A barking dog What an idea, the Pyrenees! Pyrs are well-known for their incessant barking. They are guard dogs, and one of their principal duties is to warn predators away.
They were raised to look after cattle. Their fluffy white fur enables them to blend in with a flock of sheep, their ability to behave instinctively allows them to defend a herd without the need for a person to make choices, and their deep, booming bark allows them to warn off possible predators without having to fight.
If your Great Pyrenees has a habit of barking, you are not alone. Barking is highly prevalent in this breed—so common, in fact, that it’s unusual to encounter one that doesn’t. It’s not that these dogs like hearing their own voices; rather, they were deliberately developed to utilize their bark for a specific purpose. Let’s take a look at why these canines were bred in the first place.
The Great Pyrenees is a huge, ancient breed of dog that was designed specifically to be a livestock guarding dog. For hundreds of years, Basque shepherds in rural areas and hilly slopes around the Pyrenees mountains in southern France utilized them.
Their primary responsibility was to defend the flock from deadly predators such as wolves and bears. This often included keeping an eye out at night, when many predators were on the hunt.
The dogs’ white, thick coats helped them blend in with the flock and protected them from harsh, cold weather—as well as possible predators’ fangs and claws. How were predators deterred from possibly causing damage to livestock? The Great Pyrenees, you guessed it, turned to their loud, booming voices.
Because of their protective character and beautiful appearance, these canines piqued the interest of French monarchy, and one became a coveted guardian for the Chateau of Lourdes. This breed was named the “Royal Dog of France” in 1675.
Several specimens were relocated to Newfoundland, however owing to a lack of predators as a result of extensive hunting, their numbers have declined.
At core, Great Pyrenees are working dogs. They are, in fact, classified as working dogs by the American Kennel Club. However, unlike other working dogs that must be constantly trained, the Great Pyrenees operates mostly on instinct.
Many Great Pyrenees are still used as livestock protectors today. This dog will appreciate taking care of your animals, whether they are geese, ducks, chickens, or sheep. You’ll be intrigued seeing these dogs operate as a team when you have more than one Pyr on the job. They’ll actually take turns watching your cattle, with many napping throughout the day to be active when the animals need it the most: at night. This is the job they were bred for and excel at.
“Great Pyrenees are an excellent illustration of the genetics of behavior,” says cheesemaker Marcia Barinaga of Barinaga Ranch in Marshall, California. “They’ve been defending sheep for generations, and there is nothing else they’d rather do.”
So, what happens if the guardians aren’t assigned to work on livestock? Their family will most likely be their “flock” to guard. Those protective instincts will continue to prevail. The Pyr will run multiple perimeter checks in the yard to ensure that everything is in order and that there are no risks. If they are at home, they may get anxious to go outside and investigate those outside sounds. When they see anything is wrong, they will bark in an attempt to scare whatever it is away.
The amount of barking a Pyr produces is determined by a variety of variables, including heredity, the quantity of socialization and training received, the environment to which they are exposed, and others. You can end up with a Pyr that only barks when something is wrong, or one who barks when a leaf falls from a tree.
Pyrs howl! They bark more than other dogs, which may make them unsuitable for densely populated areas. “Telling a Pyr not to bark is like asking a fish not to swim,” says Indy Great Pyrenees Rescue. Pyrs are bred to bark in order to deter prospective animal and human invaders. It’s their method of informing everyone that they’re on duty.”
The impulse to bark cannot be totally eliminated, however it may be reduced. The following are some ideas.
Many dogs benefit from socialization as a means of learning about the world around them. It is especially crucial in guardian dogs since they must learn to accept what is usual in their surroundings and in today’s culture. Begin socializing as soon as possible; the window of opportunity will expire at 16 weeks. During this period, it’s critical to socialize the puppy with a variety of individuals so that as he develops, he won’t feel the need to make his own conclusions about who is friend and who is foe.
Your Pyr may develop wary of everyone if he or she is not socialized properly from an early age. However, ongoing socialization should be performed throughout the dog’s life. A well-socialized Pyr will be less likely to bark needlessly at stimuli that he identifies as non-threatening.
Pyrenees, like other working dogs, need exercise and mental stimulation to keep their bodies in shape and their brains occupied. If you don’t, they’ll find their own sources of amusement, which won’t be nice. “An idle brain is the devil’s workshop,” as the proverb goes, and this is true for bored dogs. If left to their own devices, they will chew, dig, and bark.
Long daily walks, interactive toys, foraging opportunities, training sessions, play sessions, and long-lasting chews are just a few of the numerous activities that may keep your Great Pyrenees entertained. When the mind and body are fatigued, they are less likely to respond to even the most faint stimuli.
As previously said, many Pyr are active at night since it is when most predators are active. Nocturnal hypervigilance to disturbances might lead to unending barking. Bringing your Pyr inside is a smart idea since indoors sounds are muffled and many dogs are less prone to bark. The same is true if your dog barks a lot throughout the day. Bring him inside and find a good activity to keep his mind occupied.
According to trainer and author Michelle Welton, “Great Pyrenees should never be left unaccompanied outdoors in your yard.” Your neighbors’ thunderous barks will have them phoning the authorities to report the nuisance—or even allowing your Great Pyrenees out of his yard so he’ll wander away.”
