How to Leash Train a Great Pyrenees

Medium
1-3 Months
General

Introduction

Your Great Pyrenees is a big, fluffy, beautiful dog who was bred to protect. Great Pyrenees dogs protect anything and everything in their world from you to his surroundings to his home, even his toys. This can become challenging when you have your Great Pyrenees on a leash, and he wonders and worries if everything you pass is out to get you. Your Great Pyrenees is strong. If he is not large yet, he soon will be. Training him to walk with leash manners is imperative if you expect to take him on leash walks and have any control. You don't want your Great Pyrenees to pull you along on the leash or to become distracted and run from you during your walks. Teaching your Great Pyrenees leash manners will mean long, easy, and gentle walks where he is beside you and not pulling you along to show you the next greatest thing or to protect you from everything that passes by. Your beautiful Great Pyrenees will attract a lot of attention. Be sure he is leash trained, so he understands the rules when people walk up and ask to pet him.

Defining Tasks

Leash training your Great Pyrenees will take a bit of time and patience, but it is imperative for proper obedience training for such a large breed. Having such a large dog pull on you while walking together can be quite scary. Training your Great Pyrenees leash manners will require leash walking together in areas where he is not distracted and can focus his attention on you and learning his task. You will need to be prepared to handle your dog should he become distracted and be prepared for him to become protective of you should someone approach the two of you while he his in training. Do not hesitate to ask people to give you space because you are training. You can train a Great Pyrenees leash manners. Just be cautious of being on the other end of a leash from a strong adult dog who can pull you along if you have no control.

Getting Started

A Great Pyrenees works really well with a harness and a leash rather than just a leash. It is very easy for a large breed dog to pull its owner if he only has a leash attached to a collar around his neck. Alternatively, if you're tugging on his leash and his collar, you could injure his trachea and neck. A harness that has the leash attachment on the chest gives you more control should he try to pull away. You will also need lots of high-value treats for your walks together. Cheese, hot dogs, and beef jerky are options to take with you. Be prepared to give your Great Pyrenees lots of little treats along the way. Just because he's a large breed, you should know he will do just about anything for a tiny morsel of food. 

The Clicker and Leash Method

Most Recommended
3 Votes
Step
1
Equipment
Be sure to start with an appropriate size leash and harness for your Great Pyrenees. Let your big guy sniff the equipment and get used to it. While he is acknowledging these items and after you place them on your dog, click and treat. Reward him from the start.
Step
2
Leash slack
Once your Great Pyrenees is leashed and harnessed, stand beside him with the leash loose. Be sure to give the leash lots of slack, so he doesn’t feel a pull on the leash.
Step
3
Demeanor
As long as your Great Pyrenees is overly excited, ignore him. Once he calms down, use your clicker and a treat to reward his calm demeanor.
Step
4
Commands
Give your Great Pyrenees a command you will use each time you will walk together. This command can be ‘let’s walk,’ ‘let’s go,’ or ‘walk.’ Once you use the command, walk forward. If your dog doesn’t move forward with you, call him with enthusiasm. Once he moves, click and treat.
Step
5
Walking
Walk with your big guy but keep your walks short and without distractions at first. If you cannot find areas that are distraction-free, start on a leash in your own yard just to teach basic leash manners at first. Be sure to keep treating your Great Pyrenees as he stays with you.
Step
6
Redirecting
When your dog pulls or tugs on the leash or if he gets easily distracted, stop walking and wait for him to notice. Your pup should mirror your movements and stop as well. Once you have his attention and he has stopped, click and treat. If your dog pulls you along tugging at the leash, gently tug back to get his attention. You can also say his name and show him a treat. Either way, get his attention and make him stop to earn the click and treat.
Step
7
Keep Practicing
Keep walking with your Great Pyrenees ensuring you have his attention at all times. He should stop when you stop and he should walk next to you without pulling on the leash when you are walking together. Be sure to keep encouraging good leash behaviors and manners with clicks and treats.
Recommend training method?

The Manners Method

Effective
1 Vote
Step
1
Leash and harness
Put your Great Pyrenees on an appropriate leash and harness. Also, prepare yourself with lots of small but tasty treats.
Step
2
Walk
Take your big guy for a walk. Start slow but try to keep moving forward. You will need to keep your pup’s attention with a treat at first, so he doesn’t pull ahead of you from the start.
Step
3
Treat
As you are walking, give your Great Pyrenees a treat. He will look for more treats to come, so be prepared to keep his attention with treats at the ready.
Step
4
Stop
Every few yards, stop walking and stay still. Your dog may stop with your or he may keep walking past you. Wait until he stops if he doesn’t stop right away. If he does stop with you, give him a treat. If he doesn’t, he will once the leash becomes tight. Brace yourself and wait. When he stops, show him a treat and call him back to you.
Step
5
Redirect
Your Great Pyrenees will pull on the leash when he’s eager, excited, or distracted. You will need to use these stopped moments to remind him of the rules to give you his full attention while leashing walking. Any time your big guy pulls ahead, redirect with an immediate stop. Treat him once he comes back to you after stopping.
Step
6
Walk more
After stopping and redirecting, begin your walk again, offering your Great Pyrenees a treat every few yards as long as he is not pulling at you or giving his attention to something besides you. Remember to redirect when you do not have his attention.
Step
7
Keep control
If your Great Pyrenees becomes distracted often while on the leash, consider holding an enticing treat over his nose to keep his attention. You will need to give this to him every few yards and replace it, but with repetition, he will get this is to be his position while leash walking with you.
Step
8
Distraction
Train your Great Pyrenees commands such as ‘leave it’ and ‘wait’ so you can use these commands on walks. While you are walking together, he will find bushes or trash he’d like to sniff, bunnies he might like to chase, and an eager demeanor to continue walking when you are paused. These commands will tell him what to do when he is tempted to pull you along to get to something of interest. Be sure to treat for following these commands as well.
Step
9
Practice
Be sure to practice leash walks with your Great Pyrenees as often as you can and keep up the training with treats for as long as it takes to get your big guy to walk with your on a leash and know how to behave.
Recommend training method?

