Eating - 4 year old not eating

by Nancy
(Venus, TX)

I have a newly adopted 4 years old male Pyr. I've had him about 3 months now. He was previously a totally outside dog but we have easily made him into a lazy house dog. His previous owner says he has been raised on Pedigree kibble and scraps. But for me he won't eat but maybe every other day of any type of dog food whether Pedigree kibble, good can dog food, refrigerated dog foods, etc. Of course, he loves biscuits, our food meat/chicken dishes, etc. But I want him to stick to good dog foods. When he does eat, he will eat 4 cups at a time. He was 140 lbs when we got him and I can tell he's lost a little bit of weight but not much. My concern is whether or not it is ok that he doesn't seem to eat much for a big dog. But he loves his chew rawhide bones and drinks about 3 gallons of water a day. He doesn't "play" like most dogs but loves to lay around in the cool of the house except to go potty and roam for about an hour a day to let the neighbor dogs know that he's around. We do take him on about 30 minute leash walks which he seems to enjoy. He is very gentle with my 5 and 7 year old grandkids that live with me with the exception of a low growl if they come near his chew bones. I don't think he would ever really snap at them though. They are just told to leave him alone when he's taking "chew time". However, he will let me take it from him at any time with no issues, so I know I'm the pack leader. I'm just mainly concerned about his not eating much. He is also very stubborn. He will sit, shake, lie down on command. But "come here" doesn't mean a thing to him, even with a treat. Any suggestions for training a 4 year old more respect for me as pack leader would be appreciated.

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Oct 08, 2013
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Brutus and his barking!
by: Nancy

Hi. Nancy again with questions regarding our lovable Brutus. We have had him now for about 6 months. He is eating very well now. He has adopted well going from living outside from puppy age till 4 years old which is when we got him to being a lazy, laid back inside dog with us for the last 6 months. I have trained him how to let us know when he wants outside by ringing a ribbon of jingle bells tied to the front door knob. By the way, he has never even attempted to "do his business" inside since we've had him. He butts the bells with his nose till somebody lets him outside. The issue I need help with right now is for the last week or so, he has been wanting to spend nearly all night outside. He sleeps most of the day inside, going out 2 or 3 times during the day to pee or just go for a stroll. At night, he would normally sleep some more and go out early morning. But the weather has been cooler here in Texas in the last week or so and he has been insistent in staying out at night and BARKING, AND BARKING, AND BARKING all night!! His bark echoes like being in the Grand Canyon! When I try to get him to stay inside, he lays down for a while then wants out and doesn't want to come back in till morning. I can't figure out why. Does anybody have any ideas as to why, or is there any way to train him not to bark so much? Thanks for any help.

Oct 22, 2013
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Barking.
by: Anonymous

We have a 50/50 3 year old Pyr/Anatolian (our first); he is out 24/7, protecting the goats, chickens and horse. A BOOMING bark is very typical with LGD's as with the wakefulness at night, that's when the predators are out, it's pretty much wired in them. We are still learning about this breed. There are times when he is very vocal and we believe this may be because there is an intruder ( which may be anything from an opossum, to canids) testing the waters. When he barks, we take notice. We have learned much of his barking language and for us, it's easy to listen, roll over and go back to sleep when we believe that there is not a threat to the animals. However, the neighbors may not be so understanding!


Jul 10, 2014
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Pyr not eating much
by: Donna

I would put him on a higher quality kibble. Oven baked is the best of kibbles although more expensive but healthier in the long run. Better yet - raw diet. Google raw diet for dogs in your area. Pyrs do not eat much and eat only as they need to since they have low metabolisms.

As for Pyrs being lazy, remember they normally have a job of guarding their herds of livestock. Humans brought them into their homes to become companions. The only job they have now is to guard their humans and home in very a low square footage compared to the acres they would have in their real job. Take your dog out hiking, or skiing with you. Keep him active to keep him in some sort of shape.

As for not coming, that is a Pyr trait. They are independent thinkers... a trait required for their real life jobs of guarding their livestock. Make coming fun for him, offer treats after he does, and lots of praise. Pyrs cannot be off leash in unfenced areas because of their lack of recall.

There is more great information about Pyrs on this site at https://www.great-pyrenees-club-of-southern-ontario.com/dog-behaviour.html

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