted to address training a Great Pyrenees. Training a Great Pyrenees isn’t like training most dogs—they aren’t necessarily “eager to please.” While a Golden Retriever may do what you say because you said so, a pyr won’t be so likely.
I absolutely love training Great Pyrenees. They push me to my limits and challenge me in ways I never knew possible. Some days, they’re lucky their fluffy butts are so darn cute 😉 I’ve learned a few things over the years, so here are my top ten tips for training a Great Pyrenees.
1. Be patient
I cannot express how important patience is when training a Great Pyrenees. Pyrs do what they want on their own time. Don’t be surprised if your pyr takes ten or fifteen seconds to follow the command you asked for.
While it’s tempting, do not repeat your command over and over (i.e. “Sit, sit, SIT, SIT, SIT!!”). Ask your dog to sit and wait. If after several seconds your dog doesn’t listen or becomes distracted by something else, refocus and ask for the sit again. They will test you, so patience is a must.
Related: My Training Confession
2. Be confident
A continuation of “be patient” is to be confident. A Great Pyrenees will challenge you. They are independent dogs that were bred to do their job without humans. That instinct doesn’t disappear in pet pyrs.
Confidence is not harsh. It’s sticking by what you asked your dog and requiring follow through. This leads me to…
3. Keep it positive
The Great Pyrenees is an extremely sensitive breed, despite their large size and sometimes intimidating demeanor. Hitting, screaming, alpha rolling, or other similar behavior will only harm your relationship with your pyr. If your pyr can’t trust you, he certainly won’t want to work with you.
4. Focus on bonding
I have noticed that the most obedient pyrs are the ones who have the greatest bonds with their people. Bonding doesn’t mean the dog is always by your side — rather you can feel the relationship you have with your dog.
Take your dog on walks, trips to the store — just spend time together. Always let your pup know when you’re happy. Praise is an amazing motivator when training a Great Pyrenees.
5. Keep a sense of humor
You’re going to lose your mind. It’s a part of having a Great Pyrenees, especially an adolescent. When you’ve been trying to get your pyr to sit for five minutes or get him inside all evening, you’re going to go a bit insane. Keep a sense of humor or no one will survive 😉
6. Take it slow
Pyrs are exceptionally smart, but they get bored easily. I never work with the big floofs for more than 10 minutes and only 5 minutes for baby floof. However, I do this several times per day. Add little down-stay sessions while you’re cooking dinner or brushing your teeth. Get creative and have fun with it!
7. Practice everywhere
Your pyr can have a rock solid down-stay in your home, but that will rarely translate into other situations. Get out and about to work with different stimulants and distractions. I love walking through pet-friendly stores to work on basic commands and overall socialization.
8. Use the right tools
Great Pyrenees are big, strong dogs. Adolescent pyrs will often drag you down the street. Gentle Leaders and no-pull harnesses are great positive tools for working on loose leash walking. Remember, these are tools, not solutions. It’s imperative to continue training and use these tools to keep you on your feet as they learn.
Related: Positive Training for Giant Breeds
9. Prepare for setbacks
When they are puppies, you’ll think you have it all figured out. They’re listening immaculately, picking up on every skill, and just wonderful dogs. Then adolescence hits and your pyr suddenly forgets everything. He’s shredding things in the house again and looks at you like you have three heads when you ask for a simple down. This is normal and also why so many pyrs get surrendered at this age.
It’s all well and good when your 30-pound puppy is prancing around like a maniac. It’s a completely different story when your 100-pound puppy is doing the same thing. Plan for this to occur and never stop training.
10. Understand the breed
This is, by far, the most important thing when training your Great Pyrenees. If you understand the breed and how their minds work, you’ll have greater success. Here are a few articles if you’re looking for more information.
- 5 Things I Wish People Knew About Great Pyrenees (before bringing one home)
- A Beginner’s Guide to Great Pyrenees
- Meet the Giants: Great Pyrenees
- Great Pyrenees: Myth or Fact?
What tips do you have for training your Great Pyrenees?
Valerie Mays says
Ok training question to you. Duke watches everything around property. I have a neibor who walks by the place everyday, wants to make friends but Duke won’t have it. I can take him to dog friendly places and as good as gold. But at my home which is fenced in. Duke won’t visit with neibor. Would this be because Duke thinks he is on duty protecting the property? How is the best way to correct this.
Emily Anderson says
I would say have the neighbor come over and show him that the neighbors are nice and that he won’t hurt you. Pyrenees are very protective dogs who have a “herd”. If someone comes that isn’t in the herd around the house they will get suspicious and maybe even mean.
feed them. A huge part of how they determine who is in the pack is by who is fed
Nancy Geer says
One trick Iv’ve learned is that if I have the person I’m introducing to Ike shake hands with me, it apoears to be a message to him that they are ok. They can can hen let him smell their hand and he accepts them.
