will neutering calm him down?
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Thread: will neutering calm him down?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Roscosmom's Avatar
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    will neutering calm him down?

    I'm so freakin' frustrated with Rosco this morning. We've been walking early in the mornings, daily, an average of 3-4 miles at the local park. This morning he was acting all kinds of a fool and I had to practically drag him to the car and pick him up and toss him in because I'd had ENOUGH. He wouldn't even look at me or follow any of my commands. He'd just look away from me and shake his head no when I told him we were going home.

    For the past few weeks we've been mastering the art of not pulling on the leash- then he started to lift his leg and mark a couple weeks ago and now ALL he wants to do is pee on every tree, trash can and bush we pass. He stops to pee and then just starts pulling and racing to the next tree up ahead.

    He's 7 months. I wanted to wait until he was a year to neuter but I'm starting to think that maybe I should just go ahead and do it now. This is my first male, so will it help calm his little butt down?

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    Senior Member LuckyLabMom's Avatar
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    Re: will neutering calm him down?

    I'm curious what kind of collar are you using?

    I just adopted a 2 yr lab who wasn't really trained by his previous owner and I'm using a prong collar now, it really seems to cut down on the pulling. He's so strong and has such a thick neck it's the only thing that seems to work right now. I can control him pretty confidently now - although squirrels still present a challenge, heh.

    As for the neutering, I don't know much but I've hear it calms them down a little - maybe he'll be less distractable, but training is still the key. That's my understanding.

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    Senior Member jesirose's Avatar
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    Re: will neutering calm him down?

    Why wait until a year?

    You till need to work on training. I doubt the dog shook his head no, dogs don't know what that means.

    There is the gentle leader. If you don't know how to use a prong collar you could just make it worse.

    Have you trained those commands in the park, or just at home?
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    Senior Member Roscosmom's Avatar
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    Re: will neutering calm him down?

    I bought one of those Sporn No pull harness' and it helped a LOT as far as training goes. I was singing the praises of this thing and overall it really has worked immensely because there for a while he would practically drag me (he's SO strong, it's not even funny) until I bought the harness. Lately it seems that it doesn't matter what I say or do, he just gets so headstrong on marking that that's all he can think about. Even if he's 'tapped out' he still insists on lifting his leg and at least attempting to mark
    Mind you, it's not like a huge ordeal...maybe I'm just venting about today since it was so bad and out of the norm. One bad day will cost the poor kid his nuts It just seems that the last week or two it's been escalating, and I'm thinking I should nick it in the bud so we can get back to focusing. Otherwise he's pretty good, he doesn't act like a huge ball of hormones..aside from the marking in public.

    Quote Originally Posted by jesirose View Post
    Why wait until a year?

    You till need to work on training. I doubt the dog shook his head no, dogs don't know what that means.

    There is the gentle leader. If you don't know how to use a prong collar you could just make it worse.

    Have you trained those commands in the park, or just at home?
    Yes, he's usually quite well behaved!

    And do not debate me when I say he shook his head no. He's said no since he was 7 weeks old. It's nothing I taught him, he just..knew.
    "Do you want to go outside?"
    *shakes head no and walks away*
    He also says no to himself when he starts to get into something he shouldn't. He'll pick up one of my favorite shoes, then put it back down and say no. It's quite comical.
    Last edited by Roscosmom; 04-25-2008 at 11:05 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Senior Member jesirose's Avatar
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    Re: will neutering calm him down?

    As I said, why wait till 1 year? Is he a show dog?
    Reed: Wirehaired Vizsla, 10-18-09
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  7. #6
    Senior Member Roscosmom's Avatar
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    Re: will neutering calm him down?

    No. I wanted him to grow properly.

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    Senior Member sheltiemom's Avatar
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    Re: will neutering calm him down?

    Quote Originally Posted by jesirose View Post
    As I said, why wait till 1 year? Is he a show dog?
    Alot of people think it's better for their growth to let them fully develop before neutering.

