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He is now 17 months old. About once a week he goes to doggy day care. There have been no problems until recently. He is very high energy but not aggressive. However, this last time he was causing issues. The lady who runs the facility told me it might be because there was a female in heat nearby.

The people who run the facility have GSD and are fond of GSD. The lady in charge told me that sometimes with an unfixed male this is an issue as they become mature. She suggested I try again in a couple of weeks when the female is not in heat and see if that resolves the issue. However, she also told me that sometimes GSD are just not good in group situations such as doggy day care. She said sometimes an owner will "fix" a male dog and that resolves the issue. Other times, the GSD is simply not good with other dogs even if it is "fixed".

I would prefer not to fix my dog. He does not cause problems when he is with me. However, I also know that there are going to be situations where I will need to board my dog. With other dogs I've had, I may board them for a couple of weeks a year when I go on vacation. If I board him, I would prefer if he was able to play with other dogs than simply be in a kennel. But I'm not sure it is worth neutering him to try to "mellow" him.

Perhaps the best thing for him would be just to avoid doggy day care from now on, and when I board him specify that he may not be able to play with other dogs.
 

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Krypto, Hiro and now Bernie who is a Golden Saint rescue
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Got the same question, thx for asking. I've got a 4 year old Golden Saint rescue. He's great with people, but strange dogs, not so much. Wants to kill them, apparently. I have no idea how to get him to a vet, and trying to get one to come here in the interim. I've got him to the point where I can walk him ok with other street dogs roaming around, but I don't know what would happen in a waiting room full of them... ha! yes I do. I've never fixed a male before; but we fix any female that we can get our hands on here...
 

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I agree with everything she said. I’ve said here before that there may come a time that your dog doesn’t get along with other random dogs. I wouldn’t neuter my dog just so he would get along with other dogs better. There’s plenty of options for boarding your dog, including ones they don’t involve him being in a kennel all day you have to make the best decision for your situation though.
 

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Krypto, Hiro and now Bernie who is a Golden Saint rescue
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I agree with everything she said. I’ve said here before that there may come a time that your dog doesn’t get along with other random dogs. I wouldn’t neuter my dog just so he would get along with other dogs better. There’s plenty of options for boarding your dog, including ones they don’t involve him being in a kennel all day you have to make the best decision for your situation though.
hey Bear, have u ever seen any medical data on the downside of neutering a male GSD or other large breed male? It sounds distasteful to me, even though I'm fixed too, but it would be nice to know the science. Where I live (Kathmandu) the many female spaying programs over the years are not working, as far as I can tell. Things are pretty much outta control, as they have been for the past 20 years I've lived here. Maybe going after the males would help... dunno. Just googled, I guess because it's harder, and more complications in older dogs?
 

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I agree with what your daycare provider told you. I also run daycare and boarding and I allow intact animals into both with some caveats. I don't ever put 2 intact animals in a group and I have a mental list of a few neutered males who are not tolerant of intact males (both were neutered late which is probably why)... Basically I just put intact as one more factor on the list of characteristics how I choose who is compatible with who.

I have a nearly six year old GSD who is still intact and he still hangs out with lots of other dogs, plays with lots of dogs. He enjoys socializing. BUT I have a hit list for him of things he doesn't tolerate and one of those is adolescent males neutered or not sometimes they rub him the wrong way and he gets mad. He can pretty reliably get along with any socially appropriate neutered adult male. But I don't think he is the norm and part of it for him may just be that he grew up in this environment and he is just used to seeing a lot of dogs.

The age your dog is is hard, and even mine who turned out like he did took many breaks from playing with random dogs as we worked thru the crazy adolescent time. I did a lot of training around other dogs but ignoring them and things like that.

It is harder to find a place to board with an intact dog- a lot of places won't take them but there are places that will. If my dog was neutered I think the relatively few incidents of intolerance of other males would probably have gone away. As it is I don't expect it to and I don't expose him to dogs I know he won't like. I let him socialize and play with the ones he likes because he enjoys keeping up with his friends, a lot of them he's known since he was a puppy. But his life would be complete and fine without that. I don't do it for any reason other than he's let me know he enjoys it as something to do and it's a way he can be at work with me sometimes which is nice.