anita anthony says
Have you taken Duke for a walk to your neighbours house and let your neighbour walk with you. Let Duke get to know your neivhbour as one of his people. How does Duke act with strangers in your house? Does he behave differently when the stranger is on the other side of the fence? They can be very protective and territorial on their property. Hope this helps😊🐶
Jake Skinner says
I have an 8-month-old male great Pyrenees. We trained him well and he protects our property just like stated. However, when he gets off of property and I go after him, he will always stay 15 ft in front of me and as soon as I get close he runs away further. Is this normal behavior? What can I do to have him stop whenever he’s on the run? When he gets off property it’s as if he cannot hear me… He will look at me and then take off just far enough out of my reach.. any solutions or advice would be great.. this is my first Pyrenees, I love the dog I love the breed but I’ve never had a dog run from me when trying to approach them. He doesn’t run from me in the yard and we play and have bonded completely, the only issue I have is him not stopping when I ask him to. Any advice please
We have five great Pyrenees in the family. I have three in my home. Two of my kids have one each at their home. I have always let my puppies from day one out in the front yard that’s not fenced. Anytime they got near the street or near the property line of my neighbors I would say UAH-UAH! (basically no) at 2 months old I was close enough and they were slow enough that I correct them. Since yours is 8 months old, get a long lead rope, 20ft, call him or her when she reaches the end of her rope and reel her in praising her all the way as if she’s doing it on her own and give her a treat when she gets to you and lots of love keep doing it until you don’t need the rope anymore. Overtime though not all in one day. Never had to do that with my Pyrenees but it worked with my German shepherds or Doberman.
Chris B. says
My Pyranese plays the come catch me game when we are getting ready to come in from. The off leash area at the dog park. If he has a toy he will try to play keep away and duck and dodge just under my reach. They are quick for how big they are and I cannot catch him easily.. so yes this is normal behavior. Lol
Tricia V. says
Work on “stop” and “wait” or ” “sit” and “stay” in a controlled environment, that way in an uncontrolled environment you might have a chance of those commands working. LOL. Also don’t chase or try to catch them.
Steven Cannavaro says
Lol. I have to laugh because I could have written this exact experience. Obviously it’s part of the breed. I’ve had my 10 month old 90 lb pup for 2 months. I have to agree with you, their behavior is like no other dog. With that said…..she is trainable and I’m making progress. What an amazing breed. Good luck to you. The one thing I seem to read over and over about these dogs is……have patience.
Lisa Haynes says
He’s playing a game with you. The typical Chase Me game. NEVER chase a dog/puppy. When a dog gets off property I fetch the best treat ever (like cheese or chicken). I prefer the cheese because they can watch me open it. Then in my most playful inviting voice ever, I give the Come command. If he’s been stubborn let him see you take a nibble. I’ve not had it fail yet. Another tip is to act like you’re playing with him, again with the playful Come command, turn & head in the direction you want him to go. This one is more iffy given how easy he can be distracted. With my golden mix……she’s worse, I have to literally sit down & pat my lap. lmao She comes running for cuddles every time.
Frances Friedman says
Our sweet female Great Pyrenees slipped out the gate as it was being installed at our new house. I followed her behind our new home to a wild area behind our house by a stream. She was out of sight quickly. But I was smart enough to use her protective instinct. I stopped and started screaming as authentically as I could manage. Sure enough, I saw her running back towards me. She saw that I wasn’t in danger, but also saw the treats I had in my hands. She ran past me to a part of the stream I could not access, drank some water, and then came to me. I gave her a treat, grabbed her, and slipped on her leash and she went with me willingly.
Utsav Srinet says
I just got a GREAT PYRENEES….this article is really helpful. Thanks!
Have them meet each other when he is outside of your yard and have the neighbor give them treats only when he has clamed down. This may take several minutes but ignore him until he does calm down
Rock Larsen says
My Pry Francesca who is just a year old now will only make left turns when we go for a walk, which basically means you just go around the block. She won’t budge if I try to get her to go right. What do you think is causing that and what do you recommend I do to get her to go any direction I want without her being stubborn? Thanks for any suggestions. Rock
Hi – That’s interesting I also have a Pyr that’s OCD. Additionally, she’s a big clown, confident and v intelligent ; ). Your issue may not be so much ‘left-turn only’ but she probably has a preset path in her head she wants to follow. I would suggest alternating from where you usually enter the park and go from there, also talk to her and tell her everything is ‘OK’ (she’ll understand the significance of the phrase over time and not just for this application but others too). For example; on one of our routes, mine will walk down the path but when we turn around to walk back she will insist on walking on the other side of the street….there is no pavement on the other side (actually, she does this pretty much everywhere we go). So, I pet/hug her for a few seconds, tell her everything is ‘OK’ which eventually elicits jovial expression and we’re on our way back the same way we came.
Thanks that is great advice
Gosh I have a female that is 5yrs old. I love her and she loves me! When we walk and she pretends she can’t hear…I start singing making a walking song
as I go, any words about the trees, grass, clouds, dirt, flowers. I swear when I start singing and stat walking the way I want to go she follows. It’s the cutest thing. I got her as a rescue, not really sure of the age, so the vet knew and we gave her a birth date. Anyway, I love this breed. This is my first one. Didn’t read anything, Wished I did and everything everyone is saying is true. I’m laughing and saying oh, ah, yep. I will always have a Great Pyrenees!
where is the entry for the Nuvet giveaway?
Gmail QA says
I don’t have Great Pyrenees but I have a Miniature Pinscher 🙂 these tips are all good for me.
lacey moore says
I have a resume dog and I am certain he is a Pyrenees mix but not positive what else.he is a very special unique dog unlike any 18v had bf and 18v self w several.what do I need to know and why are they w their own unique ways and tips vs just having a dog.also how can I find other then expensive testing what other breed he could possibly be mixed with.
lacey moore says
I ment a rescue dog
Anna Sakila says
This breed is fairly active so I think they won’t be easy for dog lovers to train him/her. Hope these tips work well. Thank you for sharing.
