Great Pyr as therapy dog

by Russell
(Nashville)

I have a rescue Great Pyr that is so sweet. We visit the nursing home and college campuses and he attracts such great attention. I have tried to do obedience training with him to get him into pet therapy school but it isn't working out for me. The last time we had to do the PT audition (you have to be evaluated before you get admitted), the lady evaulation (who does show dogs) kept barking orders at him (didn't respond well and just laid down and looked at her like she was crazy). I have talked to a few trainers but they want to go the Very Agressive Ways of talking to him. He's very sweet but unless he passes this entry evaluation, I won't be able to get him into school. Does anyone have suggestions? There must be better trainors out there that understand this breed. He's not stupid. Help!

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May 22, 2016
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Training
by: Donna

You need a positive-motivational and reinforcement trainer to help you out. Pyrs are independent by nature and don't take kindly to being 'yelled' at.

They are, as you know, used as guardian livestock dogs who do their job without human intervention once they know their job. They'll do something if it's worth their while.

Stay with it. Get a trainer who will do their research on this breed but a positive-reinforcement trainer will work with you. Praise for good behaviour, redirect for unwanted.

He is far from stupid. Pyrs are highly intelligent. Just because he doesn't listen to someone says something about the person barking orders at him.

Dr. Sophia Yin, Dr. Ian Dunbar are just a couple of world-renowned vet behaviourists. Have a look at their sites for some more insight into dog/animal behaviour.

Copy and paste this URL into your browser to find a positive-reinforcement trainer in your area.

https://www.karenpryoracademy.com/find-a-trainer

Best of luck. And, it's great that you are doing this with your dog.

May 22, 2016
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Poor conduct
by: Ed A from NJ

Great Pyrenees make great theopy and service dogs. Mine was a service dog for 7 plus years. First you should have asked for a different tester no one has the right to bark out orders at you or your dog. Second always us a accredited train, anyone can call themselves a trainer but you will need a trainer who understands these big complex dogs. But do not get discouraged these dogs do great work and are very very smart.

May 26, 2016
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Thank you
by: Nashville

Thanks so much. I have found an trainer and will speak with her before the lessons begin. It's been a very discouraging process when our dog is such a sweet and gentle soul.

May 26, 2016
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keep trying!!!
by: Anonymous

YOU are the one who knows your dog best. Better than any evaluator who says they are an expert. You have experienced how he behaves when you take him out to the college and the retirement home. So, don't give up!! Call the association and ask for an evaluation by someone familiar with the Pyrenees. Your dog showed an immense respect to that person when he was yelled at. It was more than she deserved. Personally, I rather doubt if I would have reacted as nicely as he did!
So please don't give up...keep trying. Ask and ask and ask. There is an old saying: "when the student is ready, the teacher appears". Follow every suggestion given if you think it will further your goal for your dog. You'll be glad you did. Good luck!

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