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Old 11-30-2012, 02:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My main issues

With Hobson, my 20 month old GSD, are: he likes to escape and roam. Drives me insane. Also he's not aggressive, but will go after a dog if he's near his ball, dishes etc. Also if he feels threatened by a dog he's quick to defend himself. I haven't gotten him neutered. I planned on waiting until he was 2. I'm wondering if neutering will help with any of these?
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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proper confinement will help with your problem Neutering? I doubt it, but it will stop him from going out and impregnanting a random female since he escapes and roams.
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Gate off an area around your front door, block that escape. Work on a place command, so that will be available as well when the door is opened.

If your backyard isn't fenced, fence it with a minimum 5 foot fence - but with a determined escape artist you will really need to go with at least 8 foot. If it is fenced, reinforce the bottom to prevent pushing under or digging under the fence. If it is the typical height of 4 foot, increase the height of the fence. Put locks on the gates so the latch can't be pushed up by a nosy nose.

Get a trainer involved.

He's old enough now for neutering. It probably won't stop the all the other behaviors but it will stop the inevitable result of roaming - puppies.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Neutering does help roaming to some degree in some dogs. Often the urge to roam is exacerbated (or even created) by hormones.

You absolutely need to either fix his escape issues (Twyla is dead-on with how, and if you can't shore up your fence enough, then he only goes out while supervised and controlled by you) or get him neutered ASAP, or preferably both. I do not have a problem with intact dogs BUT if you are going to do that, you need to take responsibility and ensure he isn't out there fathering litters. I am sorry to be harsh, but there is really no excuse for having an intact dog with a chronic escape problem.

The behavior you're seeing with him going after dogs near his things sounds like resource guarding. Going after dogs when he feels threatened may be fear-based, or it could just be how he is. If it is fear-based, he needs careful socialization. Resource guarding is also a complex issue. Your best bet with both is going to be getting a trainer involved who can evaluate him in person and develop a plan from there.

Neutering may help with those behaviors as well, or it may not. In my experience, it depends on the dog. However, if you plan to neuter him regardless, and you're just waiting until the rather arbitrary age of 2 years old (which is also my general rule of thumb when raising a young male horse or dog, but if their behavior becomes a problem, you bet I'll castrate earlier), you may as well just get it done 4 months early in case it does help with these behaviors.
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