Melinda dillashaw says
I can’t get my 2 month old py to walk with a leash.do I need a harness?
Vicki ransel says
How do you get a 8 week old from biting
Margaret Andris says
PLEASE HELP ME TRAIN MY GREAT PRY hUNTER TO STOP BITTING ANY IDEAS ARE APPRECIATED
Frances Friedman says
Bitter Apple or Bitter Lime will work. I has adopted a Keeshond years ago and he seemed to suffer from anxiety. When I petted him, he would start to chew on my hand. I sprayed my hand with bitter apple and it worked very quickly. When he saw me reach for the bottle, he would stop immediately. It works great to prevent chewing on objects and furnitue
8 week old is teething
Frozen carrots and other suitable chew toys that will help relieve the gum pain and occupy the pup. Kong’s with frozen PB or fruit and/or veggies work also. Applesauce is another favorite around my house, just make sure it’s all natural (no added sugar) or your pup will be bouncing off the walls.
Kim Troboy says
I have a 2.5 year old Pyr who had chewing and other ‘mouthing’ issues. My furniture, etc., has absolutely no damage, so we got her through that stage in good shape.
We used lots of exercise and active play, like catch a rubber waffle ball or play tug of war with a knotted rope. We gave her a wide variety of chew toys to choose from, except no rawhide. Her favorites are hard bones, antlers, and a thick cedar branch she found in the yard. I froze wet wash cloths for teething and she loved them. We did short training sessions (sit, down, stay/wait, come, etc.) to distract her if she attempted to chew furniture.
Punishment does not work. Distraction, praise, treats, and partnership training do work. I like ‘partnership’ training better than ‘obedience’ training. It makes more sense to Pyrs and helps to build your bond with them.
Other ‘mouthing’ issues? My Pyr still loves to lock jaws with my sister’s golden retriever. They both love that game and will play it for hours. Neither of them will actually bear down and bite, and no growling is going on … Strictly play. If she tries it with other dogs, I monitor closely to make sure it stays playful. I separate at any hint of a growl.
That’s my two cents worth!
Wren Aho says
My Great Pyrenees daisy who is 8 weeks old and we got her yesterday misses her family.how do I make her happy?
Bonnie Householder says
I have a 6 month old py every time you love on her she wants to put your hand or arm in her mouth but not really but but bit make since
Marcia Wilson says
I have a great pyrenees she’s almost 8 months old.And will not do her business out side .I’ll let her out.But she’ll do it in the bathroom instead Zoe always chews on items if I leave her out of the crate. I brought one because she’s chewing up mail,couch,etc .Last weekend Zoe chewed my husbands wallet and a credit card.How can I change this behavior
Doug East says
Try some rawhide bones for her to chew on
Kate Jackson says
Try pigs ears or antlers or yak chews,bulls tails rabbit ears etc.Wouldn’t give my dog rawhide
Nothing to chew on but hard raw bones from butcher.
samuel orris says
I just adopted a pet dog few days ago. And i was planning to train him. Thanks a lot for the tips. I think it will help me to train my dog.
Hi, this is purely a great tip. Personally, I never encounter this kind of breed yet. Maybe different breed has the different attitude and needs a bit more patient. But the Great Pyrenees looks good and has its own personalities and in the end, I would say, the dog will be a dog, no matter what breed, just need a little bit patient and passion to train your dog. What do you think is the best approach for the positive “punishment”, I mean something like just naughty behaviour and play around without listening to any instruction.
” … I would say, the dog will be a dog, no matter what breed ..”
Do not minimize the difference between an independent livestock guardian dog and a dog like, e.g., a Golden Retriever. They are wildly different animals.
Emily Anderson says
I need help. I just got a Pyrenees Akbash mix puppy and she is so shy of EVERYTHING. I go to pet her and she runs. Even if I’m down low and not on top of her. She just is so scared and I want to know what to do. PLEASE HELP
I have encountered other people’s shy dogs or cats and it really just takes patience. If they get more nervous when you talk, try sitting their quietly not looking at them maybe have a treat. Just letting them know you won’t do anything sudden or unexpected. When they come to sniff you, dont immediately reach out and pet them. Allow them to walk around sniffing you, maybe even climbing on you. They will eventually learn to trust you. I watched my friends cat who was shy. She was shy each time I came by even after she would sniff me for a bit and let me pet her, it felt like starting over each time. Tho after a few days she would come more quickly to me and got more and more comfortable.
Morgan Berkgren says
We just got a 10 month old Great Pyrenees and yes he is super loving and fun but extremely stubborn when it comes to coming inside. I have tried bribing him with treats, coaxing him, and even being stern but he just jumps around moans and groans and refuses to come inside. However a couple of days before this he would come in just fine and I would reward him. I get the sense that he is testing my husband and I and I just need to know ways to get him to come inside so I can start building a training base with him. Please Help I am at a loss.
alan wolcik says
Mine is 3 years old and I have had him about 11 wks now. He wants to walk a lot I mean a lot and when we get back to the house. The brakes come on, no matter how far I have taken him. I put a tie out in the front yard and leave him there till he wants to come in. Plus I would take him for walk were I stop by the house to get him to come in, if he does I would get a drink of water and back out again. Building trust. I also take him to dog parks, riding in the car. At first he never wanted to get back in the car either. So I did the patient wait after giving him the command…. wait a minute give him the command again, wait now he is pretty much getting back in the car with maybe one wait, to test me.. 🙂 Hope these help.
