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So I have a german shepherd who just turned a year old last month. He's extremely friendly, slightly shy, but loves to play with other dogs. However, lately I noticed he seems to be attempting to show dominance towards other male dogs specifically ones close to his age (7 months-1 1/2 years). I was curious as to if this could be due to the fact that he hasn't gotten neutered yet. I waited because I've heard many people say that waiting to get your german shepherd fixed can be healthy for them as it allows time for them to "fully" develop before the hormones and testosterone levels are changed due to being fixed.
Anyways, do you think this slight change in behavior could be due to the fact that he hasn't gotten fixed yet? Would you reommend any tips or advice as to what to do until he does get fixed (he will be neutered in 2 months).
Thank you!
 

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And now you know why it is a poor idea to have GSD's in Day Care and at dog parks.
Neutering will change nothing. He is a male GSD and is starting to test his man card. Totally normal.

Time to get serious training him and giving him a job with you. Obedience. Agility. Dock diving. Whatever.
 

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It's not necessarily unusual...many dogs begin to try to hump other dogs, and they are growing older so they may try to see what they can get away with. What specific behaviors are you seeing? Humping? Rough housing? How do the other dogs respond?

Neutering isn't going to fix the problem. My dog was neutered at 5 months old, and he still liked to hump other dogs and was rude and obnoxious in other ways, as teenage dogs are. Sometimes it's an excitement behavior, not a sexual one. As he got older, he learned that it was rude, but its a phase dogs go through no matter what, it seems like. It's up to you to teach them what is appropriate and what is not.
 

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What do you mean by "dominance behavior." Dominance is not a TRAIT, like being shy or agile or whatever. Dominance is about priority access to resources. End of story. Which means that your dog is not "acting dominant." And humping is certainly not an active of dominance. Generally it's about over-arousal (not in the sexual way!)...dogs hump when they get overly excited. You see it in play a lot, even from female dogs. It can also be testosterone coursing through his system. He's a maturing teenage dog (think...maturing teenage human and you have the right idea!) and those hormones are going to result in what we consider inappropriate behavior. My dog was a teenager when he came to us and had only been recently neutered and he tried humping some in play. I was never sure if it was over-arousal or hormones. But it disappeared after a couple months, so I'm led to believe it was hormones.
 

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What do you mean by "dominance behavior." Dominance is not a TRAIT, like being shy or agile or whatever. Dominance is about priority access to resources. End of story. Which means that your dog is not "acting dominant." And humping is certainly not an active of dominance. Generally it's about over-arousal (not in the sexual way!)...dogs hump when they get overly excited. You see it in play a lot, even from female dogs. It can also be testosterone coursing through his system. He's a maturing teenage dog (think...maturing teenage human and you have the right idea!) and those hormones are going to result in what we consider inappropriate behavior. My dog was a teenager when he came to us and had only been recently neutered and he tried humping some in play. I was never sure if it was over-arousal or hormones. But it disappeared after a couple months, so I'm led to believe it was hormones.
Agreed. It's also not uncommon for some dogs to inspire humping in dogs that wouldn't normally do it, like my poor Kuma, lol. First 3 years of his life, EVERY male dog he met wanted to hump him, even dogs that never humped normally, and poor dude would just let them. I'd intervene of course, but it was ridiculous. Then he hit 3, became a lot less tolerant of it, though I still never let it get to a point that he felt the need to defend himself, but the humping just ... stopped one day. Guess his body language or his sent, or something changed, and everyone has left him alone since.

But I digress, humping is definitely not dominance based, but it's still not something you want to allow to continue as it IS rude and can start fights if the other dog isn't willing to put up with it. I've heard other members here have successfully used a method they call "3 strikes and you're out", where they interrupt the behaviour twice, and the third time they remove the dog permanently from the situation. Might help, might not, but worth trying.

I'd also add that it's not at all uncommon for GSDs to get MUCH less dog social as they mature and only really enjoy playing with individual dogs they know well, so be prepared and be willing to acknowledge that he just may not be dog park material and instead arrange play dates with specific dogs that you know he CAN play well with.
 

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Agreed. It's also not uncommon for some dogs to inspire humping in dogs that wouldn't normally do it, like my poor Kuma, lol. First 3 years of his life, EVERY male dog he met wanted to hump him, even dogs that never humped normally, and poor dude would just let them. I'd intervene of course, but it was ridiculous. Then he hit 3, became a lot less tolerant of it, though I still never let it get to a point that he felt the need to defend himself, but the humping just ... stopped one day. Guess his body language or his sent, or something changed, and everyone has left him alone since.

But I digress, humping is definitely not dominance based, but it's still not something you want to allow to continue as it IS rude and can start fights if the other dog isn't willing to put up with it. I've heard other members here have successfully used a method they call "3 strikes and you're out", where they interrupt the behaviour twice, and the third time they remove the dog permanently from the situation. Might help, might not, but worth trying.

I'd also add that it's not at all uncommon for GSDs to get MUCH less dog social as they mature and only really enjoy playing with individual dogs they know well, so be prepared and be willing to acknowledge that he just may not be dog park material and instead arrange play dates with specific dogs that you know he CAN play well with.

I did the 3 strikes you're out thing. Worked well enough, you just have to be consistent. I added a "no humpy!" (Yes, because apparently "humping" doesn't roll off the tongue quite as well, lol) that seems to serve as a good enough warning now to get him to stop and think. Between about 9 months and 1.5 years be was pretty bad about it, but as he approached the 2 year mark it started to only happen when he was really super excited to see a friend or something. Most of the dogs we have had always seemed to just stop when they reached 3 years old.
 

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I like the three strikes and you're out thing. It also helps if you have a dog who isn't tolerant of it but who IS appropriate in their corrections. Dogs who meet Dahlia learn pretty quickly that that is NOT allowed. She's completely appropriate with her warnings but she's also pretty clear!
 
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