Great Pyrenees are typically more routine-driven than other breeds, but I’m not sure exactly why. Maybe it helps when they are livestock guardians? It would be easier to be a good guard dog if you knew exactly when things were going to happen, where your livestock is supposed to be, and how the day is going to go.
Mauja and Atka both get upset if their routine is changed, but Atka just can’t seem to handle it. I have never seen a dog get so stuck in a routine!
Here are a few things that happened recently that really upset Atka:
- I had to wash his favorite blanket so it wasn’t in it’s usual spot. Atka stood by his spot and looked at the floor, looked at me, looked at the floor, looked at me, looked at the floor and then laid down staring at the blanket spot. When it was finally done in the dryer, I put it down and he immediately got up, took a step forward, turned around, and settled in for a nap.
- Normally, our SUV is parked along the sidewalk rather than in the driveway and it’s always in the same place. Someone had parked there, so I had to park up two spots. Atka ran to the car that was in our usual spot (not even close to the same size) and stood there waiting for me to open the back for him to get in. It took several minutes and luring him with treats to get him to walk to our car.
- Speaking of getting into the SUV – it used to be parked in our garage. Getting Atka to go out the front door after saying, “Do you want to go for a ride?” proved to be quite challening. He still wanted to go to the garage door.
- We also normally come in the front door when we are out. Recently, the front door was locked, but the garage was wide open. I eventually had to go inside through the garage myself, unlock the front door, and let Atka in that way.
- Atka always sleeps in the same spot every night. I thought I would move the cooling pad to that spot to keep him cool overnight. He stood there and stared at the cooling pad until I moved it out of his spot.
- We used to have Mauja and Atka’s feeding spots separated by a baby gate. Eventually, I wanted to rearrange that room so I removed it and changed the eating arrangement. Atka went from his bowl being on the door side to it being on the back wall. For several weeks, Atka sat facing away from me while I put his food down behind him. It’s been months and I only have him sitting sideways at this point! We’ll see how long until he turns the entire way around.
- We got a new water bowl – he refuses to drink out of it.
- When I get home after being gone awhile, we always greet at the same spot – on the ottoman. If I don’t immediately go sit on the ottoman, he goes there and waits for me to come there. He won’t greet me unless I’m there!
Does your dog get upset if you change the routine?