Jasmine Cataldo says
I have been working with my first GP, Remi, for the past year. She just turned two 11/27.
Refusal to come is frankly a part of the package.
It’s maddening at times.
My life hacks include leashes stashed everywhere.
For early morning and late night potty breaks, we go out on lead, or with my hand on her collar, and I transfer her to a 30 foot stationary lead. If she refuses to come inside, I can simply go get her.
This was after several frustrating rounds of keep away at one a.m.
Remi and I have established a routine. When I’m at work and my son is at school , she runs free in our massive dog run. It’s fully enclosed. This is where she patrols. She takes her job very seriously. Her favorite spot is atop the large trampoline. She gets a higher vantage point for watching goings on. But it’s also a cozy spot to nap in the sun.
There are days where, after work, before I start supper, I go outside and call her in… But she’s Not ready. Some instinct kicks in and she’s tearing off in another direction barking at traffic out front or someone on a bicycle in the alley.
I no longer call multiple times. I call twice, if she’s still busy, I leave, “I’ll check back in an hour.”
There are times Remi simply refuses to allow me to place my hand on her collar.
I’ve sat on a doghouse roof for an hour with boiled chicken cubes in my pocket. She’d take the chicken, but by god, I was still not permitted to touch her collar.
She shows me with her posture when she’s hung it up for the day and is ready to join me inside: head slightly lowered , ears down, walking slowly, perhaps s low tail wag.
Remi is two, I’m her third owner.
Your GP is younger, but both of ours will be in a puppy phase until they are 3.
Use tools to establish boundaries.
Long leads, longer tie outs.
21 yrs ago, when my Best dog Cass, was a puppy, I used to keep him on lead attached to my belt. He went where I went, snd my hand were free for other things.
Refusal to come, while inconvenient, is a part of the GP package. They are independent thinkers. Nothing we think, feel, say or do will change this.
You must out think him.
And lead the way.
You must find a way to encourage him to join you, but also learn to accept when it’s just not going to happen.
Use tools to help you keep him nearby when you want recall, and find a way where he can do his job, which is protecting his family and territory (which is honestly as far as he can see, hear and smell.)
I trained my Pyr with the help of a my Golden Retriever. The Golden Retriever would perform a task such as sit and get a treat. When the Pyr sees that she gets a treat, he does it too.
Are you a doglover ? Check out our articles about all kind of puppy’s (health,training,supplies,advice) we share our experience with dogs to the people http://www.safemydog.com
This article is GOLD! We have always had labs and couldn’t understand why our new pyr wasn’t learning the commands. I started researching and the #1 tip is to know the breed!!!! Once we understood her, we bonded right away and everything got easier. We still have our bumps, but much much better!!!! Thank you!!
What a wonder way to provide the tips. Very well explained. I am gonna follow these tips while training my dog.
John G says
If you’ve ever had a 14 year old defiant child in your home you know how a pyr is. If you just tell them to do something they will just turn the other way like you said nothing. However if you have calmly and patiently gone through a routine with them over and over they will just do it with a simple eye contact or a nod. At that point they become they absolute joy of your life. So hang in there and nothing can replace time you spend with your pyr.
My dog is 11 months old and when I call him, he just walks or runs the opposite direction while barking. We live on 35 acres about 50 miles from a major city. I have been trying to get my dog to stay on our own land and he is protective of our chickens and cats. I want to get lambs soon. Three days ago, my asshole lying neighbor shot my dog because he claimed my dog was chasing his cattle – damned liar. My dog has gone over and laid by the cattle as if he were protecting them and I have seen this several times. I really can’t say here what I intend to do if that fat bastard ever comes on my land, but as a woman who is always alone here when my husband is at work…..well, I would have REASONABLE BELIEF that I was going to be raped….and REASONABLE BELIEF IS AN AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE IN COURT. My dog is very headstrong and recently a trainer told me that my dog is like a 14 year old obnoxious and belligerent teenager right now. He is more difficult than any teenager I have ever known.
Great Pyrenees need strong fences. This is probably going to piss off everybody at this website, but I’m going to say it anyway. I have four dogs, one is a great Pyrenees rescue. We have an invisible fence for them, his collar is turned all the way up to the strongest setting, it’s the prong on each side style collar which gives them a better shock, and he still crosses the fence sometimes when he’s chasing coyotes, opossums, and turkeys. Pain does not get in the way of a pyr doing his job.
Before I moved to South Carolina, I lived at 43 acres and we didn’t have any fencing, just like you. There was no containment at all for the dog. My neighbor had cattle, and my dog came home with a bloody face one day. It turned out that he had found a calf a brand new born calf and he was trying to drag it back to the herd. He tried dragging it by ear, and he tried dragging it by its tail.Of course, the guy was really pissed. I don’t blame him. Thankfully, it was a bullcalf, he gave it some anabiotic’s and got rid of it at the auction. If it was a heifer, it would cost me two or $3000. He was probably not chasing your neighbors cattle, but he may have been trying to herd it into a group. It is their instinct. I’m sorry your dog got shot, but it is your duty and your responsibility to keep the dog on your own property. A great Pyrenees will patrol 700 acres if he’s not contained. Like I said, great Pyrenees need strong fences.