    I wouldn't count on neutering to calm him down or help with any behavioral problems. I got my shelties neutered at 8 months and Shiner was close to a year. The shelties behavior didn't change at all, Frosty has always been fine, Ripley is a bit reactive and a handful on leash and that didn't change. I didn't have Shiner before he was neutered, but I can tell you he's far from calm and he does lift his leg on things, fortunately only outside.
    RIPLEY, Shetland Sheepdog
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    Senior Member Roscosmom's Avatar
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    Re: will neutering calm him down?

    hmm, well maybe I'll just have to go about this a different way then. Perhaps a new walking area/route with new distractions because I really would rather wait.
    Regarding the walking- it just seems that no matter how fast I go it's just never fast or hard enough for him. If I jog to up his pace- he says let's go FASTER. Arggh.
    I'd really, really like to get him into running along side me while I bike. I've tried before but he's such a criss-crosser that I'm scared he'll (or I'll) get hurt. And he has terrible instincts to jump up on me when I'm on the bike. I'll keep trying though. Really I was just wondering if the neutering will ease the desire/need to mark everything. And to think, just a month ago I was posting of how excited I was for him to start lifting his leg! *smacks forehead*

    He did mark my chair twice this week. The first time I found it and wondered what the heck. The second time, a few days ago, he was busted IN the act and I was like "Rosco, what the heck?!" *points to chair*..that's the first time in his life I've ever seen him look sorry for ANY thing. His face was like "oh, is that not okay?! my bad, my bad"
    Last edited by Roscosmom; 04-25-2008 at 11:31 AM.

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    Senior Member spotted nikes's Avatar
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    Re: will neutering calm him down?

    Neutering will cut down the "marking" issues.

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    Senior Member Two Labs Mom's Avatar
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    Re: will neutering calm him down?

    My gosh, you could be describing my friend's border collie, Sammy. Mark mark mark mark mark mark mark. Non-stop. She got him neutered and it helped some but not a lot. The vet told her it's a 'puberty' thing and he'll grow out of it. I dunno ...

    Anyway, I never knew what to think of people who put their dogs on treadmills, but my friend got one for Sammy because he was the same way with her. She's a runner and takes him with her every morning and evening but it's never enough for him ... not long enough, not fast enough. I swear, my friend has lost 20 pounds she didn't need to lose just trying to run fast enough for this dog. LOL So she started putting Sammy on the treadmill right before their evening run. Ran his little legs off on the treadmill, then took him out for their run together. Now SHE outruns HIM.
    ~Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made. ~Roger Caras

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    Senior Member jesirose's Avatar
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    Re: will neutering calm him down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roscosmom View Post
    Regarding the walking- it just seems that no matter how fast I go it's just never fast or hard enough for him. If I jog to up his pace- he says let's go FASTER. Arggh.
    So, when you run faster, it encourages him to run faster. Bad cycle. You want to teach him to run or walk the same speed. So if he speeds up, stop.
    Reed: Wirehaired Vizsla, 10-18-09
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  13. #12
    Senior Member Dogstar's Avatar
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    Re: will neutering calm him down?

    More supervision (I would honestly go back to not being loose in the house unsupervised, if he's marking AT ALL indoors) and more structure! Does he retrieve? Does he swim? I would try and burn off more energy in a low impact way- walks along won't do it for most ACDs, if that's him in your avatar. If he's good with other dogs, you might also try the Fort Worth dog park. 3-4 miles doesn't sound like a lot of exercise for an ACD (again, assuming)- Mal gets more than that and is a MUCH less active breed, so finding something else to do with his sneaky smart cattledog brain might really help. "Pigs Fly: Obedience Training For Impossible Dogs" makes some really good points about how much you can tire a dog out with MENTAL effort- freeshaping tricks can make a dog work HARD, you can keep the rate of reinforcement high to keep things interesting, and you can have fun while doing it.

