If you have a Great Pyrenees or have ever had one please tell me everything you know. I have never even met a dog like this one. In some ways she reminds me of my Aussie/Malamute the puppy school drop-out, Molly, who got so bored with puppy obedience training that she went to sleep in class. Like Molly, Polar seems to want to serve me of her own free will rather than being an “underling” in the sense of being dominated by me. I’ve had a couple of other dogs like that, but this dog is really different. I’m sure in puppy school Polar O’Bear (She’s an O) would go to sleep, too. After one full day with this dog I would say:
1) She does not believe she needs a leash in order to walk with me. She believes that BECAUSE she WANTS to walk with me the string is silly. She does as she’s told/asked, but mostly because Dusty and Mindy get very happy at the word “Walk” and will practice with her. I will continue to leash train her, but never have I had a dog who just WATCHED me and FOLLOWED me AT HEEL.
2) She has her own mind. She is a little scared in a new place, she wants to stay, she wants to please me, but she has a mentality of her own. We had a little struggle over the crate (I’ve crate trained several dogs and never had any problem inducing them to at least stick their head in to eat their dinner the first day). After that, I realized the best strategy for me was to treat her like I would a cat and wait until she came looking for me, momentarily, at least, abandoning her and the whole project. It was effective. I have put the crate away and am contemplating not using it with her. Why?
3) I also realized she may not need to be crate trained. Thinking of her very strongly pronounced Pyrenees mentality, I realized she could feel the crate would hamper her ability to do what she’s bred for — take care of me, my house and my other dogs. I felt like she was telling me, “No! I have a job to do. Have I given you any indication today that I WON’T pee when you want me to? Walk where you want me to? Sit when you tell me? This really hurts my feelings and I feel insulted by it.” I found it interesting because at the shelter she went right into her kennel. Here she would have no part of it; perhaps because it reminded her of the shelter. I’ve adopted other shelter dogs and they were happy to have a crate. It made them feel safe and gave them their own domain. This morning when I went to get her she was EXTREMELY happy I was back and that might be part of it.
3) She lets me do everything to her. I have cleaned both her ears, wiped her eyes cleaned, brushed her seriously to remove the little mats and she is completely happy with all that somewhat intrusive contact. She did not like the collar or the harness but quickly learned there’s no choice and has accepted them both, even letting me take the harness off and put it on again.
At the end of day one, I think I’m in for an experience. But again, please, I would really like to hear anything anyone can tell me about how best to train this breed so she will be happy forever with me.
She has given me the incentive I needed to make an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon to talk about a knee replacement.