My husband and I have 12 acres and good fencing but now our Saul is CLIMBING the fence like a ladder! We don’t know what to do:/
lucy t says
grr.,, coyote rollers on top of 6’ fencing
My Sweet Great Pyrenees is giving us a challenge lately. We rescued her when we were looking for a new family dog. I have 3 daughters and we also already had a cat, 2 pet bunnies and 2 guinea pigs. We wanted a dog that would fit with our current family. She has abs has been wonderful, loving, nurturing and gentle with all. We also live in a very cold and snowy mountainous area, she loves it. We just adore her and are so happy with her, but are recently having problems on walks. In the past, we would sometimes meet dogs on walks and I would warn the other owners that she barks to protect me sometimes, but also was happy to make a new dog friend other times. I never knew which it would be. If she barked, I would tell the other owner sorry and keep walking. Lately, any new dog she meets she barks at. The barking is progressing to lunging, snarling and she really looks like she would attack and kill the other dog if I didn’t pull her away with all my strength. I’m worried. I try to divert our walks if I see another dog coming, I go a different direction. I can’t always control it though. I’m afraid of another sweet dog getting bit by my dog. I’ve looked at muzzles because I’d rather be safe than sorry, but I haven’t purchased one. I’ve also read about hypothyroidism needing to be checked and could be a cause of aggression. I’ve been researching and understand this breed and her need to protect me from threats. I understand the bonding and positive praise. I just am also very fearful lately that she’s going to hurt another dog. What do you recommend? What more can I do? It seems like these last 6 months have been unlike the other 3 years we’ve had her. The vet speculated she was 18 months when we rescued her. So possibly she’s 4 1/2. Maybe a tad younger or older.
I have a very similar situation currently with our Great Pyr, who I love. Did you ever receive an answer to this or make any progress? Thanks!
I have a similar situation, we adopted our Great Pyrenes collie mix last yr. He is totally amazing.
But walking him is a challenge when he see/hears a bicycle, truck , snow plow, bus , or car with things attached to the roof rack. He lunges off the sidewalk in attack mode. I have tried treats to re-focas him some times wrks for split second with a sit command. He wears a no pull harness ( martingale style) as well as a martingale collar. He is very strong and I dare not let anyone walk him because if he lunges he pulls you right off the curb into the street regardless of traffic. We have been going to obedience class which he is good at when he is inside and he listens. It is a whole different ball game when out walking on the sidewalk. He is an angel when he is in the house or in a store etc..
Stefanie Fahey says
I have a 4 yo pyr that I rescued 2 years ago. He does great at the dog park, but lunges and goes red zone when on leash. Whether it’s a dog, a bicycle, or good forbid the UPS truck, he wanted me to let him go so he could do his job and investigate the threat. He had very little frustration tolerance. He would snap at the leash and try to bite the leash so I would drop it. After he bit me twice during his fits, I purchased a basket muzzle for him and now he wears it whenever we go for a walk. This has helped in a couple of ways 1) it allows me to calmer as I know he can’t hurt anyone or bite me , 2) I believe that he knows he can’t do anything and he calms down quicker and takes redirection better, and 3) other people know he can’t hurt them or their dog. Don’t get me wrong, he still barks and lunges, but I have been doing this now for about 6 months and the behavior is getting better. That being said, when my dog has gotten out of our yard, he has been fine with other people/dogs. I think that because he doesn’t have a job (he is not a working LSG) he has decided he needs to protect me while on leash. I highly recommend a basket muzzle for your safety and that of your dog. They allow for panting, drinking, and they can even eat treats while wearing. I only use mine when walking on leash. Good Luck!
I never use a harness on dogs. I believe myself, they are made to InSite pulling. Like a Husky that pulls a sleigh. I have a collar on my Great Pyrenees Leo. I hold the collar when I walk, as I am only 5ft tall. If I use a leash, he pulls. He’s good when I hold his collar and walk but if I use leash he is unpredictable and pulls. This is my experience. Just wanted to share 🤗
I just ordered a muzzle for our girl Pyr. She is a rescue and now is 6. We got her when she was 8-9 months. She started getting territorial aggression when she was about 2. She has twice bitten a dog and one time she lunged at a human because she felt threatened. We believe she was abused as a puppy and beaten with something. So now I am trying to work on this issue because I love her so very much and don’t want to lose her. I will do anything it takes to make things better. Thanks for all your wonderful comments it truly helps!
John Kos says
How old should be a Great Great Pyrenees so that I can start training him?
I have a 15 month Pyrenees and I love him. But he will not walk on his leash anymore. He walks to the end of drive and lays down, and I have to get help to get him back in. What to do?
These tips are really helpful in a way that you’re not just training pyrs on how to follow commands but also it develops your good traits and tests your character in you. These learnings not just help the dog to be attentive and disciplined but also it builds bond and good relationship between the dog and the owner.
Y’all think your Pyrs are difficult. I have a 5/8 Anatolians X 3/8 Pyr — she’s much more difficult. 🙂 on top of being even more stubborn than a Pyr, Anatolians are crazy athletic. My girl can jump right over a 6′ fence. And she can run about 30 miles an hour. They are even more hardcore when it comes to guarding — like a Great Pyrenees on steroids. The ranchers around here mix in some Pyr to make their Anatolians *easier* to handle.
Judith Grace says
That explains my 1/2 Pyr 1/2 Anatolian! Rescued her a year ago as a 3yr old with anxiety issues…went through cyclone kennel, broke into and out of house door, dug under fences, hates the car, loves to run, but has to be in kennel if I leave…otherwise will get out to follow. SLOW to respond to regular commands (SHE taught ME quickly to wait). Gets along with everyone, every animal…grateful for that. But would rather roam than stay home …. put up Horse fencing and trying to keep her in. Discovered she prefers to be one guard’ outside at night and sleeps during most of the day.
