Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Beautiful Pacific NW
Oh. Well I didn't. I agree training will help above all, but neutering will certainly make a positive difference, mainly because while the dog has shown fearfulness, he's also taken matters into his own paws and made his own solution.
I've seen this type behavior in (most recently) an intact Great Dane of about the same age.
He was fearful but had learned that snapping and a huge show of aggression would make people back off (which was his goal - get the scary things and people away from me!) but what happened is I had to get out my rabies pole/catch pole to deal with him. Once the pole was on his neck and I could control him, he calmed down and showed fear/avoidance.
I haven't seen females act this way, so - and this is my opinion of course, but based on a few past experiences, this dog and others that is, testosterone hitting at puberty makes them slightly more brave, or willing to get on that limb and actually nip/bite/show a big show of aggression.
I'm willing also to bet that if I had to handle the OPs dog as described above, or anyone for that matter, that he'd change his tune in a hurry and you'd see the fear more plainly.
Not that we want to make him fearful, that's the issue they'll need to address through training. The thing is, he's fearful already and this is his response to it (brought on, if you will, by adolescence/sexual maturity).