“Pyrs have a strong independent streak and are not readily obedience-trained,” according to National Pyrenees Rescue. Most owners find training difficult, so if you need a dog that will show unconditional loyalty, you should definitely consider elsewhere.” While this is somewhat true, don’t let a trainer tell you they’re untrainable. They can be taught; all they require is your patience, consistency, and determination.
When it comes to training, “there is no shortcut and you will not accomplish this in an 8-week obedience school; it is a lifelong commitment,” according to Northeast Pyr Rescue. Never give up! So, sure, a Pyr can be trained, and they can also be trained to bark less! How?
First and foremost, do not get irritated and begin saying “stop it” or “knock it off.” If the Pyr’s barking is caused by outside disturbances, you are merely contributing to the barking and making him more uneasy. Instead, acknowledge his barking by peering out the window and telling him that there’s nothing to worry about. According to the Colorado Great Pyrenees Rescue, you should say something like, “Thank you, good guy. It’s all right, I see him. It’s all right, let’s go back to bed.”
Young Pyrs frequently learn about what is deemed a danger from adult Pyrs in a rural, natural environment. It is up to the proprietors in a more urban area to offer assurance about what is and is not a danger. Teach your Pyr to tolerate passing automobiles by stating, “it’s just a car.”
If he warns you to a disturbance outside, take a glance, look at the disturbance, and say “it’s gone, all clear,” so your Pyr understands you recognized the issue and can now rest. If your dog is sensitive to certain sounds, you may utilize desensitization and counterconditioning by delivering the noise at a low intensity and frequently combining it with a nice food.
As previously said, there are several methods you can do to lessen barking in your Pyr, but you will not be able to totally eradicate this behavior. If you are gone for the most of the day and your dog barks incessantly in the yard, try putting him to daycare or hiring a pet sitter to keep him amused while you are gone to keep the barking under control.
Unfortunately, many Pyrs are given to rescues due of their barking, despite the fact that this is what they were specifically selected to do. As with any breed, thorough study is required to decrease the likelihood of unwanted pets.
The first thing you should realize is that, although your Great Pyrenees may seem to be barking at nothing most of the time, he is really barking at something. Turid Rugaas, a world-renowned dog trainer, noted in her book, Barking: The Sound of a Language, that many believe dogs bark to demonstrate hostility, anger us, or control us or others. People think it’s negative conduct, but that’s not true.
Rugaas teaches that dogs bark to communicate, and we must find out what they’re trying to tell us before we can convince them to stop. She claims that dogs bark for six distinct reasons, and I’ve added a seventh:
Intimidation (I’ve included this reason since it is most likely the major reason your Great Pyrenees is barking and does not fall into the other six categories).
To keep your dog from barking uninvitedly, you must first identify the sort of barking your dog is performing and then treat that issue directly.
To stop your dog from barking, you must first find out what he is saying to you. You haven’t addressed the issue if you ignore him, reprimand him, shout at him, or punish him (all of which are harsh and inefficient ways to deal with a dog). This implies you’ll never be able to address the issue, and your dog will continue to bark until you force him to stop via fear or pain. Let’s not even go there!
Instead, here’s how you may learn to recognize the cause of your dog’s barking:
This one is self-evident. When your dog is thrilled about anything — you coming home from work, going for a walk, or a visitor at the door – he becomes happy. His tail wags, his body shakes, he can’t stop moving, and he barks joyously (and usually loudly).
Rugaas defines the warning bark as a short, sharp bark meant to alert the pack of impending danger. She claims that if you ignore your dog’s warning bark or order him to be quiet, he will start barking a lot more and louder in an effort to signal to you that he perceives a danger that you do not seem to grasp.
Rugaas saw a stranger approaching the yard of a mother Leonberger – the mother barked once, and all the pups stopped what they were doing and promptly went inside the house in reaction to her one warning bark.
These are high-pitched noises, typically similar to enthusiastic barking sounds, but your dog’s body language indicates that he is terrified (restless, pacing, anxious). This form of barking will not be addressed in this piece since assisting a terrified dog is a vast subject. Stay watch for a piece about addressing fear issues in the Pyrenees, which will be published shortly.
This style of barking is often misinterpreted as aggressive. The dog barks, growls, and snarls to either protect something (such as food) or to defend himself against a human or another animal. I’m also not going to discuss this form of barking in this article; instead, I’ll have a post up shortly on dealing with “aggressive” issues in Great Pyrenees. Spoiler alert: most “aggressive” conduct is really “protective.”
This is brief, repeated barking from very agitated dogs, generally as a result of maltreatment. It’s typically heard from dogs that have been chained outdoors for extended periods of time and are just lonely and anxious. This bark is simple to avoid: stop ignoring your dog (of course, you wouldn’t do that if you cared enough to learn about dog training).
Great Pyrenees are highly sociable animals, and I don’t advocate training them to be “outside dogs” if you keep them as a pet. Only livestock guardian Pyrs should be considered “outside dogs,” since they live outdoors with a family of cattle and other dogs. If you leave your Great Pyrenees outdoors alone, they will get lonely, unhappy, and worried.