Strange: DOES NOT BARK at strangers!????? Will sleep through UPS delivery…. sometimes barks at passerbys but mostly not. Wondering if she would really protect me if someone came into the yard or tried to break into house. I live in remote cabin alone/widow. Thoughts?
Hi! I so love this post!
I also love the vibe of your blog! It feels sooooo homey! Hearts to you, your blog and your dog!
I found this exciting document! A good read for casual dog owners who wants to possibly start training dogs for a living: bit.ly/DogBrainTrainerLP
Just sharing some good news and love to your blog! 🙂
Thanks for posting great tips for the great Pyrenees
Thanks for posting great tips for the great Pyrenees. The great Pyrenees need strong fences.
My 9 year old son and I rescued a 2.5 year old pry from the pound. She had only been there less than a week but they said she was a great fit for our house hold. We have a toddler at home as well. She’s already potty trained and doesn’t chew on things so I thought great, the hard part is over. She was extremely nervous her first few nights, she didn’t sleep much, until I laid with her and let her know she was HOME!
Fwd a few weeks, she knows this is her home but she’s getting aggressive. She has bit EVERY child that has been in our home , including my children (usually if they’re near her food) and she bit my cousin in the door way when he came over the other day. He’s been here numerous times but my door way is small & she hadn’t been out to play yet so I know she was a bit restless. My cousin and bf were both like kill her , get rid of her , punch her etc but I just took her to my bedroom and set with her on my bed until he left. I was embarrassed but I’m sorry it’s in her nature , we don’t know her previous home life before the pound and I haven’t worked on these “issues” yet bc they basically just started , the more comfortable she got. I have mostly been working on the constant barking. At first I thought she was deaf bc it’s like she can’t determine where the sounds are coming from. I could close a cabinet and she lunges at the door as if the sound was outside.
I need tips on her biting ASAP before someone hurts her or she hurts one of my kids and they put her down. I don’t want to get rid of her. HELP!
I don’t know how timely this is, but I have been right where you are. My son, 9 at the time, saved up his money and began the search for a dog. We wound up adopting a 10 month old huskey/dane mix from a shelter. We were told he got along with dogs, kids, cats… you name it. He was beautiful and my son could not have been happier. Fast forward a week, and Yuri had attacked both my German Shepherd and my Burner/Golden mix countless times. He had nearly killed my neighbor’s poodle. He attacked every dog we saw. He then became terrifyingly protective of my son from the other dogs, his brother, his father, and me. The last straw came when he escaped from the living room where we were keeping him segregated from the other dogs while we attempted to work with him, headed right to my bedroom where the other dogs were napping and my son was reading. Within seconds he had my 14 year old shepherd cowering and my other dog pinned by the throat. My son was on top of the dresser trying to get away. Sometimes, we have to acknowledge that a dog is not right for our household, especially when we have children to consider.
Luckily, the shelter we adopted him from was more than willing to take him back. It was embarrassing and I felt like the biggest looser in town. My son was devastated AND felt responsible for the suffering of his other dogs and guilty because he still loved Yuri. The shelter kept us updated and Yuri was adopted by a single man who lived in a more rural setting and had the time to work with him.
It took us a year to begin looking again, we were all so heart broken. We just adopted a beautiful 7mo old Pyr. from a rescue. She was an owner surrender. We are only a week in, and already she fits right in. I will say that she takes a few minutes to process what I want from her, and she is very reward motivated, but she learns so quickly. She also learns from the other dogs. My kids love her and so does everyone in town. She is fearless and loves everyone she meets.
The point is that it is ok to admit that this dog is not a good or safe fit for your family at this time. Contact a local rescue. Many of them work with dogs who have fear and aggression issues. Tell them what is happening and that you would like to surrender the dog so that someone with more experience and a more appropriate environment can help him be the best dog he can be in a safe way. The right person for that dog is out there, and a rescue will take the time to find the right foster and the right permanent home. The right dog for your family is out there, too. Again, a rescue organization is a great place to find the right fit.
Best of luck!
Hi, I am so happy to have found this site. My pyr was a rescue from a farm litter. She is 2yrs old now and has in the last 6months become very aggressive when walking, of everything. I use treat rewards and lots of hugs and warm words to encourage good behavior but there is no consistancy. With all the comments it seems I am in the same boat as most people on the site, any further advice on how to tame the agression when walking would be appreciated. Thanks from Ancaster Ontario
Our son just adopted a 1 yr old female a month ago. Everything is fine until she is left at home when he goes to work. She is with his 3yr old German Shepard so not completely alone. She has destroyed shoes, rugs and chairs if left free to roam and broken the crate when in there. When outside has scratched and ruined screens on the windows and doors. She just doesn’t want to be alone but how can you teacher her to be good when she’s alone since your not there ?
Yamil Díaz Aguirre says
I have exactly the same situation. Did you solve it? How did you do?
We have two Great Pyrenees from the same liter. One is pretty chill the other more aggressive, especially towards our 16 year old son. She is fine with my wife and I and our three other children but for some reason she does not like our 16 year old. She has snapped at him when he walks by her and tonight she bit him and tore his pants. I dont know how to break her of this. He has never done anything to the dog and even tries to pet her but she wont let him. She actually doesn’t bother him when we are outside but goes after him in the house. Suggestions?