We vacation every year with our dogs and take them to a dog beach. I've never walked my dog anywhere where random dogs would approach him and I've been super happy with him that in the scarce few times he's gone to a beach and been approached by other dogs he was polite and aloof.

My 2 males before this one were adopted from rescue or shelter and were neutered before I got them. One of those 2 remained intolerant of other males and the other didn't.

I've had 2 dogs who boarded with me have to stop socializing about the age yours is because of intact male problems. Once they were neutered both were able to rejoin social groups. Neither was a GSD.
 

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I have little to add, except I remember when Willow was in heat (before I had her spayed) I looked at doggy daycares and none of them around here would accept a female in heat. So I guess I find it odd that your place would allow a female in heat to be there, though as thecowboysgirl said, there are ways to make it work.

Personally though...I feel like the positives of neutering outweigh the benefits of not neutering, if you're not planning on breeding him. But that's just me. My childhood dog (and yes I know this is just n=1) was neutered at age 2, lived to be 16 (he was a shepherd/husky mix) and had to be put down eventually due to kidney failure and arthritis, unsurprisingly. My trainer has an 8-year-old intact GSD right now who has prostate problems. And isn't there a not insignificant risk of testicular cancer? I dunno...especially if you're boarding your dog a lot, in a place that also boards females in heat, I sorta feel like there's always a reasonable risk that he could help create some unwanted puppies. You're putting a lot of trust in those folks. Regarding the effects of neutering on aggression....that was why we had our childhood dog neutered, way back in 1990--because he bit someone and that was what the vet suggested. He never bit anyone again after that and became a lot more laid back. Again I know this is only n=1 and there are lots of people out there who say neutering isn't a guarantee that that will happen, so....shrug In the end it's up to you and it seems you've done a lot of research, so do what works for you. Just remember you can't take it back (or...put them back :p).
 

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A few things to add from my experience...

I used to go to a dog park with my neutered male and spayed female. Your dog was supposed to be neutered/spayed if you were going to use this park, but there was never anyone around to enforce the rules, so some of the males were intact. Also if a male, like my male, Ranger, is neutered after it's fully mature, it will still be attracted to a female in heat, and want to mount her, and may actually tie with her. Yeah...ask me how I know...I have pictures to prove it! :ROFLMAO:

So, on this particular day, someone brought in their female who, according to them had just finished her heat. From the way the males were acting, I was pretty sure a dog fight was going to break out at any moment, so I leashed my dogs and left as fast as I could.

I neutered Ranger about six months after I rescued him, due to a bad case of prostatitis. It did not affect or change the way he acted with other dogs.

Adolescent dogs can be a real headache. Like human adolescents, their bodies are being flooded with testosterone, and this may cause them to challenge other males. I've heard of show people having other show people volunteering to castrate their young males free of charge, due to their behaviour at dog shows, and the one serious fight my male got into was when an 18 month old, 120 lb. English mastiff attacked him. The owner of the dog was well aware her dog was wanting to challenge the other males in the park, and was keeping a very close eye on it. I was aware, too, and did my best to keep Ranger well away from him. Unfortunately, just as she and I decided to leave, her dog lagged behind, and went after my 10 year old dog.

I shouted for help, and she came running and somehow we got the dogs apart, though she suffered a nasty bite on her calf. It happened so fast neither one of us was sure which dog had bitten her.

No one wants a dog fight to happen, and hormones do sometimes play a role. It really pays to be careful.
 

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he apparently came really close to starting a fight several times, fortunately they keep an eye on the dogs and they separated him from the others before it got serious.
He probably has outgrown his day care days. GSDs are not known to be perpetual puppies like Labs are. No way would I change his hormonal / health status just to play with dogs. My dogs are boarded at Deja's breeder and are not allowed to play with any dogs or even each other. I am just fine with that and so are the dogs. At least they are much safer that way since Deja can be a bitchy and gets overboard in her corrections.
 