This happens when the dog associates barking with gaining attention (either verbal, tactile, or even a treat). The dog will bark a few times before looking around for the treat. He’ll bark some more if he doesn’t get it.
I felt compelled to include this seventh sort of barking since I believe the primary reason Great Pyrs bark (intimidation) does not fit into the existing categories. Livestock guardian dog (LGD) breeds, such as the Great Pyrenees, were created with a specific purpose in mind: to keep livestock secure. One of the primary ways they achieved this was by barking to frighten off predators. It’s a type of deflection.
LGDs usually only fight as a last resort. Their intimidating stature and ferocious barks are frequently enough to frighten off intruders. Unfortunately for city dwellers, this implies that your dogs may bark excessively at anything (sight, sound, smell, or sensation) that they are unsure about.
The Great Pyrenees is a livestock guardian dog with a natural urge to protect his herd. The flock does not have to be cattle; it may be your family. Pyrs are not attack dogs and will not get aggressive with predators until the situation becomes critical. They seek to scare their adversary with their massive size and thunderous bark. Trying to stop your pyr from guarding can result in a confused, sad, and unstable dog.
Great Pyrenees often bark at things they can’t see or hear. They are, without a doubt, barking at something. It may be a suspicious-looking leaf in your backyard or a guy wheezing 3 miles away, but they are barking at something!
Dealing with Great Pyrenees barking throughout the day is a little simpler since your neighbors will be more tolerant when the sun shines. Thanking Mauja and Atka for barking has shown to be a successful strategy again and again (read more about that technique here). Praise your dog for accomplishing his or her task can go a long way toward reducing barking.
However, your Great Pyrenees may get very excited about something you cannot hear or see, and nothing you say or do will calm him down. When Mauja and Atka are in severe guard dog mode, they will overlook their most valuable goodies. Bring your pyr inside (you’ll have to go outside and grab him!) till he calms down so your neighbors don’t hate you.
Because the Great Pyrenees are nocturnal by nature, their barking will often intensify as the sun sets. Because most predators are active at night, the Great Pyrenees has to adjust to best defend its flock. I’ve discovered that establishing a regular bedtime schedule is the most effective approach to keep pyrs calm at night.
We began our night rituals with Mauja and Atka on the first day to attempt to get them on the same schedule as us. Every night was the same: evening potty break, bedtime goodie, snuggles and a goodnight song (yeah, I’m serious), and then crate time (when we were still working on house-breaking). Once they were all housebroken, we closed the bedroom door so they could spend the night with us.
For many individuals who are upset by their pyr’s nightly barking, a regular sleep regimen has been a total game changer. People have even told me that they thought the bedtime song was silly until they tried it for themselves. Some pyrs are so attached to their routines that they will weep if you don’t play their customary song at the end! The song is no longer part of Mauja and Atka’s evening ritual, but we still perform the same thing every night to keep things constant.
I would also consider investing in a fan or a white noise machine to drown out the noises that your Great Pyrenees would undoubtedly hear. If you’re still having problems with midnight barking, I recommend not leaving your window open. Because Great Pyrenees have amazing hearing, they bark at things you can’t hear. You want to muffle as many sounds as possible.
It is not suggested to let your Great Pyrenees outdoors overnight unless you live in the country and use them as livestock guardians. Mauja and Atka would be overjoyed if we allowed them out overnight, but we’d have the cops banging on our door at 1 a.m. owing to noise complaints. Believe me. They do it while it’s dark. i. will. not. be. quiet. But I never worry about anything sneaking up on us!
Step 1: Determine Your Dog’s Favorite Reward.
Step 2: Teach Your Dog Some Basic Obedience Commands.
Step 3: Determine and acknowledge the cause of your dog’s barking.
Step 4 – Provide Your Dog with Activities Other Than Barking.
Step 5 – Include some lingo.
Barking is highly prevalent in this breed—so common, in fact, that it’s unusual to encounter one that doesn’t. It’s not that these dogs like hearing their own voices; rather, they were deliberately developed to utilize their bark for a specific purpose.
A thundershirt is another possibility. And, sure, they are available in Great Pyrenees sizes. A thundershirt is a tight-fitting clothing that applies pressure on the dog’s chest. It functions as a soft, persistent embrace, and there is evidence that this kind of experience might cause the production of soothing chemicals such as oxytocin or endorphins.
Make use of Positive Reinforcement. Positive reinforcement, which promotes the rewarded behavior, is the most effective strategy.
Create a Calm Verbal Cue.
Rewarding attention-seeking barking is not acceptable.
Never, ever punish your dog.
The bark of the Pyrenees. Some pyrs are naturally quiet, but they are the exception rather than the norm. Don’t expect to be able to train a puppy not to bark; their inclination is quite strong. If you want to spend your life with a calmer Pyrenees, contact rescue organisations that have dogs in foster homes. This will provide you with a better understanding of what to anticipate from the dog (but remember, you never truly know how a dog will act in a different home).
And this article Tintota.com will help you answer the question of Great pyrenees won’t stop barking.