Becca Mahan says
Mother Pyrenees is still out there probably in trauma without puppies and hoping these people return for her.That 20 lbs of dog food could freeze up.Do the black hawk helicopters fly in this territory?This would be an expedition that Bergandahl would be good assigned to .Thats past history with him unless he Volunteered if living in Utah.She can be given canned mackeral and dog food to warm her up to people again.
De Hufford says
Sounds like really good advice.
Excellent article! Thanks for the information!
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Michele Renee says
Thanks for the great tips! We just adopted our second GP. He is an adult but appears to be completely untrained, other than being pretty great on a leash. He doesn’t respond to any basic commands. Because of the current shut down due to the pandemic I can’t take him to an obedience class. So, I’m starting from scratch! Here’s one quandary I’m having…this dog does not sit. He stands, walks, or lays down. I have seen him sit once in three weeks. I think it’s possible that it doesn’t feel good to him; he has mild hip dysplasia. I took him to the vet and the vet was able to force him to sit and he didn’t yelp or anything. Stood back up with no issue. But nonetheless…I don’t want to try to train him to do something that may hurt him! For now, I’m going to concentrate on lie down, leave it, off, and come. Incidentally, I was just reading about someone using Touch instead of Come! The dog gets pets when s/he comes back to you. I’m using that instead. 🙂 Anyway, thanks for all your help! Any other suggestions you might have for training an adult dog would be much appreciated. It’s very different than starting with a pup.
I have a 10 month old male Pyr. I have had an extremely hard time crate training. I have tried everything I can think of and had professional training. He panics when we leave. His separation anxiety is through the roof. If I even walk outside he starts to bark and get panicky. Any suggestions?
Ok now I’m freaking out. We adopted our Great Pyre mix at 9 weeks. Mom was Great Pyrenees and dad we don’t know. According to the rescue her DNA test supposedly showed everything from spaniel to even 1% Rottweiler She is currently 14 weeks. She responds well to training- sit, stay, lie down, leave it. We use treats, sometimes ice cubes she loves them, and sometimes she’ll respond without any. We have not walked yet, and currently are on stay home for the pandemic. I am hoping to get her shots and then be able to walk her in about 3 more weeks. We have not socialized her yet because she’s not old enough, though we have a resident dog that she plays and rough houses with. They play well. I am hopeful as the pandemic ceases we will be able to socialize her with many different types of dogs to really adapt her to different types of play etc.
My concern for freaking out…. is there are a lot of comments about aggression here? I was not aware that the pyre was prone to aggression, I though they were more gentle in nature. How can we do our best to avoid this? Having an aggressive dog that weighs over 90lbs-110 lbs terrifies me!
Leslie Gallo says
These 10 Tips for training are spot-on. I’d like to an an 11th tip, if I may. Our male pyr is now 4 years old and extremely well trained (other than that barking thing). Our breakthrough training moment was to STOP training him like a dog and START training him like a horse. At first, I thought it was too aggressive, but at 160 lbs, our dog is bigger and stronger than most. I weigh 115 lbs so I was willing to learn, and it worked! They have a similar temperament, intelligence and strength as a horse. If you don’t earn their respect, they will have their way with you. Teaching our pyr to accept a gentle leader (similar to a bridle) was a game-changer!
Shawna Marie Hendrickson says
I could sure use some help with my girl. she is a 1.5 year old golden pyrenees. I take her for 10k + walks everyday. I use a gentle leader and om very consistent with training. she listens to commands impeccably that is until she sees another dog. on average 30 a day. she looses her mind. she barks and flips around and tries everything she can to get the leader off. she will not listen!@@ i will not be a failure and give up on her but its such a struggle and becoming increasingly discouraging
Chaya Brenan says
My two GP don’t like being on leashes. I introduced the leash when they were young and was patient with treats and all. They act like cats on the leash. I want to take them individually for hikes but unfortunately it is not working out. Do some not take to the leash at all? I see all these posts about GP enjoying long walks and mine just enjoy long pets and cuddles. I took one barely half a block down my road until I turned around to put him back on the property. He won’t come to me now. 😞
Marilyn Niedermier says
We are getting a Great Pyrenees /English Shepherd mix puppy?How do I train her?
Dog Boarding says
Great tips for pyrenees
Great tips thanks, every now and then one needs special reinforcement, especially from people who understand how your dog and loves the breed. From reading your comments I think I can just give up on some of my training goals now and accept that I won’t be able to change some behaviours,. I have found that my pyr cross does better on que words than commands. Leave it didn’t make sense to him when he tried to play with dogs that didn’t want to play with him. ‘Abort!’ Made sense to him instantly and he listens to that or ‘go large’ more often than not, unless he is playing with me. Which is a problem because he will listen if I don’t interfere, but if he thinks he can get me to play catch to hook on his lead he won’t stop. I also notice that I must praise him immediately when he starts making the right decision and then he will often follow through on it. You have helped me realise at least that rehoming on a larger property is not the answer to his roaming. I will start a petition to fence in the park instead,
Cindy Seitter says
I have a 4 year old untrained female great Pyrs. I love her and she’s been outside since we got her as a puppy. She was my husbands dog but he passed a year ago. I decided to bring her inside and she has bonded with me. Besides house training where should I start training with training her?
