A Shy, Majestical Pyrenees Named Zeke

by Kaci
(Austin, TX, USA)

@Zeke_The_Pyr (Follow Him on Instagram!)

@Zeke_The_Pyr (Follow Him on Instagram!)

Hi there!

My name is Kaci, and I got my baby Zeke the day he turned eight weeks. He just turned one year in February. I know they are working dogs by nature, but I decided to get Zeke for general protection, as I am a single, young female who lives alone in a big city; however, I also got him for emotional support, and my gosh, was that the best decision ever! Zeke is so loving, so affectionate, and has quite the personality. He absolutely loves small dogs; I think he thinks he is one (LOL). He's very playful and gets along well with every dog out there.

I do have a little concern for my Zekey baby, though, as he expresses some unusual traits commonly not seen in Pyrs. For one, he does not like children at all. And it is very heart-breaking to me because I do not understand why. Like I mentioned, I bought Zeke when he was only eight weeks, and ever since then, have been working every day to socialize him and to get him to interact with as many different types of people as possible. The only thing I can think of as to why he may be unsure of children is because, perhaps, those were the individuals he was around the least during his prime socialization period, because as I mentioned, we live in an inner city with mainly young adults, adults, and elderly folks.

That said, he was great around people and eager to interact with EVERYONE up until about eight months of age. Then, he began to become suspicious of strangers, passers-by, etc. The only people he is 100% ok and comfortable with are:

1) the individuals he's known since birth
2) the individuals who have a dog
3) the individuals who I invite into my home

Besides that, he really is not comfortable interacting or letting strangers pet him. And I am not sure what to do, because I felt like the amount of socialization he received as a young puppy, and still has continued to receive into adulthood, would be plenty.

I might add that I am used to owning Goldens, and understand they are an entirely different breed. Nonetheless, my point being that I am used to having dogs that are very interactive with individuals. That is not to say that I am trying to teach my Pyr a Golden-like personality because we know it just doesn't work like that!

With that in mind, I would love any tips or recommendations you all have to help socialize my Pyr, so he isn't so timid of strangers. (Usually, when he sees one, he backs away and doesn't like to be pet; if they attempt to pet him, he will give a soft bark).

Comments for A Shy, Majestical Pyrenees Named Zeke

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Mar 27, 2018
Aggression
by: Donna

This is most unfortunate.

If you acquired her from a reputable breeder, you need to talk to them. They will want to know that this is happening so they can stop that line of dog.

Do more research on this breed. Know that they are aloof dogs and aren't affectionate like a Golden. Man bred them to watch over livestock without the help of humans.

He is showing full guardian instincts with people and dogs and, of course, this can happen to any dog who doesn't have the proper socialization and handling soon after birth.

It is crucial that these dogs are socialized and handled by many many different people (100 people is ideal) about three days after birth right through to 8 weeks and carried on by the new people. You did everything right. But, without that earliest socialization and, of course, good genetic lines, this sadly, is what can happen as they mature. This behaviour is not something that can be corrected.

I'd advise bringing in a positive-reinforcement trainer to assess your dog and/or talk to a vet behaviourist.

Sep 13, 2018
He's a good watchdog
by: Anonymous

I'm loving my GP. I got him from my grandaughter when she had to move out of state. 8 mohths old. He was raised with other small dogs and kids around so I imagine he's socialized to this point. However I don't want him to be too friendly with strangers unless I'm there. He's my watchdog. My old dog who lived to be 16, now in rainbow heaven,would bark at first at strangers if I wasn't around, but would happily accept a toy or ball or maybe food from a stranger and let them in the yard or house. So I am keeping this this GP not as friendly. He accepts going to the vet, but doesnt show any particular interest in the technicians or want to be petted as my other older dog. He'll allow shots if I'm in the room with him but refuses to cooperate with the technicians if I'm not. He's good with my cats and actually gives them a wide berth, and he likes my female dog mostly as a running buddy in the yard. Overall I'm pretty happy with his aloof traits with others as he's quite the cuddler with me. While I want him socialized enough to go out or have people in, I'm going to ask that they don't pet him unless they are family or close friends. I want him to keep his stranger danger watchfulness.

Dec 08, 2019
Zeke's behavior
by: Anonymous

I am a Pyr owner and my pup is now 11 years old. Having never owned one, I was looking for a Guardian Dog who would look after my wife and children when I traveled for work so I researched the breed quite extensively. From what I've read, your Pyr is within normal limits by not taking kindly to strangers without an introduction. However, once introduced, they will greet the person for a quick "scent verification" to ensure they've met this person before. So, once introduced and verified, your Pyr will accept the other persons presence.

My children are all grown up now but whenever one of their friends comes over when they are home from college, my Pyr still will meet them at the front door for a quick sniff and permit them to enter our home. Until that verification takes place, the person is not entering my home.

I've also noticed my Pyr doesn't seek attention from anyone outside her flock. So yes... they are aloof and can be standoffish. But from what I've seen, your Pyr will not seek interaction from outsiders. Your Pyr knows the dynamic of where it lives and will protect what it believes to be its responsibility. And if you live by yourself, your Pyr will guard you..

Re not taking to younger children, I can't explain this phenomenon. However I recall when we purchased our Pyr the father of our pup wanted us off his farm as soon as possible. And all of my children were under 10 yo at the time. This may change if your Pyr is exposed to more children? But I cant say for sure and this would have to be highly supervised. I wish you luck with Zeke

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