"Great Pyrenees + anxious"
"Great Pyrenees + scared"
"Great Pyrenees + freezes"
"Great Pyrenees + can't take for walks"
"Great Pyrenees + panic"
"Great Pyrenees + city"
"Great Pyr + anxious"
I’ve lost count of just how many times I’ve tried searching for online resources and posts about anxious and fearful Great Pyrenees dogs. Each time, I would try different search terms and combinations hoping one of them would work. The few posts I did find were about dogs who had just been adopted and were struggling with the change in scenery and people, those dealing with separation anxiety or puppies that just needed to be trained to walk on a leash. The advice was pretty uniform: to just give them time and space and/or training.
But these stories and situations don’t describe my dog’s situation. My dog is afraid of the world. She gets so anxious that she will hold her pee to avoid going outside and, when something inevitably scares her, she will panic so much that her whole body will shake and she will cry and jump at the door to desperately get back to safety. In those moments, there’s nothing I can do to calm her – she ignores all food and treats, she ignores me entirely. I can’t get her to stand outside for more than a few minutes at a time, let alone get her to go for walks. Despite her size, I often have to carry her down the hallway and outside to do her business because she’s so afraid she freezes and won’t move an inch herself.
When I look back over the last seven months, I realize that I kept trying. On the hardest days, when I felt the most upset, lonely and unsure, I would try searching again. Maybe I used the wrong keywords, maybe I didn’t look hard enough, maybe someone else would be talking about this. Maybe I would find something that would make this challenging moment feel less lonely and move me away from the feeling of despair – that this will never end.
Of course, I just pulled up the same results.
That’s why I’ve decided to write about my experience here. It will help me reflect on my dog’s progress and our growth together, and maybe it will help someone else out there who might be going through something similar.
If that’s you reading this right now, please know that you’re not alone. And know that your gentle giant just needs you to not give up – to keep loving them and to help them find the right kind of support.