I have an 8 month old Pyrenees that growls at our other dogs when my husband and I are giving them attention. She also has started growling at the water bowl when our oldest dog is trying to drink and will sometimes follow him and tower over him growling when hes walking near food or a treat. She’s so sweet otherwise but I’m worried that she may become aggressive. She has gotten in to a couple fights (not bad) with our other dogs concerning treats even though all of them get them at the same time. Our other dogs mind well and don’t act this way. What could I do to try and correct this? She’s stubborn as most Pyrs are.
I. Looking at getting a puppy, but is there a way to have them not bark at night, or that much in general? Or to tell when they are puppies that they will be quieter and friendlier? I love this breed, it’s just I don’t want one that is aggressive to other dogs, and I don’t much care for the barking. If you could help, that would be great.
I have a great pyrenees newfoundlanders mix. She is truly lovely. She is seven months old and all of a sudden is playing tricks. We live on a farm so I used to walk her all over the farm, she would fetch and run, then come in for a treat. All of a sudden she doesn’t want to come in. She wants me to chase her I won’t. Now I have had to keep her tied so she won’t go on the road. Any suggestions.
Raegan Heldt says
I have a one-year-old male Great Pyrenees that really struggles with anxiety. He was a runt that got trampled a lot as a pup, and the people who had him didn’t sped a lot of time with them as puppy’s. We have him and his brother as poultry livestock dogs. My dog gets frightened at any sudden move I make and any sudden noises. He will whine, stick his tail between his legs, and run away from me. It gets really frustrating. They have been slipping under the electric fence and roaming the neighborhood lately. The one time I shocked my dog for it (to remind him that the fence still works) he freaked out. I felt terrible about it! That was three days ago, and he hasn’t been the same since. He gets scared of the command “come”, and his anxiety is getting worse. I need some help!
We rescued our Pyr, who was living in a shelter for over a year. She is very friendly with people when we take walks, but when we see another dog, she goes crazy. She lunges and growls at the other dog. Since she is 3 and so large now, it is hard to train her. Any suggestions?
we do not have livestock, but have a 40 acre parcel. I’d love to let my pyr roam more, but she wanders off the property, and of course doesn’t listen to come back. (3 year old rescue) Any suggestions on teaching her boundaries?
Carl Doggyz says
I guess these tips work with all dog breeds as they apply in all types of training. The Pyrenees is one of the good looking and cutest dog breeds. They look very good and adorable. These tips also apply to various training techniques. Thanks again.
carol riubi says
I have a pyr mix. mom is 100% dad who knows. It looks like labrador as she was webbed feet and looks like an English Lab. SHe is 1.2 years. The problem I have is destruction She digs every single tree, bush, or bulb. she also brings put to the house on her mouth.
I need to get some help and ideas as to what to do. We have 2 Great Pyrenees, they are brothers and are almost 10 months old. The smaller of the two, Snowball, is the alpha, he weighs 110 pounds. Polar Bear weighs 120 pounds. They are outside dogs and will be our sheep guardians. The problem is, Snowball will stand over Bear and pluck his hair out. Bear has a large bald spot on his back above his tail. I cannot have this and wont tolerate it. Bear needs his hair! I love both dogs and do not want to get rid of Snowball. Does anyone have any suggestions that might help? When I kennel them up at night, they each have their own space in the kennel where they are kept apart by a panel so that doesn’t happen in the kennel anymore, but when they are outside during the day, Bear’s bald spot is growing. They are the most amazing dogs ever, except for this problem. I don’t know if it’s anxiety or if it’s the alpha thing. I’ve never run across this issue with any other dogs. Please help!! Thank you!
I have never had a great Pyrenees before we have three other dogs that are inside dogs and have always lived in the city we recently just purchased 5 acres and that’s when we got our great Pyrenees to help watch over the 5 acres and our cattle.
My question is is our Pyrenees is 11 weeks old and I’m trying to train him but I feel like he’s getting too involved with our inside dogs during their outside time and he doesn’t want to be in the pasture with the animals he whines and cries and wants to be back in the backyard with the other dogs what do I need to do? Please help I am all new to this and I’ve never trained a dog before.
We have an almost 2 yr old great pyrenes / bernese mountain dog mix. She is extremely gentle and loving with all the kids in our family and of course us, however lately she has randomly started to lunge at our little dog, pinning him to the ground. No warning signs, nothing just like a flip of a switch. Then my niece was here who is 7 and has been around our dog previously was just walking by and all of the sudden our dog lunged at her and pinned her to the couch as she fell down. She has never bitten, but i am concerned it will eventually escalate to that. With no warning signs of when she may snap and nothing that i know triggers her specifically i am at a loss on how to train her. I fear all the time she will snap at the other little dogs or a kid. Any suggestions?
We just adopted a 7mos old Border Collie and Pyr mix. It is obvious that he has the stubborn traits of the Pyr. I cannot for the life of me to housbreak the dog. He just poops wherever he wants. no sniffing or signs he is about to go. I have tried the standard methods including regular times outside, picking up the dog with his poop and take him outside. putting his nose near the pee and poop and redirecting outside. I praise him with treats when he does do it outside. he will not use the bathroom on the leash for some odd reason. Not sure what I need to do. He is doing well with sit, stay, and crate training. We are still working on the jumping on people. Please help. I am very patient but our house is starting to really stink.
I think these tips are actually helpful for all dog breeds and not just for great pyrenees, and being patient is one important to follow.
These are great tips and information thanks for sharing but Do we the same things or can we do more things?.