    If you want to try biking, are you on the TexasDogscooter list? There's some folks on there who could help you get started, although he's not quite old enough yet. Nikki Heap is the listowner and she's in FW.

    I will be honest, I am mostly a positive trainer, but I use collar corrections for marking without permission. I use a command (Mal's is go potty, which isn't terribly original) that I start out using when he starts to squat or lift his leg and after a few days, the dog begins to associate that command with sniffing and lifting his leg. Once he understands that (as defined by, if I give this command, he instantly begins sniffing around), I start correcting him for sniffing/marking (he's still allowed to sniff things but NOT allowed to do the deep breath-type sniffing that leads is the precursor to marking- you can tell the difference if you watch body language) with a verbal "ach!" noise and a collar correction. (On a wide buckle collar, that's quite a mild correction, but Mal is a pretty soft dog.) Being consistant about it will result in a dog who only marks when you say he can. A more positive approach to training this is to teach really good LLW skills- but it sounds like you are working on those and they are a work in progress- you need a stopgap in the meantime to prevent this from becoming a habit.

    It sounds like you're also having trouble controlling him physically, and if that's the case, I would say that the Sporn halter isn't working. I would try an EZ Walk or SenSation harness, if you want to stick with a harness type (keeping in mind that if you want to bike or scooter with him, you're going to use a harness for him TO pull with once you start that.). I *do* think this is a situation where a prong may be useful, though. Fitted correctly, you can allow the dog to correct himself by letting him pull on it without changing your own pace. I don't like using a prong on a puppy, but you've got a dog who has just (probably) hit teenagerdom and you're having difficulty physically managing him if he can drag you from tree to tree- that behavior needs to stop NOW- it could potentially be very dangerous.

    Neutering really might help, but it might not. The amount of difference it makes can really vary from dog to dog. If in doubt though, go ahead and do it. While it's recommended with large breeds to wait till full maturity, 6 months has been the 'traditional' age for a very long time, and bad outcomes down the road are possible but less likely.

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    Member filox's Avatar
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    Re: will neutering calm him down?

    Hello Roscosmom.

    When they really want something is a very good opportunity to reinforce your training.

    He wants to go to the tree, sit, down, etc.... then you can go to the tree. Eventually they will get it, or you can take him to the tree after a good piece of walk. Say good boy and take him to the tree... he will get it...be good and walk a bit, then we'll have the tree.

    Also as mentioned, a 3-4 mile walk is not enough for an ACD. What I do with mine. Is to use a mountain bike. We hit some 6-7 miles at different speeds...
    You will need to be careful at the beginning so you donít end up with your face on the dirt, but eventually is lots of fun...

    Also after the biking when go to a fenced in part of the park and play some disc or ball. I will put 3 or 4 different balls and discs on a bench and she will bring the tool I ask for.... go get the disc... go get the ball... catch, jump. etc.

    Also bring lots of treats... I use hotdog cut in pinky nail size pieces...

    Any way... ACD's are great dogs but will make you crazy if you donít put up the time...

    Cheers.
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    Senior Member Roscosmom's Avatar
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    Re: will neutering calm him down?

    Thank you, Dogstar! So much information!

    No, I've never heard of the TexasDogscooters. My daughter and I only recently started biking about two months ago and we usually ride a good twenty miles every evening. This limits me on my dog walking time terribly, since she is in school and has to start getting ready for bed at around 8:30 in the evenings. So we ride bikes from about 7 until 8:30..which is the perfect time to bring Rosco out since he has a terrible reaction to any sort of heat. That's why I've been taking him early in the mornings..as soon as it starts to warm up I have to get him back inside because he really has zero tolerance and I worry about him. After we ride in the evenings I go out back with Rosco and play ball (retrieving and catching/flyball) until he quits on me and goes to lay on the concrete slab. He really does prefer that sort of activity over walking. I'll definitely look up the TexasDogScooter people!! It would be wonderful if he could just go with us when we ride. Killing two birds with one stone, so to speak.

