Help - I need motivation for Great Pyr

by Travelbear
(Nashville)

I am on my second trainer for my 2.5year old Great Pyr. My dog is a super prospective therapy dog. However, he needs to get some basic commands down in order to get admitted to school. I have been to the best trainer in Nashville and although there is progress, he seems to just shut down after a while. I am supposed to find his motivation - perhaps some really good treats (that can be transported easily). Just when I think he's got the hang of something, he will just roll over on his back and just be bored. I am not talking about lengthy training sessions. Just 1/2 hour. I know it's hot but this is in a/c room. I am so frustrated. I know he loves to visit grandma in the nursing home and is so sweet and gentle with babies and kids and seniors but I can kiss this dream goodbye unless I find his motivation. So, all you pyr experts out there, can anyone offer suggestions?

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Jul 19, 2016
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by: Great Pyrenees Club

A half hour is too long probably. He's a pup and he's a Pyr. They, as you know, are independent thinkers and everything has to be worth their while. They are not eager-to-please dogs.

Keep it to 5-10 minute sessions at a time. You must be patient.

For the sit, presumably he likes his walks. When you get to a curb, he has to sit. His reward is to continue on the walk. The first time might take 20 minutes. You say 'sit' at the curb with the signal and wait. Every now and again, say sit and wait. When he does sit, 'good boy' and move forward on your walk. That is his reward. Do it at every curb. He'll get it eventually. It might take two weeks to get the command and sit down to a couple of seconds

You can work on the down like this, too, if you want.

The come is a little more difficult, of course. Stand in front of him. Move a couple of feet backwards. Say 'come'. I'm sure you already know all of this.

That is the hardest for them. Stay is easier for them.

Real dried liver has been the best training treat I have used so far. You may consider a used dehydrator and get liver from a butcher or farmer. Buying it is very expensive.

Again, keep the sessions short. Always a 'good boy' and happiness when he does it, plus the liver.

For extra help, you can refer to Dr. Sophin Yin
https://drsophiayin.com/

Don't give up. Pyrs are 'special'. Time, patience and consistency. And, short sessions.

Jul 19, 2016
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He can do it!
by: Ed A from NJ

Give this little man time it will come. Beau and i started his training when he was 8 months old he got hi cert at almost 2 years old. This may sound weird but someone showed me a trick that worked great. I boiled turkey hotdogs choped them into little disks. Then csrried them in a small chill bag on my waist. Before rewarding him i would pop it in my mouth for a few seconds to take the chill off.worked great.

Jul 19, 2016
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motivation
by: Anonymous

Excellent response from the club. To which there's nothing much to add except this: if you are frustrated at the training sessions, his response will always be 'then, lets DON'T'. He doesn't like them either. If he's not interested in boring sit/stay repetitions, he will shut down. He LOVES socialising. Let him do that. Give up the time-line, and gently teach as you go on your visits. Try not to make his natural sweetness and empathy into a job.

Jul 21, 2016
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Training
by: Donna

Yes, make sure the sessions are always fun no matter how short.

If you get frustrated since this does neither you nor the dog any good, stop the session but make sure to end on a good note. This means getting a sit or a down or just have him do something he is good at already before you stop.

Have fun!

Jul 21, 2016
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Training
by: Anonymous

Definitely integrate training into day-to-day activities. Sessions are too boring for these guys.

You're cooking in the kitchen. Dog comes in. Have him sit and then treat. Maybe have him sit once more after he does a down. Good dog! That's enough.

Integrating training while on a walk is a great idea. He does what you ask, he gets to continue his walk.

You'll need treats for the come. Treats for the sit/down when no other motivation is there.


Jul 21, 2016
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Just one more point
by: Ed A from NJ

You are getting a lot of good input here (WHY I TOTALLY LOVE THIS SITE).I would add two more small points. Any trainer should be giving you the guidance and you should be the one training your dog also deciding how much and when. Last point your dog has his own personality and while all Pyrenees share breed consistent traits each dog learns at his own time and rate. I would say please try not to break his individual personality. That is what separates you beautiful boy from the rest.

Mar 10, 2017
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Thank you
by: Nashville

Having had a lab before who was a people pleaser and loved treats. Short sessions are working. Liver treats work mostly. He has a mind of his own and very sweet.

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