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  • change in behavior - would neuter help?

    My 7.5 month old (unaltered) male dane Goliath is behaving differently lately. We were taking puppy classes and he was doing pretty good on basic commands, he was sleeping all night, always a total chow hound at feeding time....etc. Well in the last 1.5 weeks I have noticed a change in behavior. He seems to pace like he is looking for something. He is all excited about eating time, he actually leaves his bowl for awhile and comes back to it a few times. We didn't "graduate" puppy class today because wouldn't do any of his commands, he wouldn't even look at me or the instructor. He is showing lots of interest in smelling where dogs have marked and just sniffing other dogs in general (he wasn't as into sniffing before).
    Our trainer thinks that he has hit puberty and neutering would help. She says boys especially "the big ones" go through what she calls the "dumb phase" where they just won't listen. Our vet says not to neuter until he is 10 months. What do I do?

  • #2
    Deuce hit this phase at about 9 months. He turned 2 in May and I still haven't completely got his focus back. Deuce wasn't neutered until just last month so I'm really not sure if that would help the behavior I truly think that is just part of the age they are at as well.
    I don't think I would neuter that young based on this type of behavior, I would work through it and maybe get a little tougher on him if he starts testing some boundries but it all comes down to personal preference I think.
    Tamara and Deuce
    sigpic

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    • #3
      His behavior is normal - my dane is 12 months now and we did a training class when he was about 10 months and oh boy he couldn't pay attention to save his life. I mean really, who cares about treats when there are sooo many fun smells! I was going to wait until after he was 12 months old to neuter him but there was a limit to my patience and I did it when he was 11 months. I have noticed a difference in his behavior, but you also have to factor in that he is starting to mature. The neuter did help some (he doesn't become fixated on things anymore), but he still can be stubborn. He's still a puppy - you just have to keep reminding yourself of that or you'll lose your mind. I almost did. lol. Just be consistant with him and work slowly - start inside with no distractions and work your way up. Oh, and I would wait until he's a little older to be neutered. It's better for them (listen to your vet!). Just hang in there! It will pass.

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      • #4
        neuter or not to neuter.....the saga of Goliath.

        OK....glad I am not the only one with a maniac...lol. He is just so darn cute! I have had other dogs...boxers, english bulldogs...but WOW my dane is sooooo different. I just worry about having a small horse that I am unable to control! I will keep working on him and hold off on the neuter. Is 10 months a guide line for all large/giant breeds? What is the risk in neutering them at a younger age???
        Another thing though, my dane Goliath seems to have targeted my 6 year old son as the weakest link. If my son takes something from Goliath, Goliath will go back after it. If my son tells Goliath to get off the couch, Goliath kinda growls and mouths at him.....not like an attack, just annoyance. Needless to say, my 48 pound son is fearful of his "puppy" at times but at other times they are all cuddled up on the couch together watching cartoons.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by bigun101 View Post
          OK....glad I am not the only one with a maniac...lol. He is just so darn cute! I have had other dogs...boxers, english bulldogs...but WOW my dane is sooooo different. I just worry about having a small horse that I am unable to control! I will keep working on him and hold off on the neuter. Is 10 months a guide line for all large/giant breeds? What is the risk in neutering them at a younger age???
          Another thing though, my dane Goliath seems to have targeted my 6 year old son as the weakest link. If my son takes something from Goliath, Goliath will go back after it. If my son tells Goliath to get off the couch, Goliath kinda growls and mouths at him.....not like an attack, just annoyance. Needless to say, my 48 pound son is fearful of his "puppy" at times but at other times they are all cuddled up on the couch together watching cartoons.
          I would be concerned about that latest bit of info. It sounds like he doesn't respect your son. I'd work on that, and keep an eye on it very closely. Even though he's easily distracted I'd work with him daily on obedience in your house and backyard. I can't really speak to the neutering issue, but another thought is to make sure you really get that energy out running around the backyard or on walks, but don't overdo it since he's not 1. But a tired puppy is usally a better behaved puppy!
          Tyler
          Mom to Jackson (3 year old non-pup son), 2 labs Max and Chloe, and Dane Baby Diesel on the Way!

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          • #6
            My trainer says that Goliath sees my kids as other puppies. That makes sense to me. But my 8 year old daughter has asserted herself with him (truth be told she is a very bossy little girl...LOL) I am concerned about Golly's behavior towards my son. Puppy training classes touched on commands...sit, down, stay, come...but I don't know what to do so that he will respect my son rather than see him as an equal. I know that is a potentially dangerous situation. But with Goliath not listening at the moment I don't know what to do....Any advice?

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            • #7
              From what I have read online and what happened to us, what is happening to this pup is extremely normal and neutering probably won't have much effect.
              This is more about becoming an adult dog mentally, not becoming sexually mature.

