How to stop my pyr from barking at the "herd" he should be guarding?

by Jennifer
(Colorado, USA)

I just adopted a 3 year old great pyrenees from a rescue. She's a fantastic new member of the family. We have several horses and a flock of chickens. She loves to run up to the fence to see the chickens scatter. She also loves to bark at the horses. If she sees them out the window walking in the pasture or if she comes outside and sees them, she goes into a barking frenzy. I'd like her to know that they're part of the family and not something she should be barking at. Will she grow out of it as she gets more used to them (it's day 4 with us)?

On a related note, as soon as the sun goes down, she wants to be outside and barks nonstop until we put her to bed. Is there something we can do about this or just learn to love it?

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Jan 15, 2015
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Behaviour & Genetics
by: Anonymous

Your Pyr's herd interest, her need to be with them, nite-time vigilance and barking are all encoded guardian behavior. "Frenzy" may kick in when she confronts a predator(re:Frankie & the bear). Honour her breed encoding with walks on the leash and redirect behavior, gradually moving from perimeter walks around the herd to walks thru the herd. Your intention, calm & self confidence, will have a positive effect on her. Keep your shoulders relaxed, no tension on the leash, and hum softly or keep up a cozy conversation with her on your walks. Every time her focus on the animals becomes intense, quietly bring her focus back to you with a "sit" command & treat. She will mirror your behavior so you must remain calm (breathe). This will take time and much patience as you are building trust. Make her a part of your routine in the barn and fowl enclosure... always redirect excitement & reward calm. Keep her with you leashed, until she shows consistently that she reacts with calm to all in your care. Good luck with her. Shower her with love. She is absolutely worth it.

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