    I've never let him loose around any other dogs, to be honest. Sure we pass dozens a day and he's well behaved enough. Minds his own and sits while we wait for them to pass, but it seems other dogs usually have a problem with him..? I'm not sure why but he rarely meets a nice dog and once they bark or bare their teeth at him..it's on and I have to command him to sit and wait until they're gone. The dog parks make me a little nervous since he's still so young..although he's a bulldozer!

    I like what you say about "ach"'ing before they mark. Maybe that's the key and I should just forbid it all together while we're out walking. He is really, really good about following the rules once they are laid down (and making sure everyone else follows them too! true acd fashion). That's why I'm not too concerned about him doing it again inside. I don't think he was associating marking with actual pee'ing..so in his minds eye it was okay, which I made clear to him that it was NOT.

    I'll google those harnesses that you mentioned in a minute. Thanks for all of the info. I just took him (spur of the moment) for a check up at the vet because once again I was overly concerned with the way he heats up so quickly..but I didn't even THINK to ask about the marking. I found myself in there with a million other questions "do his legs look alright" "Are his ears clean?" "How about his teeth?" "Should I worry about him only having one testes?" "Why does he get so hot?" etc etc.

    TLM~ I've been thinking about a treadmill for a long time. I really wanted one for dog #1 because..in a nutshell, she's a thin girl trapped in a fat girls body. She LOVES to exercise as much as she loves to eat. Wearing Rosco out before walking him (or attempting to bike) might do the trick.

    Quote Originally Posted by filox View Post
    Hello Roscosmom.

    When they really want something is a very good opportunity to reinforce your training.

    He wants to go to the tree, sit, down, etc.... then you can go to the tree. Eventually they will get it, or you can take him to the tree after a good piece of walk. Say good boy and take him to the tree... he will get it...be good and walk a bit, then we'll have the tree.

    Also as mentioned, a 3-4 mile walk is not enough for an ACD. What I do with mine. Is to use a mountain bike. We hit some 6-7 miles at different speeds...
    You will need to be careful at the beginning so you don’t end up with your face on the dirt, but eventually is lots of fun...

    Also after the biking when go to a fenced in part of the park and play some disc or ball. I will put 3 or 4 different balls and discs on a bench and she will bring the tool I ask for.... go get the disc... go get the ball... catch, jump. etc.

    Also bring lots of treats... I use hotdog cut in pinky nail size pieces...

    Any way... ACD's are great dogs but will make you crazy if you don’t put up the time...

    Cheers.
    Thank you for the tips as well. I'm sure 3-4 miles is not enough, I guess theres a fine line in over doing it with a puppy. He went from being my little baby who I didn't want to over exert..to suddenly being this dog who can keep up with the big dogs. But once again, I can't stress enough what a lightweight he is when it comes to getting overheated. Which is really strange since it seems acd's would be tough as nails regarding heat..? I think, over the coming months, he'll toughen up a bit. So I haven't been limiting his walking due to my own benefit..I could walk all day! But when he's panting and seeking shade I just can't let him go on, although trust me, he would if I'd let him! Sometimes I have to literally walk him on his back legs to the car and tell him to "LEAVE IT!" because he'll just go til he drops.

    We do enjoy ball daily though. He's not a fan of a frisbee, really. He just watches them, lol. But he'll sail 5 foot into the air after a ball. I take him out before I go get my daughter from school at about 2 in the afternoon, and we play ball for about 30 minutes. Then again in the evening.

    ETA~ By the way, in regards to swimming. I think he'd LOVE to swim! When we walk/run in the mornings it's at a local pond/lake and I take him down mid-walk and let him take an on leash dip so he doesn't really get a good swim on, but I know he'd love to. I don't live very far from Benbrook lake, maybe a mile or two and I'd LOVE to eventually take him out there and throw the ball into the water and let him retrieve it..I just worry about his recall skills. I know they're quite good but the paranoid side of me says "What if he gets over excited at the new found freedom and just takes off?!" How do I get over that? Is it just a risk you take and just try it? If he runs..he runs? :{
    Last edited by Roscosmom; 04-25-2008 at 02:43 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Senior Member Dogstar's Avatar
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    Re: will neutering calm him down?