              Like everything about our Dane, that stage was hugely exaggerated compared to other dogs because Danes develop so incredible slowly. Welcome to dog puberty in slow motion.

              We handled it bt battening down the hatches. We treated him like a huge rescue dog we had never met because that is what it seemed like. INSIST he follow rules or confine him where he cannot make bad decisions.

              IT WILL PASS IF YOU JUST KEEP WORKING THRU IT.
              IF YOU GIVE HIM AN INCH HE WILL TAKE A MILE!!!!
              It wasn't until ours was 14 months old that every now and then we would see the dog he was going to be eventually. Those brief patches slowly get longer and longer. It WAS kinda cool because he never shifted back to sweet gooberhead but is slowly becoming a huge, well behaved dog with dignity.

              150 pounds of ANIMAL muscle and teeth really IS a big deal and your pup has just realized it. (Good for him! LOL But he needs to know YOU didn't change. )
              Concentrate on what you want him to be like in two years and keep training. That is what we did.

              just my .02
              Randa
              ( I remember posting it was like someone had snuck in and replaced our pup with a dog that we had never seen before!)

              Edited to add- trainers and vets will often differ on physical issues- Trainers care only about behavior- Vets care only about health.
              If neutering was a panacea for behavior issues, every neutered dog would be a well behaved dog, and that is not the case.
              Last edited by Mongo; 07-14-2008, 09:56 AM.
              Randa

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              • #8
                Randa's right - soon you will start to see glimpses of what he will and can be and it's a great feeling.

                As for the growling / mouthing at your son you need to stop it now before it progresses. You don't want him thinking he can get his way with him. NILIF is a good place to start (google it) and have your son practice it with you and to practice training with him as well (supervised of course). You can also have your son feed him (again, supervised) to help him learn where your son belongs on the totam pole. Also try to build up your son's confidence around him by doing some of this. They know when you can be taken advantage of. Mine tries all the time.

                And a tired puppy will be the best thing ever. Try a dog park if there is a good one in your area, they are a lifesaver for me! He gets socialized and exercise all at once.

                I'm not fully informed as to why to wait to neuter but it has something to do with letting the growth plates close first. Try searching the boards or looking at the Spay/Neuter section. There might be a better explanation.

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                • #9
                  It is great to realize that I am not the only one with Puppy Jekyll and Doggy Hyde! He is just so cute! The funny thing is that our 10 year old English Bulldog (quite the senior citizen by bulldog standards) puts him in his place on a regular basis!
                  Another question: The trainer says not to let him on furniture or the bed. She says allowing him the same "rights" as humans gives him the wrong impression. But in all the pic archives etc....All the danes are sacked out on the couch. He spoons with me in bed in the morning.....From one dane lover to another- Are we wrong to let him on furniture?

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                  • #10
                    Hi-

                    We allow all our dogs on the couch and bed AFTER they respond instantly to a soft "move" or "off" command. Just verbally, too, with no hand signal, etc.
                    Until THAT command is down pat, they are not granted access.
                    As long as the dog understands that it is YOUR space, and his access is limited to YOUR willingness to share it, the effect is the same.
                    (And all the house is that way, the crate is the only space that is his, and he should still share that if with an adult human if you insist- but no kids, dogs, etc.)
                    Randa
                    Randa

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                    • #11
                      Your trainer is correct....pup sees your son as his equal and he doesn't respect him. One small thng you can do is when entering and exiting, make sure you (or your son) is the first one and your pup always follows...iit does make a difference. You want your pup to know your son is the leader and pup is the follower (just like in the pack). Your son will have more of an impact if he stands taller than the pup when he is commanding. I noticed some time ago when my fosters were new, they'd challenge me and just stand looking at me as if to say who are you, but when I bring my head taller than theirs, you should see the immediate change. These are small changes but they truly help.
                      As far as being on the furniture and in the same bed, I understand the reason behind it, but I don't follow it either. I am with Randa and never allow them up unless invited. If they aren't well behaved on the furniture, they are told to get off. You'll get there with consistancy

                      Debbie
                      Debbie

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bigun101 View Post
                        Another thing though, my dane Goliath seems to have targeted my 6 year old son as the weakest link. If my son takes something from Goliath, Goliath will go back after it. If my son tells Goliath to get off the couch, Goliath kinda growls and mouths at him.....not like an attack, just annoyance. Needless to say, my 48 pound son is fearful of his "puppy" at times but at other times they are all cuddled up on the couch together watching cartoons.
                        I think adults should strive to always supervise when children and dogs interact. But reality says thats not always possible. In most cases it is easier to guide the dog to do the right thing in the situation described. The axiom I always follow is that dogs will shape their behavior to get pleasure and avoid displeasure. Goliath is doing what works for Goliath and it is how the 6 year old reacts to that behavior that becomes the reinforcer. How does the 6 year old react?

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