Destructive Behaviors

by Joanne
(Twin Falls, ID)

Three months ago we rescued a Great Pyr neutered male from a kill shelter here in Idaho. He's approximately 15 months old. He is house trained. He's low key in the house for the most part. When restless he goes out in our fenced backyard (approx half acre). We have a 4 year old yellow lab female and they play well together. We keep him in our room at night with the other dog as he will raid the kitchen sometimes. When we are home 90% of the time all is great with him - no mischief.

When we are at work and weather doesn't permit him to be outside, we muzzle him because if we don't, he is destructive. Yesterday he managed to get his muzzle off and the results are a typical example: bakeware dish on back of stove pull off and shattered on the floor, wastebasket contents everywhere, laptop sleeve chewed beyond hope, sweater pulled from closet and chewed, large chewed area on floor rug (imported from Pakistan)...

Is this typical or is this separation anxiety? We try not to coop him up inside because he loves to be in the backyard. At -10 I won't leave him out. At 20 and snowing I don't leave him out.

Help.

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Jan 19, 2017
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Destructive Behaviour
by: Donna

It's typical behaviour of a puppy which he is. That's not separation anxiety by the sounds of it.

You need to crate train him when you are not there: http://info.drsophiayin.com/crate-training-handout

You might also consider it for him at night but you don't want him spending day and night in it.

You need a crate big enough for him to stand plus a few inches, turn around and lie down fully. That will be the largest crate you can get. Get a Kong, fill it with raw meat, freeze it and tie it to the back of the crate. That's where your start training.

Never use the crate for punishment. Never punish a dog. You need to work with your dog.

Have a positive-reinforcement trainer come in to show you how to do it.

Leaving a muzzle on him is dangerous. He could get caught in something. Leaving him loose in the house, as you have seen, is dangerous for him.

Walk your dog, too, so he gets out to see the world and stay interested and socialized.

As for -10 and -20, as long as he has insulated shelter available, he's fine. These guys have double coats and were meant to be outdoors. They love to be outside in most temperatures. If that is where he wants to be, he'll be fine. That said, you also don't want him to be stolen when you are not there.

Jan 23, 2017
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Destructive behaviour
by: Anonymous

Yes. Crate-training is best. It becomes a safe place for them when they want their own quiet get away, too.

Just leave the door open when you're home and they can come and go as they please.

Jan 25, 2017
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just a thought
by: Anonymous

Cannot think of anything that is missing from the wonderful home your Pyr has been adopted into...except maybe one thing. You did not mention walking your dogs.

Pyrenees are programed genetically with a need to patrol their environment. Miles and miles of it. On these walks everything he sees, hears and smells will be catalogued into his big bear head. On his next walk he will instantly be aware if there is a change in that environment. As a guardian, he needs to know and assess if this constitutes a threat.

His comfort level and his ability to relax in the home is directly tied to his experience with 'due diligence'. If yours doesn't get to do this every day, this could be a source of frustration for your pup. Frustration, any level of it, generally leads to destruction.

That said, there's a lot going on with him in his new life as your guardian, that will be a fairly steep learning curve for him. He's still a pup. It will take time for him to replace his previous life experiences (they never forget) with the new ones you are now providing for him.

You will need to safeguard your home from his activities in your absence with a crate, but do walk your dogs together at the time of day when the Pyr's need to patrol is most acute: early AM and again at dusk in the PM.

Thank you for rescuing and best of luck with your fur babies.

Apr 02, 2020
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No crate
by: MaryJo Cunningham

My 2 yr old rescue Pyreneese goes bonkers in the super large crate I put her in. I bought the largest crate I could find. The first 2 nights he was great, but oh dear the 3rd...😳😱! He chewed off the door frame, a huge piece out of the middle, he chewed chunks out of the banister, I could go on but I think you get the idea, so HELP, please, quickly! He slept outside last night, but I really want him upstairs in my room. I live in the San Diego area so the weather is comfortable at night.

Apr 03, 2020
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Crate training
by: Donna

Hi MaryJo

I did reply to your email. Here is the information:

This isn't something that can be fixed just like that. It takes time and work. Have a positive-reinforcement trainer or qualified vet behavourist come in to help you since they'll be able to see what is going on.

In the meantime, you can start feeding her in the crate, door open. If she won't go in, feed her outside of the crate, gradually moving her food dish closer each time you feed. Throw high value treats in during the day and tell her what a good girl she is when/if she goes in. Make it a good place to be. There is also an online crate game that is great. However, she is set back somewhat but you can still work on this program to help her. https://dogsthat.com/crate-games-2/

If you're interested, there is a free two month training program that is geared towards rescued dogs. Copy and paste this URL into your browser: https://dogsthat.com/home-school/

I hope this helps,

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