The Leash Tests Method

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1 Vote
Step
1
Introduce the leash
Get your Great Pyrenees used to wearing a leash. Show it to him, let him sniff it, and when you put it on him, give him a treat.
Step
2
Tight leash
Create a tight leash by stepping away from your Great Pyrenees and stand still. Ask your dog to sit down and when he does, give him a treat for obeying and giving you his attention.
Step
3
Toss a treat
Toss a treat behind your Great Pyrenees, enticing him to pull away from you. Your Great Pyrenees will likely pull on the tight leash to get to the treat. Allow him to once but then expect him to come back to you for more treats. If he does not return right away, offer him another treat.
Step
4
Walk away
Begin walking in a different direction, taking the second treat with you. Your dog should want to follow you. Remember to keep the leash tight. He should catch up quickly on a tight leash.
Step
5
Trick
Once your Great Pyrenees catches up to you, give him the treat and walk again. As you are walking, toss another treat behind him, teasing him in that direction. Loosen the leash and let him get the treat, but always call him back. This will teach him he can go away with your permission but is expected to recall when you ask him to.
Step
6
Treat
Be sure to always give him a treat once he returns to your side and walks at your pace again.
Step
7
Practice
Keep practicing with your Great Pyrenees. Over time, you can loosen the leash a bit more giving him more room and freedom. But continue to encourage, entice, and reward with treats.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Clyde
Great Pyrenees
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Clyde
Great Pyrenees
3 Years

He decides he does not want to move and lies down. This started happening in the past two walks.

I can't get him to move so I usually wait a few minutes.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Michelle, First, see if you can determine why Clyde won't walk since this was recent. Did something happen that scared him? Has the weather been bad (very hot, cold, or wet)? Are joints or paws bothering him from arthritis or another issue? If you find a specific cause then work on addressing that. For example, if it's fear, work on spending time in the area that makes him nervous and doing fun things there like playing, giving treats, and relaxing. If it's a medical issue, go see your vet. If it's a temperature issue then if you can take extra measures to help him Stay warm, cool, or dry enough, do that. If the pavement is too hot or cold, look into purchasing dog boots with rubber soles with good traction. If there isn't an underlying issue and he simply doesn't want to walk because he would prefer to do something else, then I suggest using a prong/pinch collar for a short time, teaching him "Let"s Go" or "Heel" and when he refuses to walk, give a small correction forward with the leash, then reward him with treats when he keeps moving with you. Only do this if you are sure there is not an underlying reason why is stopping that needs to be addressed though. Check out the video below for how to properly for and use a pinch/prong collar. https://youtu.be/M3iczULPcdE Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

My beautiful Pyr would do that when he wanted to get his way during our afternoon walks to get the attention and a pat from his adoring public! I would then command him to sit up, and ask the passerby’s to please not touch him as he was in training.

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Question
Bella
Great Pyrenees
2 Years
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Question
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Bella
Great Pyrenees
2 Years

Our dog is a rescue we have had for 5 months. She gets alongwith our 2 cats and is very good with people. The problem we have is when she see another dog she wants to run towards it and challenge the dog. One time see saw a person walking her dog in a park and we were about 100 yards away. The lease slipped from my hand and she bolted towards them. A dog fight occured and the owner was able to grab her coller. She just gets out of control when other dogs are visible and all commands are ignored. Any advise that could help us out?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello David, I suggest watching several of the videos on dog aggression that are free on SolidK9Training's YouTube channel and website. I suggest hiring a trainer who specializes in aggression to help you implement the training on SolidK9Training's website and YouTube channel. https://youtu.be/y2DqELwfuew https://www.solidk9training.com/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Hamilton
Great Pyrenees
1 Year
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Question
0 found helpful
Hamilton
Great Pyrenees
1 Year

I can walk him when no one is around and he listens and heals. As soon as he sees anyone, he goes crazy barking and lunging. He’s so big he pulls me over. He’s great in a dog park with both people and dogs. But if they approach on a walk he lunges and is so big I can’t stop him. I have a pinnch collar, use treats, etc. help.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
460 Dog owners recommended

Hello Stephanie, I suggest hiring a professional trainer who has a lot of experience with possessiveness, aggression, reactivity, and rude behavior. Check out Shean O'Shea from the Good Dog and Jeff Gellman from SolidK9Training on YouTube. Both specialize in aggression and reactivity - this sounds like leash reactivity or possessiveness of you. Jeff from solidK9Training especially has a lot of how to type videos on aggression and reactivity. A general obedience protocol to build respect for you is a super important part of this training - pup isn't respecting and trusting you by pulling you around, so that needs to be addressed also. Establishing leadership and respect at home is the first step. Desensitizing pup to strangers while on a back tie leash is next - so he can't pull you around, and practicing a structured heel around people on leash is the next step. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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