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Neutering to prevent aggressiveness

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I think we'd need to know quite a bit more, before anyone can offer advice. How old is your puppy? What exactly are the circumstances? Does he only react to certain dogs or certain behaviors, or is it every dog he sees? Is he perhaps fearful, or is he reacting to dogs who approach too boldly? Is he guarding anything? (Toys, treats, you.) Is he acting this way on leash, off-leash, in the yard, etc?


Please let us know more, including his age and examples of the circumstances in which he displays this behavior, as well as a good description of how he's acting. Then maybe folks here can help! :)


Best of luck,


~ Gloria

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although i am totaly pro neutering i wouldnt use it as a behavior fix


if a dog is being aggressive because of fear removing his hormones can make him less confident and more aggressive


or if he has already learnt aggression as a habit then training is needed rather than surgery


if he is frustraied and wants to play neutering will do nothing


too many variables - as the others said we need details

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He is about 7 months old. Its when we're out for walks and he is on a leash. He will see another dog out and about and he starts barking very aggressively. The hair on his back will stand up. It isn't a warning bark... its more confident and more "I want to kill you" bark. Hard to explain. But whenever we go to PetSmart or some other place where he is in close contact with the other dog and can sniff them, he does... okay (nervous, cautious). It isn't until he is more than a few feet away that he jumps forward, pulling and barking aggressively. Maybe I didn't get him socialized enough or what but I don't want him to get off his collar one day and attack someone's dog. I took him outside and on trips almost everyday. He's seen and smelled other dogs. His reaction to them is getting worse though. Even without neutering him, what training techniques can I use to get him to stop and calm down?

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Sounds like leash aggression, which is not really aggression, but frustration. I have a leash aggressive dog. He is OK meeting other dog-friendly dogs when not on a leash. If on a leash, though, he reacts similar to the way your dog does. His leash aggression probably started around the same age as yours. Neutering him had no effect. It's a behavioral issue, not a hormonal one. There are many techniques to help him be less reactive when on leash. If you can find a trainer with experience with leash aggression, that would probably be very helpful for you. Some training techniques work better with some dogs than others. I took a foster dog to my vet behaviorist to work on fear aggression issues (similar to leash aggression). We tried one technique with him that is usually pretty successful with most dogs, but only served to make him more anxious. So, we switched to a different technique and it worked much better. (Basically, with the first technique, we were trying to get him to figure out the reaction we were looking for [made him more anxious]; in the second technique, we told him the behavior we were looking for and he was much more relaxed).

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Actually, from what you describe it sounds very much like a fear response (get them before they get me). Seven months old is also a known fear period. Work on socialization and counter conditioning. If there is a training class in the area that has a good reputation for working with fearful dogs then sign up for it (it might be an agility rather than obedience class).


Do NOT neuter him during a fear period.


Read up on working with a fearful dog here.


Some of their articles...





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  • 9 months later...

I had a really similar problem with my dog Sam, and I posted about it on here as well. It did help a lot to get him neutered, so I would do that if I where you. After I neutered mine it took a lot of the "kill" out of his aggression. But he still had leash aggression but he didn't seem as much like he really wanted to kill the other dogs- it softened the aggression.


One thing I did that I think helped was -I started walking him on a leash at a dog park on a path where I knew I would be passing other dogs on leashes. On the dog path I would walk him toward other people with their dog on a leash, let him sniff the dog for 2 seconds and keep walking straight past— sometimes he would growl but I'd just keep walking as if it was nothing- then I would do some heal work on the leash, make him walk forward backward with me and give him a treat. After doing that same thing over and over for 2 months- he started to just walk past other dogs without lunging or growling. If other people had dogs his size that were not on a leash- and their dog ran up to my dog- I would just drop the leash- because pulling on the leash would make him crazy- so I just started dropping the leash. Sometimes he would jump on the other dog and try to pin it in an aggressive way- but it always turned into play- like play fighting- he's never really gotten in a fight and by now he's played with 100s of dogs- so I don't think he really ever wanted to fight.

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