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AngelaRage 12-31-2013 08:30 PM

After spade aggression?
Every since we had our female spaded she has gotten aggressive with our male. She's not aggressive with food, treats nor toys just our male. She will just attack him randomly as he walks by or corner him at the door on their way outside. Is it possible she has a chemical/hormonal imbalance. Or is it just a fluke it started after getting fixed? Some have suggested resource guarding but I'm not so sure about that when she's fine about food,toys & treats....i'm almost thinking she's not horny and happy anymore 😳 she was in heat at the time she got fixed. Maybe that could have done something? It's going on 2 months now and its wearing on us all and i just want it to go back to the way it was with them before, 2 peas in a pod 😩

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David Taggart 12-31-2013 09:25 PM

The changes sometimes come only after a year. Then, all depends at what age she was sterilized. If she was young - she should have kept her puppy temperament, but, if she already had this sort of attitude towards your male - she would keep it, th possibility remains. Sometimes the males keep stereotypes, they like to fight and they continue to fight, their owners are waiting for changes and the changes never come because it was too late, their character matured already. But, that happens very rarely. Another possibility - nothing happens to her and she is looking for a way to get rid of her frastration. You should exercise her a little bit more often.

sit,stay 12-31-2013 11:47 PM

Here is what I think:

1. Doorways and other tight spaces are often a place of contention for dogs.

2. Spays during a heat are harder. Some vets won't do them because of the increased complexity. Anecdotally, I believe it takes the dog longer to reach a hormonal balance.

It could be that it is coincidental. She might have just reached that age where things were going to change anyway. It is possible that removing her from the normal ebb and flow of the home (even for a day or two), coupled with a decrease in her physical ability, has caused the dogs to reassess their standing relative to each other. Her current state of hormonal instability (caused at least in part by the spay during her heat) could be causing her reactivity, or the male could be smelling her hormonal imbalances and that is causing him to be reactive.

You can step up your control over the space and make the decision for who goes where, eliminating their need to fight over it. Leave a drag line on both dogs and use that to control them.

Good luck. It can be disconcerting when relationships shift like this, even if the relationship in question is the one between our dogs.

AngelaRage 01-03-2014 01:12 PM

Thanks, a few options to consider...

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MadLab 01-03-2014 03:47 PM

I did hear of a female who got aggressive after a spay.

She randomly attacked other female dogs.

Don't know how it turned out.

I know my female does attack males when she is in heat if they are thinking about trying to sniff her or staring at her.

Lilie 01-03-2014 04:22 PM

She could have a mild infection from the surgery and just isn't feeling her best. You might want to discuss her behavior with your vet.

Jax08 01-03-2014 04:26 PM


Originally Posted by AngelaRage (Post 4751378)
Is it possible she has a chemical/hormonal imbalance.

Yes. When you spayed her, they took her ability to make hormones. There are studies out there on altered females and aggression.

gsdsar 01-03-2014 05:07 PM


Originally Posted by Jax08 (Post 4767698)
Yes. When you spayed her, they took her ability to make hormones. There are studies out there on altered females and aggression.

It does not take away all ability to make hormones, just a large part.

I asked this same question when I spayed my sometimes dog snarky female. A vet told me that when spayed the dog makes less estrogen but they continue to make the same amount if testosterone. Yes females have testosterone too. So it can create an imbalance and an already aggressive dog can be more so after a spay.

I have never done the actual research. Either way, what's done is done. Any effect would not be seen until well after the 6 week post surgical mark.

If the surgery was recent, she is most likely just feeling defensive because she knows she is not at 100%. Work with her, keep socializing.

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AngelaRage 01-04-2014 03:12 PM

I talked to her vet and we are going to try a few different discipline actions if that don't work they'll check her out for hormonal abnormalities... Thanks all for your input it defiantly helps!

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Vagus 01-04-2014 03:55 PM

I've shared this blog post on the forums before, so apologies to others who have already seen it but I thought the OP might find it useful.

Can Spaying Lead to Bad Behavior? | Animal Behavior and Medicine Blog | Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM, MS
Specificially look at the bit looking at effects on females. Here's a quick quote:

"In a cooperative study with the Institute of Animal Medicine at Gyeongsang National University in Korea, Houpt and her colleagues found that ovariohysterectomy (spay) in healthy German Shepherds bred as working dogs led to increased reactivity...In the study, 14 healthy German Shepherd bitches at the Korean Air Force Dog Training Center were studied. Half of the study dogs were spayed at 5 to 10 months of age, and the other half were intact. The dogs were littermates and were split equally into both groups to control for genetics. The dogs all lived in the same kennel environment and received similar handling. Their behavioral reactions were tested at 4 and 5 months after surgery."

You can see the full results in the link provided. I hope this gives you some sort of insight

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