How to Train a Great Pyrenees to Stay in the Yard

Medium
1-8 Weeks
General

Introduction

There are few dogs that can match the mighty size of your Great Pyrenees. But while some people want to come over and say hello, others look slightly on edge and even frightened. Their size also makes them intimidating to other pets too. Unfortunately, your Great Pyrenees recently escaped your yard and caused quite a stir. There is a park close by that children play in and several actually ran away. Now you know your big pooch is harmless, but other people don’t.

Therefore, training your Great Pyrenees to stay in your yard is essential. No longer will you have neighbors and locals coming to your door to complain if he escapes. You also won’t have to panic as soon as you lose sight of him. Finally, increasing your control like this will help you get a handle on any other bad habits they may have.

Defining Tasks

Fortunately, training your Great Pyrenees to stay in your yard is much easier than many people realize. Firstly, you will need to take a number of steps to deter them from leaving the yard in the first place. You then need to introduce some incentives for keeping them within the confines of your yard. Training will also require making sure all their needs can be met outside.

If your dog is just a puppy then you could see results in just a week or so. However, if they are older, stubborn and with a lifetime of running away under their collar, then you may need a month or two. Get this training right and you can relax in the knowledge that your Great Pyrenees is always safe and secure outside in the yard. It also means you’ll have a fantastically effective guard dog and burglar deterrent.

Getting Started

Before you get to work you will need to get your hands on a few bits. You will need a long leash and some secure fencing.

You will also need some toys, food puzzles and a decent stockpile of treats. Alternatively, you can break their favorite food into small pieces. Try and set aside 10 minutes each day for training. You will, of course, also need constant access to the yard you want to keep them in.

After you have ticked all those boxes, just bring patience and a can-do attitude, then work can start!

The Prevention Method

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Step
1
Long leash
The first thing you need to do is try and discourage your Great Pyrenees from escaping the yard in the first place. So try tethering them with a long leash in the yard, this should remove the running away temptation and get them used to staying put.
Step
2
Obscure their view
Your dog may want to escape because they can see lots of interesting and wonderful things outside the yard. Simply obscuring their view with fencing or bushes can remove that temptation.
Step
3
Outdoor shelter
Fido needs to have somewhere safe and secure they can sleep in at night. An outdoor shelter can be bought or it can be made, but it will give them somewhere that feels like their own and that they can escape to when the weather is bad.
Step
4
React
Whenever you do see them try to escape, go over and give a firm ‘NO’. At the same time take them by the collar and pull them back into the yard. You need to discourage any interest in leaving the yard.
Step
5
Avoid punishment
If your Great Pyrenees does escape from the yard, don’t punish them. You want them to associate staying near you with positive consequences. Punishment may only fuel their desire to get far away.
Recommend training method?

The Environment Method

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Step
1
Toys
If they are going to spend a lot of time in the yard and stay there then your dog needs to have everything they need. One of the things that will keep them occupied is a range of toys and amusements. Food puzzles, in particular, are a great way to keep them occupied for hours.
Step
2
Exercise
If your Great Pyrenees is going to spend most of the time in the yard, they need to get a decent daily dose of exercise. They are big as well, so a long walk is definitely required. If they are tired they will be more content relaxing in the yard.
Step
3
Encouragement
Go out and give them the odd treat when they are in the yard. This will get them associating the yard with food. To add to that, feed them their meals outside in the yard too.
Step
4
Toilet
Make sure your dog is happy going to the toilet out in the yard or somewhere close. You can do this by regularly taking them to the toilet spot and giving them a reward whenever they go.
Step
5
Attention
If you are leaving your Great Pyrenees in a yard all day, make sure they still get enough attention from you. So spend a few minutes each day playing around with toys, stroking them and giving them some affection.
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The Full Package Method

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Step
1
Obedience training
Teach your Great Pyrenees a range of basic commands, such as ‘sit’ and ‘stay’. This will channel their energy into something productive and make them associate the yard with somewhere they get attention from their owner and treats.
Step
2
Be vigilant
Be ready to react whenever you see your dog moving towards the edge and looking like they may want to leave. When that does happen, call them over in a high-pitched voice.
Step
3
Reward
Once they return to you, hand over a tasty treat or play with a toy for a few minutes. You want to show them that there are positives to staying within the yard. If you use a clicker when you train, you can also click whenever they move away.
Step
4
Boundaries
Secure your dog to a leash each morning and evening and walk them around the perimeter of the yard. After a while this will make the yard feel like their territory, which they will want to stay in to defend.
Step
5
Boundary without leash
After several days the boundaries should start to become ingrained. So now try doing the same walk each morning and evening but without the dog on a leash. Keep calling them close to your side if they start to wander off.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers and Success Stories

