Guardianship Traits

What is the link between guardianship and separation anxiety? Lots of questions (and helpful answers) on these pages!
The guardian genetics of the Pyrenees is generally thought to be its strongest character trait. It's also safe to say that the degree of guardianship tendencies may vary with individuals of this breed.
This site has been a lifeline for 2 experienced dog people with their first Pyr, I can tell you, as we quickly realised that our new dog is unique in every way by comparison to every other canine that lived their life with us.
A 'real busybody', we call him. He lives with 2 retired humans, an older dog and a cat (who thinks he's a dog). Separation anxiety has not been an issue with him. So, why is this so? And why is it so extreme in some other Pyrs, that they engage in destructive coping behaviour when left alone at home?
Perhaps the key to that is: a)guardian genetics as opposed to learned (trained) guarding
b)inability to cope with separation from their 'flock' that is stronger in some individuals than others and,
c) genetic programming that will not allow these dogs to over-ride the need to be with their flock at all hours, in all conditions and circumstances.
So, 'learned guarding' can be refined, added to, and specific coping skills taught, right?
Is this even possible with a Pyrenees, whose guardianship is inborn? Whose 'flock' could be comprised of individuals in a home or, stock in a field? And, whose other best character trait is having their own mind about all things?
Weigh in, readers! I'd like to know!



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Aug 30, 2017
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I too wonder about this
by: Nancy from Texas

I too have wondered about the difference between guardianship traits vs separation anxiety issues. My Brutus is almost 10 now. I've had him for 5 years. There have been several instances involving his behavior where I don't know if he is protecting me or wanting me to protect him. Brutus is a house pet with lots of access to outside as he has trained himself to go out and come in on his own using our front door storm door. When the entry door is open, he can let himself out and back in the storm door using the handle. He is terrified of gunshot and fireworks. When he hears either and he happens to be outside, he will hurriedly comes back inside, goes to the bedroom and won't come out till a long time with no sounds from outside. He stays close to me but will not go outside till the sounds are over. In other circumstances if I'm outside and a neighbor dog comes into the yard, he gets close to me almost shoving me while barking at the stranger dog. Sometimes he will go sniff the other dog but has never really been aggressive in trying to run them off so that's when I'm not sure if he's protecting me or not. I had rather him run other animals off rather than let them stay in the yard while he stays close by my side. He has never shown anything resembling protecting me from other people, strangers or known people, only animals. So how do you know what is protective behavior vs. simple anxiety issues?

Aug 31, 2017
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protective boy
by: Anonymous

I believe your dog is protecting you when he barks and leans up against you. That is definitely possessive. I believe when he sniffs the other dog and is not aggressive he simply does not see the other dog as a threat so there is no need to be aggressive. As far as people go, just an idea he may see people as dominant or alpha and you never challenge alpha. Don't underestimate him if someone came at you your dog would jump into action to protect his alpha in the pack. Good luck, he sounds like a lovely dog!!

Sep 08, 2017
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Please Don't Leave
by: Anonymous

I have a one year old male and he has always been excellent when I leave him at home and go to work however, if the family goes downstairs to the basement for an extended period, he does exhibit destructive behaviour (ripping our items to tatters) to show us his dissatisfaction.

We have tried to get him to come down into the basement with us but he strongly resists this. I believe he is afraid so we don't force him.

Sep 08, 2017
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basement fears
by: Anonymous

Oh yeah, your dog is livid when u go downstairs and if he sees the downstairs as a scary place then his most cherished people are going into danger. I believe he is destructive as he is so frustrated that he channels it into that behavior. Other thing is the basement may represent a memory that he is afraid of. just a suggestion, sit on the top step and slowly eat a piece of bacon. Don't offer it to him first as he is cautious but if you slowly nibble he wants what you have so you may be able to coax him. Once he is on the 1st step go back up that one step or go down not coaxing him. Shoot for step 2 the next day. Slow progression but it worked for me with a dog that would not go upstairs to bedrooms.



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