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I have little to add, except I remember when Willow was in heat (before I had her spayed) I looked at doggy daycares and none of them around here would accept a female in heat. So I guess I find it odd that your place would allow a female in heat to be there, though as thecowboysgirl said, there are ways to make it work.

Personally though...I feel like the positives of neutering outweigh the benefits of not neutering, if you're not planning on breeding him. But that's just me. My childhood dog (and yes I know this is just n=1) was neutered at age 2, lived to be 16 (he was a shepherd/husky mix) and had to be put down eventually due to kidney failure and arthritis, unsurprisingly. My trainer has an 8-year-old intact GSD right now who has prostate problems. And isn't there a not insignificant risk of testicular cancer? I dunno...especially if you're boarding your dog a lot, in a place that also boards females in heat, I sorta feel like there's always a reasonable risk that he could help create some unwanted puppies. You're putting a lot of trust in those folks. Regarding the effects of neutering on aggression....that was why we had our childhood dog neutered, way back in 1990--because he bit someone and that was what the vet suggested. He never bit anyone again after that and became a lot more laid back. Again I know this is only n=1 and there are lots of people out there who say neutering isn't a guarantee that that will happen, so....shrug In the end it's up to you and it seems you've done a lot of research, so do what works for you. Just remember you can't take it back (or...put them back :p).
just to add— I do take intact females to board if I know their owners and am reasonably sure they aren’t going to come into heat while I have them.

i will not take a female into board or daycare if she is in heat. I have never heard of any daycare that would take a female in heat. My vet will take them in a pinch if it happens so I have boarded some with the understanding that they get transferred if they come into heat.

I think in order to have bitches in heat you need to not let non household dogs interact with each other.
 

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"BUT I have a hit list for him of things he doesn't tolerate and one of those is adolescent males neutered or not sometimes they rub him the wrong way and he gets mad."

I wonder if this is Jupiter's issue. He is neutral to most dogs and I used to let him greet dogs on-leash all the time. However, he has always seemed to be really harsh, even violent, to young males, which eventually led us to leaving the dog park and abstaining from any social contact nowadays. Two years old, intact.
 

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hey Bear, have u ever seen any medical data on the downside of neutering a male GSD or other large breed male? It sounds distasteful to me, even though I'm fixed too, but it would be nice to know the science. Where I live (Kathmandu) the many female spaying programs over the years are not working, as far as I can tell. Things are pretty much outta control, as they have been for the past 20 years I've lived here. Maybe going after the males would help... dunno. Just googled, I guess because it's harder, and more complications in older dogs?
There’s a lot of information on the pluses and minuses. I’ve always felt it wasn’t something I wanted to do, especially with males. If you’re issue is aggression, neutering can send it in any direction. Could be better, worse or the same. You have the best odds for improvement if it’s only same sex aggression. When I lived in Tennessee, strays were pretty common. I’ve never seen one here in San Diego. People actually come back here with strays from Mexico.
 

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"BUT I have a hit list for him of things he doesn't tolerate and one of those is adolescent males neutered or not sometimes they rub him the wrong way and he gets mad."

I wonder if this is Jupiter's issue. He is neutral to most dogs and I used to let him greet dogs on-leash all the time. However, he has always seemed to be really harsh, even violent, to young males, which eventually led us to leaving the dog park and abstaining from any social contact nowadays. Two years old, intact.
could be.
My dog is very social and safe within his preferred zone. But yeah adolescent males esp with balls forget it.

In greeting the worst thing he has done is tense up, growl and loom like he wanted to blow. He has had dogs gun for him a few times and not retaliated and waited for me to collect the offender so he is definitely not a hair trigger to fight.

I feel why try to “work thru it”, he doesn’t like them, he isn’t comfortable, and his energy is ripe for problems.

I have the unique ability of knowing and having control over lots of other dogs. So I can easily just put him up before I bring out someone he isn’t compatible with. Off my property he has basically never made contact with a strange dog except for rare few visits on a not crowded dog beach.

I wouldn’t gamble with strange dogs...what is there to gain and a lot to lose.
 
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