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Old 03-05-2012, 10:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy My puppy has become more aggressive after being neutered :(

I have two lab puppies, a brother and sister who are now about 8 and 1/2 months old. I had them both "fixed" (neutered and spayed) about 10 days ago. The surgeries went fine, and one week later the vet gave me the green light to take off their cones (Elizabethan collars) and let them return to the park, and today we can return to the beach.

So we have been going to the park for off-leash runs the last 4 days, just was we did before my boy puppy was neutered. Before he was neutered, he was aggressive towards another dog only once -- his brother, who visited our home one time for a supposed reunion, but who tried to eat some food sitting on the counter. My puppy harassed him so badly that my assistant, who has him, had to take him away. Otherwise, my boy puppy was NEVER, EVER aggressive towards other dogs, but always playful with them and with his sister.

But he would sometimes stray while off leash and blatantly ignore my commands to the point where it had become a serious problem.

Since he was neutered he has become OBVIOUSLY MORE AGGRESSIVE. In four days he has attacked or picked on four different dogs, typically smaller female dogs.

There has been no biting, but today was the worst: He had a female dog by the throat and would not let go until two of us pulled him off!

He never did this before. I need to establish more leadership and train him much, much better, but this has happened to us too, and I am very, very concerned. He is a Lab, 8 months old. What happened to the other fellow's dog who became more aggressive?

I would really appreciate any help that anyone can provide. Thanks.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have heard of dogs that were 'funky' until all the hormone levels came down and for a few days afterwards due to the anesthetic.
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My puppy suddenly became aggressive towards other dogs directly after being neutered (that is, after he resuming his regular routine upon recovering from the surgery). He instigated three fights, which he had never done before, except one time when we brought his brother puppy to our home, and the brother reached for food, but otherwise he only played with other puppies and never showed any aggression at all.

I no longer take him to the park, have hired a trainer to work with us daily, and will obtain a consultation from a specialist tomorrow. He might have had a latent issue of aggression, but there is no question that his neutering or the period directly after the neutering induced a dramatic change in his personality. Period.

Whatever the cause, I sincerely and utterly hope that with proper training and guidance we nip this problem in the bud.
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It sounds like he was challenging you in a number of ways and I believe with or without the surgery you'd be dealing with this same issue as sexual maturity hits.
Rather like teen boys in the throes of puberty, "teen" boy dogs can have some pretty interesting and challenging behaviors including the onset of "my pants are bigger than yours".
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Seriously, how do you think you would feel ten days after having such a procedure done? Forget what the vet says, think about it.
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msvette2u View Post
It sounds like he was challenging you in a number of ways and I believe with or without the surgery you'd be dealing with this same issue as sexual maturity hits.
Rather like teen boys in the throes of puberty, "teen" boy dogs can have some pretty interesting and challenging behaviors including the onset of "my pants are bigger than yours".
I agree 100%...one question to original poster-In the original post you stated he picked on or attacked, I would think there is a difference. Is it possible that he plays more roughly then other dogs? My dogs always play and grab each others necks, legs, etc and they sound like they are killing each other. It really isn't in a labs nature to be aggressive, but like in any other breed its always a possiblity. Labs are strong, playful, goofy, energetic, generally good tempered breeds that in most cases just want to play.
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falkosmom View Post
Seriously, how do you think you would feel ten days after having such a procedure done? Forget what the vet says, think about it.
That is true, too!

Temple Grandin wrote in her books, that as humans, we feel "pain and misery". That is, we react to our pain by feeling miserable as well.
Dogs (it is surmised, they've studied this) feel the same pain but don't tend to do the "misery" part of it. So while they hurt, they just don't show it like we do.
I found that quite interesting.
Our vet issues 3 days of Rimadyl standard with every s/n they do, studies have also shown it helps reduce the swelling and promotes the healing process. Dogs, just like humans, heal better if not in pain.
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Old 03-15-2012, 12:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Sadly for us, the problem is not overly rowdy play. Directly after his neutering, he instigated three seemingly unprovoked fights and growled aggressively a few times towards other dogs, and so I had to stop taking my pups to the park each afternoon, where we used to go literally every day, rain or shine. I still take them to the beach on long leads each morning, and I am working with a good trainer to nip this problem in the bud, and she thinks he is a kind, good dog, and that his prognosis is good. And we clearly were going to have issues anyway, but I have been inseparable from them since adopting them, and you can believe or disbelieve me, but he radically changed after being neutered: He stopped his incessant humping activity, became unacceptably aggressive towards other dogs but fortunately has good bite inhibition and has not caused any harm at all, stopped straying the way he did before the operation...

Stan Rawlinson, an English trainer, says that he has treated many castrated males who suddenly became aggressive after the neutering, but everyone else whom I have read or consulted says that castration should not induce an aggressive temperment, but perhaps the frustration and pain of the procedure and recovery affected him. I have read several accounts online of other owners and dogs who have had this experience. It has changed our lives because my other puppy no longer gets to go to the park each afternoon, and she sees that things have changed around here.

Well, we have to deal with the trials that life sends our way, and I love these two so much that I will whatever it takes so that they can lead good, happy lives. We will see a veterinary behavorialist today. I will need work on myself too, as I am no longer at ease when my boy dog comes into contact with other dogs, but I am doing everything I can, and my two adolescents are really good, kind, loyal, loving dogs. That's is the truth.
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Old 03-15-2012, 12:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I wonder if he felt "off" and vulnerable so he wanted to make sure the other dogs stayed away.
Pain will do that to dogs, as well.
Is there some reason you're on a GSD forum asking for advice with Labs? I'm curious, because perhaps there's more specific answers to Labradors and other Lab owners could assist you better.
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:48 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by msvette2u View Post
I wonder if he felt "off" and vulnerable so he wanted to make sure the other dogs stayed away.
Pain will do that to dogs, as well.
Is there some reason you're on a GSD forum asking for advice with Labs? I'm curious, because perhaps there's more specific answers to Labradors and other Lab owners could assist you better.
I posted on this forum because there was a current thread from someone else who had had the same experience -- having his male dog become unexpectedly aggressive immediately after castration.

We today visited a veterinary behavioral specialist, who helped me to remember better exactly what happened. His view is that my puppy was going to have dog aggression issues sooner or later, and what might have provoked the sudden onset was the stress of the surgery and then spending one week under sedation and sometimes leashed to the door so that his sister could recover without him playing with her, plus he was still under sedation when I first took him and his sister to the park, and he has instigated fights only at this park, but not at the beach where we also have gone.

But he made clear that aggression of this kind can easily become a self-reinforcing tendency if it is not treated.

He also opined that because my dog has not harmed any dog, he is not a dangerous dog, but he is an unacceptably obnoxious dog, and that if his aggression is not checked it will likely worsen. And so I will be working with a trainer several times a week on de-sensitization, counter-conditioning, and related exercises. We have to worry about his sister too because her whole routine has been upset by this problem

I hope that training/therapy can really help with this. It really has been a hard time for us.... Thanks for everyone's comments, and I really hope to read others too.
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