Question
Jack
Great Pyrenees
8 Weeks
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Question
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Jack
Great Pyrenees
8 Weeks

We do not have a secure fenced yard and want to make our dog stays safely in our yard.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
92 Dog owners recommended

Beautiful! This breed needs lots of exercise a day. Typically, this breed does not stay in the yard - they have the lineage of being a herding dog who roams the mountains - they really need to be fenced. If you are not able to fence your yard, you can try the Boundary Training Method and the Perimeter Method as described here: https://wagwalking.com/training/stay-in-an-unfenced-yard/. But never let Jack out in the yard on his own. Until you are confident that Jack will stay in the yard, keep him on a leash. Take Jack to obedience classes as well where they can teach you all the skills he needs to know to obey. Recall will be essential! Start working on the Reel in Method here: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall/. Good luck!

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Question
Sasha
Great Pyrenees
3 Months
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Question
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Sasha
Great Pyrenees
3 Months

She doesn’t listen to anything!

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
132 Dog owners recommended

Hi there! These breeds can be tricky to train. They are very independent dogs who appreciate their solitude. I have worked with quite a few. If she doesn't know her basic commands yet, that is a good place to start. That will teach her that the words coming out of your mouth are expectations, not just blank words. I would start with sit, lay down, stay, and leave it. There are step by step instructions on Google for teaching these commands. If you have any questions on these, please feel free to write in again!

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Question
Cassanova
Great Pyrenees
9 Months
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Question
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Cassanova
Great Pyrenees
9 Months

Excessive barking. He is extremely hard to get his focus away from running around and just barking. He due to get neutered in two weeks. Hopefully, this may calm him down and decrease the dominance behavior. Thoughts?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
707 Dog owners recommended

Hello Steve, What is pup barking at? It sound like pup needs a combination things. Desensitization to whatever is triggering the barking - some dogs enjoy the activity of barking itself and others are overly sensitive to certain things - leaves, squirrels, people, dogs, ect...and need to be desensitized. Mental and physical exercise. What does pup's mental exercise look like as far as training, games that make them think, or toys that require thought like puzzled toys? Look for activities that stimulate pup's mind and body, like the above suggestions, walks that involve commands like a structured heel, practicing Down and Sit. Desensitization article: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Dipper
Great Pyrenees
4 Months
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Question
0 found helpful
Dipper
Great Pyrenees
4 Months

Doesn't sit or listen to commands unless he knows I have food. Doesn't seem very people-oriented as in he won't always come when called. More importantly he has a tendency to wander and won't stay in the yard

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
707 Dog owners recommended

Hello, First, know that four months is an age where puppies tend to get more curious and are less dependent on their people to feel secure - which means that things like Come and automatically following you around decrease if you don't intentionally practice it - what you are experiencing is probably normal for a puppy his age. Check out the Reel In method linked below for teaching Come - that method will help pup learn that coming is not optional, while still helping to motivate pup to want to come. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall More come - the premack principle section of this article especially: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-to-come-when-called/ As far as only obeying when there are treats, I recommend phasing the treats out gradually, using life rewards to motivate pup for obeying throughout the day, and potentially switching to a method that works on proofing a command (which is where you practice teaching pup that obedience is not optional and work up to distractions). To phase out treats, practice pup's obedience but only give a treat every third Sit, or for sits that are better than previous sits - like quickly responding - make pup work a bit more for the treat and keep them guessing on when it will come, but don't phase out all together immediately, and do continue to praise pup every time they do what's asked. To use life rewards, begin telling pup to sit before you give them things they want - like sit before petting them, sit before opening the front door for a walk, sit before setting their food bowl down, sit before tossing a toy, ect...What they want becomes the reward and pup also learns to sit in every day life and not just during training sessions. When you tell pup to sit, and you know they heard you and understand, then simply wait until they do, repeating the command only after 5 minutes. At first, you may wait 10 minutes before they finally sit. If you are consistent pup should realize you mean business and get quicker at obeying gradually. If pup really wants what you have, they should be motivated enough - like waiting for that walk or dinner. Finally, there are times when you need to enforce the command gently but more insistently. You will need to do the above things I have mentioned too though. Check out the article linked below. Pressure method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-sit Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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