    You can let him swim on a longline- this is one of the GOOD uses for Flexi leashes. (Get the all belt kind). So that's a good start. The next thing is to work really, really hard on his recall in safe (fenced) areas and slowly raise the level of distractions. I'd recommend the "Really Reliable Recall" DVD (you can get it from Dogwise.com) and some classes- Pets West is not too far from you and they are AWESOME. (Petswest.net- we drive out there from *DALLAS* once a week to go to their handling classes).

    Did the vet have any input on his low heat tolerence? I'd be worried about that, and if you can't find a medical explanation, work with your vet to figure out a way to help acclimatize him- it's only getting hotter!

    ETA: The "Aach!" verbal correction is NOT the important part of stopping marking. To be honest? Most dogs need a properly applied collar correction as well in the beginning- this means a short, sharp motion- pull and release.

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    Senior Member DobManiac's Avatar
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    Re: will neutering calm him down?

    Dogstar I had some questions about Petwest so I just PM you.

    Thanks

  18. #17
    Senior Member Dogstar's Avatar
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    Re: will neutering calm him down?

    Got it and answered.

  19. #18
    Senior Member Roscosmom's Avatar
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    Re: will neutering calm him down?

    Gotcha on the collar motion! I'll definitely start doing that. And the practicing recall. I'll invest in an extra long leash of some sort or another and take him swimming.
    Funny you mentioned Petswest! My daughter and I went to the flea market in Weatherford a few weeks ago, mainly for the opportunity of bringing Rosco into such an overcrowded environment of people AND dogs (which was a blast! The dogs there are 75x more friendly, wonder why? I used to live in w'ford and I always found the people to be less than friendly,lol) anyway the kiddo noticed that Petswest (it's off the highway in Azle or Aledo, right?). I looked at their website a few times and thought about signing Rosco up for some agility classes in the future. You go there? My biggest concern was how close they are to the highway, but apparently they have a large indoor area as well.

    Oh, by the way, the vet said he'll slowly acclimate to the Texas heat as time goes on. To make sure he had shade (no problem since he's mainly inside anyway), and told me ways to cool him down, suggested I shave down his chest etc. Overall he's the picture of health. Just a lightweight..I suspect it has something to do with being born in the cool Fall months. He's never known such heat! Hate to break it to him but he hasn't seen anything yet.
    Last edited by Roscosmom; 04-25-2008 at 06:13 PM.

  20. #19
    Senior Member Dogstar's Avatar
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    Re: will neutering calm him down?

    Yeah, their indoor training area is great- plus, the outdoor area is totally fenced with 6' fencing (there's not even a gate to the outdoor area from the outside, you have to go through the building, I believe). Also, although you can't tell from the road? The bank of the highway is REALLY steep- a determined dog could get up it, but it'd be WORK. (Mal gave me the scare of my life there hwen he leapt out of the car a couple weeks ago before my friend, who had opened the door, had snapped his leash on- he's never done that before, but she's never unloaded him- he just made abig loop around the truck an dcame right to me.)

  21. #20
    Member filox's Avatar
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    Re: will neutering calm him down?

    Yes, I now what you mean when you say that they'll go until they drop...jeje

    But also they do are tough as nails... mine takes to the heat pretty well, in fact, We live just south of you, in northern Mexico, so is about the same wheater... And we go hiking and biking in the desert often.

    Any way, it seems that you are on the right track, soon you will be taking him on you evening rides and I'm sure the booth of you will enjoy it.


    Cheers.... I'll leave you with a pick.


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    I'm tired of running, I'm sick with despair.
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