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Too late to neuter???

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Too late to neuter???
  • Hello:
    I need some advice! I have two dogs, a Border Collie who is 5 years old and a Pit Mix who is about 2 1/2.
    The pit is really my son's dog and he lives with me but travels a lot.(my son, not the dog!)  The dog came from someone who couldn't keep him and I suspect it's because they never got him housebroken.  We live in a rural area and have always been able to get the dogs run free to do their thing, until lately.  The Border Collie is fine, well trained, both with potty and obeys commands very well. The Pit mix has caused some problems with chasing cars, running off and getting in neighbors trash etc.  He's not aggressive with people in a mean way, but is waaaay too energetic and wants to jump up and play and nip. Anyway the neighbors have given me the riot act on this dog, so now I'm trying my best to keep him (and the Border Collie) on our property.  I have a cable tether set up for them and they have plenty of running room.  At night, I have a safe room, (enclosed patio) I keep them in. But he still wants to pee in the room, even after he's been out all day or after a potty walk.  The pit is now a little bigger than the Border Collie and seems to be challenging her alpha status.   I suspect he's marking to show her he wants the territory.  No way he can come in the house, cause he wants to mark on the furniture!
    They play fight quite a bit, but normally she gets fierce after a while and he'll back off.  He is constantly trying to get my attention over her, feed me first, let me out first, etc.  I am still treating her as the alpha. Here's the weird thing, when it comes to food, she will let him dominate and eat first.  I have been feeding them in separate bowls and using a common water bowl.  Yesterday, he peed on one of the food bowls!
    I put dog crates in the yard for them to lay in, during the day and he peed in his!  I think he's saying, Stay Away! I was considering setting them up with crates inside the house, (cause the patio gets cold) but I'm afraid he'll pee in it too.
    Neither animal has been fixed.  we tried to breed her, but she appears to be sterile and has a very short heat cycle. (We keep them separated at that time.) So I never worried about it.  My son didn't want to neuter the male.  (Yeah, it's a guy thing.)  But now he agrees it's probably for the best. 
    Since, I have been reading up on training I saw where neutering the male at his age might screw up the whole alpha process.  Will neutering help with the marking and running off?  Is it too late to correct his behavior problems?  Would spraying her help?  Should I just let him take the alpha status?  I would like to be able to get them back to running around in the yard and thought about an underground fence.  Does anyone have an opinion on whether those work well?
    I am at my wit's end with this process.  Can anyone help???
  • neuter him definitely....why not? I have netuered as late as 5 years old.
    If he runs off at least YOU know you will not be responsible for him siring puppies that may die in shelters....isn't that a good enough reason on it's own? Marking may lessen but if it's a habit only correcting when it occurs may help. He needs TRAINING and that may entail a class or consult with a behaviorist.
    Testicles are not the root of all evil, nor will removing them magically cure all behavior problems...lol...behaviors develop for lots of reasons and it looks to me like this boy has had his own way with you all for a loooong time. He need NILIF which is a training/lifestyle programme that is like boot camp. He DOES need neutering, for reasons aside from behavioral...to remove other things that may be distracting him. He needs boundaries and direction and ATTENTION from people so he will come to know he does not set the rules...
    As to the pack order it's certainly not unusual for the male to dominate....they should eb SEPARATED at mealtimes..eat in crates etc. If he comes to think of the crate as a place to eat he'll be less likely to pee in it!
    They do sell "Belly Bands" which are like male diapers for marking behavior...many times when a male is prohibited from marking, or finds himself wet afterwards ALONG WITH verbal correction and redirection....the marking will slow and eventually cease. You will project a calmer more leaderlike aura if you are not worried about your furniture...lol! So I think they might help in this situation.
    Look into things like weight pull or agility to build a bond and give outlet for his energy...he'd love to "do something" with a person he loves...most PB's do!
    Good call asking for help...I am sure you will get a lot of input here!
  • BTW...underground containment usually does not work well with pain tolerant, high drive dogs like Terriers or Akitas or anything like that. A small zap isn't really going to register and may even encite more chasing or drivey behavior IMO. Build a secure kennel run or securely fenced area...money is better spent there IMO...and it will do nothing to prevent OTHER ANIMALS coming onto your property and attacking or otherwise harming your dogs...nor will it prevent sicko people from doing the same!
  • One last thing....your BC needs to be spayed for her health. A LARGE percentage of unspayed bitches over age 5 develop pyometra...which is a serious...serious infection of the uterus which can kill within days if not treated. There are not always signs to see either...esp if the pyometra is of the closed variety...read up on the internet about Pyo and you can see it is NOT worth playing with the life of a good friend who sounds like she's been a joy to own for 5 years now.
  • RW Beagle:
    Thanks for the response.  I know the PB has some major training issues.  My BC was so easy, I never realized how the interaction between the two could get so complicated!
    So if we get PB neutered, will he still want to be the dominant dog?  If so, I should just let the two of them sort it out?  I feel bad for my BC, because she seems to be happier if she gets the attention first.  Whenever he gets more attention, she mopes and gets jealous.  It seems more natural, (as her master) for me to establish her as the alpha.  She minds better and deserves it more. (Been here longer.)  I never thought it was right to succumb to his terrorists tactics!  lol. 
    I'm also wondering if I should just let the BC have her run of the house, since I never have a problem with her and keep him out on the tether and on the patio, (or in a crate in the house at night, ) until we can get a little more control over him.  But again, doesn't that show him that she is being favored and cause him to be even more aggressive in his ultimate takeover?
  • Indeed it's almost never too late to neuter (only if your dog was very old and/or in poor health would it be a bad idea)... neutering will probably put a bit of a damper on the competition and interdog aggression, but it doesn't erase dogs' instincts to live in a hierarchical arrangement with other dogs. Neutering may also help with the marking issue... however, you can housetrain a dog that marks. You pretty much just have to bite the bullet, buy a pet cleaner, and accept that you might have to clean up some pee before the dog is housebroken. And finally, neutering can help with the escapism if it's related to sexual activity - but if he's discovered that running away is plain fun, you're going to have to fix that problem with better containment - a good fence or a dog run or both.
    Your pit sounds like he needs a lot more exercise... running around the yard and taking potty walks are not going to cut it. Taking him on a solo walk for an hour a day would probably help some of those behaviors that you rightly describe as just too "energetic." He is still young and would probably benefit greatly from training... Border Collies are so smart, yours probably halfway trained herself, but the pit will probably need more guidance, and if you put the effort into training him it will improve his quality of life, and yours (and your neighbors').
  • I would neuter a.s.a.p., some dogs can develope problems after the surgery, especially large breeds, keeping the dog confined is a major must do.