Should we neuter?

Discussion in 'Bernese Mountain Dog General Discussion' started by easchaars, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. easchaars

    easchaars New Member

    We have a 7 month old male puppy who is a little bit more dominant. He has been trying to hump us for at least a month now if we are playing with him down on the floor. We quickly make him stop and leave the situation. And whenever he plays with other dogs, he is constantly trying to hump them. He will back down if another dog growls at him. It's hard to let him play with other dogs because he is so rough with them. My main concern is that over Christmas we will be traveling to my family's house (his first time) where there will be at least 7 male dogs around, and they are all neutered. Luckily, they are all big dogs (Newfies, St. Bernard, Mastiff, etc.) so he will be able to play with them without a problem. But, I'm worried that since he is already more of a dominant dog, there could be problems. For about the last month he has also been trying to lift his leg when going to the bathroom outside. I wanted to wait until around a year old (which is in March) until neutering him because I know it is better for his health and growth, but I'm not sure it is a good idea to wait. Any suggestions or advice? Also, once he is neutered, how long is it before he stops being so dominant? Thanks, Beth
  2. bernermom

    bernermom Administrator Staff Member

    I don't know if it helps with the dominance thing or not....maybe someone else can answer that???

    But Riley was neutered at 7 months. He was already having a surgery done so they went ahead and did it then. He never tried to hump us, but he had a teddy bear that he had he way with on several occasions ! lol Ask your vet what they think. Good Luck !
  3. BernerRescue

    BernerRescue New Member

    Given that I take in a lot of rescues, I deal with this all the time - in addition to the fact that all of my dogs are always fixed.

    The decision of when to do it is certainly debated heavily. We understand that doing this procedure before the growth plates have closed can result in a delay of closure and therefore the dog my be taller - studies showed 1/8th of an inch in medium sized dogs so most figure a bit more for a large dog. This is not thought to be material however.

    Given that I deal with this question all the time, I will share what I always tell everyone: if there are no behavior problems and nothing driving the need, then waiting until a year of age is perfectly fine and a safe way to go; however, behavior must always be weighed with the "hypothesis" theories we are still working with regarding growth impact etc. and therefore if behavior is showing raging hormones, then by all means, help the poor boy calm down by taking those hormones down. Some boys have a constant state of raging hormones and this is not fun - they lack focus, are hard to train, and often distracted not to mention the other behaviors you describe. For some, it can be the humane thing to do if you understand what is going on in the body.

    When the procedure is done, the testicles will slowly and gradually shrink as the hormones are declining. Typically this takes a couple of weeks before the hormones are truly lowered.

    I have taken in foster boys who are hyper-energized humping maniacs running around trying to mark everything. Neutering has ALWAYS fixed this and calmed them down dramatically - usually 2 weeks later the humping and marking stops.

    Depending on how reinforced the humping (which is status seeking behavior) is, it may never truly go away and should always be managed - never allow him to do it, and always pull him off. But the hyper focus will surely change.

    At the end of the day, do what is best for all involved and given what you describe at Christmas, you have the potential for a big problem with all those males who are not going to tolerate or put up with a teenager coming in and throwing around that kind of attitude.

    Hope that helps!
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011
  4. easchaars

    easchaars New Member

    Yes, that does help. Thanks for the advice.

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